Frederick Scott Archer
Frederick Scott Archer - by Robert Cade, c. 1855
|Died||1 May 1857|
|Resting place||Kensal Green Cemetery|
|Known for||Collodion process|
Frederick Scott Archer (1813 - 1 May 1857) was an English photographer who is best known for having invented the photographic collodion process which preceded the modern gelatin emulsion. He was born in either Bishop's Stortford or Hertford, within the county of Hertfordshire, England (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland) and is remembered mainly for this single achievement which greatly increased the accessibility of photography for the general public.
Scott Archer was the son of a butcher from Hertford who went to London to take an apprenticeship as a silversmith. Later, he became a sculptor and found calotype photography useful as a way of capturing images of his sculptures. Dissatisfied with the poor definition and contrast of the calotype and the long exposures needed, Scott Archer invented the new process in 1848 and published it in The Chemist in March 1851, enabling photographers to combine the fine detail of the daguerreotype with the ability to print multiple paper copies like the calotype. In publishing his discovery, he did so knowingly without first patenting it, giving it as a gift to the world.
His family received a gift of £747 after his death, raised by public subscription, and a small pension was also provided to support his three children after the death of their mother.
Archer is buried at Kensal Green Cemetery in London, W10.