• Ancient times: Camera obscura used to form images on walls in darkened rooms; image formation via a pinhole
  • 16th century: Brightness and clarity of camera obscura improved by enlarging the hole inserting a telescope lens
  • 17th century: Camera obscura in frequent use by artists and made portable in the form of sedan chairs
  • 1727: Professor J. Schulze mixes chalk, nitric acid, and silver in a flask; notices darkening on side of flask exposed to sunlight. Accidental creation of the first photo-sensitive compound.
  • 1800: Thomas Wedgwood makes "sun pictures" by placing opaque objects on leather treated with silver nitrate; resulting images deteriorated rapidly, however, if displayed under light stronger than from candles.
  • 1816: Nicéphore Niépce combines the camera obscura with photosensitive paper
  • 1826: Niépce creates a permanent image
  • 1834: Henry Fox Talbot creates permanent (negative) images using paper soaked in silver chloride and fixed with a salt solution. Talbot created positive images by contact printing onto another sheet of paper.
  • 1837: Louis Daguerre creates images on silver-plated copper, coated with silver iodide and "developed" with warmed mercury; Daguerre is awarded a state pension by the French government in exchange for publication of methods and the rights by other French citizens to use the Daguerreotype process.
  • 1841: Talbot patents his process under the name "calotype".
  • 1851: Frederick Scott Archer, a sculptor in London, improves photographic resolution by spreading a mixture of collodion (nitrated cotton dissolved in ether and alcoohol) and chemicals on sheets of glass. Wet plate collodion photography was much cheaper than daguerreotypes, the negative/positive process permitted unlimited reproductions, and the process was published but not patented.
  • 1853: Nadar (Felix Toumachon) opens his portrait studio in Paris
  • 1854: Adolphe Disderi develops carte-de-visite photography in Paris, leading to worldwide boom in portrait studios for the next decade
  • 1855: Beginning of stereoscopic era
  • 1855-57: Direct positive images on glass (ambrotypes) and metal (tintypes or ferrotypes) popular in the US.
  • 1861: Scottish physicist James Clerk-Maxwell demonstrates a coloor photography system involving three black and white photographs, each taken through a red, green, or blue filter. The photos were turned into lantern slides and projected in registration with the same color filters. This is the "colour separation" method.
  • 1871: Richard Leach Maddox, an English doctor, proposes the use of an emulsion of gelatin and silver bromide on a glass plate, the "dry plate" process.
  • 1877Eadweard Muybridge, born in England as Edward Muggridge, settles "do a horse's four hooves ever leave the ground at once" bet among rich San Franciscans by time-sequenced photography of Leland Stanford's horse.
  • 1878: Dry plates being manufactured commercially.
  • 1880: George Eastman, age 24, sets up Eastman Dry Plate Company in Rochester, New York. First half-tone photograph appears in a daily newspaper, 
  • 1888: First Kodak camera, containing a 20-foot roll of paper, enough for 100 2.5-inch diameter circular pictures.
  • 1889: Improved Kodak camera with roll of film instead of paper
  • 1900: Kodak Brownie box roll-film camera introduced.
  • 1906: Availability of panchromatic black and white film and therefore high quality color separation colour photography. 
  • 1907: First commercial colour film, the Autochrome plates, manufactured by Lumiere brothers in France
  • 1914: Oscar Barnack, employed by German microscope manufacturer Leitz, develops camera using the modern 24x36mm frame and sprocketed 35mm movie film.
  • 1917: Nippon Kogaku K.K., which will eventually become Nikon, established in Tokyo.
  • 1921Man Ray begins making photograms ("rayographs") by placing objects on photographic paper and exposing the shadow cast by a distant light bulb; Eugegrave;ne Atget, aged 64, assigned to photograph the brothels of Paris
  • 1924: Leitz markets a derivative of Barnack's camera commercially as the "Leica", the first high quality 35mm camera.
  • 1928: Rollei introduces the Rolleiflex twin-lens reflex producing a 6x6 cm image on rollfilm.
  • 1931: Development of strobe photography by Harold ("Doc") Edgerton at MIT
  • 1932: Inception of Technicolor for movies, where three black and white negatives were made in the same camera under different filters; Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, Willard Van Dyke, Edward Weston, et al, form Group f/64 dedicated to "straight photographic thought and production".; Henri Cartier-Bresson buys a Leica and begins a 60-year career photographing people; On March 14, George Eastman, aged 77, writes suicide note--"My work is done. Why wait?"--and shoots himself.
  • 1934: Fuji Photo Film founded. By 1938, Fuji is making cameras and lenses in addition to film.
  • 1936: Development of Kodachrome, the first color multi-layered color film; development of Exakta, pioneering 35mm single-lens reflex (SLR) camera
  • World War II:
    • Development of multi-layer colour negative films
    • Margaret Bourke-White, Robert Capa, Carl Mydans, and W. Eugene Smith cover the war for LIFE magazine
  • 1947Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, and David Seymour start the photographer-owned Magnum picture agency
  • 1948: Hasselblad in Sweden offers its first medium-format SLR for commercial sale; Pentax in Japan introduces the automatic diaphragm; Polaroid sells instant black and white film
  • 1949: East German Zeiss develops the Contax S, first SLR with an unreversed image in a pentaprism viewfinder
  • 1959: Nikon F introduced.
  • 1958: Stephen Gill first used a camera
  • 1963: First colour instant film developed by Polaroid; Instamatic released by Kodak; first purpose-built underwater introduced, the Nikonos
  • 1971: Stephen Gill started as a professional photographer in Leeds
  • 1972: 110-format cameras introduced by Kodak with a 13x17mm frame
  • 1973: C-41 colour negative process introduced, replacing C-22
  • 1975: Steve Sasson at Kodak builds the first working CCD-based digital still camera
  • 1976: First solo show of colour photographs at the Museum of Modern Art, William Eggleston's Guide
  • 1980: Elsa Dorfman begins making portraits with the 20x24" Polaroid.
  • 1982: Sony demonstrates Mavica "still video" camera
  • 1983: Kodak introduces disk camera, using an 8x11mm frame (the same as in the Minox spy camera)
  • 1985: Minolta markets the world's first autofocus SLR system 
  • 1987: The popular Canon EOS system introduced, with new all-electronic lens mount
  • 1990: Adobe Photoshop released. Stephen Gill first used Photoshop.
  • 1991: Kodak DCS-100, first digital SLR, a modified Nikon F3
  • 1992: Kodak introduces PhotoCD
  • 1993: Stephen Gill helped establish Photomania, a company in the North West UK for specialist photo restoration services.
  • 1999: Nikon D1 SLR, 2.74 megapixel for $6000, first ground-up DSLR design by a leading manufacturer.
  • 2000: Camera phone introduced in Japan by Sharp/J-Phone
  • 2001: Coloureyes ltd started by Stephen Gill as independent photo restoration company.
  • 2001: Polaroid goes bankrupt
  • 2003: Four-Thirds standard for compact digital SLRs introduced with the Olympus E-1; Canon Digital Rebel introduced for less than $1000
  • 2004: Kodak ceases production of film cameras
  • 2005: Canon EOS 5D, first consumer-priced full-frame digital SLR, with a 24x36mm CMOS sensor for $3000
  • 2012: Photo-Consult started as a specialist online photograph restorer.
 
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Specialist Photo Restoration Lancashire, GB
Specialist Photograph Restoration in the UK.  
Stephen Gill DipPP, PGCE: 1 Cann Street, Tottington, Bury, Lancashire, BL8 3PE
email steve@photo-consult.co.uk
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