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Catalogue Entry 1989

[] Views of the telescope at Slough by Sir John Herschel, 1839, one of them dated November 30. Sir William Herschel's 40-foot telescope was already a famous astronomical symbol [see medal in case 1] when its superstructure was demolished at the end of 1839. The only camera images Sir John Herschel is known to have taken are of this structure, and the circular ones made in the autumn of 1839 include also the first photograph on glass (in the Science Museum, London). Although they provide a record, they were chiefly taken as sensitising experiments. Herschel's annotation on the back of the dated example reads 'Lead paper fresh washed with NS. [silver nitrate] & used wet'.

[From the exhibition booklet Photography 150: Images from the First Generation (Oxford: Museum of the History of Science, 1989)]

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