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photo history

Candace Smith

First, the name. We owe the name "Photography" to Sir John Herschel ,
who first used the
term in 1839, the year the photographic process became public. (*1) The
word is derived from
the Greek words for light and writing.

Well, actually, not quite. Whilst Herschel used the term first in a
lecture before the Royal
Society on March 14, 1839, he was in fact beaten to the post by an
anonymous writer with
the initials "J.M." a few weeks earlier, on February 25. Eventually a
scholar was able to
determine that this anonymous writer was in fact Johann von Maedler
(1794-1874), who was
an astronomer in Berlin. However, Hershel was undoubtedly the person
who, with his fame
and position, made the word "photography" known to the world.


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