French Camera Lucida made by Chambre Claire Universelle. Three draw, nickel plated c1920s with full set of 12 rectangular lenses. Complete in fitted case. Invented by William Hyde Wollaston (1766-1828), a chemist, metallurgist and physiologist who discovered a way to work platinum ore among other things. The camera lucida was patented on the 4th December 1806, patent no. 2993 and was granted to Wollaston for `An instrument whereby any person may draw in perspective, or may copy or reproduce any print or drawing`. It contained the Wollaston prism, a 4 sided optic first described by Johannes Kepler, a German mathematician, astrologer and astronomer. In 1807, Wollaston published articles in the Philosophical Magazine and The Journal of Natural Philosophy, Chemistry and the Arts entitled `Description of the Camera Lucida`, thus introducing the name `camera lucida`. Various artists, including Captain Basil Hall RN (1788-1844), William Gell (1777-1836) and John Sell Cotman (1782-1842) used a camera lucida, as did Sir John Herschel, scientist, astronomer and friend of W.H.Fox Talbot, who also used the aid for his attempts at drawing.
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