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British Journal of Photography Almanac Annual Summary of Photographic Inventions and Events in Photographic History/1908

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Edited by George E. Brown, F.I.C.

  • Note: Editor eliminated Summary section of the ALMANAC.

OBITUARY OF THE YEAR AMONG those whose deaths have taken place since the publication of the 1907 ALMANAC are; -
Thomas R. Dallmeyer (Dec. 25, 1906) George Bishop (Dec. 20, 1906)
A. L. Henderson (July 5, 1907) Rev. T. Perkins (Mar. 21, 1907)
J. T. Sandell (Dec. 29, 1906) Siegfried Czapski (June 29, 1907)
S. D. McKellen (Dec. 26, 1906) John Stuart (July 13, 1907)

It was on Christmas Day of the year 1906 that one of the best-known members of the photography world passed away in the person of Thomas Rudolphus Dallmeyer. He was the second some of the late John Henry Dallmeyer, and was born in May 1859, his mother being the daughter of that celebrated optician Andrew Ross. After taking his B.Sc. as a student of King’s College, Mr. J. Dallmeyer commenced a course of training in his father’s factory grinding lenses and making optical brasswork. On the breakdown of Mr. J. H. Dallmeyer’s health in 1882 he was ordered to take long sea voyages, and Mr. T. r. Dallmeyer then assumed the control of the business, in which he was actively interested until his death. During his career Mr. Dallmeyer designed many new and valuable instruments, but his name is more intimately connected with telephotography than with any other branch. He made the first practical telephoto lens in 1891, and hardly a year passes in which he did not make some modification or improvement, his last work being in connection with the Junior “Adon.” Among his other inventions may be mentioned a rapid triple cemented landscape lens, a rectilinear landscape lens, the original naturalist’s camera, and many special lenses for cinematography and other purposes. He became a member of the Photographic Society of Great Britain in 1866, and was in succession member of Council, vice-president, and president (1900), taking a prominent part in a perturbed period of the society’s history.

Mr. Dallmeyer possessed a singularly winning manner, and was generous to a fault. Many a struggling genius has received substantial and too often unappreciated assistance form him.


To many photographers the news of the death of Mr. Hendesron, at Bad-Nauheim, on July 5, must have come as distressing news. His readiness to place his wide experience at the disposal of others made him a valued member at a society meeting, where he was never so happy as when in hot and eager argument with one or all, and when his fiery enthusiasm frequently culminated in outbursts, at which he himself was one of the first to laugh. The regard in which he was held was proved by the attendances on those nights when it was known he was to speak of the travels necessitated during the later years of his life through ill-health. Mr. Henderson practised professional photography in its palmist day. He once told me that he had earned a competency for himself before he was twenty-one.


Mr. Sandell, from his long association with the dry plate trade, was one of the most familiar figures in photographic circles. He commenced his career in the establishment of Messrs. R. W. Thomas and Co., in Pall Mall, and when the Thomas Works were removed to Thornton Heath became manager and chemist. There he brought on to the market the “Thomas” plates, the lantern plate particularly having a large share of public favour. He also introduced, through the same commercial channels, the “Sandell” double-film and triple-film plates, the principle of which he afterwards embodied in the “Cristoid” film, brought out by the Sandell Dry Plates and Films Co., Limited. Mr. Sandell was more at home in the laboratory and behind the demonstration table than in the direction of business enterprises. His exhibitions to photograph societies of the properties of his patented films were models of technical demonstrations.


Many of the present generation may not be aware of the fact that Mr. McKellen was the father of the modern camera. Photographers of twenty years ago will well remember the advent of the McKellen Camera in 1884, when it obtained the first medal for apparatus ever offered by the Photographic Society of Great Brittan, and how it entirely revolutionized the construction of this instrument. Mr. McKellen first commenced photography upwards of fifty year ago with a cigar-box and spectacle lens of his apparatus. At this time of his decease he was seventy years of age.


Mr. George Bishop, sen., partner in Messrs. Marion and Co.,Limited, died at his residence in London on Dec. 20, 1906. Mr. Bishop, who was seventy-two years of age, had relinquished active interest in the business, of late year, to his brother, Mr. Frank Bishop, who, since his brother’s death, has likewise retired from an active share in the management of his firm’s affairs.


A well-known worker and writer in the photographic world has been lost to us in the death of the Rev. T. Perkins, M.A. After a distinguished academic career at Blundell’s School, Tiverton, and Christ College, Cambridge, Mr. Perkins was admitted to Holy Orders in 1869, and for many years had been rector of Turnworth in Dorset. Although an enthusiast on photographic matters in general, a regular attendant at the Convention, Mr. Perkins devoted himself chiefly to the study of architecture, both domestic and ecclesiastical, but specially the latter, and his writings on the subject, such as “A Handbook of Gothic Architecture,” and several handbooks on cathedrals and churches in the “Bell’s Cathedral Series,” show that his knowledge of his subject was both intimate and thorough.


In the death of Dr. Czapski, at the age of only 46, the establishment of Carl Zeiss at Jena has sustained an even greater loss than in the death of Professor Abbe two year ago. For while Abbe’s life-work was done, Czapski was at the zenith of the career which commenced when he, then a young student at Breslau, became assistant to Abbe, and greatly helped the latter in carrying out the industrial and social reforms in that great scientific institute. Throughout the great scheme under which the Carl Zeiss “Stiftung” was founded, Czapski worked hand in hand with Abbe, and in 1902 succeeded Abbe as head of the “Stiftung.” Since his entry into Zeiss Works, Dr. Czapski’s publications were confined to optical subjects. Sometimes they were communications of novelties in optical instruments and other theoretical researches. The former frequently dealt with new instruments or improvements in existing ones devised by Professor Abbe. Of theoretical researches we must not omit to mention a treatise on the possible limits of the microscope. Dr. Czapski’s greatest scientific work was undoubtedly the “Theorie der Optischen Instrumenten nach Abbe, “ which fist appeared as part of Winkelmann’s “Handbuch der Physik” in 1893. This work has become extremely important in consequence of the great advance in photographic optics during the past twenty years. It had special interest to the reader of the ALMANAC, and they will doubtless remember that a few years ago Dr. Czapski was elected an honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society.


A well-known personality has been removed by death in the person of Mr. John Stuart, of Glasgow, who was one of the leading photographers in the North, and had for close on fifty year been connected with the business in Glasgow now carried on under his name. He was a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society and a staunch supporter of the Photographic Convention from its inception, of which he was President at the Glasgow meeting in 1898. Born in the city of Glasgow in the year 1831, Mr. Stuart was seventy-six years of age at the time of his death. Form a humble beginning he fought his way forward, and by sheer merit and good work his studio in Buchanan Street, Glasgow, came to be regarded as one of the foremost in Scotland. Of a singularly active disposition, Mr. Stuart throughout his lifetime took a keen interest in public affairs, and proved himself a useful citizen. He was first returned to the Town Council in 1865, and was a member for seventeen years. In 1869 he was created Junior Bailie, and in 1870 Senior Bailie, reaching the top of the municipal tree in 1877, when he was chosen Provost. He held that office for seven years, and during his term was instrumental n introducing many important pubic improvements.

Among others whose deaths have taken place during the past year are Sebastian Davis’ Meyer Lewis Isaacs, of Messrs. Houghton’s. Limited; J. T. Chapman, of Manchester; R. F. Reynolds, of Reynolds and Branson’ and Robert Pringle. Colonel Laussedat, Georg Scamoni, Ottomar-Anschütz, and Dr. Aarland are among the Continental workers in photography whose loss we have to deplore.