Close up of photogenic drawing negative by William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-1877) showing a latticed window taken from inside the south gallery of Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire. Taken with the Camera Obscura, this photograph is the earliest camera negative in existence. Several different sized images of this view exist, testifying to Talbot's attempts to reduce exposure times. Talbot invented the first negative/positive proces between 1835-1839, patenting it as the calotype proces in 1841. For the first time any number of prints could be made of a single image, from the negative. Lacock, Talbot's family home, now houses a photography museum and is open to the public.
© National Museum of Science & Media / Science & Society Picture Library