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British Journal of Photography Almanac Annual Summary of Photographic Inventions and Events in Photographic History/1871

From George Eastman House : Notes On Photographs

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Edited by J. Traill Taylor

In taking a very rapid retrospective glance with the view of presenting a brief summary of the progress made during the past year, the first feeling is that something has been done, although not very much; but this is almost immediately followed by rather ludicrous thought that almost every since photography was practically introduced the same has been said year after year. And, looking back from this point of view, at the close of 1870 we are rather gratified to discover that in no previous year has any startling discovery been made, no great advance been effected. When the future historian of our artscience comes to write the annals of 1870, it will be found recorded that the present year has not been very far behind any of its predecessors as regards solid progress.

It is impossible to enumerate in an introductory article like the present all the facts that indicate the progress made during the year; to a few among many of them we shall, however, make some reference.

[In] processes, the main feature of the year has been the further development of the chloro-bromide process of Mr. M Carey Lea, a process that we received just in time for publication in our ALMANAC of last year. The essential feature of this process is, that by carefully-worked out modification s of the collodio-bromide process of Messrs. Bolton and Sayce, a degree of sensitiveness has been obtained which equals that of wet collodion. In printing by mechanical means, Messrs. Edwards and Kidd have introduced a method by which beautiful results are secured with the same facility as by lithography. The most perfect gradation characterizes the results. Mr. Woodbury’s process is now being energetically worked by a company formed for that purpose. Carbon printing has during the year achieved many triumphs, and during the last month of the year 1870 still further progress has been made, details of which will be found in these pages and in those of The British Journal of Photography. Mr. Woodbury has perfected a system of photo-engraving which bids fair to be exceedingly successful. In the mechanical department of our art, an ingenious printing-frame has been invented by Mr. B. J. Edwards, by means of which a combination print both from separate negatives, may be produced with a degree of accuracy never before equaled. Mr. Cooke’s patent camera, as made by Mr. C. E. Elliott, has supplied a want long felt, viz, a means of using the camera itself as a plate-box, no plate-holders being required, yet the plates are being brought forward, exposed and put away again with unerring certainty and by means the most simple. Mr. W. H. Price, by inventing and publishing the details of a very excellent and portable camera stand, has made peripatetic photographers for ever his debtors. The “posing” and other studio chairs introduced by Mr. Cussons prove friends indeed to the photographer whose time is so much in demand that he cannot afford to devote much of it to the artistic arrangement of his sitters. In these chairs sitters insensibly pose themselves. Among those who during the present year have been removed for the photographic ranks by the hand of death we may mention Madame Una Howard, the Rev. J.B. Reade, Mr. George Price, Mr. R. J. Fewler, Colonel Temple, Mr. Ross (of Kilburn), and the Duc de Luynes.