Time­line of Fox Tal­bot’s pho­tog­ra­phy

Key dates re­lat­ing to how one man played a cru­cial role in the in­ven­tion of pho­to­graphic images

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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

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