IN THE PHOTO HISTORY TIMELINE COLLECTION
YEAR TIMELINE ARTIST TITLE YEAR
1725 Johann Schulze discovered the darkening of silver salts by the action of light
1790 Thomas Wedgewood, in England, makes photograms by placing objects on leather sensitized with silver nitrate.
1800 A device used by artists in the 17th and 18th centuries in aid in drawing, by the beginning of the 19th century the camera obscura was ready with little or no modification to accept a sheet of light sensitive material to become the photographic camera. unknown Camera Obscura 1860
1806 Patented in 1806 by William Hyde Wollaston, the camera lucida (actually a reinvention of a device clearly described 200 years earlier by Johannes Kepler in his Dioptrice (1611)) performs an optical superimposition of the subject being viewed on the surface on which the artist is drawing unknown Camera Lucida 1840
1816 In France the Niepce brothers initiate experiments to create images using light-sensitive materials
1826 Nicéphore Niépce (1765-1833) a French doctor, produces the world’s first photograph using pewter plates in a camera obscura. Exposure was around eight hours.
1829 Jacques Louis Mande Daguerre and Nicephore Niepce sign partnership agreement to work on perfecting photography
1833 On a visit to Lake Como, William Henry Fox Talbot, an English amateur scientist, is frustrated by his inability to draw, even when using a camera lucida.
1834 Back in England, Talbot develops a “photogenic drawing process”, by creating a negative image on paper using sodium chloride and silver nitrate.

1837 Following experiments on his own (Niepce died in 1933) Daguerre evolves a workable process which he calls the Daguerreotype. Silver iodide coated copper plate is exposed and developed by mercury to give a single direct positive. Removing the remaining silver iodide with a warm solution of cooking salt, the images develop in 30 minutes.
1839 January 7 – Daguerre’s new process is
announced to the French Academy of Sciences, without revealing the details
and Daguerre seeks to have the French government buy the rights to his discovery.
1839 January 31 – After hearing about Daguerre’s experiments, Talbot hurriedly prepares and presents papers at the Royal Institution and the Royal Society. Unlike the Daguerre process the image is recorded as a “negative” and has to be printed via a similar process to produce the final “positive”. Many positive prints can be made from a single negative. Saturday Magazine 1839
1839 March – Sir John Frederick William Herschel (1792-1871) presents his paper Note on the art of Photography, or The Application of the Chemical Rays of Light to the Purpose of Pictorial Representation to the Royal Society and this is the first time the word photography is used
1839 March – American Samuel F. B. Morse, in Paris to promote his telegraph, meets with Daguerre and later returns to New York to establish the process in America. Announcements of the new process appears in American publications Horace Greeley The New Yorker April 20, 1839 1839
1839 June – Francis West, a London optician, advertises the first camera on sale to the public.
1839 June 24 – A French civil servant Hippolyte Bayard exhibits 30 photos in Paris (using his self devised direct positive process of silver chloride paper, light, potassium iodide, and camera exposure) but his efforts are ignored by the French scientific establishment who had already decided to back Daguerre
1839 August 19 – The Daguerreotype process is announced to the public and released for general use in France in return for state pensions given to Daguerre and Niepce., but is patented in England. Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre Historique et Description des Procédés du Daguerreeotype et du Diorama 1839
1839 September 14 – the first demonstrations of the daguerreotype are held in London
1839 September – the first daguerreotype to be taken in America, a view of St. Paul’s Church, is shown in a drugstore at 263 Broadway by D.W. Seager.
1840 March – New York opticians Alexander Wolcott and John Johnson open a daguerreotype portrait studio in New York City, the first anywhere in the world, and develop a mirrored camera which produces correctly oriented images and faster exposure times.
1840 Austria – Hungarian-born Józeph Petzval designs the first lens specifically for photographic purposes.
1840 John Herschel successfully fixes sensitized paper using his 1819 discovery of hyposulphite of soda dissolved in silver salts still used today called hypo.
1840 September – Talbot realizes an improvement in his photogenic drawing process: the Calotype (beautiful picture), which develops a latent image (instead of waiting for the image to appear on the sensitized surface during exposure). He patented this on Feb 8 1841 and later changed the name to Talbotype William Henry Fox Talbot Nelson’s Column under Construction, Trafalgar Square, London, April 1844 1844
1841 Nöel-Marie Paymal Lerebours published the first part of his ‘Excursions Daguerriennes’ the first book to be published using etchings engraved from daguerreotypes Chamouin Collection de 26 Vues de Paris Prise au Daguerreotype 1845
1841 March 23 – Richard Beard opens his public portrait studio for Daguerreotypes on the roof of the Royal Polytechnic Institution in London. Richard Beard Seated Gentleman 1840
1841 August – English miniaturist Henry Collen purchases a license from Talbot and opens a studio to make calotype portraits but has difficulty competing with the much sharper daguerreotypes unknown Portrait of a Man 1850
1841 Spring – Lerebours opens first professional photographic studio in France
1841-42 William and Frederick Langenheim opened a daguerreotype studio in Philadelphia. Langenheim Bros unknown 1850
1842 The Cyanotype is invented by Sir John Herschel A sheet of paper is brushed with iron salt solutions and dried in the dark. An object is then placed on the sheet in direct sunlight. After about 15 minutes a white impression of the subject formed on a blue background. The paper is then washed in water and oxidation produces the brilliant blue – or cyan – that gave the process its name. Bertha Jacques Untitled 1900
1843 French scientist Arman-Hippolyte-Louis Fizeau patents a technique for reproducing daguerreotypes by etching them and then printing on paper. The silver plates prove to be too soft for multiple impressions Hippolyte Fizeau (circle of) Facade of the Seminary, Place Saint-Sulpice 1843
1843 David Octavious Hill and Robert Adamson begin to use calotypes for portrait photography in Edinburgh. They take photographs of the nearly 500 ministers gathered for their mass resignation from the Church of Scotland and the subsequent formation of the Free Church. These photographic studies were used as the basis of a famous painting by Hill: The Signing of the Deed of Demission Hill, David Octavius and Adamson, Robert Dumbarton Presbytery 1845
1843 Talbot opens a workshop in Reading run by his former valet Nicholas Henneman to make prints from calotype negatives for himself and others
1844 Mathew Brady establishes a photographic studio in Washington, D.C.
1844 Talbot begins publication of The Pencil of Nature, the first major book illustrated with photographs, to indicate the range and possibilities of photography William Henry Fox Talbot The Pencil of Nature 1844
1845 Talbot publishes Sun Pictures in Scotland that includes locations associated with the novelist Sir Walter Scott
1845 Fizeau working with Léon Foucault takes the first photograph of the sun
1846 Rev. G.W. Bridges, Rev. Calvert Jones and Kit Talbot (Fox Talbot’s nephew) travel to Rome, Pompei and Naples, making calotypes. Bridges continues through Greece, Egypt and the Holy Land, producing 1700 negatives in all. Rev. George Bridges Jerusalem, Zaouia de Sidy Mohammed el Aid a Temacin 1850
1847 Talbot patents his calotype process in America
1847 The Calotype Club (renamed the Photographic Club in 1848) is formed in London. Members included Robert Hunt, Frederick Scott Archer, and Hugh Diamond
1847 Louis Désiré Blanquart-Evrard studies the calotype process and becomes the first to publish it in France. He develops a method of bathing the paper in solutions of potassium iodide and silver nitrate rather than brushing these chemical baths on the surface
1847 Niepce De St. Victor discovers the use of albumen to bind silver salts on glass base. Albumen process requires only 10 minutes exposure.
1848 A French directory of commercial enterprises lists thirteen commercial photographic studios in Paris unknown unknown 1840
1849 William and Frederick Langenheim acquire the American rights to Talbot’s calotype process. unknown American Farm Scene 1850
1849 Sir David Brewster perfects a stereoscope viewer Henry J. Noe French Folding Brewster Style Stereo Viewer 1870
1849 Maxime du Camp travels to Egypt with Gustave Flaubert and photographs extensively. On his return he gives his negatives to Blanquart-Evrard to be printed and published. Maxime Du Camp Syrie – Baalbeck Colonnade du Temple du Soleil 1850
1849 Scottish-born Dr John Murray is introduced to photography while in the Medical Service of the British Army of the East India Company. Stationed near the Taj Mahal in Agra, he develops a considerable interest in the Mughal architecture of the region. Throughout the forty-year period that Murray lived and worked in India, he systematically records many famous buildings in and around Agra and the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. Dr John Murray View of Taj Mahal 1856
1850 November – The first issue of The Daguerreian Journal: devoted to the Daguerreian and Photogenic Arts is published in New York. It is the world’s first photographic journal.
1850 Blanquart-Evrard proposes use of albumen for printing paper. Albumen paper was never patented and was popularly used for 40 years.
1851 May – The first French book illustrated with photographs commences publication – it is Italie Monumentale by Eugene Piot.
1851 Blanquart-Evrard opens factory in Lille to mass produce prints made from paper negatives. Many photographers give him their negatives to print so they can be published in books
1851 The Great Exhibition of Arts and Industry in London’s Crystal Palace exposes the general public to prints, daguerreotypes, and equipment from England, America and Europe furthering the expansion of photography and sowing the seeds for its eventual commecialization. It also shows how advanced French calotypists had become vs English who were hampered by Talbot’s patents Claude-Marie Ferrier India Rubber Boat 1851
1851 Gustave Le Gray improves on Talbot’s paper negatives by waxing them before sensitizing. He teaches the process to Charles Negre, henri Le Secq, Nadar, John Beasley Greene and others
1851 Frederick Scott Archer introduces the the ‘wet plate’ negative process offering greater sharpness than the calotype, replicability not possible with the daguerrotype, and exposures of a only few seconds. After pouring a mixture of collodion and potassium iodide over a glass plate, and immersing it in a solution of silver nitrate, the wet plate was then exposed, immediately developed, fixed, and allowed to dry out Full Plate Camera for Wet Collodian Process 1860
1851 Charles Negre designs a special lens that makes near instantaneous photographs possible Charles Negre Henri Le Secq and a Child Giving Alms to an Organ Grinder 1853
1851 The Societé Héliographique is founded in Paris. Headed by Baron Jean-Baptiste-Louis Gros, the society includes Gustave Le Gray, Henri-Victor Regnault, Henri Le Secq and the painter Delacroix.
1851 Stereo daguerrotypes by Jules Duboscq are shown at the Great Exhibition. These excited enormous interest; in the following three months 250,000 stereo instruments are sold in London and Paris. unknown unknown statue 1850
1851 Felix Teynard, a French civil engineer, begins an extensive photographic survey of Egypt, making more than 160 calotype negatives along the Nile from Cairo to the level of the Second Cataract. Felix Teynard Louksor, Dattiers et Jardin de L’Expedition du Louksor 1852
1851 Missions Héliographiques established in France with Eduoard Baldus, Hippolyte Bayard, Gustave Le Gray, Henri Le Secq and Auguste Mestral recording the architectural patrimony of France.
1852 Albumen coated printing paper begins to be widely used Louis-Auguste and Auguste-Rosalie Bisson Tympan de la Porte Saint Marcel, Notre Dame, Paris 1853
1852 Talbot is pressured into abandoning his
calotype patents in England, except for commercial portraiture, opening the way for French improvements to be applied by amateur photographers working in the UK.
unknown Gentleman by the Window 1850
1852 In 1852, Thomas Henry Hennah, a young London artist, and William Henry Kent, a photographic artist from the Isle of Wight, purchased a license from William Fox Talbot to make portraits using the calotype process. . By 1854, Hennah and Kent had established a Talbotype Portrait Gallery in William Henry Mason’s Repository of Arts at 108 King’s Road, Brighton Thomas Hennah & William Kent Portrait of a Man 1854
1852 The first exhibition ever devoted exclusively to photography is held in London. Called “Recent Specimens of Photography” it contained over 760 images by 76 photographers from Britain and France
1852 Roger Fenton travels to Russia with engineer Charles Vignoles to photograph suspension bridge Vignoles is building and returns with
photographs taken in St Petersberg, Kiev and Moscow
1852 Talbot patents photoglyphy. a prototype of photoengraving. Various experiments by others to find a way to cheaply reproduce photos follow. William Henry Fox Talbot ‘The Tuileries’ 1859
1853 Preliminary meetings are held with a view to forming the Photographic Society of London. The first public meeting takes place on 20th January 1854. Roger Fenton is the Honorary Secretary for the group and Charles Eastlake the first President.
1853 French-born artist Victor Prevost undertook a speculative project to create a photographic catalogue of the changing shape of New York City
1853 A Group of French artists which includes
Corot, Millet, Daubigny and Rosseau
begin creating cliche-verres, which are drawings scratched on glass covered with an opaque coating which is then used as a negative and printed on photographic paper
1853 Nadar (G.F. Tournachon) begins photographing in Paris, and soon gains a reputation for portraits of celebrities Nadar (Gaspard-Felix Tournachon Hector Berlioz 1856
1853 The New York Daily Tribune estimates that in the USA three million daguerreotypes are being produced annually. E.S. Hayden Splendid Daguerreotype Miniatures 1850
1854 Homes of American Statesman is published and is the first American book containing a photograph. The photograph is a tipped in salt print frontispiece of John Hancock’s Boston house. J.A. Whipple Hancock House, Boston 1854
1854 Ambrotypes (collodion positives) make their first appearance having being invented by Frederick Scott Archer with the assistance of Peter Fry. Being a negative on a glass base they were cheaper than the Daguerreotype but retained the clarity of detail.. unknown Volcano 1850
1854 An Austrian, Paul Pretsch, patents a process he called Photog-galvanography and in 1856 forms a company in London with Roger Fenton to publish albums of commercial printed photographs called “Photographic Art Treasures” Paul Pretsch Porch of St. Laurent’s Church, Nuremberg 1856
1854 Adolphe Disderi develops carte-de-visite photography in Paris, dealing a death blow to daguerreotype images and leading to worldwide boom in portrait studios for the next decade. Eight poses were made on a single sheet and then they could be cut down to 2 1/4 x 3 1/2 inches and mounted on a 2 1/2 x 4 inch card. Adolphe Disderi Mme. Sitso and son 1860
1854 Even though collodian on glass negatives and albumen prints are taking over, many amateurs photographers, especially in the UK, continue to make calotypes because of the artistic qualities of the process John Dillwyn-Llewelyn Kenneth Howard, May 24th 1854 in Brandy Cove 1854
1854 W. & F. Langenheim make the first American stereographs. Friedrich & Wilhelm Langenheim RR Track Over Niagara Suspension Bridge 1854
1854 During 1854-1857 Edouard Baldus created 1,500 photographs of a new wing of the Louvre in Paris Edouard-Denis Baldus Pavillon Mollien 1857
1854 Roger Fenton is hired by the British Museum to make a photographic record of many of their artifacts Roger Fenton Group of Muses in the British Museum 1854
1854 George Swan Nottage founds the London Stereoscopic Company with William England as his principal photographer William England 10. Palais de la Bourse a Paris’ 1861
1855 Societe Francaise de Photographique founded in Paris
1855 Photographic Exchange Club formed in the U.K.
1855 Oliver Wendell Holmes designs a very popular type of stereo viewer Oliver Wendell Holmes Holmes Stereo Viewer 1855
1855 Blanquard-Evrard closes his factory in Lille
1855 The “Circolo del Caffe Greco”, a loosely organized group of amateur photographers working in Rome from around 1947, winds down. Included in the group were Count Frederic Flacheron, Eugene Constant, Giacomo Caneva, James Anderson, and Robert MacPherson. James Anderson (Isaac Atkinson) Arch of the Silversmiths 1855
1855 Alphonse Poitevin, patented the carbon print offering a permanent image without grain. Negatives were printed onto a “tissue” containing carbon and other pigments in a gelatin base. The gelatin had been made light-sensitive by a bath of potassium bichromate. After washing, the image on the tissue was transferred to a paper base and the backing of the tissue was stripped off Etienne Carjat Charles Baudelaire 1860
1855 Poitevin also patents photolithography using dichromated albumen exposed to light on a lithographic stone Pierre Tremaux Deuxieme Regard du Syphon du Gd. Aqueduc 1850
1855 Roger Fenton makes photographs of the Crimean War using a specially constructed caravan with a portable darkroom. Roger Fenton Balaklava Looking Seawards 1855
1856 John Benjamin Dancer applies for a patent for a stereoscopic camera allowing both images to be taken at the same time 1900
1856 At the request of Queen Victoria, Joseph Cundall and Robert Howlett create a series of photographs at Aldershot Camp of Crimean war heroes after their return to England Joseph Cundall and Robert Howlett Heroes of the Crimean War 1856
1856 Francis Frith makes his first trip to Egypt to photograph antiquities Francis Frith The Statues of Memon, Plain of Thebes 1857
1856 Lewis Carroll (the Rev. Charles Dodgson) begins photographing. Though mostly known for his images of young girls, scholars later determine that this represents less than 50%
of his output. He gave up photography entirely in 1880
1856 Introduced by Adolphe Alexandre Martin, the tintype, also known as a ferrotype, is a variation of the ambrotype, but produced on metallic sheet (not, actually, tin) instead of glass. unknown unknown 1880
1856 Charles Negre receives a patent for
improvements on the heliogravure process
Charles Negre Cathedrale de Chartres, Moulages Pourtout du Choeur, 16th siecle 1857
1857 O.G. Rejlander produces Two Ways Of Life, an allegorical composite photograph combining 30 negatives
1858 Nadar takes the first aerial photograph from a balloon over Paris.
1858 The first book book illustrated with original stereographs is published in London. The book by the astronomer Charles Piazzi Smyth is Teneriffe, an Astronomer´s experiment: or, specialities of a residence above the clouds.
1858 Alphonse Poitevin, patented the carbon print offering a permanent image without grain. Negatives were printed onto a “tissue” containing carbon and other pigments in a gelatin base. The gelatin had been made light-sensitive by a bath of potassium bichromate. After washing, the image on the tissue was transferred to a paper base and the backing of the tissue was stripped off Louis De Clerq Denderah (Facade du midi) 1858
1858 Henry Peach Robinson makes Fading Away, a story telling genre print combining five negatives. He becomes very influential in establishing rules for photographic “art”
1859 A group of artists and photographers, including Eugène Delacroix, Francis Wey and Gustave Le Gray succeed in getting photography included in the 1859 Paris Salon but the photography section has a separate entrance.
1859 The Sunbeam: Photographs from Nature is published Philip Henry Delamotte Magdalen College, Oxford, from the Cherwell 1859
1859 Nadar makes photographs underground in Paris using battery-powered arc lamps.
1859 American Photographic Society formed
1860 The British royal family is photographed by John Mayall, launching the carte-de-viste craze in England John Mayall Prince Arthur 1861
1861 Felice Beato arrives in Japan to produce photos of “native types”. Felice Beato Buddhist Temple and Cemetary, Nagasaki 1864
1861 Mathew Brady, Alexander Gardner, and colleagues begin providing a searchingly honest photographic record of the American Civil War. A.J. Russell Offices of Orange & Alexandria Railroad, View From Round House. Fort Lyon in Distance 1863
1861 Carlton Watkins makes his first photographic expedition into the Yosemite Valley Carleton Watkins Yosemite Valley From Inspiration Point 1866
1861 American Photographic Exchange Club formed
1862 Désiré Charnay after returning to France from his travels in Central America (1857 and 1860) publishes Cités et ruines américaines. The book is published in two volumes (1862/1863) and includes forty-nine original photographs Désiré Charnay Mitla: Southern facade of the Fourth Palace 1859
1862 International Exhibition of 1862 London Stereoscopic Co No. 4 Machinery, Western Annex. 1862
1863 Julia Margaret Cameron takes up photography after she is given a camera as a present. Julia Margaret Cameron Alfred Lord Tennyson, June 3, 1870 1870
1863 Samuel Bourne arrives in Calcutta. He becomes one of the preminent photographers of British India and the Himalayas until his departure in 1870 or 1871. He has partnerships with Robertson and Howard but the most enduring was his work with Charles Shepherd and the company they created Bourne and Shepherd still continues today in Calcutta making it one of the longest established photography companies in the world Samuel Bourne Kashmir, Up The Jhelum, From Below the Island 1864
1865 It is not yet possible to print books with photographs, so views of foreign life and historical sites continue to be popular in Europe, particularly in England, for their entertainment and educational value Frank Mason Good Wild Palms in the Wilderness of Tranan” 1870
1865 John Thomson leaves England to photograph China and other parts of the Far East
1866 Walter Bentley Woodbury patented his Woodburytype process as a means of mass producing prints. This photo-mechanical process produced prints that did not fade because the images, made up entirely of stable pigment suspended in gelatin, did not rely on light-sensitive materials. Frank Mason Good Egypt – Pharaoh’s Bed from the River 1864
1866 Thomas Annan begins documenting slum areas of Glasgow Thomas Annan Close, No. 136 Saltmarket 1868
1867 Major photographic documentation of the western U.S. is underway. Timothy O’Sullivan with Clarence King’s geological exploration of the 40th parallel; Alexander Gardner along Union Pacific Railroad route to Kansas; Edweard Muybridge in Yosemite. Such images influence Congress to create national parks Timothy O’Sullivan Snake River Cañon, Idaho (View from above Shoshone Falls, 1874 1874
1869 Henry Peach Robinson publishes Pictorial Effect in Photography, trying to acquaint fellow photographers with aesthetic concepts. Henry Peach Robinson A Trespass Notice 1880
1870 Henri Le Secq publishes architectural view photolithographs made from his paper negatives created in the early 1850′s Henri Le Secq Ebrasement de gauche. Reims Cathedral Notre Dane, Saint Thierry, Saint Remy et Saint 1870
1870 Allan Pinkerton creates a collection of
photographs of known criminals to aid in the work of his detective agency.
unknown Topeka Mugshots 1933
1871 Dr. Richard Leach Maddox writing in the ‘British Journal Of Photography’ he suggested gelatin, derived from a protein found in animal bones, as a collodion substitute. Exposure times of 1/25th second could be achieved
1877 John Thompson teams up with the journalist Adolphe Smith to investigate and show the day to day conditions of the London poor. The series of pamphlets resulting from this, Street Life in London, is the first photographically illustrated work to deal with social life John Thomson The Dramatic Shoe Black 1877
1877 The first electrically-lit photographic studio is opened in Regent Street, London.
1878 Dry plates become available commercially, freeing photographers from having to develop their images immediately. Tripods were also no longer necessary due to fast exposure time. 1890
1878 Eadweard Muybridge analyses the movement of animals using a series of cameras and trip devices. He produces the first evidence that a horse in full gallop does at a particular point have all four hooves off the ground. From 1884 he begins work to produce a massive collection of photographs of animals in motion, ultimately to be published as Animal Locomotion Eadweard Muybridge Animal Locomotion Series, Plate 59 1887
1878 Karl Klíc invents the dust grain gravure, the most precise, economical and beautiful method of photogravure printing, which is still used today.
1880 A craze for photographs made on the sly took hold in the 1880s, leading to ever-smaller “detective” cameras and more ingenious disguises for cameras Anonymous Circular Glass Plate Negative 1890
1880 The first halftone photographic reproductions appear in a daily newspaper, the New York Daily Graphic, although it took another ten years before the process was fully adopted. Halftones are created by using a camera containing a ruled glass screen with a grid pattern to break up the image into tiny dots of different sizes.
1881 Frederick E. Ives invents a process for making reproductions in colour: the trichromatic half-tone plate Eduard Steichen On The House Boat – The Log Cabin” 1908
1883 Physiologist Etienne-Jules Marey designs a fixed plate chronophotograph camera that was capable of turning sequential images of a single movement on a single photographic plate.
1885 Wilson “Snowflake” Bentley, an amatuer photographer from Vermont, devises a way to photograph snowflakes, eventually making 5000 unique images Wilson Bentley Snowflakes 1902
1886 Peter Henry Emerson produces a limited edition portfolio of images called Life and Landscapes on the Norfolk Broads. The images were innovative in showing unposed ordinary people going about their daily routines. Peter Henry Emerson An Eel-Catcher’s Home 1886
1888 Eugene Atget begins photographing Paris Jean-Eugene-Auguste Atget Lagny (Seine et Marne) Hotel de Ville 1900
1888 French astronomer P.J.C. Janssen declares at a meeting of the Societe Francaise de la Photographie “The sensitive photographic film is the true retina of the scientist” Isaiah W Taber Moon, August 18, 1888 1888
1888 Eastman Dry Plate and Film Company in the USA produces The Kodak Camera and roll film, thus taking a big step toward universal hand-held snapshots. Unknown Algerian Nomads 1890
1889 Eastman Kodak introduced the No 2 Kodak, which took larger 3 1/2 in diameter pictures unknown 1890
1889 Journalist Jacob Riis is one of the first Americans to use flash powder to photograph the hardships faced by the poor and criminal along his police beats. Scribner’s Magazine published his photographic essay on city life, which Riis later expanded to create his magnum opus How the Other Half Lives. Jacob Riis The Short-Tail Gang, Corlears Hook 1887
1890 George Davison exhibits The Onion Field in the royal Photographic Society’s Annual Exhibition. This image taken with a pin-hole camera and printed on rough paper heralded the beginning of impressionistic photography. GEORGE DAVISON Village Under the Southdowns 1905
1892 The Linked Ring is formed. A society dedicated to the furthering of artistic photography. The members sought impressionistic images, often by using various manipulated printing and other techniques. Soft visual effects were often preferred. Similar clubs in Vienna and Paris are formed. Alexander Keighley Children on a Picnic 1890
1893 The flash-bulb is invented, a glass bulb filled with magnesium-coated metal ribbon, ignited electrically
1895 X-rays are discovered by Wilhelm Rontgen James Green, James H. Gardiner British Batrachians and Reptiles, Moldge Palmatia 1890
1897 Alfred Stieglitz becomes editor of Camera Notes, the publication of the Camera Club of New York Alfred Stieglitz An Icy Night 1898
1898 Frank A. Rinehart photographs indian leaders attending the Trans-Mississippi Exposition, and Indian Congress, Omaha, Nebraska, 1898 F. A. Rinehart Gov. Diego Narango-Santa Clara 1899
1899 ‘The New School of American Photography’ the first major exhibition of American pictorial photography is held at the Royal Photographic Society. It consists of 360 images by such photographers as: F. Holland Day; Edward Steichen; Gertrude Kasebier; and Clarence White. Alfred Stieglitz The Terminal 1893
1899 Arthur Wesley Dow photographs Ipswich, MA Arthur Wesley Dow Stone Bridge With Buildings, Ipswich, MA 1904
1900 Frederick H Evans exhibits 150 platinum prints at the Royal Photographic Society. Evans was known as a prime exponent of ‘pure photography’: images that are unretouched and unmanipulated Frederick H. Evans York Minister: In Sure & Certain Hope 1903
1902 Stieglitz organizes “Photo Secessionist” show in New York City Alfred Stieglitz Mauretania 1900
1903 Stieglitz starts publication of Camera Work which champions pictorialism Robert Demachy Speed 1904
1906 J.P. Morgan offers Edward S.Curtis $75,000 to produce a series on the North American Indian, in 20 volumes with 1,500 photographs. Curtis’ goal was not just to photograph, but to document as much Native American traditional life as possible before that lifestyle disappeared Edward S. Curtis Fish-Weir Across Trinity River – Hupa 1923
1907 First commercial color film, the Autochrome plates, manufactured by Lumiere brothers in France Auguste & Leon Lumiere Still Life with Flowers and Oranges 1907
1909 Karl Struss studied photography with Clarence H. White and was admitted to Alfred Stieglitz’s “291″ photo-pictorialist group Karl Struss Chester, Nova Scotia 1911
1909 Lewis Hine hired by US National Child Labor Committee to photograph children working mills unknown White & Centre St New York City 1909
1910 Alvin Langdon Coburn publishes portfolios of photogravures devoted to London and New York Alvin Langdon Coburn The Sphinx, The Embankment 1905
1910 Starting at age 6 (in 1900) , Jacques Henri Lartigue begins photographing his own life and the people and activities in it. Only when he was 69 were his boyhood photographs serendipitously discovered by Charles Rado of the Rapho agency, who introduced him to John Szarkowski, then curator of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, who in turn arranged an exhibition of his work Jacque Henri Lartique The ZYX 24 takes off 1910
1917 Stieglitz devotes the last two issues of Camera Work to Paul Strand Paul Strand New York, 1916 1916
1918 August Sander (a German professional portrait photographer) began photographing people of all social classes and professions (a beginning of documentary portraiture) with the aim of creating a social atlas.
1920 Film stills become popular in the promotion of movies. Sometimes called publicity stills, they are photographs taken on the set of a movie during production. unknown Francis X Bushman in Ben Hur 1924
1921 Man Ray begins making photograms (“rayographs”) by placing objects on photographic paper and exposing the shadow cast by a distant light bulb
1921 Western Union transmitted its first halftone photograph in 1921, and AT&T followed in 1925 unknown Graham McNamee in Washington D.C. 1925
1922 Edward Weston renounces pictorialism in favor of straight photography
1923 Edward Steichen becomes chief photographer for Conde Nast [publications Vanity Fair and Vogue
1924 Introduction of the Ermanox (predecessor of the Leica), a small camera that used a miniature plate and a 50mm F1.8 lens, making it suitable for low light candid photography. Using the new Ermanox, Dr. Erich Solomon began to capture photographs behind the closed doors of Berlin’s high society Erich Salomon Chamberlain and Heriot and others during Second Hague Conference for War Reparations 1930
1928 The publication of Urformen der Kunst (Archetypes of Art), a stunning collection of extreme closeup photos of plants, earned Karl Blossfeldt a place as a pioneer in the New Objectivity art movement. The book received enthusiastic responses from both literary circles and the general public Karl Blossfeldt Equisetum Hiemale 1928
1929 Berenice Abbott returns from Paris and begins to photograph changing New York’s old buildings and new skyscrapers Berenice Abbott Herald Square, Manhattan 1936
1929 The exhibition Film und Foto (Film and Photo) in Stuttgart in 1929, the most extensive international exhibition of modern photography and cinematography of the time,features work by
1932 The Group f/64 is created. The name the very small lens aperture used to increase sharpness and depth of field. The members, including Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, and Imogen Cunningham, are committed to defining photography as a pure art form rather than a derivative of other art forms.
1932 Henri Cartier-Bresson buys a Leica and begins a 60-year career photographing people
1933 Gyula Halász under the psuedonym “Brassaï, publishes his first book of photographs titled “Paris de Nuit” Brassai (Gyula Halasz) Avenue de L’Observatoire 1933
1935 Farm Security Administration hires Roy Stryker to run a historical section. Stryker would hire Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Arthur Rothstein, et al. to photograph rural hardships over the next six years. Marion Post Wolcott Houses Condemned by Board of Health still lived in by Migratory Laborers, Belle Glade, Florida 1941
1935 Weegee (Arthur Fellig) becomes a free lance new photographer based at Manhattan police headquarters Weegee (Arthur Fellig) Untitled (Two Women) 1940
1935 The Graflex Speed Graphic becomes standard equipment for American press photographers Graflex Speed Graphic D2CP4 1940
1936 Walker Evans travels in the American South with author James Agee to do a study of tenant farmers. The result was published as ther book Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. James Agee and Walker Evans Let Us Now Praise Famous Men 1950
1936 The Photo League was established in New York by Paul Strand and Berenice Abbot in 1936. Its initial purpose was to provide the radical press with photographs of trade union activities and political protests. Later the group decided to organize local projects where members concentrated on photographing working class communities.
1937 Harold Edgerton began a lifelong association with photographer Gjon Mili, who used stroboscopic equipment, particularly a “multiflash” strobe light, to produce strikingly beautiful photographs, many of which appeared in Life Magazine
1946 New York street photography Todd Webb New York 1946 1946
1947 Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, and David Seymour start the photographer-owned Magnum picture agency
1950 Paul Strand left the U.S., a departure that marked the beginning of his long exile from the prevailing climate of McCarthyism. The remaining 27 years of his life were spent in Orgeval, France where, despite never learning the language, he maintained an impressive creative life, assisted by his second wife, fellow photographer Hazel Kingsbury Strand. Paul Strand Midi Libre, France 1950
1955 Edward Steichen curates Family of Man exhibit at New York’s Museum of Modern Art Edward Steichen Family of Man 1955
1955 An industrial photographer O. Winston Link begins documenting the Norfolk & Western Railway line, the last major railroad yet to make the transition from steam to diesel motive power. O. Winston Link At Luray, Second 51, a southbound time freight crosses the Lee Highway, a north-south road that was popular before the advent of the Interstates 1955

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