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Is this really the oldest photograph of Sheffield?


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Sheffield History

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This photograph is believed to be the oldest photo in the whole of Sheffield.

It's a photo of St Mary's Church, Ecclesfield from about 1840. (Shown before the enlargement of the churchyard and the 1842 building of the bier house).

Can anyone confirm either way if this is the oldest Sheffield photo ever or not?

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Lemmy117

I don't think this counts as Sheffield anyway, as Ecclesfield wasn't part of Sheffield until at least 1968, and not totally until 1974. But then again, I may be a bit picky. lol

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Sheffield History
5 hours ago, Lemmy117 said:

I don't think this counts as Sheffield anyway, as Ecclesfield wasn't part of Sheffield until at least 1968, and not totally until 1974. But then again, I may be a bit picky. lol


 

No I think it’s a fair point and we need to be accurate about these things 

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  • 1 month later...
Jim2000

         Daguerre . . trapped the fleeting shadow on his silver plate

         and held it there immovable for ever.

                       (Henry Bessemer)

The Sheffield Iris of February 1839 broke the news of Daguerre’s new method within a week of its presentation to the Royal Society, and optician brothers Alfred and Francis Chadburn soon produced the first known Sheffield photograph - Sheffield Parish Church, piously taken by Alfred in 1840 to demonstrate ‘views...by the agency of light’. In 1842 the Chadburns bought exclusive Sheffield rights to Daguerre’s process via a London intermediary, and by January 1843 they were offering ‘portrait photographs at eligible rooms built expressly for the purpose’, 11am till 3pm.

Don’t know if the image survives.....

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RLongden

link back to previous post on SH with some background reading and interesting detail...
 


The brothers, Alfred & Wright Chadburn (opticians), opened a photographic studio in Sheffield, the first adverts appearing 14 January 1843.

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Jim2000

Some other bits and bobs:

Edward Smith, Ironmaster on the Wicker, lectured on the subject at the Music Hall in 1841. Photography was ‘not of a decidedly religious character’, he told his fellow Quakers, but thought they should know of it rather than 'live in wilful ignorance of useful things’.

Because the Chadburns bought an (expensive) license to Daguerre’s process, they initially had  a monopoly in Sheffield. This meant other early photographers had to tour surrounding towns, such as Edward Holland, obliged to take his camera out of Sheffield to create ‘Likenesses, as if Removed from the Surface of a Mirror’ in December 1842.

The early process carried occupational risks - since mercury vapour was used as a developing agent. This could be toxic to the nervous system, especially when inhaled in the confined spaces needed for the process. Other occupations were exposed too - photographer and showman Jasper Redfern must have had mercury in the blood: grandfather Jasper was a hat-maker (using mercury to prepare the felt in hats), and dentistry, pharmacy, and vetinary medicine were all professions in the family - all using mercury.

Jasper (junior) ended up succumbing to another occupational hazard, however, when he (later) got into medical X-rays - to the ultimate ruin of his own health by radiation exposure, and died 1928.

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