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Photogalvanography

(Fr.: photogalvanographie; gravure par moulage galvanoplastique)

This term is often used as a synonym for PHOTOELECTROTYPE. Paul PRETSCH (1808-1873) patented the original process in England, shortly before Alphonse Poitevin came up with a similar method and preferred referring to it as “Nature’s Engraving.” The Photogalvanographic Company was formed in England in 1856 and was based on the work of Paul Pretsch, Austrian photographer and inventor. Roger Fenton (1819-1869), photographer and lawyer, was a partner and their chief photographer. Starting late in 1856, they published a serial portfolio, Photographic Art Treasures, or Nature and Art Illustrated by Art and Nature. Their process, which was the first to utilize the reticulation of gelatin, was closely based on elements of W.H.F. Talbot’s 1852 PHOTOGLYPHIC ENGRAVING but the plates were heavily retouched by hand engravers. Compounding the legal objections of Talbot, their former manager, Duncan C. Dallas, set up a competing company to produce the DALLASTYPE. The Photogalvanographic Co. collapsed and near the end of 1860 Pretsch, out of money, allowed his patent to lapse. (Nadeau, Encyclopedia, p. xxx.).

PhotogalvanogPretsch2_8x6 "The Cedars, Monmouthshire," etched after a photograph by Roger Fenton (?), using the photo-galvanograph process as developed by Paul Pretsch, published in Photographic Art Treasures, 1856. The earliest photographic reproductions in England. 215 x 175 mm.

“The Cedars, Monmouthshire,” etched after a photograph by Roger Fenton (?), using the photo-galvanograph process as developed by Paul Pretsch, published in Photographic Art Treasures, 1856. The earliest photographic reproductions in England. 215 x 175 mm.