England, William

England, William
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b. early 19th century
d. 1896 London, England
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English photographer, inventor of an early focal-plane shutter.
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England began his distinguished photographic career taking daguerreotype portraits in London in the 1840s. In 1854 he joined the London Stereoscopic Company and became its chief photographer, taking thousands of stereoscopic views all over the world. In 1859 he travelled to America to take views of the Niagara Falls. On returning to Britain he became a freelance photographer, adding to his considerable reputation with a long series of stereoscopic alpine views. He also became interested in panoramic photography and, later, photolithography. England's most important technical innovation was a drop shutter with a horizontal slit sited immediately in front of the plate. Proposed in 1861, this was a crude device, but is usually recognized as the precursor of the modern focal-plane shutter.
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Further Reading
Michael Aver, 1985, Photographers Encyclopedia International, Vol. I (A-K), Hermance, Switzerland.
H.Gernsheim and A.Gernsheim, 1969, The History of Photography, rev. edn, London.
JW

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

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