Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,348 pages of information and 233,846 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Josiah Thomas Chapman

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'Magic lantern' projector in private collection

1843 born in Staverton, Wiltshire

1858 Started working for his uncle, Josiah Thomas Slugg, a chemist and amateur astronomer, in Manchester.

1868 Left to work for Robert Hampson (previously the business of J.J. Payne at 63 Piccadilly, Manchester, a chemist who supplied photographic goods. Later, Chapman and a fellow employee took over the business to form Payne & Chapman.

1874 Partnership with J.B. Payne (trading as Payne & Chapman) was dissolved. Business of J. T. Chapman established.

1907 Chapman died.

Chapman and Joshua Billcliff jointly patented cameras, sold under the Chapman name.

The above information is largely drawn from the 'Early Photography' website[1]

More detailed information is available on the 'Historic Camera' website, including the fact that in 1871 Chapman married Elizabeth Gardiner. He began experimenting with photographic emulsions, leading to the production of plates branded 'Lancashire' and 'Manchester'. The published findings of independent tests (by Ferdinand Hunt and Vero Driffield) led to a surge in sales of 'Manchester' plates. In 1883 Chapman designed a quarter-plate camera named 'The Manchester'. In 1886 he introduced the 'The British' series of cameras[2]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1] 'Early Photography' website
  2. [2] 'Historic Camera' website