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

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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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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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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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Drake, John Poad (bap. 1794, d. 1883), inventor and artist, son of Thomas Drake and his wife, Frances Poad, was born in Stoke Damerel, Devon, where he was baptized on 20 July 1794. A shipwright in the naval dockyard at Plymouth, Thomas Drake...

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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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R. B. Prosser

revised by R. C. Cox

Oldham, John (1779–1840), artist and mechanical inventor, was born in Dublin. He served an apprenticeship to an engraver at a calico printing works in Dublin but subsequently pursued a career as an artist. While based at Newry he also developed his interest in mechanics. He invented a machine for individually numbering banknotes to prevent forgery and, in 1812, laid his plans before the ...

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

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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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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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Taylor, Isaac [known as Isaac Taylor of Stanford Rivers] (1787–1865), writer on theology, artist, and inventor, was born at Lavenham, Suffolk, on 17 August 1787. He was the fourth child and eldest surviving son of Isaac Taylor of Ongar (1759–1829), artist, engraver, and dissenting minister, and his wife, ...

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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, ...