12 January 2008

Hercules Florence, the isolated inventor of photography

Hercule Florence, self-portrait, c. 1875
source: http://www.mnemocine.com.br/fotografia/historia_foto.htm

"Antoine Hercule Romuald Florence (1804–March 27, 1879) was a French-Brazilian painter and inventor, known as the isolate inventor of photography in Brazil, three years before Daguerre (but six years after Nicéphore Niépce), using the matrix negative/positive.

According to Kossoy, who examined Florence's notes, he referred to his process, in French, as photographie in 1834, at least four years before John Herschel coined the English word photography." (
from: Hercules Florence - Wikipedia article)

"The notion of simultaneous invention - that two or more people can develop the same concept at about the same time - was mentioned by Florence and by another of photography's pioneer, William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-1877)" observes M. W. Marien: "Simultaneous invention makes it difficult to construct a linear chronology of photography." (Marien, Mary Warner -Photography, A Cultural History , New York: 2002)

In the case of Florence, it brings into the panorama of the emergence of photography not only the solitary inventor, but a peripheral region, distant from the advanced centers of science and technology in the 19th century, in the margin of Modernity itself.

1 comment:

WL said...

Look my book: "Les trois vies d'Hercule Florence", William Luret, éditions JC Lattès 2001