Henry Fox Talbot Biography, Life, Interesting Facts


Henry Fox Talbot

Birthday :

February 11, 1800

Died On :

September 17, 1877

Also Known For :


Birth Place :

Melbury, England, United Kingdom

Zodiac Sign :


In this heightened technology, we are quite aware of selfies and wide array of photos. We can’t go a day without snapping our friend and families. Beautiful landscapes can’t seem to escape us. The attractive color of our food is vastly seen in our galleries. It was in 1835 in Lacock Abbey, England that Henry Fox Talbot opted to venture into the world of photography. He greased his elbows with other fields such as painting and drawing without success. Without further ado, he hailed as an inventor and scientist. His knack for photography came to change the world and beyond.

Henry Fox Talbot is mainly known for inventing the calotype process as well as salted paper. Since inception, Henry Fox Talbot fell in love with a mass of subject including astronomy, mathematics, classics, and art history among others. With thorough research and knowledge on his fingertips, he opted to concentrate on photography. It was here that he developed photographic negatives called daguerreotype. Throughout his career, Henry published countable of works. Read further to understand more.

Childhood And Early Life

On 11th, February 1800 William Henry Fox Talbot was first seen in the world in England, Dorset, Melbury. Born as the only child of Elisabeth Fox Strangways and William Davenport Talbot, he was known as an intelligent lad. Sad to say his father died when he was still learning to crawl. He stayed with his protective mother till 1804.His innate love of learning gave him a chance to join Harrow School located in Rottingdean. He then entered Trinity College where he earned the Porson prize in 1820.

It was after his graduation that Henry Fox Talbot started to submit his publications to the Loyal Society of London. Both of his parents loved mathematics to the core. Though he showed a keen interest in science, he loved to write and publish articles on physics and astronomy. Allow me to say that he was born for greatness right from the start. His mind transitioned more than the world itself. Above anything else, photography was his bread and butter. It is the only field that welcomed him into the world of fame.



In his teenage years, Henry Fox Talbot presented his first thesis called Some Experiments on Colored Flame. He followed it up with another paper called Monochromatic Light. It was in 1826 that he submitted the papers to Edinburgh Philosophical Journal.

Henry Talbot’s invention first began in 1833 in Italy. It was there that he tried his best to sketch a landscape to no avail. His end aim was to capture the ultimate beauty. Unfortunately, he didn’t manage to do so. With absolute knowledge and credibility, he thought of a machine that could make his work easier.

After returning to his native home, Henry Fox Talbot joined Parliament for a year, but he didn’t let go of his research. In the mid of 1930s, he fabricated a salt paper. He did so by treating a piece of paper with a powerful solution of silver nitrate. He furthered his research, and later on, he came up with a detailed study called Calotype. This time round he used silver iodide and coated paper.

Henry’s work includes the first photographic book called The Pencil of Nature that was published in 1844 and released in 1846.It is still regarded as his most influential work when it comes to the history of photography. Besides he also authored an English book called English Etymologies in 1846.


Henry’s Major Work

Since inception, Henry Fox Talbot rose to fame as a brilliant man, all thanks to his love for research and study. Aside from that, fame called when he invented the calotype process as well as salted paper.


Personal Life And Achievements

In the mid of 1838, Henry Fox Talbot earned a Royal Medal in mathematics. This was due to his first thesis that he presented in the mid of 1837. He followed it up with Rumford Medal by the Royal Society for his photographic discovery. When it comes to his personal life, Henry Fox Talbot tied a nuptial knot with Constance Mundy in 1842.The couple had four children called Rosamond, Matilda, Ela, and Charles. At 77 years of age, Henry Fox Talbot breathed his last on 17th, September 1877 due to a short illness.

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