William Henry Fox Talbot
[Mathematician and pioneer of photography, b. 1800, Melbury, Dorset, England, d. 1877, Lacock Abbey, England.]

 How charming it would be if it were possible to cause these natural images to imprint themselves durable and remain fixed upon the paper! And why should it not be possible? I asked myself. 
 [The camera] may be said to make a picture of whatever it sees, the object glass is the eye of the instrument—the sensitive paper may be compared to the retina. 
 I do not claim to have perfected an art but to have commenced one, the limits of which it is not possible at present exactly to ascertain. (1839) 
 …[the camera] chronicles whatever it sees, and certainly would delineate a chimney-pot or a chimney-sweeper with the same impartiality as it would the Apollo of Belvedere. 
 And this building I believe to be the first that was ever known to have drawn its own picture. 
 The operator himself discovers on examination, perhaps long afterwards, that he had depicted many things he had no notion of at the time. Sometimes inscriptions and dates are found upon the buildings, or printed placards more irrelevant, are discovered upon their walls. (1844) 
 Having a paper to be read next week before the Royal Society, respecting a new Art of Design which I discovered about five years ago, viz. the possibility of fixing upon paper the image formed by a Camera Obscura, or rather, I should say, causing it to fix itself 
 The plates of the present work are impressed by the agency of Light alone, without any aid whatsoever from the artists’ pencil. (Epigraph, 1844, The Pencil of Nature, the first photographic book)  
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