British photographic history

Information and discussion on all aspects of British photographic history

In common with newspapers, radio and television at this time of year it seems appropriate to look forward to 2013...The year will see the: 

  • Thirtieth anniversary of the National Media Museum. The museum opened as the National Museum of Photography, Film & Television in Bradford in 1983, with a remit to explore the art and science of the image and image-making.
  • The Royal Photographic Society will commemorate its 160th anniversary, The Society was founded in London as the Photographic Society in 1853 and held its inaugural meeting on 20 January that year.
  • 'Kodak' celebrates its 125th anniversary. The word Kodak was registered as a trade mark in 1888 and the world's first [original] Kodak camera was introduced that year.
  • Kodak also introduced the Instamatic camera fifty years ago in 1963 based around the new Instamatic cartridge designed to make film-loading fool-proof.
  • Leica has an important centenary and 90th anniversary. In 1913 The first Leica prototypes were built by Oskar Barnack at Ernst Leitz Optische Werke, Wetzlar. Ten years later in 1923 a pre-production run of 31 cameras were built.

There are probably others. What else happened in 1838 (175th), 1863 (150th), 1888 (125th), 1913 (100th), 1938 (75th) 1963 (50th), and 1988 (25th), 2003 (10th) or on any of the less obvious dates?

Please add your suggestions below.

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Comment by Marcel Safier on January 13, 2013 at 13:20

John Jabez Edwin Mayall was born as Jabez Meal on 17 September 1813 in Manchester and Nicolaas Henneman was born 8 November 1813 in Heemskerk, Holland. It might be prudent to begin thinking about ways of celebrating next year, the bicentenary of the birth of Frederick Scott Archer on 30 August 1814 and the sesquicentenary of the woodburytype process announced in 1864. Cheers! Marcel (

Comment by Paul Godfrey on January 11, 2013 at 10:24
Jack Howard Roy Coote FRPS FBKS.

Died June 1993.
Comment by Paul Godfrey on January 9, 2013 at 18:26
Harold White FRPS, British Council photographer and biographer of William Henry Fox Talbot died on the 1st March 1983 in Great Yarmouth. 30th anniversary.
Comment by Pam Roberts on January 6, 2013 at 15:21

110th anniversary of publication of first issue of "Camera Work", dated January 1903 (although actually published December 1902).  160th anniversary of birth of Frederick H Evans (1853-1943) & 70th anniversary of his death.  40th anniversary of death of Edward J Steichen (1879-1973).........

Comment by Ruth Wilcock on January 4, 2013 at 18:26

Frank Meadow Sutcliffe, photographer of Whitby and district, born Headingley, Leeds, 6 October 1853 [160th anniversary]. Involved as campaigner with Professional Photographers Association and Photographic Copyright Union in 1890s. Member of The Linked Ring from June 1892. Between 1881 & 1905 won 62 British & foreign awards for his work. Made an honorary member of The Royal Photographic Society in 1935. Judged competitions, lectured & wrote prolifically on photography. Died 31 May 1941. []

Comment by Kelvin Jouhar on January 4, 2013 at 18:25

50th Anniversary of the death of Dr. S.D.Jouhar  FRPS FPSA  (died 9th April 1963)

I am hoping to arrange a retrospective exhibition this year of some of his work.

Comment by Giles Hudson on January 4, 2013 at 17:14
Catharine Weed Ward died 31 July 1913
Paget Colour Process released 4 April 1913
Charles Barker Howdill (early colour photographer) and Prokudin-Gorskii both born 1863 (150th)
Lady Ottoline Morrell d. 1938 (75th)
Oliver Gregory Pike (nature photographer) d. 1963 (50th)
Comment by Chris Sweetman on January 2, 2013 at 23:14

1993 (20th)

Anniversary of the death of Goro Yoshida (1900 - 1993)

Developer of Japan's first 35mm focal-plane shutter rangefinder camera - Kwanon.


Comment by Chris Sweetman on January 2, 2013 at 23:00

What else happened:

1838 (175th)

First known photograph of a human being taken by Louis Daguerre

1863 (150th)

The Gettysburg Address - photograph of crowds surrounding Abraham Lincoln taken by Mathew Brady

1913 (100th)

Photographs of Machu Picchu taken by Hiram Bingham in 1912 published in National Geographic magazine April 1913

1938 (75th)

Anniversary of the birth of David Bailey 2nd January 1938

1963 (50th)

Polariod Color Film launched.

1988 (25th)

Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988

2003 (10th)

New V&A Photography Gallery opened.

Also anniversary of the death of Leni Riefenstahl 1902-2003

Chris - Happy New Year 2013

Comment by Sarah McDonald on January 2, 2013 at 15:29

Here at Hulton Archive we'll be celebrating the centenaries of two fabulous Picture Post photographers Bert Hardy (1913 - 1995) and Thurston Hopkins (b.1913 ) as well as the 75th anniversary of Picture Post itself - launched 1st October 1938. Will keep you posted re events and exhibitions... Happy 2013 to everyone!

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