1839 - Sir John Herschel makes the first photograph on glass

Dated 9 September 1839, this is the earliest photograph on glass. It shows the 40-foot telescope built by the photographer’s father, Sir William Herschel in Slough outside London.

Sir John Herschel (1792 –1871) was a polymath: mathematician, astronomer, chemist, botanist and experimental photographer. As well as inventing the cyanotype, or blueprint, it was he who coined the terms ‘photography’, ‘negative’, ‘positive’ and ‘snapshot’.

Image courtesy Science Museum, London

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