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  Talbot, William Henry Fox

William Henry Fox Talbot, an Englishman was born in 1800.

He attended Trinity College in Cambridge as a student of classics and mathematics. During his attendance he was elected to the Royal Astronomical Society. And he graduated in 1825 with an M.A. degree.

In 1832 he became a Fellow of the Royal Society, based on a series of mathematical papers he wrote.

In 1833-1834, Talbot served in Parliament. Unsatisfied with the results he obtained sketching with a camera lucida Talbot was inspired, while on a trip through Italy in 1833 to pusue serious photographic experiments.

Early in 1834 Talbot began to reduce his speculations to experiment by employing a solution of the nitrate of silver for the purpose of preparing the paper; but the results were unsatisfactory.

in August 1835, He made his first paper negative image. An image of The lattice window in the South Gallery of his home, Lacock Abbey.

At the close of 1838, Talbot made a new important discovery. He described it as "having spread a piece of silver leaf on a pane of glass, and thrown a praticle of iodine upon it, I observed that colored rings formed themselves around the central particle, especially if the glass was slightly warmed".." but an unexpected phenomenon occurred when the silver plate was brought into the light, by placing it near a window; for then the colored rings shortly began to change their colors and assumed other and quite unusual tints, such as are never seen in the colors of thin plates.

In September 1840, Mr. Talbot discovered the process first called Calotype (but the name has been changed by some of his friends into Talbotype). After the announcement of Daguerre's invention, Talbot exhibited his photographs and disclosed his experiments at the Royal Academy: 'An Account of the Art of Photogenic Drawing or the process by which natural objects may be made to delineate themselves without the aid of the artist's pencil.'"

"By 1841 Talbot had invented and patented the camera obscura calotype process, the negative-positive process of photography. calotype is derived from the Greek word 'kalos' meaning beautiful.Even though the Daguerreotype enjoyed more success during the early days of photography, the Calotype process was the true fore runner of today's modern photography process.

In 1843 Talbot started the first printing house for the mass-production of photographic prints. The following year he published The Pencil of Nature, the first photographically illustrated book, which included Talbot's images of sculpture and drawing and views of Oxford and Paris

After defending his patents on photographic techniques, a jury in 1854 concluded that Talbot was the true inventor of the negative-positive process, but not all innovations, especially the wet-collodion process, freeing photography in England from a virtual monopoly.

Talbot's last years were devoted to various scientific studies and the decipherment of Assyrian cuneiform inscriptions.

In 1855, he was awarded the Grand Medal of Honor by an international jury at the Universal Exposition of Paris.

In 1864, he received an honorary degree from the University of Edinburgh

In 1874 he became an Honorary Member of the Photographic Society of London.

In 1877, He died at his home, Lacock Abbey, at age 77

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2012-03-11 18:33:07

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