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Description (Brief):

A documentation of a request by Friedrich von Martens to the 'Prefecture du Departement de la Seine' for a patent ca. 1845.

The Friederich von Martens collection in the Photographic History Collection is composed of thirty-eight albumen photographs. Included in the collection is a set of mechanical drawings, patent information and personal correspondence related to von Martens’s panoramic camera and photographs. Many of the photographs in this collection are of Paris in the mid-1800s. There are also photographs of drawings and paintings.

Frédéric Vincent Martens Schuller (Frédéric Martens) or Friedrich von Martens was born in Venice, Italy on December 16, 1806, but spent most of his life living and working in the Paris, France. Martens was the son of a German diplomat, however not much is known about his life before he left Italy. In Europe, Martens was a prominent and respected photographer, even considered as one of the pioneers of the domain. He photographed both seascapes and city scenes in Paris. His work was exhibited in Paris at the Salon (the official art exhibition of the Académie des Beaux-Arts) from 1834 to 1848. In 1845, Martens invented the first successful and technically effective panoramic camera, called the Megaskop-Kamera. The camera featured a swing lens and operated by a handle and gears. The first model used 4.7" x 15" curved daguerreotype plates that had a 150-degree arc. A later model used wet plate curved glass emulsions. The curved plate design made development of the plates difficult, however von Martens managed to produce many high-quality panoramas. In 1851, he exhibited several albumen prints of architectural views at the 1851 Great Exhibition in London, for which he was awarded the Council Medal. Also on view was his panorama of Mont Blanc created with 14 talbotypes. It was reshown at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1855, where he was decorated with the National Order of the Legion of Honor. After this event, we don’t have any information about his life or work. Martens died on January 12, 1885, in his appartement in the 6th arrondissement of Paris (at 84 rue Bonaparte).

Date Made: ca 1845

Maker: von Martens, Friedrich

Location: Currently not on view

See more items in: Work and Industry: Photographic History, Photo History Collection, Friedrich von Martens Collection, Photography


Exhibition Location:

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: PG.72.76.36Accession Number: 302033Catalog Number: 72.76.36

Object Name: document

Physical Description: paper (overall material)Measurements: overall: 17.3 cm x 22.6 cm; 6 13/16 in x 8 29/32 in


Record Id: nmah_1189283

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