Abney, William de Wiveleslie

Abney, William de Wiveleslie
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b. 24 July 1843 England
d. 2 December 1920 England
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English photographic scientist, inventor and author.
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Abney began his career as an officer in the Army and was an instructor in chemistry in the Royal Engineers at Chatham, where he made substantial use of photography as a working tool. He retired from the Army in 1877 and joined the Science and Art Department at South Kensington. It was at Abney's suggestion that a collection of photographic equipment and processes was established in the South Kensington Museum (later to become the Science Museum Photography Collection).
Abney undertook significant researches into the nature of gelatine silver halide emulsions at a time when they were being widely adopted by photographers. Perhaps his most important practical innovations were the introduction of hydroquinone as a developing agent in 1880 and silver gelatine citrochloride emulsions for printing-out paper (POP) in 1882. However, Abney was at the forefront of many aspects of photographic research during a period of great innovation and change in photography. He devised new techniques of photomechanical printing and conducted significant researches in the fields of photochemistry and spectral analysis. Abney published throughout his career for both the specialist scientist and the more general photographic practitioner.
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Principal Honours and Distinctions
KCB 1900. FRS 1877. Served at different times as President of the Royal Astronomical, Royal Photographic and Physical Societies. Chairman, Royal Society of Arts.
Further Reading
Obituary, 1921, Proceedings of the Royal Society (Series A) 99. J.M.Eder, 1945, History of Photography, trans. E.Epstein, New York.
JW

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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