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12200909687?profile=originalA treasure trove of more than 3,000 World War I glass plate negatives of  British, Indian, French, Australians, and Americans, and even some of the Chinese Labour Corps and other allied troops have been found, sitting almost undisturbed for nearly a century, in three large chests in a dusty attic of a dilapidated farmhouse in Vignacourt in the Somme valley, some two hours north of Paris. Named after the photographers, local farmer Louis Thuillier and his wife Antoinette, "The Thuillier Collection" was almost lost to history because the farmhouse where they were stored is likely to be sold in coming months and their descendants had no idea of the historical significance of the plates.

Throughout much of the war they photographed the fighting men who came to their humble outdoor studio in the courtyard of their house. Thousands of their photographs must have found their way to homes around the world, including Australia. Remarkably the Thuilliers’ glass plate negatives still exist, sitting almost undisturbed for nearly a century.  They have recently been located by investigators from Australia’s Channel 7.  The TV program has secured almost 500 of the plates from a Thuillier family relative, Henriette Crognier. When she heard of the great interest in the plates, she insisted on donating them to Australia.

Research at the Australian War Memorial indicates that the Australian photographs were mostly taken in November 1916 and during November-December 1918.  Among the latter are scenes of celebration on the day the war ended, 11 November 1918.  As Australian War Memorial head of military history, Ashley Ekins, said the ‘Thuillier Collection’ is an extremely valuable collection of images of Australian and other allied soldiers just behind the frontlines, one of the “most important discoveries from the First World War”.

You can catch a preview of the programme "The Lost Diggers" and a gallery of the photos here, as well as an article from the Australian War Memorial here.




Photo:  On leave ... a message to the folks at home (Copyright: The Thuillier Collection)



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12200908255?profile=originalIn 1886, some forty-seven years after Daguerre and Talbot announced their respective photographic processes, a group of enthusiasts met to form a Photographic Society with the aim of improving photography amongst it’s members. The Society was called The Warrington Amateur Photographic Society and it’s first President was Mr J T Down, Secretary and Managing Director of the Wilderspool Brewery.

To celebrate it's 125th year, the Warrington Photographic Society will be holding a special photo exhibition from 4 March-11 April 2011, details which can be found here

The Society is stil going strong and has its own website here:


The Warrington Photographic Society has in its possession 652 glass 6x6cm (3.25 x 3.25 inch) lantern slides, which were the product of 21 workers, dating from 1891 to the early 1960s. There are some large gaps in dates, notably during the two World Wars also during the 1920s, but this collection is a fascinating historical record.

Although most workers were male, the few female members were extremely successful but sadly only a very few of their slides remain. There are a considerable number of slides which do not have titles or locations and unfortunately there are some with unknown authors. Some slides form part of lectures, but sadly no lecture notes survive.

Some of the slides are coloured. Early ones being hand tinted, some by the Paget process – a process using coloured rice crystals in the photographic gelatine. Society records show that a lecture on the Paget process took place in the Old Academy on 21st January 1919.

Owing to the fragile nature of the slides and the projection equipment required the Society only used to project a few slides once a year. However modern technology now allows the Society to view these slides easily thanks to a Lottery Grant.

Lottery Awards

The Society was awarded a Lottery award of £3350 in February 2006 for the purchase of a laptop, digital projector and to have the entire lantern slide collection professionally scanned and digitally cleaned. This was undertaken by a company call The Dot Foundry and they provided an excellent service.

The Society now has an archive quality scan of each image and a smaller file for use in projecting and display. This has made the collection alot more accessible and a touring lecture is now available.


A lecture entitled Warrington PS Lantern Slide Collection is now available for booking. The lecture provides an overview of some of the best images in the collection and also some of the original slides can be displayed. The lecture is given by Martin Berry LRPS and can be tailored to suit an organisations or time requirements.
Lantern Slide Gallery

A small selection of the lantern slide images are available for viewing on this website.

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12200910898?profile=originalA carte-de-visite purportedly showing Helene Friese Greene, the wife of photographer and pioneer British cinematographer William Friese Greene, was sold on eBay yesterday for $371. The buyer is not known. The back of the carte was printed with Friese Green's Bath studio address which dates it to c1875. The item can be seen here:
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Surf's up, 1890 style

12200907866?profile=originalForget about Blue Hawaii, Beach Boys or Big Wednesday. The surf's up for Dominic Winter as it auctions off the first ever picture of a surfer that has been found in a photo album dating back to 1890. The photo is of a Hawaiian beach boy photographed wearing a traditional loin cloth and shown standing in the shallows holding his rudimentary board.

Altogether, two albums containing 102 mounted albumen prints, c. 1887-1897 and bought by a private dealer at a house clearance many years ago, have been submitted for auction with a pre-sale estimate of £10,000. Other subjects in the albums include photos of native women from Hawaii and Fiji, some of Hawaiin Royalty including King Kalakaua - who died in 1891 - Queen Liliuokalani and Princess Kaiulani.

You can view Lot 865 from the catalogue here.


Photo:  The photograph of the lone surfer would appear to be one of the earliest known photographs of the subject. 
The Bishop Museum in Honolulu holds 24.7 million items relating to Hawaii and the Pacific. Last autumn it held an exhibition about surfing and included their copy of the same image of the lone surfer as a highlight of the exhibition.

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Perthshire in the 1850s ...

12200909855?profile=originalJust in case some BPH members are unaware, the Perth Museum & Art Gallery’s photographic collections contain examples of many photographic processes from the earliest daguerreotypes and calotypes, right through to the digital photography of today. 
One of the earliest photographs of Perth and Perthshire can be found within the Museum's collection of about 2,500 glass plate negatives belonging to Magnus Jackson (1831-1891). He built his first photographic studio on Marshall Place, Perth in the late 1850s where St Leonard's in the Fields Church now stands.

Another collection is the Wood & Son Printers in Perth who produced a series of postcard views of Perthshire from photographs taken by several local photographers between 1903 and 1923. Perth Museum & Art Gallery cares for the 1000+ negatives which have all been digitised and may be searched using their showcase public access terminal in the entrance hall of the Museum. The Museum is also currently in the process of documenting, storing and digitising approximately 15,000 images, taken between 1927 and 1993, from the business of D Wilson Laing Photographers, Blairgowrie.

Hopefully all these collections will be available online soon for easy access by photohistorians. In the meantime, you can read more about Magnus Jackson here, and the Museum's impressive collection here.


Photo:  The ‘accused’ stands before the magistrate, in Perth Sherriff Court, Tay Street taken in the 1880s. Copyright Magnus Jackson Gallery.

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12200907096?profile=originalThe Bournemouth Echo reported that photographer George Courtney Ward has died. Courtney Ward who died at his home in Westbourne on Tuesday, February 15, aged 93, photographed some of the most famous names in cinema during his 30 years working at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire. Dirk Bogarde, Michael Caine, Frank Sinatra, Lauren Bacall, Alec Guinness and Kenneth More were just some of the screen stars in George’s portfolio. Examples of his portraits are in the National Portrait Gallery Collection (

He was understood to be a good friend of Lord Attenborough and worked on some of the best-loved British films, including The Ipcress File,  Oliver Twist in 1948, This Sporting Life in 1963 and Great Expectations in 1946, and also designed the artwork for Brief Encounter.

George was born in Christchurch in 1917 and grew up in the town before becoming a stills photographer at Pinewood. At first he commuted, but shortly moved to Fulmer in Buckinghamshire with his mother and aunt. After more than 30 years working at Pinewood, George moved to Elstree studios in 1969 when the photographic department was closed down. But when that studio was taken over in 1972, he decided to sell his house, retire and move back down to Bournemouth. 

George had no close family, but his dearest friend, John Smith, remembers him as his “second father”. The pair met while they were both working in the photographic department at Elstree. “He was a very independent man and he had a great love of music,” remembers John, who would visit George regularly and phone him almost every day.  “He had a wonderful knowledge of music, going back to the 1930 and 1940s, and musical films, he had a great love of that as well. One of his idols was Dick Powell.”  John, who lives in Hertfordshire with his wife Beryl, added: “He was a wonderful listener with a great sense of humour.

Gorge’s funeral takes place at 12pm on Tuesday March 8 Bournemouth Crematorium.

For a full report see:

and see: for a resume of his career and films he worked on

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12200910264?profile=originalWith the increasing cold winters we seem to be experiencing each year in the UK, I thought the following lecture and exhibit might be of interest to fellow BPH members wishing to pursue this area of photography.

Jim Simard, Head of the Alaska State Library Historical Collections, and Ron Klein, photographer and historian are on a search for the oldest photo taken in Alaska as part of their work in creating a new exhibit on early Alaskan photography. Using historical research techniques and an acute knowledge of early photographic processes, they are combing through numerous public and private collections to find the most interesting and earliest photographs of Alaska. If you can make it to Alaska on next Wed 2nd March, their presentation “Wet Plates in Cold Climates: Alaska’s Oldest Old Photograph—and Why” will be on from noon to1 p.m. at the Alaska State Museum as part of the Wednesday noon lecture series. And it's free entry when you get there!

Of interest to BPH members might be an exhibit, which will run through the summer of 2011, tentatively titled, “The First 25 Years of Alaskan Photography,” and will composed primarily of photographs and artifacts from the collections of the Alaska State Library, Archives and Museums.  The exhibit will feature images by masters of “wet plate” photography who made significant contributions to the fascinating story of photography in the Alaskan frontier.  The exhibit will feature images by early photographer Charles Ryder, who accompanied the Western Union Telegraph Expedition of 1866, creating the earliest known Alaskan photographs. It will include the work of professionals such as Eadweard J. Muybridge, H.H. Brodeck, William H. Partridge, and other masters of “wet plate” photography. Amateur photographers who made significant contributions to the development of the art will be included. Stereo images, “magic lantern” slides, hand tinted cabinet cards and tiny cart-de-visites all contribute to the fascinating story of photography in the Alaskan frontier. 

The full press release can be found here.

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12200906695?profile=originalGreat in Britain is a unique photographic archive of the British people at work. Photographers are invited to submit photographs that celebrate the understated pride and passion of the often unsung working heroes that form the bedrock of this great nation. This 'visual time capsule' will give a fascinating insight into the world of work in Britain, chronicling the diversity of skills that exist in this country, as well as the great innovation and endeavour. will become a unique resource, a visual time capsule that will build a legacy for the future and enable viewers to discover and appreciate those who live and work around them now.

Through the Great in Britain project, Barbour will curate an archive of images that celebrate the Rural Community in Britain. We want to see the people who live and work in the countryside, catalogue the variety and breadth of skills and vocations that exist, and showcase the contribution that they make to our society.

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12200911255?profile=originalEye Wonder: Photography From the Bank of America Collection is an ambitious collection of more than 100 works of contemporary photography by female artists from 1865 to 2004. Though Social Realist photographers such as Dorothea Lange and Margaret Bourke-White are well-represented, more avant-garde examples get prime play.

The show begins with portraits, including the earliest piece, Julia Margaret Cameron's 1865 "Alfred, Lord Tennyson." The earlier ones tend to be of artistic notables, although they also feature Lange's photos of Depression-era migrants. Among those is probably the best-known image here, "Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California.'' This then lead viewers to Giselle Freund's intimate photographs of Virginia Woolf, Henri Matisse and Marcel Duchamp. The surreal dreamscapes of Sandy Skoglund — goldfish flying through a turquoise bedroom over the heads of a mother and son — find a cinematic partner in the massive posed film stills of Liza May Post.
Details of the exhibition can be found here.


Photo:  Sandy Skoglund's "Revenge of the Goldfish" is one of 115 pieces in the "Eye Wonder" exhibit at the National Museum of Women in the Arts

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Polar Visual Culture: An International Conference will take place in the Arts Building Lecture Theatre at the University of St Andrews on 17-18 June 2011.


Convened by Natalie Adamson and Luke Gartlan, this conference brings together a diverse, internationally recognised group of scholars to present new research on the visual culture of polar exploration. The polar environment, and its potential destruction, is now receiving heightened attention in the mass media, with extensive scientific study and urgent results on climate change reported daily. The conference aims to focus attention upon the unique, prolific and hitherto under-examined visual culture - with a strong focus on photography, but also including film, painting and graphic illustration, expedition and frontier narratives, installations and poetic geographies - that the expeditions to the two polar regions have inspired since the early nineteenth century, and which forms a fundamental part of our perception of these environments.


We invite all those interested in these themes to register for this important conference and join us in St Andrews. 


For further information, a list of speakers, and registration details, see the conference website:


And for the conference poster: PVCposter.pdf


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Workshop: Researching Photographic History

The Royal Photographic Society and Birmingham Central Library are holding a practical workshop on researching photographic history on Saturday, 5 March 2011. Amongst the formal presentations will be others from active researchers in the field presenting aspects of their own research.

Researching photographic history is of interesting to many different historians not least of which are genealogists. The day will offer practical advice about undertaking research into all aspects of photographic history from active researchers in the field. Traditional sources and digital sources will be discussed. In addition, genealogists, local historians and photographic historians attending are invited to share their own experiences. 

Speakers will include Dr Michael Pritchard and Dr Ron Callender who have both completed a PhD and a Fellowship in different aspects of photographic history and are active researchers. One session will discuss how photographic history can be used to achieve a RPS distinction.

There is no charge but as places are limited please book in advance. Details of the event are here:

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The National Media Museum saw its visitor numbers drop by more than 12 per cent last year, a report revealed today. Figures compiled by the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions show the museum attracted 526,914 visits – a drop of 12.8 per cent compared to 2009. This follows an 18 per cent drop in 2009 to 613,923 from 2008.

Museum director Colin Philpott said factors such as the Imax cinema closing for maintenance affected numbers but a great deal was still achieved by the museum in 2010. He said: “We broke a world Nintendo DS record, revealed the results of groundbreaking research into some of the world’s oldest photographs which we house and care for in the National Photography Collection, and we hosted an exciting range of film festivals and temporary exhibitions.

“We continue to strive to inspire as many people as possible to learn about and engage with media, and I am confident that a fantastic line-up of forthcoming events, including opening a new gallery exploring the history and impact of the internet in 2012, will put us firmly in the 50 per cent of attractions showing an increase in visitors in the near future.”


See also:


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12200910076?profile=originalModerna Museet’s collection of photography, ranging from 1840 to the present day, is one of the finest in Europe, featuring many of the most prominent names in photo history and comprising more than 100,000 photographs, including pictures produced with older methods – daguerreotypes, calotypes and albumin silver prints. The collection provides a historic background to the art of photography, and now they are sharing this with all visitors. Moreover, several magnificent private donations have recently enriched the collection with works by famous artists practising in the field of photography.

In 2011, Moderna Museet will take a radical step, with a brand new series of exhibitions focussing on photography entitled Another Story: 1000 Photographs from the Moderna Museet Collection. This is possibly the most extreme re-hanging of the collection undertaken in the history of the museum.  The new presentation will be launched in three steps.

Of interest to fellow BPH members is the third exhibition in the autumn which visits the birth and early years of photography. Another Story: Written in Light focuses on the pioneers from 1840 and up to the first three decades of the 20th century. 

The other two earlier exhibitions are Another Story: Possessed by the Camera, highlighting contemporary photo-based art, followed by the opening of Another Story: See the World!, on the period 1920-1980. From the autumn of 2011 and until the end of the year, the permanent collection exhibition will consist entirely of photography and photo-based art.

“We are planning to publish four new books about our photography collection together with the German publishing company Steidl. The first book, Reality Revisited, was published in autumn 2010. This will be a ground-breaking project, both for the wider public and for experts on photography. Ours is the largest curated photo presentation ever to be undertaken by a Swedish museum,” says Ann-Sofi Noring, co-director.

Details of the autumn exhibition will be posted in BPH when available. In the meantime, the press release can be found here.


Photo: Alfred Tennyson, 1865 by Julia Margaret Cameron ( 24,7 x 19,9 cm) Moderna Museet.

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London Photograph Fair

We had a very successful first London Photograph Fair of 2011 on Sunday 20th of February. A wide selection of material was on offer and the room was busier than usual with most dealers reporting good sales. A selection of images has been uploaded to this site. The next event takes place on May 15th, and we look set to have a record number of dealers in attendance, with 50 tables already booked. If you plan to be in London then, do come along. Our offer of free entry after 2pm will also apply at this fair.
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12200910468?profile=originalVanessa Fleet was a student pursuing a master’s degree in museum studies at the University of Toronto. Last summer when completing her internship at the Art Gallery of Ontario, she discovered that a series of 1,702 photographs auctioned at Christie's in 1997 and acquired by the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) in 2005 were taken by the previously unknown French photographer and painter Abel Boulineau. She re-examined the photographs after learning that Gallery curators questioned the original attribution—to French photographer Émile Fréchon. The reattribution was spurred by Fleet’s discovery of an inscription written on the back of one of the photographs by the photographer: “Auberive—Avenue de l’Abbatiale—where I was born, 16 March 1839.” 

A new AGO exhibition tells the story of this discovery and displays for the first time more than 70 of Boulineau’s photographs depicting French regional life. The photographs in the collection were taken between 1897 and 1916 and feature charmingly composed rural scenes of shopkeepers and children, washerwomen and tradespeople, markets and villages, and scenic landscapes.

Completely unknown in the history of photography, Abel Boulineau was a painter and teacher at l’Association polytechnique in Paris. There is much evidence to suggest that Boulineau modeled many of his paintings after the photographs in this collection, which was given to the AGO by an anonymous donor in 2005. Boulineau died in 1934.

The news article can be found here, and details of the exhibition here.


Photo:  Abel Boulineau, Dax: Jeanne Dupary and washerwomen on the banks of the Adour River, 1906, gelatin silver printing-out-paper. Anonymous gift, 2005 ©2011 Art Gallery of Ontario.

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12200909268?profile=originalAnimation artist Koji Yamamura ("Mt. Head" and "Franz Kafka's A Country Doctor") has completed his long-awaited animated short, "Muybridge's Strings," in a coproduction with the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and others.

Yamamura took seven years to finish the 12-minute short, slated for release this year. The NFB, long known for its support of quality art animation, has produced many critically acclaimed works that have won top accolades at international film festivals.

"Muybridge's Strings" follows the life of groundbreaking British photographer Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904). Muybridge succeeded in photographing a horse in fast motion. The photos became a famous forerunner to the invention of movies and animation. Yamamura's animated short also includes a parallel story about a girl growing up in modern Tokyo. The film's score includes J.S. Bach's "Crab Canon."

For further info, you can read the full article here.


Photo: No, not Muybridge, but Anime director Koji Yamamura (Photo by Atsushi Ohara)

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12200906065?profile=originalLying almost undisturbed since 1877 and gathering dust in a pile of boxes and files, a monocle was recently found in Lacock Abbey. Now in pride of place at the museum it was shown to a group of photographers who gathered in Lacock for a special dinner to mark the annual Talbot Day celebrations.

Historians at the birthplace of modern photography have discovered a monocle worn by William Henry Fox Talbot, some 130 years after his death, who used it during his development work on the first camera. Curator Mr Watson said: “I know it is definitely Talbot’s monocle as we have photographs of him wearing it in his thirties and forties.”

Read the full news report here.

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Reputable Photographic Appraisers

Hello everyone.

Does anyone have any advice or recommendations regarding appraisers who are qualified to provide informed and well documented appraisals of 19th and 20th century photography, photographic albums, and photographic books?

Recommendations for individuals or firms with a good reputation in the UK would be preferred with the added preference of being located in Scotland if possible.


Much thanks to all,



Marc Boulay

Photographic Archivist

University of St Andrews Library Photographic Collection
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Hidden gems in Prague .......

12200905454?profile=originalThe National Technical museum at Letna Park in Prague, which is one of the oldest in Europe, reopens to the public after a four-year reconstruction. It is a collection of the Museum of Technology and the Military History Institute in Prague, through which visitors can explore more than 40 weapons and vehicles, the Czech Army used during the last 110 years.

Uhh? Where does the history of photography fit in? Well, hidden amongst the exhibits are a couple of gems!  First is a renewed exhibition of the history of photography, called a photo studio. The development of photography, its use and influence on society from the 19th century up to the present day is presented together with basic photographic processes and their development in a stylized photographic studio. The individual historical stages are documented by used appliances and original photos of everyday life in society. The central part of the exhibition is a glass studio – a reconstruction of a contemporary photographic studio with a glass ceiling from the 20th century used for a portrayal in daylight. The most valuable exhibit is considered to be the daguerreotype of the Royal Palace in Paris dating from 1840 whose author was the inventor of photography : J. L. M. Daguerre himself.

Another remarkable part of the collection is devoted to daguerrotypy – the oldest practically applied photographic technique. The collection contains two daguerrotypies of J.L. M.Daguerre himself. Particularly precious is also a microdaguerrotypy from 1840 and a daguerrotypy of sun spectrum. Quite numerous collection is devoted to one of European pioneers of photography Wilhelm Horn. The period of a painting conception of photographic recording from the 50s and 60s of last century is represented in the collection by ambrotypy andchromophotograp­hy. The collection also contains a set of albums with portraits, examples of activities of the first Czech photographic associations, and stereophotography. Beginnings of colour photography are documented by Lippmann's pho­tographs and particularly by the collection of autochromes which is the largest in the Czech Republic. Karel Smirous is the dominating author of this oldest practically applied technique of colour photography. The collection also comprises special photographic techniques and rarities creating an attractive supplement and documenting the variety of possibilities of photographic recording.


Photographic cameras and accessories

The collection of photographic cameras and accessories dates back to 1911 and was combined with the field of polygraphy. Since 1923 the collection has been developing independently. It documents the development of basic design groups of photographic cameras. It contains objects demonstrating fundamental chemical and physical processes in the field.

The oldest are examples of camera obscura – predecessors of photographic dark-rooms, the collection follows with chambers fordaguerrotypy. The wet colloid process is represented by several studio dark-rooms as well as travel chambers. The collection also contains many studio and travel chambers for dry plates, manual chambers for plates as well as reel film, cassette, box, tilting and brace types, single- and twin-lens reflex cameras, cameras for cine-film, mini-cameras, special cameras – underwater, panoramatic, stereoscopic, for aerial photography, for microphotography, for spectroscopy, camouflaged, reproduction, cameras for component colour photography – Bernpohl, Spektaretta.

The collection of individual photographic objects counts about five hundred pieces. It includes objectives from the oldest models (Plosl, Chevalier, Voigtlender, Petzval, Steinheil, Busch) to modern types. A large part of the collection comprises accessories of cameras, outfit of dark-rooms, instruments for determination of exposure, illuminating technique, flash and filament lamps. A very large part of the collection is devoted to instruments for inspection and projection of static pictures. The collection is completed with price lists of photographic firms and promotion materials.


Prehistory of cinematography

The collection documents development from the first attempts at recording motion and representing events to the cinematograph of brothers Lumiere. It contains originals of magic lantern of simple as well as complex design that made it possible to create illusion of motion by a multiple projection. Quite abundant is the collection of hand- painted projection pictures.

The collection also contains tens of stroboscope disksthaumatrops, magic drums and similar instruments – toys that utilized reverberation of sight perception for showing simple actions. Worth particular attention is a set of three-dimensional models depicting ten motion stages of a bird's flight. It served as a pattern for manufacturing the copy of Marey's miros­cope. The field of serial photography of motion phases is represented by copies of the Marey's and Demeny's instru­ments and tens of original chromophotographic studies by Marey. The collection comprises also a copy of Muybridge's zo­opraxiscope – an apparatus for projection of serial photographs. There is also a functional copy of Anschutz's elec­trotachyscope including original picture disks and also functional precise copy of the Edison's kines­cope.

The work of prof. Reynaud is represented by several originals of praxinoscopes and a world uniquefragment (17 picture frames) of the original film band for projection praxinoscope.

The original cinematograph of brothers Lumiere was purchased in Lyon in 1898 by architect Krizenecky who made with it the first Czech films. The copy of this apparatus completed with a lamp box documents using of this instrument in projection. The collection is completed with many written materials.


So the next time you are in Prague, don't just down some Czech beer while looking at the Astronomical clock. Head to the National Technical museum for some photographic history delights! Time for me to book a ticket! Full details can be found here


Photo: Photographic studio in the Museum.


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