British photographic history

Information and discussion on all aspects of British photographic history

Michael Pritchard
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Michael Pritchard commented on sara badia's blog post State of the art, British camera, 1862
"Sara, the best reference on camera history for this period is: Brian Coe (1978), Cameras. From daguerreotype to instant picture.  R C Smith's (1975) Antique Cameras is a good, if somewhat dated, descriptive account of cameras of the…"
Michael Pritchard posted blog posts
Michael Pritchard commented on Holly Schulte's blog post Reversible plate holders w “a vertical cut-off board”, c1920s Australia?
"Repeating backs (which allowed plate holders to be moved a set distance for making multiple exposures on a single plate) have a long history back to the1850s where they were used for making stereo pairs and the 1860s where they were used for…"
Mar 16
Michael Pritchard posted blog posts
Mar 12
Michael Pritchard replied to Mark Jones's discussion Lachlan Maclachlan
"The British Journal Photographic Almanac 1892 records Lachlan Machlachlan's (sic) death in 1891 and therefore it might be worth checking the BJP for an obituary. There was no obituary in the Photographic News or the Journal of the Photographic…"
Mar 12
Michael Pritchard posted blog posts
Mar 9
Michael Pritchard posted a blog post

Barry Lane (1944-2017) UPDATED

Barry Lane, who has died aged 72, was the first, and only, photography officer at the Arts Council and was later Secretary-General of the Royal Photographic Society between 1995 and 2001. As a champion for photography at the Arts Council Lane played a pivotal role in supporting and exhibiting a new wave of emerging…See More
Mar 5
Michael Pritchard posted a blog post

BBC Four photography season

BBC4 has a season of photography programmes starting this coming week with a three-part series looking at the history of British photography. Other programmes will look at Harry Burton, the official photographer for Howard Carter’s Tutankhamun excavation during the 1920s; the working practices, lives and opinions…See More
Mar 4

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TV: Smile! The Nation's Family Album

Smile! The Nation's Family Album is a BBC TV documentary which was shown earlier this week looking at the family photograph album. Gil Pasternak was academic consultant and the programme aso features Colin Harding. It is available to watch on iPlayer or more freely on Youtube here: …


Posted on March 20, 2017 at 7:45

Exclusive: National Science and Media Museum website (UPDATED)

The new National Science and Media Museum website and new branding will be revealed on the 23 March. The website holding page can be seen here: BPH can also reveal that the museum's new website domain name was first registered on…


Posted on March 19, 2017 at 8:00

Exhibitions: Roger Mayne

There are several exhibitions of the work of British photographer Roger Mayne taking place. His vintage London and Paris photographs to be shown at Quaritch in May and will comprise small-format vintage prints, from iconic images of children playing to views of Paris photographed the year before his renowned Southam…


Posted on March 12, 2017 at 14:04

Conference presentations: Stereo & Immersive Media 2016

BPH publicised the International Conference Stereo & Immersive Media 2016 last year. The conference organisers have made the presentations available on Youtube…


Posted on March 12, 2017 at 14:00

Obituary: Barry Lane (1944-2017)

Barry Lane, who has died aged 72, was the first, and only, photography officer at the Arts Council and was later Secretary-General of the Royal Photographic Society between 1995 and 2001. As a champion for photography at the Arts Council Lane played a pivotal role in supporting a new wave of emerging British…


Posted on March 12, 2017 at 12:00

Comment Wall (23 comments)

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At 5:52 on November 15, 2016, Will Allen said…

The International Directory of Photo Historians has settled in a new home with hopes of stability in location, format, and function. The change coincides with the retirement from teaching of William Allen. At one may search the directory, add and edit one's entry, and communicate with other historians. The new directory protects the privacy of contact information (including email addresses) for participants. I hope that you and your colleagues will share this information. 

At 22:41 on January 5, 2016, David McGreevy said…

Dear Michael,

First, let me thank you for the BPH site, it has proven to be an invaluable resource for an American collector of British Photographs, and I have "met" many experienced and generous experts here.

I am however, a bit alarmed, do the "major changes" mentioned in your weekly update indicate that the site will soon be subscription based?  That is certainly the impression I got. It would be such a shame after Luminous Lint changed into a monetized site, rather than an open and free exchange of ideas and knowledge.


David McGreevy

At 11:52 on December 30, 2013, Richard Sambrook said…

Many thanks Michael - I'm delighted to have access to such a great site and resource. Is the Giles Duley talk open to the public? I'd love to come along if so. I am now Professor at the School of Journalism at Cardiff University. Until his recent retirement Daniel Meadows led our work on documentary photography - I'm looking for ways to continue to keep the School actively engaged...Best, Richard

At 19:09 on May 27, 2013, Salvador Tió said…

Dear Mr. Pritchard,

I am looking for information about the beginings of Automat Photography. In particular about the first who was take a British Patent E.J. Ball 16,136. Nov. 23, 1887: Automatic coin-freed apparatus.(“Patents for Inventions vol. II, Abridgments of Specifications, class 98, Photography Great Britain Patent Office, Reprint Edition 1979 Arno Press, A New York Times Company”).

This is all the information that I have about this inventor. I have also a patent from 1900  of the United States and that I believe is attached to the same inventor US657505%5B1%5D.pdf

Do you know more information about this inventor.

Thank you very much.


At 16:05 on September 24, 2012, Tom Ruffles ARPS said…

Thanks for the comment on the Turner post, Michael - I've amended it accordingly.

At 13:33 on July 6, 2012, Tony Hilton said…

Hi Michael,

It was lovely to catch up briefly in May. Sorry it was all so rushed.

You are doing a great job here ... and elsewhere! Well done! Keep it up

Tony Hilton

At 0:59 on May 15, 2012, M C Brown said…

Hallo Michael, Thanks for the regular Newsletter.  Is there any way of recalling earlier versions? A recent issue had a review of the Princeton University book by Roger Taylor on Lewis Carroll and I would be interested in reading it again.  Thanks. 

At 9:19 on October 16, 2011, Richard Brooks said…
Thanks for the suggestions. I succesfully completed the dissertation earlier in the year and I was pleased with the grade and feedback. 

Would you be interested in having a copy of the work? Perhaps I could publish it online if it was felt to be of interest. 
At 9:13 on October 16, 2011, Richard Brooks said…
Belated congratulations on succesfully you phd, sorry only just noticed. 
At 10:32 on October 5, 2011, Alan M. Preston said…

Hello Michael,

An update on the extensive Francis Frith negative find: I have been contacted by John Buck M.D of the Francis Frith Collection, and have passed on contact details to him - and hope they will find  a good home,  Alan M. Preston


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