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I. On The Chemical Action Of The Rays Of The Solar Spectrum On Preparations Of Silver And Other Substances, Both Metallic And Non-metallic, And On Some Photographic Processes


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1. Lest the title of this communication should induce an expectation of its containing any regular and systematic series of researches developing definite laws, or pointing to any distinct theory of photographic action, it may be as well to commence it by stating its pretensions to be of a much lower kind, its object being simply to place on record a number of insulated facts and observations respecting the relations both of white light and of the differently refrangible rays to various chemical agents, which have offered themselves to my notice in the course of photographic experiments originating in the announcement of M. Daguerre’s discovery. The facts themselves, in the present state of our knowledge, will, I believe, be found by no means devoid of interest, and may lead, in the hands of others more favourably situated for such researches, and, I may add, in a better climate than ours, to inquiries of the utmost interest. 2. In a communication to this Society, which was read on the 14th of March, 1839, and of which an abstract will be found in the notices of its proceedings for that sitting, I have stated the circumstances which first directed my attention to this subject, and the progress I had then made, both in the scientific part of the inquiry and in its application to the photographic art. As that paper was (at my own request) withdrawn from the further immediate notice of the Society, and as the abstract alluded to may not fall into the hands of those who may read the present communication, a brief recapitulation of its contents will be necessary to preserve the connexion by which my inquiries have been linked together.