|Claudet, Jean Francois Antoine|
b. 12 August 1797; d. 27 December 1867
Claudet was one of the first commercial photographers. A French glass merchant living in High Holborn, he learned details of the daguerreotype process from its inventor, and bought from him a licence to operate in England. In 1841 he set up a studio on the roof of the Adelaide Gallery (now the Nuffield Centre), behind St. Martins in the Fields church, London, and later on in two other sites in London.
Another daguerreotype practitioner at the time was Richard Beard, and there was considerable competition between the two. Beard even took out a court injunction against Claudet in an effort to close his business, but the court found in Claudet's favour.
In 1842 FoxTalbot sought to persuade Claudet to practise the Calotype (also known as the Talbotype) at his studio, the Adelaide Gallery.
Independently, Claudet discovered an accelerating process, using chlorine instead of bromine to reduce exposures. He also invented the red (safe) dark-room light, and it was he who suggested the idea of using a series of photographs to create the illusion of movement. The idea of using painted backdrops is also attributed to him.
In 1845 Claudet bought a lens designed by Joseph Petzval. It was sixteen times faster than the ones currently in use, and enabled him not only to take pictures with shorter exposures, but also increase their size.
In 1851 he moved his business to 107 Regent Street, where he established what he called a "Temple to Photography."
In the late eighteen fifties Claudet became fascinated by stereoscopic photography. He invented a folding stereoscope and an endless belt stereoscopic viewer which enabled one to view up to a hundred pictures in succession.
Claudet received many honours, among which was the appointment, in 1853, as "Photographer-in-ordinary" to Queen Victoria, and the award, ten years later, of an honour from the Emperor of France. Sadly, less than a month after his death, his "temple to photography" was burnt down, and most of his most valuable photographic treasures were lost.
Information provided by: http://www.rleggat.com/photohistory/history/claudet.htm