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1850 Chronokey Chronomedia index
Numbers after entries link to the list of references.

links and notes
•  First submarine cable, a single strand of copper covered in gutta percha, is laid by Jacob and John W Brett under the English Channel between Dover and Calais, only to be brought up by a French fisherman who thinks it is a rare seaweed with a gold core. The building where the cable was made, in Lower Mall, Hammersmith, London, is marked with a plaque.
•  Picture telegraphy system is demonstrated by Frederick C Bakewell in which images are transmitted by making and breaking an electrical current such that the image is recorded by a metallic point depositing shellac ink to discolour chemically-coated paper wrapped around a metal cylinder, tracking spirally.  
•  Public Library Act allows British local authorities to levy a rate to fund the provision of libraries.  
1851 Chronokey  
November  First successful submarine cable is laid between Dover and Calais by Thomas Crampton’s Submarine Cable Company, creating a continuous telegraph link between London and Paris. The four copper wires, sheathed in gutta percha and a protective iron rope, lasts 37 years.  
•  Morse code is perfected at an international conference of European nations.  
•  Frederick Scott Archer (1813-1857) and Peter Fry use wet collodion plates for photography, achieving improved resolution in both negative glass plate and positive print, while reducing exposure times to between 10 and 90 seconds. Coated with a collodion containing potassium iodide, Archer's glass plates  are dipped in silver nitrate before being inserted in the camera. The technique becomes the preferred standard for the next two decades.  
•  Jacques Duboscq (1817-1886) photographs movement using his stereophantoscope or bioscope.  
1852 Chronokey  
May  Caudet’s stereoscopic phenakistoscope photographs people in motion.  
November 23  First pillar box in the British Isles for collection of mail comes into use in St Helier, Jersey.  
•  Scott Archer places a sheet of black paper behind an underexposed negative, after development and drying, to create the effect of reversing the polarity of the image. The process becomes know as Ambrotype when patented by James Ambrose Cutting.  
•  Time signal is transmitted automatically by telegraph line from Royal Observatory Greenwich to Lewisham Station and thence into the UK distribution network.  
•  Fox Talbot patents the use of a screen placed between a photographic negative and a positive plate to create a half-tone image.  
•  British book prices are completely deregulated; this lasts until 1900.  
•  The first free public library in the UK opens in Manchester.  
•  Hachette opens the first railway station bookstalls in France.  
1853 Chronokey  
•  John Herschel, the English astronomer, suggests the use of reduced-size photographs to store documents.  
•  John Adams Whipple of Boston uses a 15-inch reflecting telescope to make three-inch-wide daguerrotypes of the moon surface, showing the details of craters.  
•  Baron Franz von Uchatius (1811-1881) combines a disc of the phenakistisope type with a magic lantern to project moving images. Uchatius, an Austrian army lieutenant who sees his invention as a military teaching aid, demonstrates his device, which he calls the Lantern Wheel of Light, to the Viennese Academy of Science.  
•  Ludwig Döbler, an early showman, buys von Uchatius’s apparatus and tours Europe with it.  
•  British tax of 1s 6d (7˝p) on press advertisements is abolished.  
•  The potato chip (UK: potato crisp) is created by George Crum, short-order chef at the Moon Lake House Hotel, Saratoga Springs, New York.  
1854 Chronokey  
•  André Disderi, a Parisian photographer, patents the carte de visite, a technique for taking a number of small portraits on a single photographic plate, either by means of multiple lenses or of a step-moving plateholder on the camera. The contact-printed images are the size of a visiting card and bring studio portrait photography within the reach of poorer families.  
•  London Stereoscopic Company is formed to market viewers and photographic cards, which become an immediate success.  
•  A J Melhuish and J B Spencer make a roll of photographic film, using a waxed paper substrate.  
•  James Ambrose Cutting patents the Ambrotype photographic process in Boston, Massachusetts.  
•  The first publicly-funded free public library in the USA opens in Boston.  


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Page updated 25 August 2008
© David Fisher