Frederick Scott Archer (1814-1857) was a great pioneer of photography whose invention of the wet collodion process, published in 1851 revolutionized the Science of Photography; but who nevertheless died largely unrecognized and in virtual poverty. It was his process which brought photography within the reach of the ordinary man, and also enabled astronomers to capture images of the heavens only hinted at by the earlier Daguerreotypes.
This the very first complete and detailed biography of Frederick Scott Archer, contains a great deal of new and unpublished information on the life and work of this almost forgotten pioneer. For the very first time his true date and place of birth are revealed, along with a copy of his baptismal record. To put the record straight, he was not born in 1813 at Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire as every other biography states.
He was in fact born on the 30th of August 1814 in Hertford, Hertfordshire.
He was also not an orphan, nor was he the son of a an ordinary butcher.
Although his mother died when he was just two years old, his father Thomas Archer remarried in 1830, when FSA was fifteen.
Thomas Archer was no ordinary butcher, but a wealthy farmer and former Mayor of Hertford, until he went bankrupt in 1820.
This biography of Frederick Scott Archer - 'The Collodion Chemist of Hertford' is based on (but greatly expanded), a chapter contained in the ultimate History of Astrophotography called the 'Catchers of the Light'. You can buy the eBook here: Frederick Scott Archer Biography.
Collodion Photograph of Kenilworth Castle, c 1850, Frederick Scott Archer