YEARBOOK OF PHOTOGRAPHY
The Yearbook of Photography was published by the weekly periodical Photographic News and was usually edited by that publication’s editor. It was for many years the alternative to the British Journal of Photography’s Photographic Almanac (1859–1963) but never quite grew in the same way or gained the same following. By 1894 the Almanac numbered 1336 pages against the Yearbook’s 612 pages. It remains important as there were advertisers who only took space with one publication and the editorial content provides a useful alternative to the Almanac.
The Yearbook first appeared as the Photographic News Almanac, known as Almanack in 1859, or the Year Book of Photography in 1859 a title that it kept until 1863. The 1859 Almanack was published on 10 December 1858 at a cost of 6d and described in the Photographic News of 17 December 1858 (177). The intention is to ‘disseminate useful and important infor- mation, alike to the practised operator and amateur... It will be found to be of the greatest assistance not only to the private amateur, but also to the professional photographer; to the former, on account of the numer- ous hints it contains, which if attended to, will ensure success under the most unfavourable circumstances; and to the latter, for the information on subjects which are so liable to escape memory.’
It became the Yearbook of Photography and Pho- tographic News Almanac in 1864 and last appeared with the 1907/08 edition after which it’s parent, the Photographic News, was absorbed by Amateur Pho- tographer.
The original Almanack absorbed William Lay’s Pho- tographic Almanac and Ready Reckoner for the Year of Our Lord 1859 which appeared for one year only. It was incorporated into the second volume of the Photo- graphic News Almanac for 1860. Lay’s Almanac and the
first issue of the Photographic News Almanac lay claim as the world’s earliest photographic almanacs.
The first editor was G. Wharton Simpson (1825– 1880) who remained in that position until the 1880 edition; H. Baden Pritchard (1841–1884) edited the years 1881–1884; Thomas Bolas (1848–1932) ed- ited 1885–1889; T. C. Hepworth (died 1905) edited 1892–1893; E. J. Wall (died 1928) edited 1897-1898; Percy R. Salmon (died 1959) edited 1901–1905 and F. J. Mortimer (1874–1944) edited 1906–1908. The missing years were not credited.
The content of the Yearbook was remarkably constant over its history from the 1859 Photographic Almanac. The editorial pages usually began with a calendar for the year and astronomical information, followed by a list of the principal photographic societies and their officers for Great Britain. A review of advances within photog- raphy for the previous year provided a useful survey of new processes, apparatus and survey of the profession as well as the principal deaths for the year. This was followed by an extensive list of photographic processes and formulae. A number of essays by noted amateur and professional photographers on practical aspects of photography completed the book. In, for example, the 1866 volume the essays included J. H. Dallmeyer on lenses, Jabez Hughes on constructing a photographic darkroom, Rejlander reflecting on photography and art, Thomas Richard Williams on portraiture and Henry Peach Robinson on managing sitters amongst others. All volumes contained substantial advertisement sections. In later volumes the amount of formulaic information was reduced to make way for surveys of new equipment and a trade directory. The essays during the 1880s and 1890s began to become more technical in nature reflecting the editors’ own interests and the general editorial slant of the Photographic News.
YOKOYAMA MATSUSABURO (1838–1884)
Japanese painter, photographer
The Japanese photographer Yokoyama Matsusaburo was born in Etorofu Island (now disputed territory with Rus- sia), but spent his childhood in the port city of Hakodate. His lifelong love was painting, but when Commodore Perry’s ships visited Hakodate in 1854, Yokoyama was intrigued by the photography of Eliphalet Brown. This interest was reinforced when, later that year, the Russian photographer Aleksandr Mozhaiskii took daguerreo- types of the streets of Hakodate. Thinking that mastery of photography would help him to become a better artist, he traveled to Yokohama and studied under Shimooka Renjo. Returning to Hakodate his technique was further refined by the Russian consul and amateur photographer, Iosif Goshkevich. In 1868, Yokoyama opened his own lavish studio in Tokyo. In 1871 he famously photo- graphed the partially destroyed Edo Castle, and in 1873 Japanese art works destined for the Vienna Exposition. In the same year he began to concentrate on teaching art and photography students at his studio. In 1876 he gave up his studio and taught photography and photolithog- raphy at the Japan Military Academy until 1881. There he experimented with printing techniques and developed a form of photographic oil painting, shashin abura-e. In 1882 he contracted tuberculosis and spent the last two years of his life painting (particularly photographic oil painting) and immersing himself in a photolithography company which he founded. [Examples of Yokoyama’s work can be found in the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo.]
YORK, FREDERICK (1823–1903)
Lantern slide manufacturer
York was born at Bridgwater, Somerset, England, in 1823. At 16 he was apprenticed to a Bristol pharmacist,
where he came into contact with the new art of photog- raphy. He established and ran a photographic business in South Africa, 1853–1861. Returning to England, in 1863 he set up a stereoview and lantern slide business at 87 (later at 67) Lancaster Road, Notting Hill, London. The firm soon concentrated on photographic slides, and son William joined the business in 1877. York & Son’s slides, by the 1890s over 100,000 per year, were manufactured in Bridgwater. Subjects included Travel, Comic, Science, Education, and Life Models. Travel scenes were produced with negatives ‘bought-in’ from other photographers. Life Model sets were photographed by the York company, whose only serious competition in this genre was Bamforth & Co. Costumed ‘actors’ posed in front of painted backdrops or, occasionally, exterior scenes to create a series of tableaux. Many scenes were photographed in a garden studio at Lancaster Road. Themes included temperance, popular songs, services of song, and ‘tearjerker’ stories. After Frederick York’s death in 1903 William carried on, but the firm was dis- solved in 1907. Newton & Co used the York name until the late 1940s.
YOUNG, THOMAS (1773–1829)
English physician and natural philosopher
Thomas Young is chiefly acknowledged for providing the decisive arguments against Newton’s particle theory of light, leading eventually to widespread acceptance of the wave or undulatory theory. He also developed theories of interference and three-color composition of light which were important for the development of colour photography. Born 13 June 1773 to a Quaker family in Somerset, Young exhibited a prodigious intellect, studying literature, ancient and modern lan- guages, engineering, chemistry, optics, mathematics and medicine. Having studied at both Edinburgh Uni- versity and at the University of Göttingen, he became widely read in a number of Continental philosophers, including Leonhard Euler. Euler proposed that colors were created by the frequency of vibration in the ether, the longest wavelength corresponding to the red end of the spectrum. Young adapted his own analogies of light and sound to form a defence of a general wave theory of light in 1801. In his publication of 1804, Experiments and Calculations Relative to Physical Optics, Young published proof of the extension of the spectrum into the ‘invisible’ region beyond the violet. Like many investi- gators of light he employed the well-known sensitivity of silver nitrate, casting the image from a solar microscope on strips of paper soaked in the solution. Thomas Young died 10 May 1829 in London.