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Birth of photography

February 18, 2011

Photography started in 1839 – contrary to the belief of a contest judge who stated it was 1920!! Perhaps she was thinking of motion pictures?? 

 A fascinating exhibition is on display-  19th Century British Photographs from the National Gallery of Canada

This exhibition includes more than 100 superb photographs from our collection, from the historical images of William Henry Fox Talbot, taken circa 1839, to the sophisticated architectural studies made by Frederick H. Evans at the beginning of the twentieth century.


William Henry Fox Talbot, The Haystack, April 1844.

The Victoriana Magazine explains…. rapid changes in photographic technology coupled with an insatiable public desire for images meant that not long after its invention photography, as a source of employment or pleasure was available to the middle and, in some cases, even the working classes. Census records show that several of the photographers…..began their professional lives as opticians, lens makers, chemists, or merchants.

…….subjects that were of interest to photographers of the Victorian era along with the tastes, biases and prejudices of their time and place. Contemporary issues such as the need for reshaping the urban environment, the plight of the poor, and debates about social reform along with an unquestioning optimism about Britain’s continuing imperial power….









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