Thomas Sutton (photographer)  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Thomas Sutton (1819-1875) was an English photographer, author, and inventor. He graduated from Cambridge University in 1846 as the twenty-seventh Wrangler. He opened a photographic studio in Jersey the following year under the patronage of Prince Albert. In 1855 he set up a photographic company in Jersey with business partner Louis Désiré Blanquart-Evrard that produced prints from calotype negatives. The following year, Sutton and Blanquart-Evrard founded the journal "Photographic Notes", which Sutton edited for eleven years. A prolific author, Sutton wrote a number of books on the subject of photography, including the Dictionary of Photography in 1858.

In 1859, Sutton developed the earliest panoramic camera with a wide-angle lens. The lens consisted of a glass sphere filled with water, which projected an image onto a curved plate. The camera was capable of capturing an image in a 120 degree arc. Another photographic development was the first Single Lens Reflex camera, in 1861. He was also the photographer for James Clerk Maxwell's early experiments in color photography and in 1861 took the world's first permanent color photograph of a Tartan ribbon. Maxwell directed Sutton to take three photographs of the ribbon, through a red, green, and blue filter, respectively. The plates were developed and projected on a screen by three projectors, each with the same color filter used to take its photograph. When brought together in focus, a full-color image was formed. He also worked on the development of dry photographic plates.

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