Interactive Timeline

By montesk
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  • Wedgewood & Davy

    They presented to the Royal Institution of Great Britain a paper “An Account of Method of Copying Paintings upon Glass, and making Profiles by the Agency upon Nitrate of Silver”. Which is the earliest record of photography in England. They were able to make images but weren't able to stop the images from turning black when exposed to light.
  • Camera Lucida

    Camera Lucida
    Camera Lucida was patented by William Hyde Wollaston. Camera Lucida is an optical device used as a drawing aid by artists.These drawing devices were used by travelers to make mementos of a scene.
  • Niepce

    The earliest surviving photograph was created by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce made around 1826,
    The image was made on a rectangular sheet of pewter. The pewter plate was coated with a bitumen of Judea (a substance typically used in print-making) and attached to the back of a camera lucida with the lens of the camera pointing toward the courtyard outside. Niepce made what is now known as a Direct Positive image.
  • Daguerre & Fox

    Daguerre & Fox
    The two main inventors of photography were the Frenchmen Louis-Jacques Mandé Daguerre and Henry Fox Talbot. They formed a partnership since they had been working on the same problem—how to make a permanent image using light and chemistry. The invention of the daguerreotype by Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre is formally announced in Paris, France.
  • William Henry Harrison

    William Henry Harrison
    William Henry Harrison is elected President of the United States. He was the oldest man, at age 67, ever elected president up to that time, the last president born under British rule, and the first to die in office; after only one month’s service.
  • American Museum

    American Museum
    P. T. Barnum opens the American Museum in New York City. The museum's collection included items collected throughout the world over a period of 25 years. One of the most famous attractions was General Tom Thumb a 25-inch tall dwarf who eventually garnered so much fame and success that Queen Victoria saw his performances twice. The museum offered both strange and educational attractions. It burned to the ground in 1865.
  • The Calotype

    The Calotype
    The Calotype, or 'Talbotype', was a refinement of the process of photogenic drawing, offering a much more sensitive medium through its use of the latent image phenomenon. It was invented by Fox Talbot and patented on the 8th of February 1841. Calotypes are made by brushing the best quality drawing or writing paper with a solution of silver nitrate, drying the paper, and then immersing it in a solution of potassium iodide to form a light-sensitive layer of silver iodide.
  • Henry Fox Talbot

    Henry Fox Talbot
    He considered the photograph “The Open Door” as “an example of the early beginnings of a new art”. Talbot is using the door as a visual metaphor – a symbol of the passage between life and light and death and darkness.
  • The Cyanotype Process

    The Cyanotype Process
    Scientific Illustrator Anna Atkins used the cyanotype process to create her scientific illustrations.The cyanotype process relies upon the laying of an object onto sensitized paper.The first instalment of Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions in October 1843 is widely considered to be the first photographic book.
  • Daguerreotypes

    Mathew Brady opens a daguerreotype studio in New York City. The Library has the largest collection of Brady studio daguerreotypes in existence. Most of these were acquired in 1920 from the Army War College. Some of the images are copy daguerreotypes. Portrait sitters represented in the collection include political figures, such as President James K. Polk and Thomas Hart Benton; artists, including Thomas Cole, George Peter Alexander Healy, and Henry Inman.
  • Fox Talbot

    Fox Talbot
    Fox Talbot also worked on a series of haystack studies;
    He understood the ability of photography to work on a sequence of images.By working on a sequence of images of haystacks, Fox Talbot was able to learn about the effect of light and shadow in photography.
  • The Mexican-American War

    The Mexican-American War
    The Mexican-American War, waged between the United States and Mexico from 1846 to 1848, helped to fulfill America's "manifest destiny" to expand its territory across the entire North American continent.
  • Liberian Independence

    Liberian Independence
    A young African American man from Virginia named Joseph Jenkins Roberts declared the colony of Liberia in West Africa an independent republic on July 26, 1847. The following year he became the first elected president of the new country. Roberts had moved there in 1829 at the age of twenty from Petersburg, Virginia. At that time, Liberia was a colony owned by a group of people in the United States.
  • The Discovery of Gold

    The Discovery of Gold
    The discovery of gold nuggets in the Sacramento Valley in early 1848 sparked the California Gold Rush, arguably one of the most significant events to shape American history during the first half of the 19th century. As news spread of the discovery, thousands of prospective gold miners traveled by sea or over land to San Francisco and the surrounding area.
  • Zachary Taylor

    Zachary Taylor
    He became a full-fledged war hero through his service in the Mexican War, which broke out in 1846 after the U.S. annexation of Texas. Elected president in 1848, Taylor entered the White House at a time when the issue of slavery and its extension into the new western territories (including Texas) had caused a major rift between the North and South.
  • Portraiture

    Scientific studies were done where the photographs were taken in a scientific manner, front, side and back views. They would be used by the naturalist Louis Agassiz in an attempt to scientifically justify racial inequality. The photographer would often not hide the face or features of the person photographed.
  • Wet Collodion Process

    Wet Collodion Process
    It requires the photographic material to be coated, sensitized, exposed and developed within the span of about fifteen minutes, necessitating a portable darkroom for use in the field. Collodion is normally used in its wet form, but can also be used in humid ("preserved") or dry form, at the cost of greatly increased exposure time. The latter made the dry form unsuitable for the usual portraiture work of most professional photographers of the 19th century.
  • Crimea War

    Crimea War
    Probably the most famous photograph of the Crimea war was taken after the event itself. Roger Fenton took two photographs of this scene. In the first image, there are hardly any cannonballs in the road; but in this image, you can clearly see the cannon balls scattered on the road. Having the cannon balls on the road gives the impression that the battle had recently taken place. It is most likely that Fenton moved some of the cannon balls to make the scene more photographic.
  • Oscar Rejlander

    Oscar Rejlander
    Possibly the most well‐known tableaux vivant of that era is Oscar Rejlander’s, The Two Ways of Life created in 1857.
    This seamlessly montaged combination print was created from over thirty negatives. It took Rejlander about six weeks to combine all the images into one.The work shows two youths being offered guidance by a patriarch. Each youth looks toward a section of a stage‐like tableaux vivant; one youth is shown the virtuous pleasures and the other the sinful pleasures.
  • Lewis Carroll

    Lewis Carroll
    Lewis Carroll – often better known for his book “Alice in Wonderland”. He was an avid photographer, and more known photograph is of Alice Liddell as ‘The Begger Maid’. Liddell is posed with her clothing artfully ripped – suggestive of a begger child, or as some contemporary critics suggest, a more sinister reason.
  • Abraham Lincoln

    Abraham Lincoln
    Abraham Lincoln is elected the 16th president of the United States over a deeply divided Democratic Party, becoming the first Republican to win the presidency. The announcement of Lincoln’s victory signaled the secession of the Southern states, which since the beginning of the year had been publicly threatening secession if the Republicans gained the White House.
  • The American Civil War

    The American Civil War
    The great majority of the photographs were portraits of soldiers taken in hometown studios or in the field by one of the hundreds of ‘cameristas’ who followed the armies. Their cameras could take four images at one time. In this way, the person photographed could send multiple photographs to his family back home. The images would have been printed onto thin sheets of iron – these images were called tintypes.
  • Stereoscopes

    During the Civil War, many photographers used a special camera, a stereographic camera, which aided in making the photographs more realistic. The stereographic camera had a twin‐lens. The twin‐lens produced two side‐by‐side images, known as a stereoview, that gave a three‐dimensional effect when viewed through a stereoscope.
  • Nadar

    As a balloonist Nadar also pioneered aerial photography – making the first aerial views of Paris. He made wet‐collodion prints, so he had to carry a complete darkroom in the hot air balloon. None of Nadar’s earliest aerial photographs survive.
  • Peter Henry Emerson

    Peter Henry Emerson
    Emerson created his own thesis about photography and used only selective focus and the careful gradation of tones. He looked to the work of painters for his aesthetic models. He aimed to make photographs that looked more like paintings to create more evocative and expressive photographs by rejected the need to make the entire image in focus and sharp.
  • Kodak’s

    George Eastman's invention of the first mass‐produced camera.With Kodak’s invention “You press the button, we do the rest”, photography quickly became available to the everyman. No longer did photographers have to have knowledge of chemistry or specialist equipment.