'John Tyndall', 1865.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A carte-de-visite portrait of Irish physicist John Tyndall (1820-1893), taken at the studio of Maull & Polyblank, London, in 1865. By the mid-1850s, Maull & Polyblank had become renowned for their publications of celebrity portraits. Originally a railway engineer, Tyndall later devoted himself to chemical research and in 1853 became Professor of Natural Philosophy at the Royal Institution. In 1867 he succeeded Michael Faraday as superintendent there. His research was mainly in the fields of light, sound, and radiant heat. He also made significant studies of Alpine glaciers. He lectured very successfully in America in 1872, giving all the proceeds to trustees to advance American science.