Secrets in the History of Color Photo Invention

  Since the invention of the photo-engraving method in 1839, colorful natural colors have always been the goal of photographers. Before the invention of color photos, some customers often asked photographers to color their photos by hand, but these colors had nothing to do with the real color. It was Hill who invented the earliest color plate-making technology and left colorful images of the real world on photographic photographs for the first time.
  Photographer Levi Hill (Levi Hill) had an unusual beginning in the invention of the history of photography. In 1816, after accidentally falling into an ice hole, he miraculously emerged from another unfrozen hole. After this near miss, he decided to devote himself to the priesthood. However, long-term preaching in a draughty church made him suffer from severe chronic bronchitis. By chance, Hill inhaled bromine gas deeply in the daguerreotype studio, which greatly relieved his condition, and this may be the beginning of his photography career.
  Since then, Hill has written a number of books on daguerreotype technology, and secretly carried out research on color photography technology, and a friend of his later disclosed the matter to the editor of “Photo Art Magazine”. Hill didn’t want to be famous, but he assured the magazine that the rumor was true. He said, “This invention will completely replace the original daguerreotype. Among my 45 color photos, there is a landscape photo, which shows red houses, green grass, different shades of trees, and There’s light blue skies.”
  8,000 letters flake from all over to a mountain hut in New York State, where Hill lives, with many offering to share millions of dollars with him called “” The Mystery of Natural Color Photography”. Although Hill wanted to support a child and a wife with tuberculosis, he flatly refused those requests. The few people who were fortunate enough to see his color photos couldn’t help but marvel at the beauty of the color photos.
  The editor-in-chief of Photographer’s Magazine was so impressed by Hill’s achievements that he appointed Hill as associate editor and enthusiastically praised Hill to his readers, even exaggerating that Hill’s “natural color photography” The achievement surpasses any other invention in the field of art. If Raphael (Note: Italian painter, architect) saw the achievement of color photography before completing his masterpiece, I am afraid he will be surprised to adjust the tone The swatches and brushes fell out of his hands, and maybe his masterpiece wouldn’t exist anymore.”
  But not everyone is happy and excited about this great invention in the history of photography. The prospect of monochrome photography is bleak, perhaps becoming obsolete overnight. What should the photographers do? When some tried to persuade Hill to reveal his secret, they began to lash out, saying “all this is just a ruse and Hill’s purpose is to sell his book.”
  A number of inventors and photographers also rose to defend Hill, including Samuel Morse, the inventor of the telegraph. Morse himself was proficient in daguerreotypes and was one of the first Americans to understand daguerreotypes. He admonished “Photo Art Magazine”, saying: “I have no doubts about the fact that Hill’s invention was invented. As for the fact that he does not want to disclose his invention to the public now, I think he must have his good reasons.”
  Hill prepared To further improve this “natural color photography”, he wanted to make the process simpler and more reliable. But by 1851 his ideas had made little progress, and calls for Hill to reveal the secret were growing louder.
  In October 1851, a self-proclaimed “Committee of Three” of the Society of Photographers of New York came to Hill’s small mountain village to negotiate face-to-face with Hill. Hill received them politely, but declined their request to reveal the secret. One member of the “Committee of Three” is D. D. T. David, in his rage, said he was going to use force. Fearing physical harm from aggressive photographers, Hill, who was in poor health, bought a repeating revolver for protection and borrowed a guard dog to protect his residence. The two sides were at each other’s throats, and they were very nervous.
  Hill needs help. He showed the proof of his invention to the U.S. Senate Patent Committee, and they were all convinced of Hill’s invention. Hill, however, was still reluctant to publicize his invention, nor to apply for a patent for it. In an open letter to The New York Times, he stubbornly reiterated his point of view, saying: “In every way this invention is my own business.” Come on, even Morse has been accused of being Hill’s “lag dog” and “attendant”, but Morse has no regrets about it, he said, “Who has the right to demand that he must make his invention public? Who has the right to dictate when he will disclose his invention?”
  In 1855, Hill’s wife died. Hill has been unable to recover from the grief of his wife’s death. In the second year after his wife’s death, Hill published his book “On Color Photography”. This thin booklet sold for $25 a copy, and some photography magazines were critical of his writings, scolding him in every possible way, and some even called him “a big liar”.
  Is this really a scam? In 1972, clues that Hill had indeed achieved what he himself claimed to have first surfaced, and historian William Baker republished the surviving Hill’s treatise, sparking interest in this period of history. A wooden box containing 62 color photographic plates has also been rediscovered at the Smith Institution in Washington. In 1933, Hill’s son-in-law donated the box to the society, and it has been lying there in obscurity. As the years passed, the wooden box has gradually turned yellow and discolored. Are they just coloring on ordinary plate-making photographic negatives, as some malicious detractors claim? Hill did have hand-colored plate-making photographic plates for some of his clients, so it’s not surprising that some of the plates he’s left behind include hand-colored work. Like daguerreotypes, Hill’s chromography leaves a photographic image on a silver-coated copper plate, but Hill says his chromography method is completely different from ordinary daguerreotypes. Indeed, the photographic plates discovered by the Smithsonian Institution were not the same as ordinary daguerreotypes.
  Mike Crawford of London’s Lighthouse Darkroom, who first studied them, said: “The emulsion and base plate are indeed coloured, and not hand coloured on as first suspected.” True The proof lies in Hill’s proposed formulation of materials used in the exposure and processing of photographs. In 1986, Joseph Bodrew, head of the photography department at the Paier University of the Arts in Connecticut, announced his conclusion: Hill’s method works.
  Although according to the standards of modern photography technology, the effect of Hill’s color photography technology is very general, but Hill is the first person to put the true and beautiful colors of nature into photos after all.