British photographic history

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Ken Jacobson
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  • Great Bardfield, Essex
  • United Kingdom
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Reversing mirror in a daguerreotype camera
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Started this discussion. Last reply by Ken Jacobson Aug 16, 2010.

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Ken Jacobson commented on Martin John Last's blog post Elliott & Fry daguerreotype found - help requested
"Hi, Martin. I’m glad you agree that the image is probably by Claudet and was possibly sealed more than once. In answer to your other remarks: I suppose we would merely be speculating as to why this image is in an Elliott & Fry case;…"
Ken Jacobson commented on Martin John Last's blog post Elliott & Fry daguerreotype found - help requested
"Apologies for accidentally sending my reply to this thread as a separate blog which is the next one after this thread. Ken Jacobson"
Ken Jacobson commented on Martyn Jolly's blog post Portrait of Hemi Pomara as a young man: how we uncovered the oldest surviving photograph of a Māori
"Martin, A short PS. You mentioned cases for London photographers. Most of the major daguerreotypists did indeed have their logo stamped on their cases. I have known a few exceptions where the image is clearly by Kilburn or Beard and lacks the…"
Jul 9, 2020
Ken Jacobson commented on Martyn Jolly's blog post Portrait of Hemi Pomara as a young man: how we uncovered the oldest surviving photograph of a Māori
"Thank you for your detailed response to my queries, Martyn. Based on what you have said, I still have no definite conclusions but at the risk of boring everyone, present more conjecture. My observations are based on a modicum of research, my own…"
Jul 9, 2020
Ken Jacobson commented on Martyn Jolly's blog post Portrait of Hemi Pomara as a young man: how we uncovered the oldest surviving photograph of a Māori
"Thank you for your account, Martyn Jolly. As well as its clear historical importance, this looks to be an extraordinarily beautiful daguerreotype. I have read your serious attempts at attribution. My musings lack the rigorous and no doubt lengthy…"
Jul 7, 2020

Ken Jacobson's Blog

New photos on Web Site

Yes, this is a self-serving message but possibly of some interest to members of this site. We have long been distracted by various projects, particularly on a book about John Ruskin’s daguerreotypes, but have just added more than 160 new photographs to our web site. We hope there will be images to provoke study and possibly delight even for those among you who are unlikely to purchase. Furthermore, the site has useful information for collectors and researchers of 19th century…


Posted on January 24, 2014 at 15:56

New Web Site

Posted on March 20, 2010 at 13:34 — 1 Comment

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At 17:26 on April 10, 2017, michaelg said…

Dear Ken, The www is quite wonderful, "it's wonders to perform"! I have only just received your note re: Ernst Lacan and Talbot ! Yes it would be of interesting to pin him down. So far I am only up to 1838. It is hard to resist the temptation to jump through to the photographic and photomechanical phases. M

At 18:54 on July 11, 2016, Rose Teanby said…

Many thanks for the offer Ken, and I will certainly take you up on it though I am nowhere near Essex.

At 18:32 on July 11, 2016, Rose Teanby said…

Hi Ken, thank you for your observations and questions too.  The British Library Stereoscopic Magazine books are fascinating as all were produced posthumously, and many of Howlett's Rouen images appear credited with his name.  There are further Rouen images which are assumed to be by Howlett despite no direct reference.  It is not clear how his images came to be used after his death but I suspect Roger Fenton may have encouraged their use, though I have no proof.

I have only seen one of the non stereoscopic images in the collection of Norfolk Records Office but there were some in the Photographic Society exhibition of 1859 (again exhibited one month after his death), reviewed separately from the stereoscopic exhibits, so they must be somewhere!  Your Great Eastern question is interesting and all I can say is that I have only seen the Brunel chains portrait as a LSC image in full and cropped versions as a carte de visite and many LSC stereos of the Great Eastern post Howlett's death.  I have not had the pleasure of viewing many of his images in person and sometimes these are blind stamped Photographic Institution, the only Robert Howlett blind stamp I have seen is on a Great Eastern image in the Metropolitan Museum of Art collection.  There were advertisements for the "Leviathan" photographs in Notes and Queries in early 1858 with large views priced at 7s 6d with smaller images at 5s each.  In these advertisements it is interesting to note that Mr Brunel and Captain Harrison are mentioned by name, but not John Scott Russell.  There was a portrait of Scott Russell by Howlett which appeared in the Illustrated Times 24 page special edition "Leviathan Number" but I have not seen it elsewhere.

I hope this is of some help!   Rose

At 13:56 on July 10, 2016, Rose Teanby said…
Hi Ken, I'm not sure how to reply as this is my first! I wanted to thank you for your information and, although I have many Howlett Rouen images already in both full and stereoscopic formats, I would be delighted to see if there are any others which may have slipped through the net. Can you suggest a way that I could view? Best wishes, Rose
At 13:35 on January 9, 2009, michaelg said…
Looking forward to adding it to my chronology. By the way I have another segment of my site, not yet online; for now I am calling it:
"Photography: essential texts"
I have several published and unpublished texts which I intend to put on line as PDF files [ This is the only format I have found, to date, which does not lose footnotes if you transfer texts from Word] Texts such as the Wedgwood-Davy paper; An Account of the Art…etc.,; Waterhouse: History of the Camera Obscura, History of the Salts of Silver; Lady Eastlake on Photography; Maskelyne: The Future of Photography written 1846-7: Niepce: correspondence 1826 on relating to his English visit - translated in English Plus several others written by yours truly.
At 13:12 on January 9, 2009, michaelg said…
BTW, we have a carte de visite of Ernest Lacan with an envelope (dated?) sent to Talbot when he stayed in a Parisian hotel. Would this possibly help your chronology? Yes! is it dated?

At 17:28 on January 8, 2009, michaelg said…
Dear Kenny and Jenny,
I have recently spent some time with Terry Bennett - we share a common interest in Jocelyn, that is William Nassau. You probably know of the two albums he has containing the Jocelyn and Vacher material centered around Shanghai in the mid/late 1850s. Over the last 5 years i have had an interest in the first photographers in Taiwan and this has, of course, now spread to included the treaty ports and Shanghai in particular. Terry informed me that you might have some related Jocelyn material.

I am currently working on two Vacher albums that are in a local collection and attempting to reconcile the contents of the two related collections.

I am sorry that I have not been in touch for some time - a lot of water has gone under the bridge so to speak and I now have not connection with Lacock or the National Trust; I am once again a free agent.

Kind regards

michaelg [Michael Gray]

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