Thomas Wedgwood I Edit Profile
Wedgwood attended Edinburgh University from 1786 to 1788.
Wedgwood experimented with thermometers and light, heat and silver nitrate (1790 to 1792). By 1800 he was working with colored glasses and the microscope. In June 1802 he announced to the public that he had invented a process of developing an outline of images on white paper or white leather with nitrate of silver. This account was recorded by Sir Humphry Davy in the Journals of the Royal Institution. Wedgwood also discovered the varying effects of color on development - red having the least action, blue and violet the most. At this same time he discovered the physical law that solid bodies have the same temperature at the point of incandescence. (Some historians say this was his father's discovery.) During his experiments Wedgwood was influenced by the Reverend J. B. Reade, who, some forty years later, experimented with gallic acid by applying tannin solution to paper. Wedgwood's process was similar to what is commonly called a photogram. Unfortunately he was never able to make the image permanent.
Wedgwood never married and had no children. His biographer notes that "neither his extant letters nor family tradition tell us of his caring for any woman outside the circle of his relations" and that he was "strongly attracted" to musical and sensitive young men.
Quotes from others about the person
“Sometimes referred to as “the first photographer," Wedgwood was “the first person who conceived and put in practice the idea of using the agency of light to obtain a representation of an object," according to his biographer, R. B. Litchfield.”