Monckhoven, Désiré Charles Emanuel van

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b. 1834 Ghent, Belgium d. 1882
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Belgian chemist, photographic researcher, inventor and author.
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Born in Belgium of German stock, Monckhoven spoke German and French with equal fluency. He originally studied chemistry, but devoted the greater part of his working life to photography. His improved solar enlarger of 1864 was seen by his contemporaries as one of the significant innovations of the day. In 1867 he moved to Vienna, where he became involved in portrait photography, but returned to Ghent in 1870. In 1871 he announced his discovery of a practicable collodion dry-plate process, and later in the decade he conducted research into the carbon printing process. In 1879 Monckhoven constructed a comprehensively equipped laboratory where he commenced a series of experiments on gelatine dry-plate emulsions, including some which yielded the discovery that the ripening of silver bromide was greatly accelerated by ammonia; this allowed the production of emulsions of much greater sensitivity. He was a prolific author, and his 1852 book on photography, Traité général de photographie, published when he was only 18, became one of the standard texts of his day.
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Bibliography
1852, Traité général de photographie, Paris.
Further Reading
J.M.Eder, 1945, History of Photography, trans. E.Epstean, New York.
JW

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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