1st Edition

The Pioneering Photographic Work of Hercule Florence

By Boris Kossoy Copyright 2018
    232 Pages
    by Routledge

    232 Pages 45 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book delivers an in-depth analysis of Hercule Florence, who is virtually unknown despite being among the world’s photographic pioneers. Based on the texts of various manuscripts, letters, diaries, notes, and advertisements, this book answers numerous questions surrounding Florence’s work, including the materials, methods, and techniques he employed and why it took more than a century for his discovery to come to light. Kossoy’s groundbreaking research establishes Florence’s use of "photographie" to describe the product of his experiments, half a decade before Sir John Herschel recommended "photography" to Henry Fox Talbot. This book aims to change the fact that despite its cultural and historical importance, Florence’s photographic breakthrough remains largely unknown in the English-speaking world.




    Part I: The Brazil of Hercule Florence

    1. Brazil at the beginning of the 19th century

    2. The inventor’s youth

    3. His arrival to Brazil

    4. The Langsdorff Expedition

    5. Vila de São Carlos

    6. First researches and discoveries

    7. Campinas’ first typography. The periodical O Paulista

    8. From the pictorial representation to the Salle Obscure

    9. Hercule Florence’s other activities after 1839

    Part II: Photography

    10. Rediscovering the world

    11. Europe in the 18th century

    Knowledge in optics: the camera obscura

    The contribution of chemistry

    12. The multiple inventions of Photography

    13. The announcement in Brazil of Daguerre’s discovery

    14. References to Florence’s Discovery by various authors

    15. References registered by Florence about his discovery

    Part III: Replication and Confirmation of Florence’s Discovery

    16. Critical examination of the sources: Methodology

    17. Written sources

    Description of the physical characteristics and content of the diaries

    Analysis of the texts related to photography included in the diaries

    First notes

    The use of the câmera obscura. Sensitizing paper with silver nitrate

    "Printing" by means of sunlight

    Preparing the matrix or "negative" preparation. Materials and techniques

    Sensitizing surfaces. Chemical substances. Materials and techniques

    Printing plates

    Searching for a fixing agent. Experimentations with urine. The use of ammonia. Other references.

    International primacy in the use of the term photographie

    18. Iconographic Sources

    Physical characteristics and content of the sources. Description and analysis.

    19. Other Sources

    20. Florence’s sta


    Boris Kossoy is Professor in the School of Communication and Arts at the University of São Paulo, Brazil.