Thomas Wedgwood

(1771—1805) chemist

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(1771–1805), English inventor and amateur scientist, son of the famous potter Josiah Wedgwood. It is likely that he was educated at home prior to attending Edinburgh University (1786–88), where chronic ill health prevented him completing his studies. The relationship between light and heat interested him in connection with the search for a technique to form images on china or glass. To this end he enlisted the help of his friend Humphry Davy (1778–1829), and in 1802 they published a joint paper in the Journal of the Royal Institution. They had observed that white paper or leather, when moistened with a solution of silver nitrate, blackened on exposure to sunlight; and were able to produce images of insects' wings or leaves laid on the paper. However, neither Wedgwood nor Davy discovered a means of fixing the images.

From The Oxford Companion to the Photograph in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Photography and Photographs.

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