Niepce, Doguerre or Talbor ? ENGLISH TRANSLATION BY SUSY FIRTH :
« Photography was about to make its appearance on the world’s stage, although it did not yet bear the name of photography.
For some time now, the public had been closely following the work of research chemists and opticians, who in various countries had been trying to find a simple but effective method of reproducing faces and landscapes. The shop windows of the Palais-Royal put the latest drawing machines on display, the mysterious camera obscura and the elegant camera lucida with its long articulated arm. At the beginning of January 1839, the French newspapers announced that the eagerly awaited new invention was finally ready, and was of such a particular nature that a grand ceremony was going to be held in which scholars, artists and the Nation’s leaders would come together to celebrate the universal significance of the new invention. There would be no favouritism towards captains of industry, no legal or administrative barriers to slow down production, and this marvel, which would come to be called photography would soon be given, in the name of France to the whole of Humanity.
To be precise, the government had decided in a spirit of longstanding cordial rivalry, to give the secret to the whole world, except for England, a country very pernickety about patents, and sceptical about the ostensible paternity of the invention. The French inventors would of course be celebrated and decorated for this generosity. Rarely has a gift given so much pleasure and for so long.
Perhaps the quickest to appreciate it was a certain Joseph Hamel… »
Accés au texte français publié six mois plus tôt :