New York: Joseph H. Ladd, Publisher, 1865. First edition. Small 8vo., 97 pp., illustrated,  pp. adverts. Original printed paper wrappers; stained and chipped along the spine and tips of the last few leaves. Previous owner's ink signature on the blankopposite the title pager, faint staining. A good copy. Item #53216
John Towler (1811 - 1889) was born in Yorkshire, England and educated as a nonresident student at St. John's in Cambridge; he migrated to the United States in 1850, where he taught at Lima Seminary before his appointment in 1852 at Hobart College as a professor of modern languages, mathematics, anatomy, pharmacy, chemistry, civil engineering and medical jurisprudence. In 1855, he was awarded a M.D. from Geneva Medical College and served as its dean until 1872.
His knowledge of photography and his fluid and accessible writing style propelled his SILVER SUNBEAM: A PRACTICAL AND THEORETICAL TEXT-BOOK ON SUN DRAWING AND PHOTOGRAPHIC PRINTING... 1863 into one of the earliest best selling, comprehensive texts in the field. From 1864 - 1867, he regularly contributed articles to HUMPHREY'S JOURNAL OF PHOTOGRAPHY, where he served as the editor.
Although Towler was not the inventor of the tannin process, in which mixing silver bromide into collodion forms an emulsion (the first practicable photographic emulsion) his clear and precise text propelled the dry plate process to replace wet collodion as the preferred method.
Roosens and Salu No. 10308. OCLC locates only twelve copies.