Midley History of early Photography:
R. Derek Woods articles on the History of early Photography, the Daguerreotype and Diorama
Introduction (page for small screen devices)
This website presents academic research articles on the early history of photography published by R. D. Wood between 1970 and 2008. In addition a few items that never reached printed publication have been placed here (see especially additional material on Daguerre's Diorama, and some Miscellaneous sources of early history of photography), as well as three webpages of unpublished correspondence by the author on many aspects of the subject.
The full contents are easily available from the hypertext menu in the frame on the left of your screen. A full bibliographic list is also provided below which for most items provides additional comments regarding the original publication. On a first visit the best way to see the range of work on offer is to look through this bibliography:
Also note that many of these articles are also available as PDFs: PDF files menu.
Articles by R. D. Wood on the early history of Photography
- Brewsters and Claudets Topaz Camera Lens, 1867 ,
Microscopy (London: Journal of the Quekett Microscopical Club), February 1969, Vol. 31, pp. 121-2.
- Victorian Photographers,
The Photographic Journal (Royal Photographic Society), July 1969, Vol. 109, p. 412; September 1969, Vol. 109, p. 536
- The Daguerreotype Portrait of Dorothy Draper,
The Photographic Journal (RPS), December 1970, Vol. 110, pp. 478-482
- J. B. Reade, F.R.S., and the Early History of Photography, Part I: a re-assessment on the discovery of contemporary evidence,
Annals of Science, March 1971, Vol. 27, pp. 13-45
- J. B. Reade, F.R.S., and the Early History of Photography, Part 2: Gallic Acid and Talbot's Calotype Patent,
Annals of Science, March 1971, Vol. 27, pp. 47-83 with
- The Involvement of Sir John Herschel in the photographic patent case, Talbot v. Henderson, 1854 ,
Annals of Science, September 1971, Vol. 27, pp. 239-264
- J. B. Reade and Dr. Hugh Diamond (Letter to the editor),
British Journal of Photography, 21 July 1972, Vol. 119: No.5844, pp. 611
- J. B. Reade's early photographic experiments - recent further evidence on the legend ,
British Journal of Photography, 28 July 1972, Vol. 119: No. 5845, pp. 644-7, 643
- The Calotype Patent Lawsuit of Talbot v Laroche, 1854
Privately published: Bromley (Kent) 1975, 32pp, 2 ills, 21cm [A5]. ISBN 0-9504377-0-0.
- The Daguerreotype in England; some primary material relating to Beard's lawsuits,
History of Photography, October 1979, Vol. 3 (4), pp. 305-9
- Daguerreotype Shopping in London in February 1845,
British Journal of Photography, 9 November 1979, Vol. 126: No. 6224, pp. 1094-5
- The Daguerreotype Patent, the British Government, and the Royal Society,
History of Photography, January 1980, Vol. 4 (1), pp. 53-59
- Latent developments from Gallic Acid, 1839 ,
Journal of Photographic Science, January 1980, Vol. 28 (1), pp. 36-42.
- Daguerreotype Case Backs: Wharton's Design of 1841,
History of Photography, July 1980, Vol. 4 (3), pp. 251-2
- The Old Cap Anew: R. D. Wood introduces some thoughts of George Sala, written in 1859, about the condition of photography at that time,
Professional Photographer, December 1992, Vol. 32, (No.12), p. 14.
- A co-authored article: R. D. Wood & P. G. Harmant,
Daguerre's Demonstrations in 1839 at the Palais dOrsay, [PDF file]
History of Photography
, Winter 1992, Vol. 16 (4), pp. 400-1
Ste Croix in London,
History of Photography, Spring 1993, Vol. 17 (1), pp. 101-7.
- The Diorama in Great Britain in the 1820s,
History of Photography, Autumn 1993, Vol.17 (3), pp. 284-295
- Daguerre and his Diorama in the 1830s: some financial announcements,
Photoresearcher, [Journal of the European Society for the History of Photography, Croydon], March 1997, Issue Nr 6 (1994/95/96), pp. 35-40
- The Arrival of the Daguerreotype in New York,
monograph published in New York: American Photographic Historical Society 1994 [but actually issued January 1995], 20 pp. 22cm, pbk.
- The Voyage of Captain Lucas and the Daguerreotype to Sydney,
The Daguerreian Annual 1995, pp. 51-7.
Slightly amended by the addition of a new footnote No. 3, after the first appearance of the article in New Zealand Journal of Photography, August 1994, No.16, pp.3-7, an original version which was also reprinted (in English, but with quotations of French sources restored) in Journal de la Société des Océanistes (Paris), 1996, tome 102, pp. 113-8.
The slightly revised 1995 article has also since been reprinted in a collection of essays on the subject of
The French and the Pacific World, 17th–19th Centuries: explorations, migrations and cultural exchanges,
edited by Annick Foucrier, Ashgate Publishing Ltd/Variorum: Aldershot, England and Burlington, Vermont, USA, March 2005, pp. 69-79.
- John S. Winter's Family, Friends and Places in 1854,
New Zealand Journal of Photography, May 1995, No.19, pp. 12-15.
- Photocopying in January 1843: the Treaty of Nanking, in
Darkness and Light The proceedings of the ESHP Symposium, Oslo 1994, edited by R. Erlandsen and V. Halvorsen, (Oslo: Norsk Fotohistorisk Forening 1995), pp. 145-150.
- The Treaty of Nanking: Form and the Foreign Office, 1842-1843,
Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History (Frank Cass Ltd.: UK), May 1996, Vol. 24 (2), pp. 181-196
- Edited and compiled two annual issues of photohistorica, No. 54/55 (July 1995), and No. 56/57 (February 1996).
- Julia Margaret Cameron's copyrighted photographs.
Unpublished A5 booklet, 24pp.
- Straightening the record on Reade [letter to editor],
British Journal of Photography, 3 July 1996, Vol. 143: No. 7083, p. 7
- The Daguerreotype and Development of the Latent Image: Une Analogie Remarquable,
Journal of Photographic Science, Sept / Oct 1996, Vol. 44 (5), pp. 165-7
- Martin Laroche was not Canadian,
History of Photography, Winter 1996, Vol. 20 (4), pp. 371-3
- A co-authored article: by Claude-Alice Marillier and R. Derek Wood,
Pierre G. Harmant (1921-95). A Bibliography
with a short Biographical introduction,
History of Photography, Autumn 1997, Vol. 21 (3), pp. 248-52
- A State Pension for L. J. M. Daguerre for the Secret of his Daguerreotype Technique,
Annals of Science, September 1997, Vol. 54 (5), pp. 489-506
- Photocopying the Treaty of Nanking in January 1843,
- A Note on the Daguerréotype Portrait said to be of M. Huet, 1837 ,
- Bibliography of J. B. Reade, F. R. S,
- R. D. Wood,Reade, Joseph Bancroft (1801-1870), microscopist and experimenter in photography,
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
, Vol. 46, pp. 230-231, Oxford University Press, 2004.
- Fourteenth March 1839, Herschels key to photography, the way the moment is preserved for the future,
in Jubilee 30 Years ESHPh. Congress of Photography in Vienna,
edited by Anna Auer and Uwe Schögl, Fotohof edition (nr.104), Salzburg, Austria: 2008, pp. 18-31
- No Daguerreotype for the Young Queen Victoria: A Case of English Protocol or Perfidie?.
Following below are some articles unpublished (except here!)
- J. B. Reades letters to Jabez Hogg - Reades last days,
- Accounting W. H. F. Talbots Photogenic Drawing at the Royal Society in 1839,
- Thoughts on Talbot in 1839: a postscript to Accounting W. H. F. Talbots Photogenic Drawing at the Royal Society in 1839,
- Robert Bingham printing in France glass negatives of London Exhibition of 1851.
Many of the above articles are also available as PDFs:
PDF files menu
This is a personal site in that it provides the publications on the history of photography of only one person. It is not otherwise personal in the sense of providing or promoting more private or family information. But there appears to be a general expectation that at least some limited information is supplied about an author. A very short item About the Author was required in 1994 to accompany the publication of the essay on The Arrival of the Daguerreotype in New York, is available on an Author page.
It is appropriate here to provide the personal reason why this site is named as Midley. The authors paternal ancestors through much of the nineteenth century, in particular at the period the subject of these articles are set in the 1830s, 1840s, and 1850s , lived at Midley in the middle of the Romney Marsh (at the south west corner of Kent on the English Channel). They were agricultural labourers and shepherds or, to use the local word, Lookers. It must have been a hard life on the Romney Marsh at that period. Yet Thomas Wood and wife Elizabeth were obviously healthy having fifteen children, all who lived to become adults. In the Midley area resided only about six families in the mid-nineteenth century. Yet at some earlier period there must surely have been a larger number of residents of the area, for there had been a small chapel in existence which has very long since survived only as a ruin, prominent in the surrounding flatness of the Marsh. Photography would certainly not have touched their lives they were typical of a neglected rural working class, ignored at the time and unknown now.
In my research on the history of the 1830s and 1840s (appropriate - I feel - to dedicate it to those labourers and Lookers at Midley of that period), I have been struck by the existence of many significant contributors to the beginnings of photography who have been greatly neglected or are entirely absent from what might be called the standard histories of the subject. The parameters of the early history of photography have become set, for example, by the self-promoting character of W. H. F. Talbot. The standard texts need to be read and known, of course, but when you spend too much of your life looking at primary sources, then the inevitable result is that the historiography of the subject remains contained within very narrow boundaries. The history of photography requires some of the fresh air and wide open sky characteristic of Midley of the Romney Marsh.
What has been published from research by the author on primary sources (and what other research needs publication!) reconstructs forgotten episodes of the early history of photography no more than the surviving stones of the Midley Chapel can represent the original church. Maybe, dear reader, you can add a brick sometime to provide a fuller view of a Midley emblem history of photography.
To contact the author: go
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Pages were last added to this site July 2015