Photo Blog: Day 2010

#2010 – Slingsby

Worthing, 13th July 2017.

The thing the drew me to this card was the priest’s calm determination; he exudes reassurance but there is also a genuine warmth in his eyes.

As for the photographer, Robert Slingsby was born in 1839 and began his career as early as 20, working as a photographer, alongside selling stationery and art supplies.

The rear of this CdV, which must have been produced in the mid-1870s, highlights numerous awards achieved over the years. With photographers of this era, any royal connections are usually to be taken with a pinch of salt. However, Slingsby’s renown in the burgeoning world of flashlight photography – and the connections he made as a result – suggest there may be more than a hint of truth in his patronage.

The Lincolnshire Echo of 14th November 1939 includes a report about a lecture he had given at a local camera group. The subject was something Slingsby was at the forefront of, flash photography.

The interviewee suggests that at the talk some 40 years before “the lecturer had a considerable reputation for flashlight photographs and was often commissioned to travel in other towns to take pictures of gatherings. The apparatus he used was of the most elaborate nature, involving the co-operation of two assistants…”

Slingsby’s research in the field of flash photography evidently led to the accolades cited on the back of the CdV; n 1890 he was granted a patent for a device that synchronized a flash lamp with a camera shutter.

Robert Slingsby died in Lincoln in 1895. He was 55.


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