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Family Album Blue

Photo-Blue : A display of historic cyanotypes


In late Victorian times the cyanotype was sometimes used for printing from ordinary negatives, whether of art photographs or of family snapshots and travel photographs; it went along with the fashion for carbon prints and platinum prints, which produce crisp, matt images in various pigments. The album of personal travel photographs displayed consists of contact prints from the early vest-pocket Kodak camera, introduced in 1897. Washington Teasdale, a well known scientific amateur of the time, favoured the cyanotype process for printing his personal photographs, many of which reflect his scientific interests - especially microscopy, geology, and mechanics. One of them shows Teasdale's harmonograph, a curve-drawing machine he invented; another is a copy portrait of his hero, the scientist James Glaisher. Teasdale's still-life or tableau of books and objects symbolises microscopy.

· Album of early Kodak travel snapshots, including four cyanotypes, about 1900; purchased by the Museum in 1990

· Group of cyanotypes (with some other processes) by Washington Teasdale, 1880s; from the G. H. Gabb collection

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