Chemical balance

< 1 of 1 > Back

probably made in London

Postcard of Chemical balance.
© National Museums Scotland

Chemical balance

This chemical balance was used by the English photographic pioneer, William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-70). It was made around 1840, probably in London. Talbot had evolved his negative-positive process from around 1835, using paper. This meant that any number of positive images could be produced from a single negative.

Talbot had to measure the chemicals he used in sensitising his paper negatives and positives, and for fixing these images. He weighed them out using this commercially produced balance which, although unsigned, was probably made in London.

Talbot heard about Louis Daguerre's (1789-1851) experiments, and rushed into print, fearing that his experiments had been preempted. However, the two processes, although both producing images from light and chemicals, could not have been more different. It was Talbot's process, capable of producing many images from a single exposure, which was to prove to be the ancestor of modern photographic processes.

Record details

To search on related items, click any linked text below.

Online ID: 000-180-001-218-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0504: National Museums Scotland Part 2
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1936.95
Date: Around 1840
Early 19th century
Material: Mahogany case
Dimensions: 11.00" x 6.25" x 14.00"
What: Balance / balance accessory / case
Subject: 16. METROLOGY, Weight (Departmental Classification)
21. PHOTOGRAPHY (Departmental Classification)
Who: Fox Talbot (Owner)
Where: England
Description: Balance in a mahogany case with a drawer of accessories, mostly missing, used by Fox Talbot
  • For Talbot, see H.J.P. Arnold, William Henry Fox Talbot: Pioneer of Photography and Man of Science (London, 1977); and Larry J. Schaaf, Out of the Shadows: Herschel, Talbot and the Invention of Photography (New Haven, 1992). 
Related Records:
< 1 of 1 > Back
Powered by Scran