Thomas Wedgwood was born on May 14th, 1771 in Etruria, United Kingdom. He died on July 10, 1805, in Dorset, United Kingdom.
It is commonly believed that it was Wedgwood’s idea to capture images using chemicals and optical instruments. He enrolled at Edinburgh University when he was 15 and studied there for two years until persistent headaches caused him to drop out. Wedgwood’s passion lied in the education of children. Through his research, he found that children received most information through sight. Because of this, he started researching images.
There is no particular date for when he started experimenting with chemicals and light, but we know that it is around the late 1700s. Thomas used paper and white leather coated with silver nitrate to make images. It was then, he realized that leather is more light-sensitive. His original process included the use of camera obscure, but the chemicals that he was using to take the pictures weren’t sensitive enough to be converted into pictures.
Wedgewood worked with Humphry Davy to try to take pictures. The problem with those photos was that after they were taken, they would turn completely dark. The only way to keep them from staying light was to preserve them in complete darkness. Due to this, historians aren't aware of any remaining pictures.
In 2008, a photogram appeared. It was said to be Henry Fox Talbot's (one of the early inventors of photography), but it could have been Wedgwood's. The photograph was almost sold. It was withdrawn in order to be analyzed, but no one ever saw it again. If that photogram truly was Wedgewood's, then it was a highly significant historic and scientific artifact.
Isn't that amazing?
Until next time...
Stay Curious ;)