log in helplinksabout



Print Room




British Journal of Photography Almanac Annual Summary of Photographic Inventions and Events in Photographic History/1928

From George Eastman House : Notes On Photographs

Jump to: navigation, search

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


The past year has been marked by even fewer outstanding items of technical advance in the craft or industry of photography than 1926, in which the notable item of the ultimate sensitising of emulsions by minute quantities of sulphur compounds was a distinct event. This question, however, is being actively pursued, and doubtless in time its effect will be seen in the greater sensitiveness of plates and films.

Generally speaking there have been only fresh details in the design of hand cameras; details contributing to the greater convenience in the sue of these pieces of apparatus. In the apparatus trade one is bound to be impressed by the diminishing number of the various miscellaneous requisites which formerly figured so largely. Now-a-days the tendency appears to be for a breach to be formed between the hand camera and the albums and frames in which the finished prints are preserved. On an increasing scale the services of the many D & P or photo-finishing firm occupy the intermediate stages, which in former years were full of technical interest. In regard to lenses, those of extreme aperture appear to continue in considerable favour, although the subjects for which they are of real value are relatively few. In the use of material for making negatives there is undoubtedly a more pronounced tendency, among both amateurs and professionals to make greater use of panchromatic sensitiveness. The introduction of a panchromatic film-pack is one indication of this movement, which naturally is likely to give a still further impetus to the use of desensitizers. In the matter of printing papers, largely one determined by the professional portrait maker, the slower emulsions yielding a warm black or brown tone-or still warmer colours-by direct development retain their position of favour, and the professional is evidently ready to sacrifice printing speed for the quality which papers of this class afford.

While speaking of professional work reference may be made to the great activity which the year has witnessed in the now numerous local associations of professional photographers and the greater interest displayed in matters, such as advertising, connected with the business side of the portrait studio. There are signs that portrait photographers in this country are coming round to the realization of the benefits which a programme of national advertising, such as that now being carried out in the United States, would be to them.

Turning to individual items which figure in the record of the year which is of the most far reaching importance is the triply operated Eagle aerial camera now being extensively used in aerial survey. An incentive to stereoscopic photography is provided by the simple and ingenious outfit devised by Mr. Charles E. Benham and consisting of two box film cameras strapped together. For development in the tropics M.M. Lumière and Seyewetz have introduced a developer in which the novel feature is a greatly reduced proportion of sulphite. A combination of the ordinary mercury process and the customary practice of sulphide toning has been recommended by Dr. Mennenga for intensification. The evergreen difficulties of glazing prints by stripping have prompted the working out of a process which claims to dispense with failures. Enlarging has been advanced in the way of providing means for reducing the effects of granularity when working from extremely small negatives; Dr. K.C.D. Hickman had described several methods designed especially for use in making enlargements on a considerable scale from cinematograph negatives. The Carbro process (of making carbon prints) figures more largely than any other as regards [to] technical improvement; new formulae for the process have been worked out and strongly advocated by Mr. C. Lighton. The continued popularity of Bromoil, especially among exhibition workers, is reflected in the greater number of bromide papers made specially for use as the Bromoil original; and the technique of preparing the print for pigmenting and of treating it in inking has been the subject of some notable articles. Colour photography has been enlivened by the introduction of a screen film, the Lignose, similar in principle to the well known Autochrome and Agfa plates, but available in the form of roll-film and film-packs. As regards to making of three-colour paper prints it may be said that 1927 has witnessed a distinct advance in this branch of colour photography as the result of the used of the Carbro printing process.

AMONG those whose deaths have taken place since the date when the 1927 ALMANAC was closed for printing are;
Dr. J.J. Acworth (d. Jan.3, 1927, aet. 74)
Karl Klic (d. Nov. 15, 1926, aet. 86)
Charles Bennett (d. March , 1927)
Chevalier Lafosse (d. April 30, 1927, aet. 88)
Dr. Adolf Miethe (d. May 5, 1927, aet. 66)
E Sanger-Shepherd (d. July 8, 1927, aet. 58)
George Scammell (d. Oct. 5, 1927, aet. 86)
Godfrey Bingley (d. April, 1927, aet. 84)
Ward Muir (d. June 9, 1927, aet. 49)
W. F. Slater (d. Nov. 15, 1927, aet. 65)

Founder of the Imperial Dry Plate Company, and a pioneer in the establishment of the dry-plate industry. One of the earliest investigators of colour-sensitiveness of emulsions. Dr. Acworth made a large fortune from his business and was a liberal benefactor of many charities.


Inventor and maker of materials and appliances for colour photography and for many years a widely recognised authority on this branch of photography.


Inventor, as a young man, of the process of treating gelatine emulsion in the heat for greater sensitiveness, as a result of which dry-plates came into general use in the late seventies of the nineteenth century.


Veteran portrait photographer of Manchester and a pioneer in the use of retouching for portrait negatives. He was equally distinguished for the artistry of his landscape work. A native of Belgium, he was a naturalized British subject for the greater part of his life. The Belgium rank of Chevalier was bestowed on him for his artistic work in portrait and landscape photography.


Painter and caricaturist, by whom the flat-bed process of photogravure was brought to perfection and machine rotary photogravure afterwards perfected and commercialized in conjunction with Messrs. Story, of Lancaster. Another of his inventions related to the manufacture of inlaid linoleum.


For many years a leading scientific authority on photography in Germany and head of the photographic department of the Charlottenburg Technical School. Inventor of the telephoto lens and of isocyanine colour sensitising. Dr. Miethe took an active part in the editorial management of photographic journals in Germany.


Mr. Bingley was one of those many indefatigable amateur photographers of the past generation by whom serious and valuable work was done. He was one of the most active photographers of geological subjects, and the largest contributor of prints of his kind to the collection of the British Association. He also contributed many photographs to the collections of the National Photographic Record Association.


The most versatile and entertaining of journalist whose writings have appeared in the photographic press. His light fiction achieved considerable success. One of his most amusing novels was “Cupid’s Caterers,” a satire on certain papers for women. For many years Ward Muir wrote a weekly article in the “Amateur Photographer” through which he was a great encourager of straightforward pictorial photographic work. Throughout a good many years of his life Ward Muir was compelled to travel as a means of fighting the lung disease to which in the end he succumbed.

AMONG others whose deaths have taken place during the past twelve months are: Robert Johnson, artist and writer on photography; George Tuohy, veteran professional photographer; J. W. Hilder, well-known as a business transfer agent; Carl Norman, formerly a view publisher and Jan Szczepanik, Polish inventor.