Catalogue Number: 1817
Colour vision being the Tyndall Lectures delivered in 1884 at the Royal Institution
Sub-Category: Significant book (Aitken collection)
Author: ABNEY (Sir) William de Wiveleslie
Year Of Publication/Manufacture: 1895
Time Period: 19th C
Place Of Publication/Manufacture: London
Publisher/Manufacturer: Sampson, Low, Marston and Company
Description Of Item: Original deep green cloth covers, 231 pages, colour frontispiece and 41 figures in text.
Historical Significance: This book is one of the milestones in the unfolding of the story of colour vision and its abnormal forms. Chapters 9 to 14 deal with abnormal colour vision. Chapter 15 compares the Young and Hering theories of colour vision. The book is based on three one hour lectures on successive Saturdays afternoons in 1884. William Abney KCB DSc FRS (1843-1920) was an astronomer, chemist and a pioneer in photography. He advanced the understanding of colour vision in the progression from Newton (1642-1727) , Young (1773-1829), Maxwell (1831-1879), Helmholtz (1821-1894, Parsons (1868-1957) and WD Wright (1906 - 1997). He was initially a soldier. He attended the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich and joined the Royal Engineers in 1861, with which he served in India for several years. Thereafter, and to further his knowledge in photography, he became a chemical assistant at the Chatham School of Military Engineering, a post that allowed him to undertake photographic research and devise a new photolithographic printing process. He left Chatham in 1877 to become a civil servant in the Department of Science and Art, where he soon became a major figure in British photography. Abney undertook significant research on the chemistry of the newly introduced gelatin halide emulsions and was responsible for the introduction of hydroquinone as a developing agent. His introduction of silver gelatin citrochloride emulsions led to the mass marketing of printing-out paper. He was knighted in 1900.
How Acquired: Purchased by Kett Museum (from Abe Books)
Date Acquired: April 2011
Condition: Very good
Location: Nathan Library. Aitken collection