Name: Richard W. Thomas
Biographical Dates: fl. 1852 - 1879
Richard W. Thomas
Biography: Richard Wheeler Thomas was a London chemist who specialized in the production and sale of photographic supplies. The Chronological Index of Patents Applied for and Patents Granted for the Year 1864 (London: 1865), lists:
2122. RICHARD WHEELER THOMAS, of Pall Mall, in the County of Middlesex, for an invention for—" Improvements in tents and apparatus employed in taking photographic pictures." Letters Patent sealed. 29 August 1864
Thomas's establishment was at 10 Pall Mall. He claimed to be the sole maker of xylo-iodide of silver, a collodion favored by the best photographic establishments. He also advertized cyanogen soap, darkroom equipment, and other photographic supplies of his own devising. He wrote and published some manuals on photography as well.
In a letter date 7 November 1853, John F. W. Herschel told William Henry Fox Talbot, "It so happens however, that among several [photographs] which I have from time to time had done, there is not one that is in any degree satisfactory (to my friends) except one recently executed on Collodion by Mr Thomas–a professional chemist in Pall-Mall but au fait de Photographie an amateur, and one who has attained rare excellence in the use of that material. He took this at the instance of a friend of mine Mr Dudgeon a devoted photographer, and who has worked in a sort of rivality with him."
Richard W. Thomas was elected a Fellow of the Chemical Society of London in 1862.
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