log in helplinksabout



Print Room




British Journal of Photography Almanac Annual Summary of Photographic Inventions and Events in Photographic History/1918

From George Eastman House : Notes On Photographs

Jump to: navigation, search

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

AMONG those whose deaths have taken place since the publication of the 1917 ALMANAC are: -
Dr. Hill Norris (Nov. 15, 1916) C.F, Inston (May 4, 1917)
Dr. J.H. Smith (Mar. 20, 1917) C. H. Talbot (Dec. 26, 1916)
W.J. Wilson (Nov. 17, 1916)

At the time of his death Dr. Richard Hill Norris was probably the oldest experimenter connected with photography. As long as 1855 he was the inventor of a collodion dry-plate by the bath process. These plates were, in fact, the first dry plates to be commercially sold, and actively came extensively into use about the year 1860. Nevertheless, the Norris dry-plate did not survive competition with the wet-plate collodion process. Some thirty years later it was revived by Dr. Norris, and was issued of a much greater degree of rapidity. But at this time, about the year 1888, the gelatine dry-plate had obtained a firm hold upon photographic practice, and the Norris plates again continued upon the market for only a short time.


For many years Dr. J. H. Smith was one of the most familiar figures in photographic circles, not only as a manufacturer of photographic materials but as an experimenter in many branches of photography. For many years a maker of plates and papers at Zurich, in 1908 he installed a small factory in Paris for the manufacture of the bleach-out “Utocolor” papers, which for some years previously have been the subject of much experiment on his part. At the time of his death Dr. Smith had been for a considerable time resident in Manchester, and had been engaged upon chemical research work in the Manchester Municipal School of Technology.

Dr. Smith’s inventive faculty was shown in many directions. In the early days of photography hear was the designer of machines for the washing and coating of gelatine plates, which were largely used. One of his ideas was a triple-coated plate for the simultaneous making of the three colour-sensation negatives in colour photography. He was early in the field in recognizing the advantage a geometrical structure in a screen plate for colour photography, and to the best of our knowledge the term “screen plate” for the mosaic filter used in processes like the Autochrome was first used by him.


Mr. C.F. Inston was a leading figure in the photographic life not only of the North of England, but of the whole country. First as secretary (in 1905) and afterwards as president (in 1912 and 1913) of the Liverpool Amateur Photographic Association, during which period the inception of the Northern photographic exhibition came into being, Mr. Inston may be said to have stood for photography among the societies of the north. He was, in fact, much more than that. Elected a member of the Royal Photographic society in 1896 and a Fellow in 1901, he served on the selecting committee for the R.P.S. exhibitions form 1908 to 1912, and from the latter year until the time of his death was a member of the council of the R.P.S. The Northern Exhibition, first held in Liverpool in 1904, owed its success very largely to his initiative and great powers of organization.


Mr. Charles Henry Talbot was the only son of William Henry Fox Talbot, whose pioneer work in the invention of photography forms a large part of the early history of photographic processes.

Mr. Talbot took a keen literary interest in the work of his father, and was always ready to place his collection of papers and photographs at the disposal of those dealing with this father’s work from the historical standpoint.


Mr., W. J. Wilson was for many years past actively connected with the Paget Prize Plate Company. He was a native of Dublin, where he was born in 1842. In the days when experiments were being made with gelatine emulsion he was the recipient of the prize of £50 offered by Sir Joseph Paget for the best photographic emulsion. As the outcome of that award, Mr. Wilson stated the Paget Company in the year 1881, in conjunction with Mr. T. C. Whitfield.

AMONG others who have been removed by death during the past twelve months are: -John H. Avery, at the time of his death Bombay manager of Messrs. Wellington and Ward; George Bankart, a veteran amateur photographer of Leicester; R. E. Wilkinson, of the Norwich photo-engraving firm; and three notable professional photographers in the persons of W. H. Midwinter of Bristol; George Hadley, of Lincoln, and W. L. Shrubsole, of Norwich.