Frederick Scott Archer
Frederick Scott Archer was at the age of 43 when he passed away. He was the inventor of the photographic collodion process; this preceded the modern gelatin emulsion.He lost his parents at a young age, leading him to be brought up by distant family members and friends. Frederick was remembered mainly for his single achievement, which greatly increased the use and accessibility of photography for the general public.
Frederick was formally known to have been brought up by his father before he passed away, who was a butcher in Bishops Stortford. However, there is no evidence of his occupation being correct, nor history of a Thomas Archer as a butcher in Bishops Stortford.
Frederick Archer was described as “a very inconspicuous gentleman, in poor health.” Since Frederick did not make public disclosure with the collodion process, he made very little money from it and still died in poverty.
On the 21st of May 1857, a subscription list was established. “The Archer Testimonial Fund” by his friends Roger Fenton and John Mayallalong with other members of the Photographic Society of London, for the benefit of his family. This was followed shortly afterwards by the setting up of a formal Archer Testimonial Committee under the chairmanship of the architect, Sir Matthew Digby Wyatt and the surgeon Jabez Hogg as its secretary.The subscription was closed in August 1859 with £767 ($956.40 AUD) collected. His three children were granted a pension of £50 ($62.34 AUD) from the Civil List due to their father's photographic discovery, which was noted at the time as having saved the Government some £30,000 ($37,407.35 AUD) in the production of Ordnance Survey maps alone.
Frederick Archer specialized in coin appraisals and then became interested in their artistic qualities, this led to his artwork in sculpture. Archer then set up a studio at Henrietta Street in London with the help from his friends. He sculpted busts of well-known people, people including the...