ANNA ATKINS’ AL­GAE

The Simple Things - - WEEKEND PROJECT -

Cyan­otyp­ing was dis­cov­ered by English sci­en­tist Sir John Her­schel. He dis­cov­ered if you mixed equal quan­ti­ties of am­mo­nium iron (III), cit­rate and potas­sium fer­ri­cyanide it cre­ated a pho­to­sen­si­tive so­lu­tion. Al­though he con­sid­ered it a way of re­pro­duc­ing notes and di­a­grams (what be­came known as blue­prints), fam­ily friend and keen botanist Anna Atkins used the process to cre­ate a se­ries of books doc­u­ment­ing her col­lec­tion of seaweed. Be­cause of this she’s often re­ferred to as the first fe­male pho­tog­ra­pher.

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