Many thanks to David Hanson who has generously helped with these notations. David’s self-published book Checklist of Photomechanical Processes and Printing 1825 – 1910 is an invaluable resource to those interested in the nuance of photomechanical history. Corresponding page numbers below are noted HCL.
A Munich photographer who around 1868 perfected the collotype method using a chromated layer of gelatin which had the capacity of capturing the finest gradations of lights and darks. In 1869 Albert secured an American patent for his so-called Albertype process: an “improvement in photography, [a] method of preparing photographic pictures upon plates of glass for printing with fatty inks upon a press.” He later sold the rights to Edward Bierstadt of the Photo-Plate Printing Company in New York. Albert’s collotype variation stimulated much interest in Europe and America, as evident by the breadth of subsequent variations on his process. HCL 5-6
Armand-Durand began using a secret heliographic process based on Nicéphore Niépce’s method in 1865, with which he carefully reproduced classical etchings and engravings. Georges Duplessis, the Louvre’s curator of prints, commissioned Amand-Durand to restore the museum’s collection of Rembrandt material, prints and plates, by very carefully creating new heliographic plates from them. All of the prints made by Amand-Durand starting in 1865, by request from the Louvre, have on their back a red stamp. HCL 7
A British photographer active between 1897 and 1937. Anderson worked in the platinum and gum-bichromate processes, but the vast majority of his work appeared in photogravure. During the late 1890s he began to regularly exhibit at the Photographic Salon, and he was elected as a member of the Linked Ring in 1906. After the dissolution of the Linked Ring, Anderson became associated with the London Salon, of which he remained a member until 1937. In 1931 Frank Roy Fraprie, the editor of the American Annual of Photography, commented that all of Anderson’s exhibition pictures were gravures that the photographer printed himself. His obituary in the British Journal Photographic Almanac in 1939 called him “the finest exponent of photogravure for pictorial work” and noted that he was always ready to help others with the process. John Taylor. Pictorial Photography in Britain, 1900-1920 (London: Hayward Gallery, 1978); Christian A. Peterson. Pictorial Photography at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (Christian A. Peterson, 2012).
A Dutch amateur photographer who invented a photolithographic transfer process from chromated papers in 1857. Asser experimented with Niépce de Saint-Victor’s photographic asphaltum process, and was familiar with Alphonse-Louis Poitevin’s chromated gelatin printing method on stone. He was the first to make photographic prints with greasy ink on paper coated with starch paste and sensitized with bichromate for transfer on stone– proofs of which he sent to the Paris Photographic Society in 1859.Asser submitted the results of his photolithographic transfer process to the Duc de Luynes’s contest in France, and though he did not win the contest, he regularly exhibited his improved process at Paris, Vienna, and Amsterdam and received numerous medals for his work. HCL 9
An Austrian printer, inventor, and botanical illustrator who invented a process of nature printing, or Naturselbstruk in German. In 1852 Auer, the then director of the state printing establishment of the Austrian empire, published his development and printed his 1853 The Discovery of the Nature Printing-Process: An Invention in four languages. This book was illustrated with prints of the impressions of actual plants, rocks, animals, and fabrics that had been impressed into the lead plate which was electrotyped to make a printing plate for stamping the final colored copies. The process involved passing natural objects, such as plants and insects, between a steel plate and a lead plate, and sending the plates through two rollers; the pressure from the rollers imbed the objects into the lead plate, and when colored ink was applied to the stamped impression, copies could be produced. HCL 11-12
At the age of twenty five in 1838 Baldus moved from his home in Germany to Paris to become a painter. He eventually took up photography and became in the 1850’s one of Frances preeminent landscape and architectural photographers. He began experimentally to make heliogravures from line art as early as 1854. In his first process he etched copper plates by electrolysis using bitumen of Judea as the light sensitive coating. By 1866 he began publishing his own portfolios of heliogravures after art and in 1869 he had mastered a method of heliogravure for photographic images and thereafter proceeded to devote himself to the production of publications of his own photographs. His second method of heliogravure was done with chromic salts and etched in ferric chloride with his method of obtaining a grain pattern not divulged. Between 1869 and 1884 he produced four signification works with a total of 545 plates: Palais du Louvre et des Tuileries – 1869 – 71 first with 200 plates and the second edition with 300 plates. Palais de Versailles – 1870’s with 100 plates. Les Principaux Monuments de la France – 1875 with 45 from a projected 60 plates. And Reconstruction de l’Hotel de Ville de France – 1884 with 100 plates. He was forced into bankruptcy in 1887 and died December 22, 1889. HCL 13-14
Baudran, an engraver translating art into intaglio plates with his glymmatographie process for the Gazette des Beaux Arts in 1855, and de La Blanchère, a fish scientist, naturalist, and photographer, collaborated during the mid-1860s to produce heliogravures from Nadar portraits. The collaboration was part of Baudran’s series of heliographic engravings in intaglio, which he presented at a meeting of la Société des sciences naturelles et médicales de Seine-et-Oise in February of 1864. Baudran is also credited with improving Niepce’s bitumen of Judea process for gravure etching, resulting in deeper etches and longer-lasting plates. HCL 15-16
Bayard, one of the pioneers of early French photography, discovered a process for making direct positive photographs on paper in 1839. Although his invention was eclipsed by the brilliant success of fellow Frenchman Louis Daguerre, Bayard nevertheless deserves greater recognition for his role as an independent inventor of photography than he has generally been accorded.
Berchtold was the inventor of the halftone cross line screen process. Between 1854 and 1859, after William Henry Fox Talbot’s 1852 experiments with gauze, (which he called the Photographic Veil), Berchtold experimented with glass plates on which narrow parallel lines were made with a ruling machine. The glass plates were placed on the light-sensitive asphaltum and then crossed after half the exposure. Although crude, Berchtold’s tests can be considered one of the earliest breakthroughs in achieving halftone in photographic reproduction. HCL 19
Dr. Berres of Vienna was one of the first scientists, along with Alfred Donné to achieve limited success with etching daguerreotypes. Berres published in 1840 the booklet Phototyp nach der Erfindung des Prof. Berres in Wien, illustrated with five photomechanical plates created by the etching of daguerreotype plates with nitric acid. Berres distributed copies of this booklet and sample prints across Europe. Although Berres can claim to be the first to publish photographs in ink, his method was shortly eclipsed by Fizeau’s tonally superior process that allowed for larger print runs. HCL 20, Eder 577
A French artist photographer and lithographer who trained with the photographer Gustave le Grey in 1853. In 1855 Bilordeaux proposed working with photography and lithography, and by 1857 he devised a method of photolithography. His work was applied specifically to representing specimens of paleontology produced with no retouching, which, according to Ernest Lacan, head of the photography section at the historical service of the city of Paris, was a crucial aspect of great importance, particularly for subjects of natural history. Bilordeaux’s lithography can best be seen in the landmark 1869 publication by Belgrand and Bourguignat, La Seine: I. Le Bassin Parisien Aux Âges Anté Historiques. HCL 20, Larousse 74
A French inventor, photographer, and photo-publisher best known for his development and introduction of the albumen paper printing technique. In 1851, having clearly understood the importance of ink-based images in publishing, Blanquart-Évrard, with Hippolyte Fockedey, started the Imprimerie Photographique de Lille, the first large scale photographic printing company. Using an improved version of Talbot’s calotype process, Blanquart-Évrard introduced to the public the work of important European photographers, such as Charles Marville, Thomas Sutton, Maxime Du Camp, John Stewart, and Auguste Saltzmann. By 1855 Imprimerie Photographique de Lille had closed due to a technology deficiency resulting in quickly fading images, and competition from lithographers. In the 1860s, Blanquart-Évrard published several influential essays and books about photomechanical printing and photographic illustration. His treatise, La photographie: ses origines, ses progrès, ses transformations, is the earliest to explore the importance and potential benefits of these new printing and publishing processes. HCL 22
A British engraver credited with inventing a process for transferring photographs onto sensitized wooden blocks for engraving. Bolton’s photographic transfer process was first mentioned in 1861 in William Andrew Chatto’s A Treatise on Wood Engraving. In it, Henry Bohn’s chapter “Artists and Engravers of the Present Day” describes Bolton’s recent development in producing engravings from photographs, and tells of the ‘“first specimens”’ of Bolton’s process, a reproduction of Flaxman’s “Deliver us from Evil” for Catherine Winkworth’s translation of Lyra Germanica (1861). Winkworth’s book is considered the first book published with photographic wooden engraving. HCL 25
The son of a printer, Bradbury is best known for his 1857 book The Ferns of Great Britain and Ireland. The book, a collaboration between Bradbury, the author Thomas Moore, and the editor John Lindley, was illustrated with Bradbury’s nature printing technique. Bradbury studied Alois Auer’s process in Vienna and subsequently patented his own version in London, thus claiming the technique as his own. As seen in The Ferns of Great Britain and Ireland and Bradbury’s 1859-60 The Nature-printed British Sea-weeds, the process was ideal for showing the exact details of both delicate and fleshy natural objects. HCL 24
Recognizing the impermanence of albumen prints Braun experimented with non-silver methods of printing. They turned first to Woodburytypes and then to carbon printing. Following improvements to the sensitivity of dichromated potassium by Edmond Becquerel and the addition of carbon black coloring matter by Alphonse Poitevin, the carbon process took shape. It was made practicable finally by the manufacture of carbon tissues by a company set up in London by Joseph Wilson Swan. In 1866, Braun purchased a franchise for carbon printing in Belgium and France, and the art reproduction business entered a period of growth. The Company eventually substituted gravure printing for the carbon process, produced art reproductions up through the mid-twentieth century. In an effort to demonstrate the artistic potential of photography, Braun also produced a number of large-scale original compositions based popular “after-the-hunt” scenes. The Braun enterprise symbolized the idealism felt by many nineteenth-century artists, inventors, and scientists that photography would bring untold cultural and economic benefits to ordinary people. The work of Adolphe Braun was continued by his son Gaston Braun through a number of companies including Adolphe Braun et Cie which was founded in 1876. With the assistance of Louis Pierson and Léon Clément the company developed and in 1889 took the name Braun, Clément et Cie. This continued until 1910 when the name became Braun et Cie. (Rosenblum – Encyclopedia of Nineteenth-Century Photography)
The father-son Parisian opticians who are said to be responsible for the early partnership between Louis Daguerre and Nicéphore Niépce. The Chevalier’s opticians shop in Paris was a hub of early photographic activity. By 1824 Louis Daguerre had become a regular visitor to the shop, and on one occasion Daguerre informed the Chevaliers that he had succeeded in fixing an image using a camera obscura. In 1826 Colonel David Niépce came into the shop to buy a meniscus prism lens for his cousin Nicéphore Niépce, as his cousin had been successful in fixing a photosensitive image. After an anonymous visitor showed the Chevaliers an image he obtained using a camera obscura, Charles Chevalier informed Daguerre about the work of Niépce and suggested they contact each other. (Encyclopedia of Nineteenth-Century Photography)
A forerunner of photomechanical printing. In 1787 Chrétien invented a semi-automatic machine called a physionotrace, with which he traced portraits in profile from life. Chrétien’s device used the mechanics of the pantograph to transmit the tracing (via an eyepiece) of the subject’s profile silhouette to an engraving needle. Thus it enabled the production of multiple portrait copies. The silhouettes were reduced, usually by Fouquet, and then engraved in aquatint by himself. Edme Quénedey, the French painter and engraver, known most especially for his miniatures, was at first associated with him, but Chrétien afterwards worked alone. HCL 34
A British copperplate photogravure engraver working in the late-nineteenth century. Colls learned the art of copperplate engraving after joining Alfred Dawson’s London firm, The Typographic Etching Company, where he became chief photo-etcher before leaving in 1888 or 1889. Colls is credited with producing Peter Henry Emerson’s books and with teaching Emerson the photogravure process. In Emerson’s 1889 Naturalistic Photography for Students of the Art, he claimed, “Mr. Colls is a careful worker and perhaps therein lies the secret of his success. It is perhaps invidious to select a firm for special mention, but as the results of Mr. Colls are in every way so superior when artistically considered, we feel it our duty to record the fact here for the benefit of the student.” A similar sentiment is found in the claim that Alfred Stieglitz was inspired to adopt the photogravure for Camera Notes and Camera Works after seeing Colls’s Pictorial Photographs: A Record of the Photographic Salon of 1895. HCL 38, Photoseed.com
A French photographer and student of Louis Daguerre who was one of the first to practice daguerreotypy in England. Amongst his other important developments, Claudet improved Daguerre’s process by using chlorine and iodine to gain greater sensitivity and reduce exposure times. In the 1840s Claudet and Hippolyte Fizeau worked on the process of etching daguerreotypes, and in November 1843 Claudet patented their collaborative efforts. HCL 38
In 1858 James Ambrose Cutting and Lodowick H. Bradford of Boston, Massachusetts were awarded a patent for improvements in photolithography. They defined a process of creating a durable photographic picture on a lithographic limestone printing plate. The development was applied to book illustrations. HCL 25 26
After managing Pretsch and Fenton’s Photo-galvano-graphic Company, Dallas was awarded a patent for his own photogalvanographic process, Photo-Electric Engraving. Examples of the process can be found in publications beginning around 1860. Feeling undermined, Pretsch and Fenton asked Dallas to leave the company and many years of litigation followed. Dallas published the abstract “Photo-Electric Engraving and Observations Upon Sundry Processes of Photographic Engraving” in the September 11, 1863 issue of The Photographic News. Although the paper was submitted to the British Association for the Advancement of Science, it was ultimately deemed inadmissible by the Chairman and never presented to the organization. (GraphicArts) HCL 37
Before the invention of photography, Davy helped the photographic pioneer Thomas Wedgwood prevent light from destroying his photographs. Davy experimented with nitric acid and also discovered that prints could be copied, but the camera image was too light to generate a favorable result. After experimenting with silver chloride, he discovered its properties had greater sensitivity, and while he intended to explore the possibilities of destroying the sensitive compounds that were not exposed to light, his scientific journey led him elsewhere. With Wedgwood he published the dissertation “An Account of a Method of Copying Paintings upon Glass and of Making Profiles by the Agency of Light upon Nitrate of Silver” in the Journal of the Royal Institution, London in 1802.
A British etcher and artist who, with his brother Charles Dawson, founded the Typographic Etching Company in London around 1872. The Dawson brothers were pioneers of the wax-engraving process, worked successfully with the swelled-gelatin process, made beautiful photogravures, and “in general did most glorious work that did not pay when up against present-day processes,” according to a 1908 edition of the Inland Printer/American Lithographer. The firm successfully utilized the Dawson process, an impressive photogravure method developed by Dawson in 1871. By the late 1880s, Peter Henry Emerson noted that Dawson’s plates, in conjunction with Walter L. Colls, were superior to all others, particularly the French, as they could be executed without the aid of retouching. Dawson made the gravures for the first issue of Sun Artists (1889), a significant example of photogravure in the history of the photographically illustrated book, as well as Emerson’s Wild Life on Tidal Water (1890). HCL 38 (Naturalistic Photography pgs. 208-9) (Hannavy, V2)
A French chemist, innovator, and distinguished photographer who, over the course of sixty years, used the daguerreotype, calotype, salted paper, waxed paper, wet collodion, and albumen processes in his own work. Throughout his enduring career, Davanne participated in many aspects of the evolution of photography, including research on image permanence and reproducibility. In 1852 he collaborated with Barreswill, Berebours, and Lemercier to enhance photolithography with bitumen of Judea. A few years later, Davanne became a founding member of the Société française de photographie, serving as a board member, vice president, chairman, and honorary president. In 1877, while serving as chairman, Davanne wrote and published Impressions Photographiques aux encres grasses analogues a la lithographie, or Photographic Prints with fat inks similar to lithography. (Hannavy V1)
A French doctor and bacteriologist best known for his discovery of Trichomonas vaginalis leukemia and the invention of photomicrography, Donné was the first to make intaglio prints from daguerreotype plates—to print true photogravures of camera images—and he showed examples of his prints to the Academy of Sciences on September 3, 1839, less than a month after the details of Daguerre’s process had been made public. Donne never advanced his process to the point of practicality. In 1844, with Leon Foucault as collaborator, he published his Atlas d’anatomie mcroscopique in 1844 which reproduced microphotographs. They made the original exposures in Paris with the solar microscope on daguerreotype plates; however Donne could only use the images as a basis for engravings because at that time it was impossible to reproduce the photographs with the detail and in the quantity required for publication. HCL 42, Hannavy, Daniel
“From today, Painting is dead.” A renowned French painter who taught some of the most influential practitioners of photography in the Second Empire era. His list of students include Charles Nègre , Henri Le Secq, Gustave Le Gray, and Roger Fenton. Though Delaroche did not practice photography, he was influential in promoting the daguerreotype. In fact, in June 1839 Delaroche was asked to head the committee presenting a report on Louis Daguerre’s invention. He and his students viewed the daguerreotype as an acceptable and valuable representational tool. (Lewis, p 56) Paul Delaroche: History Painted (p 17)
A French lithographer and printer who developed two heliogravure processes: one incorporated an aquatint grain, and the other utilized a line screen. Both of Drivet’s processes can be seen in the 1869 La Seine aux âges anté-historiques, though few exist outside this publication. According to an 1867 report of the Paris Commission, “The process of Drivet for engraving plates is not described, but the principle of it can be gathered from the specification of the patent. At the same time that the image of the object is thrown on the prepared collodion plate in the camera, the image of a sheet of white paper, covered with closely ruled black lines, is thrown upon the same plate, and at the same time, through another opening from an exactly opposite direction. A negative is thus obtained which would print a positive picture, have the required lines in the highlights obliterated, and intensely developed in the deep shadows. A gelatin picture printed as in woodbury’s process, gives the matrix from which an electrotype plate is produced, to be printed from as an engraved copper plate. It will be seen that we have here the very elements of mezzotint engraving, and the results are undoubtedly the most beautiful and practical yet achieved.” HCL 43 1867 report of the Paris commission, Waterhouse
A French decorative artist who entered the Duc de Luynes competition in 1856 with a photogravure process–damasquinure héliographique–patented in the same year. Dufresne eventually withdrew from the competition following scandal and a dispute with Charles Nègre regarding the authenticity of his process. Like Poitevin, Dufresne presented his damasquinure héliographique process with reproductions of photographs of Chartres by Berthier. However, the photogravures began to show signs of tonal degradation, suggesting that Dufresne’s images were reproduced after Poitevin’s photolithographs, rather than directly after Berthier’s photographs. In 1857 Dufresne communicated a dispute against Charles Nègre to the Société de Francaise de Photographie. Dufresne declared that his damasquinure héliographique process was patented and described several months prior to Nègre’s own patent. Lewis, p 365
Modified Garnier’s system of Photogravure. One of the finest heliogravure makers in Paris in the late-nineteenth century. Dujardin was a member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris and was the Paris president of the Syndicat de la Photogravure. His firm printed works for publishers in Paris, London, and elsewhere, including many of the photogravures for the Photo-club de Paris’ lavish portfolios. HCL 45 46
A British portrait photographer who developed and patented a collotype method in England in 1869. Edwards brought his so-called heliotype process to the United States in 1872, began working as the manager of the Heliotype Corporation of Massachusetts, and sold the rights to his invention to the parent company, James R. Osgood, Co. After the Heliotype Company declared bankruptcy in 1885, Edwards founded his own company, The Photo-Gravure Company, later the New York Photo-Gravure Company. There he produced photogravures and collotypes, and also in the 1890s experimented with three-color photography, calling his prints chrome-gelatine. HCL 49, Wright, p31
The inventor of the 1865 halftone plate process using ruled glass screens and the founder of the Heliographic Engraving Company in New York City. The Heliographic Engraving Company was the first to distinctly utilize the halftone method, and to keep a competitive advantage, Egloffstein made sure each employee only knew one step in the process. Egloffstein’s intaglio halftone process was successfully used for cartographic and photographic illustrations. HCL 50
An important writer of popular sciences, particularly in the field of photography, and an amateur photographer who in 1854 proposed an etching process that had not yet been tried: “By examining the glass negatives and the positive glass proofs of MM. Rousseau and Deveria, it occurred to us that electroplating, which reproduces with such astonishing fidelity all that human art forms more delicate, could profitably intervene to reproduce these pictures, and thus make it possible to avoid the use of etching, whose action on the metal, often uneven as a result of a certain permeability of the resinous coating, causes on the plate defects that the engraver’s burin is later forced To rectify, We thought that by attacking the glass photographic print with hydrofluoric acid, so as to obtain a glass engraving on glass, and then placing the plate in a bath of copper vanadium, we could obtain a plate of this metal suitable for the printing of letters.”
A French physicist best known for his demonstration of the Foucault pendulum, a device able to show the effect of the Earth’s rotation. Foucault worked as the assistant of Alfred Donné, a professor of clinical microscopy at the École de Medecine, helping his with his 1844 textbook Cours de Microscopie. Evidence of the collaborative efforts to develop a method of engraving a daguerreotype image and using the plate to print multiple copies, Donné’s textbook was illustrated with engravings taken from Foucault’s daguerreotypes of microscopic studies. The French Society of Photography has in their collection an example of an image on copper made by Foucault. Around the same time Donné and Foucault investigated engraving daguerreotypes, Hippolyte Fizeau, likely with Foucault’s assistance, began to tackle the problem Donné had started working on– making daguerreotypes into intaglio plates. Buerger p. 84
By 1855 Garnier and Salmon produced an intaglio process using brass plates fumed with iodine and processed with mercury. Secondly in 1858 Garnier developed a carbon print process which became known as the “dusting on” process for which he received a second place in the Luynes Petit prize of 1862. Finally Garnier developed a sophisticated photogravure process in about 1864 which utilized multiple exposures and etches resulting in rich prints. Dujardin later modified the method for their process.
In 1869 Max Gemoser, a lithographer in Munich, invented a method of making improved collotype printing plates from lithographic stone. Keeping his Lichtdruck method a secret, Germoser joined the firm of Ohm and Grossmann in Berlin in order to commercially exploit the process. After Gemoser’s process was published in a pamphlet in 1870, it became clear that the lichtdruck method was a derivative of Josef Albert’s simpler and more productive Albertype process, as Albert had previously shared his method for making collotype plates with Gemoser. HCL 58, Eder, 618
The technical director of A.W. Elson & Co. of Boston, after whom the Gilbo gravure was named. Gilbo’s alternate photogravure method used a swelled-gelatin relief formed on the plate instead of a carbon tissue laid over a dust screen ground. The A.W. Elson Co. initially used this method, but by the turn of the century had switched to the Talbot-Klic method. W. H. Gilbo moved eventually to Brooklyn, New York and formed Gilbo & Co. Intaglio. HCL 66, (see The Making and Printing a Photogravure, 1904).
A Parisian printer and entrepreneur best known for his 1850 zinc-relief lithography process. Gillot’s intent for his process was to reproduce drawings by artists executed in oil-based ink; however, in collaboration with Charles Nègre, Gillot’s process was modified into a photomechanical method used to make relief plates for etching typographic prints, a process known as paniconography. The first example of Nègre-Gillot’s halftone zincography was printed in the May 5, 1856 issue of La Lumiere. Eder, 623; HCL 61
A skilled German photographer and editor/publisher at the end of the nineteenth century. His publications “Nach der Natur” and “Die Kunst in der Photographie” relied on beautiful photogravures to promote photography as a fine art, and as such caught the attention of Alfred Stieglitz. His publications tried to prove that pictorial photography may be an art, and the photogravures published them were considered “beautiful specimens of the most perfect of all photographic reproduction processes.” Alfred Stieglitz, Camera Notes v1, no3, p 85
A Welsh physicist best known for his work on fuel cell technology. In the 1840s Grove collaborated with Gassiot at the London Institution Grove and experimented with the daguerreotype and calotype processes, in particular the etching of daguerreotypes using photogalvanic caustic etching.
Steven H. Horgan has traditionally been credited as having produced the first halftone in a daily paper because of his “Shany Town” in the NY Daily Graphic of March 4, 1880. However it has now been established that this was done after William A. Leggo had produced a number halftones in the same newspaper starting with the photograph of Steinway Hall in the Graphic December 2, 1873. Both the Horgan and the Leggo prints were produced photolithographically.
Drawing teacher in Prague, Czechoslovakia, Professor Jakob Husnik played an important part in the practical development of collotype, or the Leimtypie as he called it. As early as 1868, Husnik achieved noteworthy success in publishing art subjects by this method. Josef Albert, inventor of the Albertype collotype variation, found himself compelled to buy Husnik’s process and incorporate its advantages with his own. In 1889 Husnik was awarded a US patent for “new and useful Improvements in [gelatin] Relief-Plates… which reproduce the finest details of outlines or shaded figures in a very successful and artistic manner.” Eder, 618; HCL 65 66
American Frederic Eugene Ives is credited generally with major refinements of the relief halftone process. Ives turned his attention to the halftone in the late 1870s. The objectives were to more or less automatically convert the intermediate tones of a photographic image into small lines or dots of stark black and white; to do this better, or at least more efficiently, than was possible with existing processes; and to create a printing block that could be combined with blocks of text in an ordinary printing press. The lines or dots, of varying widths or sizes respectively, had to be small enough to adequately blend together in the eye at a normal viewing distance, producing the illusion of various shades of gray, yet the printing plates had to be durable enough to last through a typical press run without excessive degradation. Above all, the process had to be economical enough to make its widespread commercial use practical. Ives patented his first “Ives’ process” in 1881. During the 1890s, photographs reproduced by “Ives process” largely replaced the use of hand-engraved wood block and steel plate illustrations and remained the standard process for photographically illustrating books, magazines and newspapers during the next eighty years. Although much more technologically sophisticated methods eventually came into use for creating the printing plates, the structure of most printed halftone images has remained virtually unchanged. (Eder p632, Wiki) HCL 67 68
The director-general of the Ordnance Survey, the British Government mapping agency, from 1854 to 1875. James is credited with introducing photography to the Ordnance Survey after becoming its head. James was the inventor of the planographic Photozincography process. James’s method was fast and accurate for making facsimiles or reproductions in scale topographical maps; it was used for the illustrations of numerous books and historical documents. Eder, P. 615, HCL 71
An established engraver who devised an early application of carbon printing which was identified as phototype and is often confused with a callotype. The only known example which accompanied the The Journal of the Photographic Society of London in 1860 was a reproduction of Silvy’s “Proclamation of the Army for Italy.” The details were never disclosed after Joubert unsuccessfully tried to sell the laborious and hand executed process. H 72-73
William Kurtz and Ernst Vogel produced the first published three-color relief halftone in 1893. The method used single line screens set at 45 degree angles separating the primaries into secondary colors for printing. The first photograph was of a still life of fruit. Kurtz was a successful photographer in NY and with this process created the Coloritype Company. HCL 72
Although Ernest Lacan never practiced photography, he was a central voice in the international photographic community during the second half of the nineteenth century. An editor and writer for the two leading French photography journals, La Lumiere and Le Moniteur de la Photographie from 1851 to 1879, Lacan helped shape the debate around photographic practice and theory as he strove to express photography’s cultural significance. Lacan believed that silver-based photography was only a transitory process that would inevitably lead to an industrial practice defined by its utility and by its production of knowledge on an unimaginable scale. (Lewis) (Hannavy, p 811)
Lafollye exhibited his “stone-stamped with printing ink” tests at the Société de Française de Photographie in 1864 and 1865. In 1864, in a note sent to the Société de Francaise de Photographie to apply for the Duc de Luynes contest, he specified that the proofs were drawn “on lithographic stone to 600 copies without the drawing having been altered in any way.” Lafollye’s application for the Luynes prize was ultimately rejected because his method was too similar to Asser & Toovey’s. HCL 78
Leggo, a Canadian Lithographer patented a photoengraving method in 1865 which he called “leggotype.” This involved the reproduction of line work as well as the use of single line screen halftones. In the October 30, 1869 issue of the Canadian Illustrated News they produced a relief halftone of Prince Arthur. Also in 1869 Leggo patented his halftone process “Granulated Photography” which involved crossing the line screen to create a halftone in dots. The First Granulated halftone was published in the June 3, 1871 issue of the Canadian Illustrated news. He and his partner George Desbarats moved to NY in 1873 to establish the NY Daily Graphic and on Dec. 2, 1873 published the first halftone in a daily paper.
A master printer and proprietor of one of the most important graphic studios in Paris in the 19th century, Lemercier devoted much of his life to the application of the art of lithographic printing in the printing industry. Lemercier established a lithographic printing house in 1829 in Paris, 57, rue de Seine. He came to photography in 1839 when he produced his first daguerreotypes. At the beginning of the 1850s, he became interested in photomechanical process. During this period, the obstacle was in obtaining stable photographic images. The rapid fading of some silver-based prints initiated a search for a more reliable and commercially viable process. The future of photography depended on it. From 1852 to 1854, Lemercier linked up with Lerebours, Barreswill and Davanne and together they developed the lithophotographic process, which was based on groundwork laid by Nicephore Niepce in 1815 (Eder ch XCL). Lemercier partnered with Poitevin in 1857. He also printed images that were not lithophotography but photographic prints. He practiced photolithography until 1867, the year Poitevin won the Duc de Luynes prize. He also practiced phototype, Albertype, and photoglypty in his establishment. In spite of his efforts, Lemercier stayed with the lithograph, and thus photography for him, never took a real importance in his printing house. HCL 81/82 (Boyer, Ency19th Cent Pho)
A partnership that developed the first photolithographic process in 1852. The process involved adopting Nicephore Niepce’s asphaltum technique to the lithographic stone; however, the process was short lived as images were grainy and the stone quickly wore out. The 1853 publication Lithophotographie: Ou Impressions Obtenues Sur Pierre À L’aide De La Photographie included six examples of the process from negatives made by Henri Le Secq. The partnership dissolved when Lemercier abandoned in the process in 1857 and purchased the rights to Alphonse Poitevin’s easier, cheaper method. HCL 81
Was optician to the observatory and to the navy in Paris and founding member of the Societe Heliographique. Before the end of 1839 he had constructed large daguerreotype cameras which produced pictures of 12×15 inches. He established himself in Paris (Place du Pont-Neuf ) as manufacturer of optical, physical, and mathematical instruments. In addition to his famous shop they sold optical apparatus and accessories for daguerreotypes, he opened a photographic studio in 1845 at the Rue de l’Est 2 3. His studio became a major meeting place and center of innovation in daguerreotype photography. With regards to photogravure, Lerebours published Excursions Daguerriennes, the first book with illustrations based closely on daguerreotypes. While most were copied by the hand of an artist, three were printed directly from etched daguerreotype plates (Fizeau) making “Excursions Daguerriennes a monument in the history of photomechanical printing, translating the daguerreian or photographic image for the first time into multiple reproductions printed in permanent ink. Lerebour, along with Lemercier, Lerebours, Barreswil and Devanne in 1852 discovered and implementation the first photolithographic process, lithophotography.
The Linked Ring Brotherhood was an organization of photographers founded in London in 1892 by Henry Peach Robinson. Members, including Edward Stieglitz, Alvin Langdon Coburn, Walker Evans, and Thomas Annan, held annual exhibitions called salons– a name they borrowed from the world of painting in an attempt to demonstrate their artistic purpose. Although their aesthetics varied, the members of the Brotherhood were united by their desire to further “the development of the highest form of art of which photography is capable.”
Mante was a professional musician with the Paris Opera from 1848 to 1895 as well as a photographer. The Luynes committee, in 1867, noted that Mante had begun an engraving process as early as 1852 and wrote “About the same time M. Mante also made attempts at engraving, which he has since then improved and perfected, but without publishing his mode of operating. (Waterhouse pg. 69) Mante was the first person to produce really fine results in 1853 using Niepce de. St. Victor’s heliogravure process. It is possible that Mante recognized that Niepce de. St. Victor’s process held greater possibilities than his own and so he applied his own method of creating the light sensitive varnish to it. Niepce de St. Victor notes Mante was instrumental in developing the sensitive asphaltum varnish for heliogravure. Mante worked with Riffaut producing plates from Bisson photographs for Photographie Zoologique at least eleven of which bear his inscription “Photochalcographie par Mante” or “Photographie sur acier par Mante. Lacan, in his introduction to Recherches Photographiques makes mention of the plate of the two lizards as being by Madame Riffaut with the help of St. Victor. However another plate is inscribed by Mme. Riffaut. And finally Niepce de St. Victor in his introduction to his 1856 treatise wrote: “A few months after the first call I made to the Academy of Sciences, an artist I am pleased to name Mr. Mante, won first remarkable results. I mean the beautiful engraving gravure tests on steel forming part of the book published under the title of d’Iconographie zoologique.” (pg. X) (Hanson P.85) HCL 85 86
Georg Meisenbach, a copper engraver in Bavaria, founded the first zincographic etching shop and in 1879 began his successful experiments with the direct reproduction of halftone pictures with a screen. Calling his process “Autotypie,” Meisenbach is credited with the first commercially successful relief halftones to be produced by turning single-line screens during exposure to achieve a cross-line effect. After Meisenbach retired in 1891, his son Baron Schmadel facilitated the merger of Meisenbach’s Autotype Company and H. Riffarth & Co., Berlin. This collaborative company produced some of the finest photogravures in Europe at the turn-of-the-century, including those for Die Kunst in der Photographie, Photographische Rundschau and Curschmann’s, Kinische Abbildungen. Eder 631 HCL 90
John Calvin Moss was an American inventor credited (with his wife, Mary) with developing the first practicable photo-engraving process in 1863. Their work, and that of others such as William Leggo in Canada led to a revolution in printing and eventually to the mass marketing around the world of newspapers and magazines and books which combined photographs with traditional text. He founded the Actinic engraving company in 1870. In 1872 he became the superintendent of the Photoengraving company, which office he held until 1880, when he established his own concern, the Moss engraving company, of which he became president and superintendent. Moss was the first to make photo-engraving a practical business success, and while his methods have never been patented, he is known as the inventor of what is called the “Moss process,” ” Moss new process,” and the “moss-type process.” Thanks to Moss, America became the leader in the world for mass-producing periodicals and books that contained actual photographs instead of wood-engraved drawings. HCL 93
In 1865 C. M. Tessie du Motay and Ch. Raph. Marechal used chromated gelatin coatings on a copper plate base under the name “phototypie,” and at that only temporarily, because the gelatin top on the copper base did not adhere sufficiently for printing large editions and peeled off quickly. At any rate, they produced collotypes of good quality in small editions for their own use, as samples for their painted glass, and very few or these prints were known to the public. These first practical collotypes, or “photo-gelatine” prints, suffered chiefly in the reproduction of the middle tones, and these incunabula of collotypes therefore show hard half tones, but they must nevertheless be considered quite respectable achievements. Arosa et Cie executed the process commercially for a short period of time starting in 1867 . Eder p 617, HCL 133
The German photochemist and photographer who worked on numerous branches of photographic reproduction techniques. In 1868 his firm commercially introduced G.W. Simpson’s collodion silver chloride papers, which he called Aristotypie. He was the first to use it in printing large editions for the illustration of German photographic technical journals. He called attention to the sharpness of definition in the Aristotype prints, and proved that collodion chloride prints surpassed albumen prints in image permanency. In addition, in approximately 1870, he developed his own system of collotype. He is also credited with the 1886 invention of a photogravure process on copper plates called Lichtkupferdruck. HCL 99 100 The Focal Encyclopedia of Photography edited by Michael R. Peres
Most notable in the history of photomechanical innovation for developing the most practical process for photolithography ‘in line’ (rather than continuous tone). In 1869, while employed by the Surveyor General of Victoria in Melbourne, Osburne received a patent for a process for map reproduction. His process was the first produced on photosensitized paper and then transferred to stone or zinc for printing. His process gained commercial success for reproducing line work. Osborne’s early experiments were attempts to replicate William Henry Fox Talbot’s photointaglio method on steel plates. In 1863 Osborne moved from Australia to Berlin to study lithography and to work with the photographer Wilhelm Korn. A year later, Osburn emigrated to the United States and set up the American Photo-Lithographic Company in Brooklyn, New York. Between 1871 and 1874, he was contracted to print the official US patent drawings, after which time he moved to Washington, DC to work as a printing consultant. In 1888, after years of collecting and producing photomechanical prints, Osborne donated his entire collection of early photomechanical works to the Smithsonian Institution. HCL 103
Lothar Osterburg makes photogravures of small, sculpted models of windmills, lighthouses, sailboats among others, staged in evocative settings. Built from memory of readily available materials, the models have a dreamlike quality which is enhanced by the placement of the camera within their world; the perspective is that of a person within the set, obscuring the actual size of the objects. The viewer, drawn into the scene, fills the gap created by the absence of people. The smallest models are photographed through a magnifying glass or with a macro lens. With this extremely short focal range, the scenes become ambiguous, mysterious, or even ominous while somehow retaining the playful quality typical of Osterburg’s hand. “Working in photogravure, I speak to lost times and faraway places, bringing to realization my own imaginings of a romantic, ideal universe. The underlying theme of my work, reflected in the proliferation of sailboats and spacecrafts, rushing waters, and barren arctic landscapes, is the freedom discovered in travels to unknown lands juxtaposed with the reality that the scenes are staged, created in the artist’s studio. In choosing photogravure, I follow in the tradition of the photographers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and like them I am able, through the technique of platemaking and printing, to control with precision each element of the process. The soft focus, infinite range of velvet blacks and rich grays, the scratches and traces from the printmaking process, and the use of rough, unfinished models all work together to suspend the final image somewhere between the real and the imaginary.”
Founded in 1888, the Photo-Club de Paris was a union of French amateur photographers whose objective was to make photography an artform. The club was created by members who seceded from the Société de Francaise de Photographie and included influential photographers such as Robert Demachy and Constant Puyo. In 1894 the club hosted an international artistic photographic salon. From 1894 through 1897, they produced lavish portfolios from exhibitions of their member’s work, which are outstanding examples of early photogravure.
Émile Placet bought the contents of the Bisson Freres studio in 1864 and continued to print from their negatives. He also started to use their negatives and prints to experiment with a photomechanical process, “Heliographie Procédé Placet.” Placet was a finalist for the grand prize of the Duc de Luynes competition, however Alphonse Poitevin won the competition for his photolithography process. Sometime between 1864 and 1866, Placet also produced test heliogravure prints from negatives by Sauvaire at the request of the Duc de Luynes for his series, Voyage D’Exploration a La Mer Morte. Placet indicated on each plate, ‘sans retouche’ (without retouching).
“I can produce in printing ink of any colour direct from the negative photographic positives, negatives, transparencies, transfers for lithographic or press printing, and photographs in ceramic colours, which can be transferred to and burnt on china, earthenware, &c” (British Journal of Photography, January 13 1865, 18). John Pouncy presented his method of “carbon” printing to the Photographic Society of London in 1853. Pouncy’s technique was based upon earlier experiments in the area of photolithography by Lemercier, Lerebours, Barreswil and Davanne of Paris, published in 1852. Pouncy found a staunch supporter for his “carbon” prints in Thomas Sutton, editor of Photographic Notes. In 1863, Sutton claimed (in his book Photography in Printing Ink) that Pouncy’s process was the only one capable of rendering half-tones, and compared his prints to fine engravings. Individually Pouncy’s carbon prints were tonally rich, but when applied in mass production the prints lacked tonal depth appearing more like drawings than photographs. Pouncy’s carbon process was, however, awarded a silver metal in the Duc De Luynes Petit competition for image permanency, loosing to Poitevin whose process lent itself better to mass production . Throughout his long career, Pouncy returned continually to the idea of the artistic importance of the paper base in photography. Even when writing on The Collodion Processes (1862), he suggested that the prints should be made not on the customary albumenized paper, but on “paper prepared with a salted alcoholic solution of some gum resin, instead of albumen; the object being to produce prints without a glaze, and resembling engravings”. (Hammond) Hannavy P. 1168
In 1839 Ponton had observed that the red color of chromate of silver became purple on exposure to light. Ponton found that paper impregnated with bichromate of potassium was very sensitive to light. By placing a translucent object on such sensitized paper and exposing it to light he produced a picture of the object in tones of brown, modulated according to the varying amount of light passing through the object, and could fix the picture by simply washing it in water. At another juncture this discovery would have attracted universal attention, but the dramatic announcement and governmental publication of Daguerre’s discovery produced such furor among the general public, and in the scientific world as well, that not only did Ponton’s discovery go unnoticed but the promising results in photoengraving that had been obtained by Niepce were also entirely overlooked. Levy, Louis E. Development and Recent Advance of the Techno-Graphic Arts. United States: J.B. Lippincott, 1915 p 392 HCL 112
One of the three strongest contenders in the Duc de Luynes competition alongside Nègre and Poitevin, the London-based Austrian printer Pretsch developed a relief-plate intaglio process that he patented in England in 1854 and in France the next year. Unlike Nègre, who used his process from commission to commission, and Poitevin, who sold the rights of his patent to Lemercier, Pretsch devoted his time to starting a major commercial venture, the Photo-Galvano-Graphic Company, which he founded in 1855 with the help of Roger Fenton, The “photogalvanograph” consisted of a gutta-percha mould from a chromated relief (swelled by application of water) which was coated with graphite and then electrotyped to create a copper printing plate. The company began its activities with the publication of Photographic Art Treasures (October 1856). The first number was illustrated by four photogalvanographs from photographs by Fenton, and many other such collaborative efforts were anticipated for future publications. Unfortunately, by 1858 the company had effectively collapsed, owing partly to harsh reviews by critics like Thomas Sutton, who, although he welcomed the process as a blessed alternative to the harsh and over-brilliant surface of albumen prints, found fault with the overwhelming evidence of the retoucher’s hand. To call them “photomezzotints”, and to claim in the Photographic Journal that they had been “absolutely untouched by the graver”, could not hide a great deal of hand retouching by Pretsch’s copperplate engravers. (Hammond p. 167) 12/2/1873 – they published the very first halftone in a daily paper – Hanson 114/115
Photographer Pauline Riffaut and noted engraver, etcher and printer engraver Adolphe-Pierre Riffaut were the primary practitioners, and requisite retouchers, of Niépce de Saint-Victor’s process beginning in 1853. Although not always properly credited, the couple worked as a team until his internment for madness after which Pauline worked by herself. Adolphe, a noted engraver, was a colleague of Lemaitre which likely explains the couple’s connection to Niepce de Saint-Victor. Madame Riffaut is singled out on a number of early plates with the imprint “Photographie sur acier par Mme Riffaut.” A portrait of Niepce de Saint-Victor bears the inscription ‘Photographie sur acier par Mme Riffaut d’apres les precedes de Mr. N de St V” (Hanson) Among Riffault’s distinctions was the publication of possibly the first continuous tone photograph printed in photogravure on a page with text in the 7 October 1854 issue of La Lumiere; the image is of the Bibliothèque du Louvre. (Rosen)
Rousselon is credited with developing the Goupil Gravure process in 1872. His perfected photogravure method was the result of his time learning the woodburytype process from Mr. Louis Husson and working with Walter B. Woodbury in 1871. His work earned him numerous awards and recognition at national and international exhibitions. For example, his photogravure process was displayed alongside Woodbury’s method at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, at which both processes were noted in publications for their “particular softness, combined with great distinctness in the minor details, render[ing] these pictures very attractive.”In 1877 the Society for the Encouragement of National Industry awarded him a Gold Medal, and in 1878 Rousselon was named Chevalier of the Légion d’Honneur for his participation in the jury of the Universal Exhibition of Paris. Despite his work for the Goupil family, Rousselon’s contract with the new Boussod, Valadon & Cie in 1884 was not renewed, and he died forgotten by the world of photography and the arts. HCL 121 122
Best known for his discovery in the 1720s that silver nitrate darkens when exposed to light rather than heat. Schulze displayed the darkening effects of light by applying stencils to the outside of a glass bottle filled with a mixture of silver nitrate and placing the bottle in direct sunlight. The result was a copy of the stencil on the surface of the bottle’s contents. Schulze’s work, though not providing a means for permanently capturing images, was the basis for the experiments of Thomas Wedgwood and Humphry Davy around 1800, and later William Henry Fox Talbot’s experiments and successes in 1835.
German actor and playwright who invented the printing technique of lithography in 1796.
founded in 1801, Societe d’encouragement pour l’Industrie nationale’s original purpose was to promote France’s commitment to the Industrial Revolution and encourage all forms of creation in the service of national interest. This company, now more than 210 years old, is still active in the service of industry and technological innovation. The Society became one of the most important institutional forces for the development of photography, and focused primarily on the challenge of obtaining stable, non-fading photographic images. More than any other group, the Society foresaw the development of photography as an industry and organized competitions to encourage photographers to produce photographic prints that were of high quality, economical, and easy to conserve. As early as 1840, the Society concluded that if it were to progress in the industry photography needed to abandon pre-industrial hand-made means for more modern techniques of mass production.
Société héliographique was founded in France in 1851 by a group of artists, writers, and photographers who came together out of mutual excitement for the possibilities of the calotype. Société héliographique was formed by Baron de Montfort and run by a prominent board, including Hippolyte Bayard, Niepce de Saint-Victor, and the students of Gustave Le Gray. Together, these enthusiasts of arts and science formed the first photographic society in the world, a profound moment in the evolution and promotion of photography and photographic history. Outside of their communicative meetings, the society endorsed photography through exhibitions, publications, such as the society’s weekly magazine La Lumiere, albums and portfolios, and missions. Five members of the group, Gustave Le Gray, Mestral, Edouard Baldus, Hippolyte Bayard, and Henri Le Secq, together formed the Mission Héliographique, an effort to document France’s monuments commissioned by the French government’s Commission of Historical Monuments. In 1854 Société héliographique dissolved and became Société francaise de photographie, which still exists today.(Hannavy)
Though he is most widely remembered for the invention of the incandescent filament electric light bulb in 1860, in photography, Swan holds much credit. In 1862 Swan introduced the first practical carbon printing process. This process, patented in 1864, was based on Alphonse Louis Poitevin’s 1855 patented process. Swan’s use of carbon tissue was essential as the image forming and resist material in the Klic photogravure process. As early as 1865, Swan had patented a halftone reproduction process that quickly became a commercial success. In the 1870s, Swan introduced the gelatin bromide dry plate, which became the mainstay of the photographic industry and, a few years later, with introduction of bromide printing papers. In 1881 Swan founded the Swan Electric Light Company, and in 1885 he formed the Swan Engraving Company, later renamed the Swan Electric Engraving Company. H 128
Member of Thiel, Charles Anîé & Co. (1836-1902), and inventor of the Pantotype, a derivative of the photolithographic collotype process. Around 1870 Thiel reprinted views of Chartres and Reims cathedrals in pantotype from negatives taken in 1852 by Henri le Secq, who was searching for a more suitable, permanent medium to reproduce his images. HCL 130
Modified Eduard Isaac Asser’s photolithographic process in 1863. On June 23, 1863, Toovey, of the firm Simonau & Toovey, was awarded a patent for “An improved method or process for obtaining patterns and designs for the arts and manufactures,” or, “improvements in photo-lithoraphy, photzinchography and photographic engraving on copper or steel plates, or on any other suitable substance.” The photolithographic process successfully reproduced photographic negatives mechanically in ink. Toovey exhibited his improvements at the Société de Francaise de Photographie in 1863 and 1864, and at the Photographic Society of London in 1864 where he was awarded a medal for best photolithographs. HCL 137
Leon Vidal is not well known today, but during the latter half of the nineteenth century he was heavily involved in the development of photographically linked printing processes in France, not to mention his promotion of public photographic display and instruction. He published numerous books that covered topics in all these areas. Vidal’s development in color photographic printing processes in the early 1870s, resulting in a process he called photochromie, is perhaps his most beautiful, if not the most influential, work. In 1866, in the Moniteur de la Photographie, he wrote, “We want photography, so useful to all branches of knowledge, to become the domain of every one… Industry should aim to make photography for everybody as mechanical as possible in use.” He certainly did all he could throughout his life to make this come true. HCL 138-139 (Alschuler/Hannavy)
The first person to reliably experiment with and document the effects of light-sensitive chemicals in capturing camera images. His practical experiments, beginning around 1790, involved coating paper and white leather with silver nitrate in an effort to record the silhouette images. These experiments yielded only shadow images, or photograms, that were not light-fast, but his conceptual breakthrough and partial success have led some historians to call him “the first photographer.”
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