London: Printed for Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1844. First edition. 8vo., vii, 303 pp., 32 pp. adverts, hand-colored engraved folding frontispiece, text diagrams. Publisher's blind stamped cloth titled in gilt on the spine; small tears to the spine have been expertly repaired; tips and edges are rubbed through to the boards in several spots. Ex-library with ink stamps on the front endpapers and title page; still an attractive copy with the text very good. Item #53531
"Robert Hunt (1807 - 1887) was a librarian keeper of mining records for the Museum of Practical Geology and professor of mechanical engineering at the Royal School of Mines, at London. He carried on numerous photographic and photomechanical experiments and he was one of the founders of the London Photographic Society. These experiments with organic and inorganic light-sensitive substances, which, with characteristic unselfishness, he made public during the early forties of the last century, were extremely useful in the study of photochemistry, which was then in its infancy, and were of great service for years to those who came after him and used his researches for the basis of their studies." Eder- HISTORY OF PHOTOGRAPHY p. 326.
"Included are reports on Hunt's earliest experiments on solar energy and its effect involving both vegetation and metallic salts or compounds. An introductory chapter on the discoveries of Daguerre and Fox Talbot is exceedingly useful as it establishes the range of various light sensitive materials applicable to photography, including platinum, iron and antimony. His is the first use of the word 'platinotype' with reference to platinum prints. The book as a whole is one of the most crucial and one of the earliest theoretical treatises on the science, and differs slightly from the later, 1854 edition, except in some more recent discoveries." From the Arno Press description THE LITERATURE OF PHOTOGRAPHY.
Often referred to as the first history of photography, a distinction not quite true.
Gernsheim - Incunabula No. 668. Roosens and Salu No. 7952.