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Archer, Frederick Scott (1813–1857), inventor of the collodion process in photography, was the second son of Thomas Archer, a butcher at Hertford, where he was probably born. Orphaned as a child, he was brought up by distant relatives and friends and while still a young man was apprenticed to a silversmith and bullion dealer named ...

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Frederick Scott Archer (1813–1857) by Robert Cade, 1855 Royal Photographic Society

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Bidwell, Shelford (1848–1909), physicist and developer of telephotography, was born on 6 March 1848 at Thetford, Norfolk, the eldest son of Shelford Clarke Bidwell, brewer, of Thetford, who was married to his cousin Georgina, daughter of George Bidwell, rector of Stanton, Norfolk. Educated under the ...

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Claudet, Antoine François Jean (1797–1867), photographer and inventor, was born at Château de Rosay, Lyons, France, on 12 August 1797, the son of a gentleman of independent means, who died in 1807. After receiving a sound commercial and classical education, he entered the prestigious banking firm of his uncle and was soon installed as co-director with ...

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Antoine François Jean Claudet (1797–1867) self-portrait, c. 1851 [with his son Frank Claudet] Science & Society Picture Library; photograph National Portrait Gallery, London

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Griggs, William (1832–1911), inventor of a photolithographic process, was the son of a gate-keeper to the duke of Bedford at Woburn, Bedfordshire, where he was born on 4 October 1832. After the death of his father Griggs started working life as an apprentice carpenter at the age of twelve. When he was eighteen he moved to ...

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Ponton, Mungo (1802–1880), inventor of photographic processes and lawyer, the only son of John Ponton, farmer, and his wife, Isabell née Ponton, was born at Balgreen, near Edinburgh, on 23 November 1802. Educated as a lawyer, he was admitted to the Society of Writers to the Signet...

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Mungo Ponton (1802–1880) by unknown photographer, 1870s Heritage Images Partnership

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Reade, Joseph Bancroft (1801–1870), microscopist and experimenter in photography, was born on 5 April 1801 at Kirkgate, Leeds, Yorkshire, the eldest of six sons and two daughters of Thomas Shaw Bancroft Reade (1776–1841) and his wife, Sarah (d. 1825), daughter of Richard Paley...

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Spiller, John (1833–1921), chemist and inventor of photographic techniques, was born on 20 June 1833, one of at least two sons of John Horatio Spiller, an architect. Educated at a private school at Crouch End, London, and the City of London School, he then entered the ...

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Talbot, William Henry Fox (1800–1877), pioneer of photography, was born on 11 February 1800 at Melbury, Dorset, the only child of William Davenport Talbot (1764–1800), army officer, of Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire, and Elisabeth Theresa (1773–1846), eldest child of Henry Thomas Fox-Strangways, second earl of Ilchester...

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William Henry Fox Talbot (1800–1877) by Antoine Claudet, 1846 Fox Talbot Museum of Photography

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Watkins, Alfred (1855–1935), archaeologist and inventor of photographic equipment, was born on 27 January 1855 at the Imperial Hotel, Widemarsh Street, Hereford, the third of the ten children of Charles Watkins (1821–1888), a prosperous local farmer, miller, brewer, and hotel owner, and his wife, ...