Theodore-Henri was educated in chemistry and agronomy.
His most famous invention, developed between 1893 and 1900, is a direct carbon pigment process that produces beautiful permanent images in black-and-white. The monochrome paper was available commercially in the United States from 1927 to 1939.
The chemist's sons and grandsons all used the process, which was strictly kept within the family. After 1950 Edmond and his son Jacques worked separately from the rest of the family, but Jacques abandoned all photographic activities after Edmond's death and could no longer supply paper to the famous pictonalist José O. Echagiie, the most prominent user of the process.
The Fresson process was subsequently sold to Echagiie without the knowledge of the rest of the family, and shortly before his own death Echagiie sold it to Luis Nadeau in Canada. In 1951 Pierre Fresson adapted it to color work, for which it is quite well known today because of its permanence and unique effect.