London: Bradbury & Evans, 1865. 8vo., 74 pp., 4 lithographic plates. String-tied, issued without wrappers. Near fine. Item #51954
The author disputes the claim that several images were photographically created in the eighteenth-century. They were actually made with a camera obscura. It was the author's grandfather, Matthew Boulton, a collaborator with James Watt, to whom this invention was assigned. Along with Joseph Priestly, Josiah and Tom Wedgwood, Erasmus Darwin, William Hershel and others, a small society was formed in Birmingham calling themselves the "Lunar Society"; a name given more for the date of their meetings (the first Monday after a full moon) than, for any study of light or photographic processes. Because both Thomas Wedgwood and Joseph Priestly were known to have experimented with the action of light upon silver, a clever hoax was perpetrated by the "discovery" of "early" paper and silver plate photographs by a known swindler, Mr. Price. A most interesting but rambling account.
See: Eder HISTORY OF PHOTOGRAPHY, NY 1945, pp. 134-35; Gernsheim INCUNABULA lists 4 editions of various titles, length and number of plates, starting in 1864, #889-892; Roosens and Salu No. 8862.