Timeline of Fox Talbot’s photography
Key dates relating to how one man played a crucial role in the invention of photographic images
1800 William Henry Fox Talbot is born at Melbury in Dorset on 11 February. 1826 The world’s first photographic image is taken by Frenchman Nicéphore Niépce at Chalon-sur-Saône in eastern France. 1833 On honeymoon at Lake Como, Fox Talbot’s lack of artistic talent leads him to start experimenting with scientific ways of recording and preserving images. 1835 Fox Talbot has a breakthrough when he makes the world’s earliest known negative – an image of a latticed window at Lacock Abbey. 1837 Another Frenchman, Louis Daguerre, unveils his Daguerreotype, which produced a bright, shiny and detailed image that was ideal for portraits. 1841 Fox Talbot patents the Calotype process, with detailed descriptions of the preparation and use of calotype paper. 1843-44 Fox Talbot sets up the Reading Establishment, the first printing facility in the world, and produces the first book illustrated with photographs. 1887 Celluloid film base is introduced, paving the way for the development of motion picture photography. 1888 The first Kodak camera makes an appearance with the marketing slogan ‘You press the button, we do the rest’, opening up photography to the masses. 1900 Kodak introduces its Brownie camera, a cheap and easy-touse box camera that increases the popularity of photography as a hobby. 1995 Kodak and Apple introduce the first digital cameras, sparking the digital photography revolution.
OCTOBER 2017 Fox Talbot’s book The Pencil of Nature, 1844. It can be read online at www. thepencilofnature.com