Section B: Daguerreotype and Talbotype; Early Photographic Artists in Brighton (1851-1854)

This Punch cartoon of 1859 illustrates the upsurge of photographic studios in the 1850s and the stiff competition between rival photographers. In 10 years, the price of a photographic portrait had fallen from one guinea ( £1. 1s ) to 1s 6d.


After Beard's Daguerreotype Patent expired in August 1853, a number of Brighton trades people, who had already shown an interest in the art of photography, set up their own daguerreotype portrait studios.As early as 1852, William Lane, proprietor of 'Lane's Cheap Picture Frame Manufactory', established a Photographic Depot at 3 Market Street, Brighton where he supplied "Daguerreotype Lenses, Camera Apparatus" and "every other requisite used in Photography." A complete set of apparatus for the daguerreotype process cost 7 guineas at Lanes' Depot.In an advertisement which appeared eight days before Beard's daguerreotype patent was due to expire, William Lane was offering to supply 'Daguerreotype Apparatus' to operators and amateurs promising free instruction in the Photographer's Art to purchasers of materials. By November 1853, Lane had set himself up as a photographic artist and was offering to provide "a first class daguerreotype portrait in handsome French case for two shillings" at his new premises at 213 Western Road.

Robert Farmer, who had taken over William Passmore's Chemist's shop at 59 North Street in 1852, transformed part of his new business premises into Daguerreotype Rooms - which included "a room designed and built expressly with apparatus of very superior construction for the purpose . . . to ensure a fine portrait." In newspapers issued in November 1853, Robert Farmer publicized his Daguerreotype Rooms and "invited the attention of the Ladies, Gentlemen and Visitors to Brighton to his collection of Photographic Portraits, taken plain or in colours, by competent Artists". Mr Farmer offered to take "fine portraits" at moderate prices - "1s 6d in case; or coloured 2s 6d" which would have been considerably lower than those charged by William Constable's Original Photographic Institution in Marine Parade.

CLICK HERE TO CONTINUEThe Talbotype - An Alternative to the Daguerreotype in Brighton



Website last updated: 23 December, 2002


This website is dedicated to the memory of Arthur T. Gill (1915-1987), Sussex Photohistorian


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