Joseph Niepce - Encyclopedia




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JOSEPH Nicephore NIEPCE (1765-1833), French physicist, and one of the inventors of photography, was born at Chalonsur-Saone on the 7th of March 1765. In 17 9 2 he entered the army as a sub-lieutenant, and in the following year he saw active service in Italy. Ill-health and failing eyesight compelled him to resign his commission before he had risen above the rank of lieutenant; but in 1795 he was nominated administrateur of the district of Nice, and he held the post until 1801. Returning in that year to his birthplace, he devoted himself along with his elder brother Claude (1763-1828) to mechanical and chemical researches; and in 1811 he directed his attention to the rising art of lithography. In 1813 the idea of obtaining sun pictures first suggested itself to him in this connexion; and in 1826 he learned that L. J. M. Daguerre was working in the same direction. In 1829 the two united their forces, "pour cooperer au perfectionnement de la decouverte inventee par M. Niepce et oerfectionnee par M. Daguerre" (see also Photography). Niepce died at Gras, his property near Chhlon, on the 3rd of July 1833. A nephew, Claude Felix Abel Niepce De Saintvictor (1805-1870), served with distinction in the army, and also made important contributions towards the advancement of the art of photography; he published Recherches photographiques (Paris, 1855) and Traite pratique de gravure heliogra phique sur acier et sur verre (Faris, 1866) .

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