Thomas Wedgwood  James Clerk Maxwell Spectrum of Procyon
Inventor of Photography? Inventor of Colour Photography William Huggins
1800Thomas Wedgwood Photography Thomas Wedgwood (1771-1805) produces 'sun pictures' by placing opaque objects on leather treated with silver nitrate. The resulting images deteriorated rapidly.
1804Thomas Wedgwood Photography In 2008 one of the major historians of early British photography, Dr Larry J Schaaf, has suggested at length that a surviving photogenic drawing of a leaf (attributed to William Fox Talbot) could in fact be by Thomas Wedgwood, and might date from 1804 or 1805.
1816Joseph Niepce Photography Joseph Nicéphore Niépce (1765-1833) combines the camera obscura with photosensitive paper.
1825Joseph Niepce Photography In 2002, an earlier surviving photograph which had been taken by Niépce was found in a French photograph collection. The photograph was found to have been taken in 1825, and it was an image of an engraving of a young boy leading a horse into a stable. The photograph itself later sold for 450,000 Euros at an auction to the French National Library.
1826Joseph Niepce Photography Joseph Niépce produces the first permanent image (Heliograph) using a camera obscura and white bitumen. It shows a view out of a window over roof tops at Le Gras, France. Prior to 2002 it was thought to be the oldest surviving photograph.
1829Joseph Niepce & Louis DaguerrePhotography Niépce and Louis Daguerre (1787-1851) sign a ten year agreement to work in partnership developing their new recording medium.
1834William Henry Fox Talbot Photography Henry Fox Talbot (1800-1877) creates permanent (negative) images using paper soaked in silver chloride and fixed with a salt solution. Talbot created positive images by contact printing onto another sheet of paper. Talbot’s The Pencil of Nature, published in six installments between 1844 and 1846 was the first book to be illustrated entirely with photographs.
1837Louis Daguerre Photography Louis Daguerre creates images on silver-plated copper, coated with silver iodide and 'developed' with warmed mercury. These images were the first example of the Daguerreotype, photographic process.
1838Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Astronomical Determines the distance of the star 61 Cygni, by measuring its parallax.
1839François Arago Astrophotography François Jean Dominique Arago (1786-1853) announces the Daguerreotype process at the French Academy of Sciences on the 7th of January 1839. Arago predicts the future use of the photographic technique in the fields of selenography, photometry and spectroscopy.
1839John Herschel Photography John Frederick William Herschel (1792-1871) uses for the first time the term Photography; which literally means writing with light.
1839Louis Daguerre Astrophotography First unsuccessful daguerreotype of the moon obtained by Daguerre His image was blurred image and required a long exposure.
1839Louis Daguerre Photography Louis Daguerre patents the Daguerreotype. The Daguerreotype process is released for general use in return for annual state pensions given to Daguerre and Isidore Niépce (Joseph Nicephore Niepce's son): 6000 and 4000 francs respectively.
1840John William Draper Astrophotography John William Draper (1811-1882) obtains the first successful (correctly exposed) Daguerreotype of the moon using a 6-inch (13 cm) reflector with a long focal length and 20 minute exposure.
1841William Henry Fox Talbot Photography William Henry Fox Talbot patents his process under the name Calotype.
1842G Majocchi Astrophotography Austrian astronomer Gian Alessandro Majocchi obtains the first photograph of the partial phase of a solar eclipse on a Daguerreotype on the 8th of July 1842, with a 2 min exposure.
1845Armand Fizeau & Jean Foucault Astrophotography According to Francois Arago, a large number of Daguerreotypes of the Sun were obtained by Armand Hippolyte Louis Fizeau (1819-1896) and Jean Bernard Léon Foucault (1819-1868) at the Paris Observatory. One of these photographs, taken on the 2nd of April 1845, still survives.
1849William Bond & John Whipple Astrophotography William Cranch Bond (1789-1859) and John Adams Whipple (1822-1891) obtain a series of lunar daguerreotypes with the 15-inch (38 cm) Harvard refractor using 40 second exposures, during the period 1849 to 1852.
1850John Whipple & George Bond Astrophotography First Daguerreotype photograph of a star - Vega (alpha Lyrae) is obtained by John Adams Whipple and George Phillips Bond using the 38 cm Harvard refractor and a 100 second exposure on the 17th July, 1850.
1851Angelo Secchi Astrophotography In Rome Angelo Secchi (1818-1878) records Daguerreotypes of the partial phases of a solar eclipse with a 6.5-inch (16.2 cm) refractor of 8-feet (2.5 m) focal length.
1851Frederick Scott Archer Photography Frederick Scott Archer (1813-1857), improves photographic resolution by spreading a mixture of collodion (nitrated cotton dissolved in ether and alcohol) and chemicals on sheets of glass. Wet plate collodion photography was much cheaper than Daguerreotypes. This negative- positive process permitted unlimited reproductions. The process was published but not patented.
1851John Adams Whipple Astrophotography On the 22nd of March 1851, George Phillips Bond recorded in his notebook: 'Succeeded in Daguerreotyping Jupiter. Six plates were taken by Whipple and could distinguish the two principal equatorial belts – Time about as long as the Moon required or not much longer’. This pre-dates the planetary images of the Henry Brothers (1885-6) by over 30 years.
1851M Berkowski Astrophotography First Daguerreotype of a total eclipse of the Sun obtained, recording the inner corona and several prominences on 28th July 1851 by Berkowski from Konigsberg, Germany (now Kaliningrad, Russia) .
1852Warren de La Rue Astrophotography First wet plate collodion images of the Moon obtained by Warren de la Rue (1815-1889) using a 13-inch (33 cm) reflector with 10-feet (3.05 m) focal length, on a mount without a clock drive.
1854Joseph Bancroft Reade Astrophotography Joseph Bancroft Reade (1801-1870) uses a 60 cm reflector to photograph the sun (wet collodion). These images reveal the molten look of the solar photosphere.
1855Alphonse Poitevin Photography Alphonse Poitevin invents the Collotype Process. The collotype plate is made by coating a plate of glass or metal with a substrate composed of gelatin or other colloid and hardening it. Then it is coated with a thick coat of dichromated gelatine and dried carefully at a controlled temperature (a little over 50 degrees Celsius).
1856Lewis Morris Rutherfurd Astrophotography Lewis Morris Rutherfurd (1816-1892) photographs the Moon and the Sun using an achromatic refractor of 11.25-inch (28.5 cm) aperture over a two year period from 1856 to 1858.
1857George Phillips Bond Astrophotography George Philips Bond (1825-1865) (son of William Cranch Bond) and John Adams Whipple, produces wet collodion photographs of the double star Mizar (Zeta Uma) and Alcor (80 Uma) using the 15-inch (38 cm) Harvard refractor.
1857Warren de La Rue Astrophotography Warren de la Rue obtains images of Jupiter and Saturn with a 13-inch (33 cm) reflector. The exposures (12 seconds for Jupiter and 60 seconds for Saturn) were unsuccessful. The planet images measured only 1/2 mm on the plate.
1858George Phillips Bond Astrophotography George Phillips Bond shows that the magnitude of stars could be derived from astronomical photographs, i.e. stellar photometry.
1858Warren de La Rue Astrophotography Daily images of the Sun (weather permitting) using Warren De La Rue's, Kew Photoheliograph are obtained. A total of 2778 Sun photographs were obtained between the years 1862 and 1872.
1858Warren de La Rue Astrophotography Warren de la Rue tries to image comet Donati without success.