Photography: A Victorian Sensation

Photography: A Victorian Sensation

5 h
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Week 1 - First Images
Introduces the first photographic processes, unveiled in 1839 - the daguerreotype, by Parisian Louis Jacque Mandé Daguerreand the calotype, by Englishman WHF Talbot, which Hill & Adamson used to produce around 3,000 images between 1843 and 1848.

Week 2 - 1851: A Year to Remember 
With the Great Exhibition in London and two major milestones in the development of photography: first, stereoscopy, the 3D sensation and  second, the new, faster wet collodion process that made outdoor photography much easier.

Week 3 - Studio Photography, Amateur Photography 
In 1851 there hadbeen about a dozen photographic studios in London; by 1866 this number hadincreased to 284.  Photography becameextremely fashionable, particularly in the new carte-de-visite and stereoforms.  Amateur photographer, Julia Margaret Cameron, photographed the writers, artists, scientists in her social circle.

Week 4 - Stereo Sensation 
Following thepresentation of the lenticular stereoscopic viewer at the Great Exhibition,viewing the world in 3D became a Victorian craze. The experience ofusing a stereoscope was described as ‘mesmerising’. The LondonStereoscopic Company, formed in 1854, had as its slogan: ‘no home without astereoscope’.

Week 5 - Photography for Everyone
Welook at how photography rapidly moves from an expensive, amateur hobby, toreaching the masses, with the growth of cheap ‘tintypes’ and beach photography,and end with the impact of the Kodak camera, marketed with the slogan "You press the button and we do the rest".




  • Christine McLean
  • Alison Morrison-Low - Science and Technology - National Museums Scotland


The University of Edinburgh is a British university, founded in 1583 during a period of rapid development for the city of Edinburgh. It is considered to be one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

Having counted among its students inventors of the Industrial Revolution, it has more students than any other Scottish university and is one of the largest universities in the United Kingdom.


Coursera is a digital company offering massive open online course founded by computer teachers Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller Stanford University, located in Mountain View, California. 

Coursera works with top universities and organizations to make some of their courses available online, and offers courses in many subjects, including: physics, engineering, humanities, medicine, biology, social sciences, mathematics, business, computer science, digital marketing, data science, and other subjects.

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