Historical Timeline

Timeline created by britney_abrahamson
In History
  • The First Photograph

    The First Photograph
    Joseph Nicephore Niepce was a natural inventor, after his drive to entrepreneurship began with the oil engine, rivaling the steam engine, he decided to focus on what he could contribute to the process of replicating images. Some challenges arose but Niepce was determined. It wasn't until he turned to bitumen of Judea that he had some success. He utilized the light hardening effect of the substance and iodine fumes to create the first direct positive photo "View from the Window at Gras'.
  • The Presentation of Photography

    The Presentation of Photography
    After the sudden death of Niepce in 1833, his new counterpart by contract, Daguerre, was left to experiment with Niepce's materials leading to his development of the Daguerreotype by 1839. Soon after his presentation, he faced his British rival to the process, Fox Talbot. Talbot had developed a completely original method by 1835, creating negative images such as "Latticed Window", and could develop prints. The politics of the time meant whichever country had the claim had national superiority.
  • Microscopic Daguerreotypes

    Microscopic Daguerreotypes
    Andreas Ritter von Ettingshausen was in close ties with Daguerre. After the presentation of the daguerreotype, he decided to take it further. He developed a process of taking photographs of microscopic objects. The photo below is "Section of Clematis". Later, Leon Foucalt utilized this process and made eighty-six plates for a textbook "Course in Microscopy" in 1845.
  • The Stereograph

    The Stereograph
    This new technique became famed for it's 3-D visual effect. To start the photographer would set up two evenly spaced cameras and take a photograph. Next, these photos would be put side by side and you would put the photo in a clip and hold up the device to your face and view the two photos together creating a 3-D view of the scene. Later in the 1850s, came the camera that could take these two images simultaneously on the same page making them easier to produce.
  • The Photographs of British Algae

    The Photographs of British Algae
    Anna Atkins utilized the photography method of John Herschel in creating her book, and possibly the first ever photography book. This method was called Cyanotype. It consisted of coating paper with certain light-sensitive materials that, when exposed to light, turned a bright 'prussian' blue. She would coat the paper and lay her specimen flat and expose it to light. This turned the uncovered parts blue and left the intricate outline of her specimen on the page.
  • Hill and Adamson

    Hill and Adamson
    Hill, a landscape painter, met Adamson, a photographer, during his time undertaking a daunting project. He had planned to paint the Great-Disruption consisting of 470 Scottish ministers. This meeting sparked their continued relationship, during which, they produced over 3,000 photographs. They would encourage their sitters to bring props and embellish their photographs artfully.
  • Panoramic Photographs

    Panoramic Photographs
    In 1844, a French photographer named Frederick von Martens invented a miraculous new type of camera. This rotating camera now made it possible for photographers to take panoramic shots with curved glass plates. The camera lenses were able to rotate 110-360 degrees giving it a leap above normal photography.
  • The Telegraph

    The Telegraph
    Samuel Morse changed the way of modern communication was taking place. It all started in 1830, when he was able to run an electric current from one point to another to trigger a bell to ring. Soon after, he discovered that signals could be passed through the same technique. Knowing this he was able to use pulses in the current to move a marker, producing written codes later dubbed Morse code. By 1844, the telegraph was successfully used to wire a transmission to Washington DC.
  • The Wet-Collodion Process

    The Wet-Collodion Process
    Frederick Scott Archer published this new process of taking photographs in 1851. The process uses a glass plate coated in light sensitive material that's then, while still dripping wet, loaded into the camera and exposed to light. The most important part of this method is having the portable darkroom close by in order to develop the photo before the coating dries. Interestingly, it develops negatives as well as underexposed positives you can back with dark material.
  • Charles Darwin vs. Louis Agassiz

    Charles Darwin vs. Louis Agassiz
    The publishing of Darwin's book "The Origin of Species" brought a completely new look at the world's people. Darwin's was a new theory to rival Agassiz's theory that humans came from different origins, hence the different races. Since Agassiz's theory came first, the world had already begun photographically documenting slaves and non-westerners' differences in an event to prove this. Darwin, however, was able to use these photographs to begin showing similarities between people and prevailed.
  • The Flourish of the Tintype

    The Flourish of the Tintype
    The Collodion tintype became very popular during wartime photography. The thin iron sheets were cheap and lightweight which allowed for photographers to take many more photographs during war to document the soldiers and the events to come. The photographs themselves weren't very large so soldiers were able to send their photographs home in the mail and the iron sheet prevented damage during the mail process vice trying to send the glass plates.
  • Interest in the Human Expression

    Interest in the Human Expression
    The human expression had become the next object of exploration in the world. People were becoming interested in reading people through their 'inner self'. Photography aided in the endeavor eventually as the technology progressed. Before this happened, people rarely showed emotion due to the extended periods of time they had to sit for their photo. But the French doctor, Duchenne de Boulogne decided to explore emotion through electric currents applied to face muscles instead.
  • Julia Margaret Cameron

    Julia Margaret Cameron
    Cameron spent most of her life away from photography, until she was gifted a camera for her 48th birthday. Her style caught criticism from the other photographers since she would soften photos by shifting the lens out of focus a little bit. With this effect most thought she was uneducated in the medium. Yet, with her style she was able to recreate historical events and people without the scene seeming theatrical and posed. The image below is "The Passing of Arthur", one of her photographs.
  • Spirit Photographs

    Spirit Photographs
    With the hard times of war people wanted to remember the dead. Spiritualists were contacted for loved ones to talk to their relatives and soon photography was introduced to the event. William Howard Mumler became famous for his photo of Mary Todd Lincoln, a photo showing the faint ghost appearance of Abraham Lincoln himself. Not long after the photos became popular, a French photographer admitted the process was simply a double exposure.
  • Dynamite

    Dynamite
    Alfred Nobel, the Swedish Chemist and Engineer, who spent much time working in his father's military equipment factory during the Crimean war. After the war ended and the factory went bankrupt, he spent time in his fathers lab experimenting with explosives mainly the new explosive material Nitroglycerin. In 1862, and worked to find a way to safely detonate it and a few years later found the liquid could be dried out to a powder and was much safer to use, thus creating dynamite.
  • Completion of the Transcontinental Railroad

    Completion of the Transcontinental Railroad
    After 6 years of construction, the US had the first running railroad across the country by connecting the Pacific railroad in San Francisco to the US rail network in Iowa. The completion of the railroad gave Americans a sense of pride in the US on its industrial progress.
  • Mugshots

    Mugshots
    The development of the first mugshots stemmed from a Swiss government operation in 1852. Stateless people were confined in a small town and forced to settle there. Carl Durheim took photos of them and had the images turned to lithographs so they could be disseminated to the police to enforce this confinement. Though there were other photographs of criminals during the 1850's and 1860's, the full standardization wasn't until the 1880's when they became more easily duplicated and distributed.
  • The Snapshot Camera and Film Roll

    The Snapshot Camera and Film Roll
    The invention of the first Kodak camera allowed for the regular person to be able to capture their important life moments. It came out with a roll of film that could take 100 photos before being sent back to the shop for developing. This changed the way photography was looked at now that seemingly 'everyone' could now use a camera and not need to have extensive knowledge on developing the images.
  • The Eiffel Tower

    The Eiffel Tower
    It took just over two years to complete the centerpiece of the 1889 World's Fair. The Eiffel Tower was not initially praised by the people of France as it was a monstrous metal structure in the middle of Paris. Yet, eventually they grew to love it as it became an iconic landmark and a representation of France's prowess in the industrial age.
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    Industrial Revolution

    As the Industrial Revolution made it's way into the world, it rapidly developed society. Healthy competition for innovations and scientists bouncing work off each other inside a growing community created a welcoming atmosphere to growth and advancement. This revolution expanded the world on many fronts from textiles to science to transportation even to the standard of living.
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    The Abolitionist Movement

    The abolitionist movement was an effort to put an end to slavery in America. Prevailing in the North it stirred the Southern states to secede from the Union in protest. The end took a long time to surface, but once the civil war had ended the Emancipation Proclamation was in full effect and forced the remaining slave regions to free their slaves.
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    Mexican-American War

    The interest in war was on the rise, newspapers were in a boom and were able to print faster and news made it around quickly. Soon, wood engraved images of war surfaced. The public audience wanted more so they deployed photographers to capture the conflict. The process of photography at the time was still suffering from long exposures, leading to staged photographs of recent events. Yet it worked, making the Mexican-American War the first photographed war.
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    The American Civil War

    This war was fought between the Northern Loyalists to the Union and the Southern Confederates, those that seceded from the Union. The war had been brewing from some time, mainly due to the Abolitionist movement leading the controversy in the enslavement of black people. It was the first attack by the South on Fort Sumter and it went on from there, killing many soldiers on both sides, and ended with Gen. Lee surrendered at the Battle of Appomattox.
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    The Aid to War

    Photography began taking combat to another level. The use, in the Franco-Prussian war, of photography consisted of photographically miniaturizing communications to be sent by carrier pigeons from the city to the French officials outside the siege line. Soon later, you begin to see photography being used to duplicate maps, describing terrain and imaging armaments. Photographers began accompanying troops to also capture the enemy for those back home.
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    Emergence of the Half-Tone Process

    The half-tone process was the latest means of being able to print images in the news. It consisted of printing photos with dots of varying sizes depending on whether the area was shaded or light. As it became more widely used news agencies stopped hiring artists to move images over to engravings because it took too long. This also changed the image market, allowing for the emergence of press agencies and networks and their photographers.
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    Gum-Bichromate

    This substance was brought to popularity by the Pictorialists. They would coat their images with it after the exposure to soften the image and give it a more dream-like effect or to allow for the subject to stand out while the background was softened to allow for it to stand out. They applauded it for allowing them to prove that photography was in fact a form of art by stating that it was no longer a machine image, it had been influenced by the human hand.
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    The Berlin Conference

    The conference of Berlin was intended to be a solution to the conflicts of the European powers over their claims to Africa. During this conference the nations of Great Britain, France, Germany, and Portugal gathered to formalize where their claims were on a map and agreed on a way to negotiate future claims to Africa. This wasn't the official colonization of Africa, however, but merely a stepping stone toward that goal.