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British Journal of Photography Almanac Annual Summary of Photographic Inventions and Events in Photographic History/1905

From George Eastman House : Notes On Photographs

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Edited by Thomas Bedding, F.R.P.S.

THE PRESENT AND FUTURE POSITION OF PHOTOGRAPHY
I. -IS PHOTOGRAPHY ON THE WANE?

IN former ALMANACS I have prefaced the usual Editorial article by a brief summary, in which I have glanced at the chief characteristics of photographic progress that made themselves apparent during the preceding twelve months, and at the same time have not omitted some consideration of the sate of the trade and industry as affording an indication of the position of photography in public favour. I propose on the present occasion to submit an amplification of what idea as the leading contribution to the ALMANAC for 1905.

I do so for several reasons. All through the last year or tow a plague of pessimism has been afflicting those engaged in the commercial departments of photography, both at home and abroad. The questions that have been put to me on the subject from many quarters on the state of the trade may be summarized as follows: -1. Is photography on the wane amongst amateurs? 2. Is the professional undergoing slow but sure extinction? 3. Is the trade and industry on

the decline? The better to enable me to answer these questions I have been at some paint to collect a mass of evidence form numerous reliable sources, and the conclusions I have drawn there from supply the themes of the following chapters. These chapters are in reality written by way of responses to requests received from all parts of the United Kingdom and Ireland, the Continent of Europe, America, and Australia. I have been told by leading manufactures and others that my views in this very important matter would be highly appreciated in the present vehicle of publicity, and I willingly defer to the suggestions that have been made that I should answer in the fullest possible manner the questions that have been put to me.

In this connection I at once avow myself an optimist. Fully conscious of my responsibility I give it as my opinion that neither in its professional, amateur, nor industrial aspects is photography on the wane; that is had not “passed its zenith’; that is not “played out; and that it has not “gone to the dogs.” I don not claim the paternity of these expressions. They have been dinned into my ears so often that I find myself using them as the aptest way in which I can make myself clear to my reader. Again, I take the terms of “amateur,” “professional’ and “trade and industry: for the sake of convenient illustration, and not because I think a sharp line of distinction can be drawn between those classes. We are all photographers nowadays, and it does not matter what we call ourselves. But our interest, if parallel, are not identical, and therefore they much be separately considered.

II. –FOREIGN COMPETITION

The acknowledged depression which has brooded over the photographic trade so long can be traced to several causes; notably the South African War, the postponed coronation of King Edward the VII., the present Russo-Japanese conflict, and –shall I say so?- to that fatal apathy form which the Prince of Wales after his return from the world tour sought to arouse us by the famous admonition to “Wake up!” Were I to set forth in detail the extent to which the English photographer relies for the practice of his hobby or business upon products manufactured outside of this country, I am sure that I should produce a feeling of amazement in the minds of those who have not stopped to give the matter consideration. I might also be thought to be posing as an advocate of Tariff Reform in respect of imported photographic supplies. But the question of the hour in politics is one to be strictly avoided in a publication of this character. There can, however, be no harm in my alluding to the influence of American, French, German, Austrian, and Italian photographic productions as factors adverse to the expansion of the British photographic industry. We, in this country, probably use a quantity of alien photographic material large enough to keep going several manufactories of considerable magnitude. I do not which to be misunderstood on this point. Foreign-made lenses, apparatus, and other materials have been used by English photographers ever since photography itself became practicable. There seems, however, no valid reason why the manufacture of these articles should not reside exclusively in British hands, or, at any rate, that there should be some real effort on the part of English manufacturers to enter into serious competition with over-sea houses. That competition could not but be healthy and beneficial for all concerned. But we have the past few years several large English manufacturers of lenses, cameras, and the like, have been quietly equipping themselves with new machinery and other facilities, and I think I am right in the conjecturing that the “waking up” process among British manufactures is proceeding vigorously and effectively.

III. –A BOOM AND A SLUMP

From my experience of photography during the last quarter of a century I could quote innumerable cases where the apathy on the part of British photographic manufacturers to which I have referred has led to the wholesale extinction of one well-known workshops, which might even now, with foresight, prudence and enterprise, have been fairly flourishing and prosperous. No useful purpose however would thereby be served. It is more cheerily and satisfactory to know that ht paces of these victims to a picturesque but suicidal conservatism have been taken by young, more efficient, and strenuous men, and that at the present moment British photographic manufactories are probably better organized and fitted to compete in the friendly rivalry of cheap, good, and serviceable productions than they have ever been.

Like everything else, as the trite remark has it, photography nowadays is much overdone. But as is not overdone by the actual photographer himself, as I shall presently show. It is the incautious retailer who ahs been overdoing it and who has suffered, and still is suffering, from the effects of his temerity. What has gone on, and is going on, in the photographic trade bears a very close resemblance to what took place in the cycle work, and is taking place this moment in motordom. The “boom’ preceded a “slump” the photographic “boom” set in some five or six years ago. The enormous popularity of the hand camera deceived manufactures as to the extent of the public’s purchasing power;’ large numbers of photographic dealers established themselves all over the country, and chemist added photographic departments to their business. Unfortunately, a general depression of trade, traceable to the cause mentioned in my second chapters, followed very proudly upon the heels of this boom, the result being that in thousands of shops in Great Brittan during the last year or two have been stored. Even in prosperous times it is doubtful if purchasers could be found for the almost Illimitable numbers, varieties and qualities of photographic cameras and cognate accessories that were distributed when the photographic dealing craze was at is height. The parallel between the photographic and cycle trades is almost perfect. In both over-production on the part of manufactures and the excessive multiplication of distributors are features of the “slump.” Here again I could, as in the case of manufacturing apathy, quote instances to prove the correctness of what I am adducting as evidential causes of the “slump.” Manufacturers allowed themselves to be misled by the magnitude of the public interest in photography, and (“fools rush in where angels fear to tread”) the ranks of the retailers of photographic supplies were swollen by persons who soon discovered that they were mere superfluities. The fate of many of them is pathetic.

Now, what is going on to put this unfortunate state of things right? Simply that manufactures have been holding their hands, that surplus stocks are being disposed of, and that the number of photographic retailers is being reduced. The trade is returning to the healthier condition of things that existed six years ago.

IV. –SOME HOPEFUL SIGNS

While it cannot be denied- and I, for one, will not attempt to gloss over the truth-that quietness is the rule and not the exception in the photographic trade at the present moment, the signs of an early revival are so clear that I should fail in my duty if I omitted to refer to them here. I am told that a steady demand for good apparatus is reassuring and maintaining itself, and that the cheaper forms of hand cameras are not I such favour as hitherto. By the cheaper forms I mean those which I may without intentional disrespect classify as of the juvenile variety, which were avowedly introduced for the use of young people and others unable to afford more than a few shillings wherewith to gratify their desire to practise the most fascinating hobby of the time. These instruments have had a distinctly educational effect in inducing a wish for the possession of “something better.” In my own experience I meet many persons who look upon the disbursement of from five to ten pounds for a hand camera as marking the limit to which they should go, whilst the half-plate stand set for three or four pounds has secured an amazing popularity. There facts are of the highest significance. It is agreeable to reflect that the large class which delights in the possession of the newest and most expensive anastigmatic lenses and highly-finished hand cameras, running into a cost of at least a score pounds, still exits, but not, perhaps, in such numbers as could be desired. They render great support to the trade, but do not form, perhaps, its mainstay. Again, your buyer of whole-plate mahogany cameras is less conspicuous than he was a decade ago. The purchaser of medium-priced and medium-quality apparatus is the one form whom the largest amount of patronage and support is to be expected. The wonderful popularity of enlarging –a popularity which is probably destines to increase rather than diminish-should also be taken into account in gauging the trend of public requirements. There are clear indications, too, as I recently pointed out in the “British Journal of Photography,” that the optical lantern trade is in process of resuscitation. Lantern slide making and lantern entertainments have not been so popular for at least ten years-in fact, I perceive a very strong revival of interest in this work, or rather, I should say that it has attracted the attention of the second generation of gelatine dry-plate workers far more successfully than the first. There is no aimless figure of speech. When in the early eighties gelatine plates were adopted by all classes of photographers the production of gelatine lantern slide followed as a matter of course, and, for a time, they were produced in great numbers. Then a marked falling off in interest was perceptible-at any rate, to the present writer. But an enormous number of amateur photographers, who were very young persons, indeed when gelatine plates were introduced, had meanwhile been growing in photographic wisdom and knowledge, an so today, in the early part of a young century, we see before us vast armies-it is no exaggeration to say so – of keen, intelligent, and enthusiastic photographer, whose coming few of us dreamed of in those far-off times when Messrs. Lancaster struck the note of cheap and effective photographic apparatus.

But I am getting a little ahead of my subject. I wish, in concluding this brief chapter, to refer to one or tow other signs of hopefulness in the trade. The apparatus section in this ALMANAC is larger than ever, and might, had space permitted been considerably extended, and the year close with the entire body of manufacturers showing every activity and vitality in the production of new models, modifications of old forms, and improvements in detail of existing types. Clearly then I am not the only optimist in photography.

V. THE REIGN OF THE AMATEUR

I shall not further trouble the reader with reference to the trade aspects of my subject. Addressing myself to the destruction of the dismal and lamentable fallacy that amateur photography is on the wane, I call in the nearest available weapon to aid me, namely, the Directory of Photographic Societies in the present ALMANAC. This shows that there are more Societies in existence than ever there were. The list is by no means complete, as your average photographic society secretary usually lacks in epistolary alertness what he makes up for in secretarial enthusiasm, but the evidence it supplies is too valuable to be passed over in the present inquiry. I don not lose sight, again, of the symptoms of vitality vouchsafed to us by the success of such institutions as the Affiliation of Photographic Societies, the Yorkshire Union, the Northern Federation, and the Scottish National Federation. National and local spirit are encouraged in this manner, and community of interest in the practice of photography animated and sustained. Between them these bodies must represent a constituency of many thousands.

But the army of unattached photographers may probably be numbered by the hundred thousand, for nowadays, when one looks a little higher than the labouring population, it is difficult to discover a home without a camera. I have said that photographic societies are on the increase; so, too, are exhibitions and competitions, as may be seen weekly in the pages of the BRITISH JOURNAL OF PHOTOGRAPHY. All this makes for vitality and expansion. Grant, if you will, that money competitions appeal to one’s cupidity and pubic exhibitions to one’s not unnatural love of success and notoriety; still, they are to be unreservedly accepted as showing that photography is not retrogressing in general favour. Were it otherwise, all this organized activity would be futile.

The majority of photographers do not belong to photographic societies, do not exhibit, do not compete, and read little. It is for this mighty crowd-numbering, as I have hinted, hundreds of thousands- that the newspapers all over the country publish week by week articles and columns of paragraphs on photographic topics. In this way, millions of readers are addressed, if not interested. A few years ago the “lay” Press contained few references to photography, which today ranks with golf, motoring, cycling, gardening, and ladies’ dress as a subject of general interest. Is it conceivable that if photography were on the wane such shrewd men as newspaper conductors would devote so much of what is politely call their “valuable space” to it? Your newspaper conductor is usually a sensible man of business, who gives his customer exactly what he wants. Depend upon it, if the readers of his newspaper did not include a considerable percentage of practical photographers he would not print a photographic column. Nor in many cases would he orgainse competitions for the special edification of those readers. He knows, with me, that today there is a camera in every home, and that the oftener its possessor can be induced to use it the better for everybody.

VI. WAITING FOR COLOUR PHOTOGRAPHY TO TURN UP

The consumption-or rather the use- of plates, papers, films, and chemicals in photography is obviously greater than it has ever been. In respect of the fist tow products it is generally conceded that English manufacturers more than hold their own against their oversea competitors. Clearly, if photography were on the wane this branch of the industry would not be so flourishing as in some quarters it admittedly is. From many directions I hear of the enlargement of premises, great pressure of business, and the increase of staffs. Plates, papers, and films have been not infelicitously compared to the bread and butter, the tea and sugar of photography. They are unquestionably its staple products, and the measure of their use should be the measure of the extent to which operative photography is practised. For the use of films and plates mostly necessitates the employment of cameras, lenses, shutters, and other appurtenances. If photography were on the wane the staple precuts would surely be the first to pass into comparative desuetude. There are no signs of depression in that direction; on the contrary, the mania of the everyday photographer for new negative and positive surfaces amount, to quote the distinguished humorist, Mr. Gilbert, to a disease. I hope the disease is incurable.

I am frequently told that the one thing needed to five the trade a fillip is the discovery of colour photography. Precisely what is meant by colour photography in this particular connection is not always clearly understood by those who desiderate it. There is at present little hope that the one really true system of colour photography –the Lippmann process-is capable of such simplification that it will respond to the requirements of the average photographer, to whom also trichromatics, whether on glass or paper, present greater difficulties than he is qualified to successfully surmount. There are one or two interesting processes by Messrs. Lumière, Dr. Koenig, and others, about to be introduced to the public, but I do not seek to prejudice them in saying that they hardly rise to the aspirations of those who yearn for some easily worked system of colour photography, which shall effect such a remunerative revolution in photographic procedure as the gelatine plate and celluloid film. The time has not come for that. Maybe the discovery still lurks in the worm of the future, from which it is to be doubted if it will emerge for many years.

The cry for novelty in photography as a panacea for temporary depression is no new thing, and usually proceeds from persons who are blind to the opportunities of developing processes and resources already to their hands. The lessons of history are instructive in this regard. The gelatine dry plate, platinotype printing, bromide and gelatine printing, the hand camera, high intensity anastigmatic lenses, telephotography and other advances fought their way very slowly into the recognition of photographers. Instead of sighing after the almost unattainable in a simplified system of colour photography which shall bring about a commercial millennium and people the highways and byways with camera users busily engaged in “taking natural-colour photographs in one operation,” does it not behove those immediately concerned to devote themselves to the feasible course of taking advantage of the more obvious opportunities which the incompletely developed resources of photography plainly offer?

VII-THE FUTURE OF PHOTOGRAPHY

And what is to be the future of photography? I have no hesitation in forming a wholly favourable view of what is in store for it. To begin with, we are, in my opinion, at present only on the fringe of that great amateur renaissance to which I have already alluded. Your college youth and high school girl of today will be your scientific, technical, or pictorial photographer of the next year, and the amateur will this always be with us in his hundreds of thousands. There are some 30,000 persons engaged in the business of photography (I am not counting manufactories), by which I mean studio, outdoor, Press work, and the like. This is an increase on the last census returns and affords some clue as to whether professional photography has or has not declined. As to the probable future of the trade and industry I have already given my opinion; and I trust I have rendered sufficient reasons for the photographically optimistic faith that is in me in this respect.

The resources, the applications, the scope of photography are practically limitless, and without it today the illustrated Press would cease to exist. It forces its usefulness into every art, every science, every industry, every department of human life, and, next to the pen and the type of the printer, is, perhaps, the most wonderfully adaptable and responsive recording agency ever devised by the ingenuity of man. Nowhere do I perceive any abatement of interest in the work of the lens, the plate, and the camera; any depreciation of its value; any falling off in numbers of those to whom the use of photography has become indispensability.

In time of general depression, such as this old world of ours has lately passed, and is passing, through, we are apt to grow reasonably querulous and pessimistic on very small provocation. Only recently a prominent newspaper asked its readers to consider whether photography had not reached its zenith. The same question might be asked with respect to a thousand other things. If, in regard to photography, it was meant to suggest that the “black art” was declining in popularity and utility, and was not attracting fresh adherents every day in place of those temporarily giving it up (I have never yet met the person who once “took up” photography and permanently gave it up), the rejoinder, to my mind, is obvious; there is more photographic work done nowadays than ever there was. And there will be more still tomorrow; and more the day after.

May I hope that my motive in penning these half-dozen chapters will not be misunderstood? It has been represented to me that if I could conscientiously take a favourable view of the photographic outlook, I should be doing a general service by briefly placing the fact on record in as pubic a manner as possible. have given my view on the subject, and the answers to the questions that have been put on me, in the most prominent place in the most prominent book on photography that is published –a book that passes under the eyes of every person directly concerned in the manufacturing and commercial side of photography for whose inspiration this little review has been written.

OBITUARY OF THE YEAR
AMONGST the specially prominent photographers who have died since the publication of the last ALMANAC, the following may be mentioned:-
Austin J. King
James Alexander Forrest
Captain M. H. Hayes
Marshall Wane
Frederick York
William Thompson
William Bates
Alexander Tate
Professor Etienne Jules Marey
Samuel P. Jackson
William Butcher
Eadweard Muybridge
AUSTIN J. KING

Mr. Austin Joseph King, F.S.A., died at Tenby on August 28, 1903. The deceased gentleman’s deep love of the science bespoke him an attentive hearing at several London societies-photographic and otherwise. From the time of the formation and continuance of the Bath Photographic Society (1888-1903) he was probably the most active worker and largest contributor, scientifically and socially, to its work. He was not unknown at Conventions, and it is doubtful whether the Bath meeting could have been held in 1891 without the active co¬operation the members concerned obtained through his assistance.

JAMES ALEXANDER FORREST

The death of Mr. James Alexander Forrest, which took place on Friday, September 9, 1903, in his ninetieth year, removes perhaps the oldest link between the past and present of English photography. Some six months ago, in the Jubilee number of the JOURNAL we gave a brief account of Mr. Forrest’s connection with the “Liverpool Photographic Journal” and general photographic affairs in the great city on the Mersey. The respect in which he was held in Liverpool is evidenced by the following extract from the “Liverpool Mercury” –Mr. Forrest was at one time a member of the Liverpool Town Council, representing Lme Street Ward for several years in the Conservative interest. He was first elected to the Council in 1873, succeeding Mr. H. Hornby, deceased. In the following year Mr. Forrest was returned without a contest, but three years later he was opposed by Mr. C. J. Crosfiled, whom, however, he defeated by a majority of 78. After serving the city in this capacity for eight years, during which time he did excellent work on many of the committee-including the Watch Committee-he retired from public life. He was the principal of Messrs. J. A. Forrest and Sons, glass manufactures, of Lime Street, which firm, it will be remembered, executed the stained glass windows in St. George’s Hall. Mr. Forrest was a gentleman of artistic tastes, and his work as a pioneer of photography will long be remembered. He was not only distinguished in the use of the camera, but his contributions to magazines on matters appertaining to his favourite pursuit were recognized as form the pen of an authority. He as for a long period a prominent member of the Liverpool Photographic Society, and was greatly respected both in public and private life.” The late Mr. Forrest was an early President of the Liverpool Amateur Photographic Association, of which he was a member of its foundation. In conjunction with Mr. James Harnupp, of Bidston, he took great practical interest in the application of photography to astronomical purposes, and was the author of many communications to the Liverpool Association.

CAPTAIN M. H. HAYES

The death of Captain M. Horace Hayes, the well-known authority on horses and their management, occurred at Southsea in September 1903. Captain Hayes, who was employed by the Government during the South African War, was the writer of many books on veterinary subjects, and the author of “A Student’s Manual of Tactics.” He was at one time in the Royal Artillery and saw considerable service with the Bengal Staff Corps. Captain Hayes will be remembered by many of our readers as having devoted special attention to photography, on which subject he read several papers before the Royal and other societies.

MARSHALL WANE

Mr. Marshall Wane passed away on Monday, December 14, 1903. Mr. Wane was born in 1833, and thus was seventy years of age. He was devoted to his profession, and first began to photograph in 1852 as an amateur when he was nineteen years of age. Self-taught from the beginning, and always very ingenious, he made his first camera out of a cigar box, and a lens out of a mustard tin, and a magnifying glass. As is usually done by amateurs, he experimented on his friends in the garden, with a blanket as a background; when it rained an umbrella was put up. The only time the young amateur had was during his lunch hour, and he was often so engrossed in his work that he had to run all the way to the office-two miles away. These early attempts were glass positives, only a few inches in size. Rapidly becoming proficient, there was such a demand form friends for portraits made by the new art, that all his spare cash was spent in photographic material; so a charge was made to cover expenses. The money thus made was put into a child’s earthenware money-box, which had to be broken when filled. Full in a very short time, it was found to contain sufficient to purchase an up-to-date outfit in London. This was done, and with superior appliances his work so much improved, and was so much admired, that he decided to start business as a professional. Accordingly, he began in 1854 at Knutsford, and, successful from the start, was enabled to build a studio in Douglas, Isle of Man, in 1858, where he remained twenty-three years. In 1879 Mr. Wane was induced by the late Lord Loch, who was then Governor of the Island, and several influential friends to go to Edinburgh, where he remained until 1902, when he received and offer for his business by a company which he accepted. In the following year he opened a studio at 518, Great Western Road, Glasgow, with a view to leaving it to his two sons, after giving them the benefit of his well-known name; also his invaluable advice and experience. He had just accomplished his last wish, “To give his boys a fair start,” when he was called away. The business will be carried on under the name of “Marshall Wane” by his two sons, Mr. H. P. Wane, a medalist and technical expert, and Charles Marshall Wane. Mr. Wane, fond of all outdoor sports, was a good swimmer and a capital shot, and could cycle his fifty miles a day easily; he was the oldest of cyclist in Scotland, having been one for nearly forty years. He could play a good game of billiards, and was found of a game of whist. He was very fond of reading. Mr. Wane was known by a large circle of friends, and to quote one of them-“To know him was to love him and esteem him.”

FREDERICK YORK

Mr. Frederick York, of the firm of York and son, Photographic Publishers, passed away on December 17, 1903, aged eighty years. Mr. York was born at Bridgwater in 1823. Intended for the law, a few months in the office convinced him that he had no vocation for the profession, and so the articles were not signed. He was apprenticed in 1839 to a chemist at Bristol. At that time Fox Talbot’s discovery attracted general notice, and Mr. West, of the Observatory at Clifton, made a photogenic paper, and sold it to chemists to retail at one shilling a packet. It was used principally for printing fern leaves, lace, etc. This was his first introduction to photography. In the winter of 1853, when residing at Bath, he had severe hemorrhage from the lungs, which confined him to the hours for four months. The doctor advised his going to a warm climate, and he decided on going to the Cape of Good Hope, which he did the following year. He called on a friend, Mr. Cogan, of Bath, to have his portrait taken, and having told him of his plans, he suggested his going in for photography, and kindly offered him every assistance and the use of his studio. Although Daguerreotype was then the recognised process, his friend was working collodion-in fact, was one of the pioneers of that process. On his arrival at the Cape, in January 1855, he found there was an opening, and decided on abandoning physic for photography. The things he took out were soon used up and could not be replaced for five months, as there were no steamers running to the Cape at that time, and collodion there was unknown. Iodide or bromide of ammonium could not be obtained. The Dutch ether turned blood-red when iodides were added, and the spirit of wine as so carelessly distilled that it was almost useless. He had to redistill both ether and spirit, to make guncotton and the iodides and bromides of ammonium; this with the facilities of the present day! He mastered all of it, and may be considered the first who introduced the collodion process into South Africa. He became a large importer of photographic material, and taught photography to many who traveled through the country. The change of climate was most beneficial to his health, and he never had a return of the old complaint. He returned to England in 1861, and after twelve months’ rest started on outdoor work. He took over one thousand views of London in four sizes. His stereoscopic, cabinet, and large sizes (8 x 6 and 12x10) of animals at the Zoological Gardens, taken by the collodion process, have not been excelled. Having little to do in the winter, he turned his attention to making lantern slides which grew into a business requiring fifteen thousand negatives. Mr. York was an active member of various Photographic Societies. He was formerly on the Council of the Parent Society, Vice-President of the South London, and Trustee of the Photographic Club.

WILLIAM TOMPSON

Photography in the North of England suffered a loss in the death of Mr. William Thompson, of the well-known firm of Thompson and Lee, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Like so many of our leading photographic workers, Mr. Thompson began his career as an amateur, drifting gradually from a solicitor’s office into the ranks of the professional photographers. Gifted with indomitable perseverance and energy, he founded a large and successful business devoted to technical and mechanical photography, specialising in the difficult branch of collotype printing, in which he excelled. For many years he was the life and soul of the Newcastle and Northern Counties’ Photographic Association, fulfilling the duties of honorary secretary with extraordinary vigour and ability. Combining, as he did, ripe judgment and sound taste in artistic matters, with unusual technical skill and scientific attainments, a brilliant career seemed to assured for him, when at the age of thirty-four he passed away on March 27th, 1904.

WILLIAM BATES

The death of Mr. W. Bates, Photographer of Chertsey, Surrey, took place on June 14th, in the seventy-eighth year of his age. The deceased gentleman as, perhaps, one of the oldest photographers in the country, as he certainly was one of the most urbane, catholic in taste, and cultivated. Skillful with the brush, his leisure was devoted to painting or sketching abroad, and in the charming little Chertsey studio over which he so long presided with such skill and success, the backgrounds, frames and many other of the artistic impedimenta of a portraitist’s necessary olls podrida were the products of Mr. Bates’s facility for design.

To many readers of these lines Mr. Bates will be chiefly remembered as the sponsor and manufacturer of “Bates’ Black,” but his singular modesty concealed a personality of rare charm and attraction. In earlier years his energies found an outlet in the direction of invention; in later times his portrait work and his painting monopolised his attention. The delightful studio in the old-world little Surrey town of Chertsey has sent out a great deal of excellent portrait work which if it has not often secured the very doubtful privilege of illustrate d newspaper publicity has yet deservedly won the esteem and appreciation of a large and refined clientele. By the death of Mr. Bates photography is distinctly the poorer, for as a man and artist he was of a very high type indeed.

ALEXANDER TATE

Members of the Photographic Convention, and many others, will regret to learn of the death of Mr. Alexander Tate, which occurred on August 29, 1904, aged eighty-one. The late Mr. Tate, whose father was a resident of Dublin, received his early training as an engineer and architect under the late Mr. Owen, Commissioner of the Board of Public Works. He had a fellow pupil the late Sir Charles Lanyon, and in his studies he displayed that intuitive faculty and grasp of detail which afterwards enable him to succeed to well in his profession. When quite a young man he was appointed surveyor of a division of County Dublin, and this position he filled with marked ability for many years. Towards the end of 1861, upon the resignation of Sir Charles Lanyon, he was elected to the important office of surveyor of County Antirm and the County Town of Carrickfergus, and he then came to live in Belfast. For over twenty years he acted in that capacity, and under his supervision many important schemes were carried out. About 1884 he resigned the surveyorship of County Antrim, being succeeded by Mr. John H. Brett, and a year or so later he retired from the position in Carrickfergus. Since then he had not engaged in active work, so far as his profession was concerned, but if released from public service he by no means allowed time to hang idly on his hands. He was always interested in scientific research and was a leading member of various societies. Among the number may be included the Belfast Naturalist’s Field Club. The Royal Society of Antiquaries in Ireland, the Institute of Civil Engineers of Ireland, of which he was the hon. Secretary when in Dublin; the Royal Society of Dublin, the Photographic Society, the British Astronomical Association, and the British Association. In connection with the last named body, of which he was a life member, he acted as secretary of one of the sections when the association met in Dublin in 1857. Technical education found in his a warm supporter, and he was prominently identified with the old Government School of Art before it was merged in the Municipal Technical institute.

PROFESSOR MAREY

In the early part of the year there passed away, at the age of 74, Professor Etienne Jules Marey, the master of that method of experimental physiology by which, together with Claude Bernard, he enriched this science with numerous discoveries. He was, if not the virtual inventor, at all events the perfector of the system of graphics for the measurements of physiological phenomena; the deviser of the sphygmograph for the notation of the pulse and heart beats and respirator movements; the analyst by means of instantaneous photographs of movement of human and animal locomotion, the flight of birds, the galloping of horses, etc. becoming thus an imitator of the cinematograph. But these inventions are only the more striking devices with which he ingeniously opened up surer methods of research in physiology. The mechanical appliances which he conceived figure to-day in every physiological laboratory in the world.

S P JACKSON

Mr. Samuel P. Jackson, whose death occurred early in 1904, was born on September 12, 1830, his father being an artist and an Associate of the old Water Colour Society. Mr. Jackson became an Associate of the same society in 1852, being the youngest Associate ever elected. His favourite subjects were scenes on the Thames, in North Wales, and on the Cornish coast. He exhibited on several occasions at the Royal Academy, and three of his drawings are in the South Kensington Museum. Mr. Jackson, who was of a retiring disposition, had not painted since 1900. His tastes were scientific as well as artistic for he was the inventor of an instantaneous shutter, which obtained a silver medal awarded by the Royal Photographic Society.

W. BUTCHER

Mr. William Butcher, of the firm of Messrs. W. Butcher and Son, dealers in photographic apparatus, died early in 1904.

EADWEARD MUYBRIDGE

Mr. Muybridge passed away in the seventy-fourth year of his age. Mr. Muybridge will be remembered for his work in connection with the photography of moving bodies.