*** photography and publishing: photographers -- Wilhelm Hammerschmidt

Photographers: Wilhelm Hammerschmidt (Germany, about 1830?-70)

Figure 1.-- This beautifully tinted W. Hammerschmidt CDV shows a Cairo water vendor and boy, taken some time in the 1860s. We are not sure about the two yellow vessels. One might be a measuring cup carried by the vendor. He may have also probided the drinking cup that the boy and other customers drank from. We are not sure where the water he is carrying came from. The back is identified as "Vendeur d'eau". The back has the mark of the photographer W. Hammerschmidt in German script even though the title is in French. Presumably the CDV was sold in France. The interesting aspect of the 19th century Middke Wastern images is that they could have been taken a millenium earlier. 

Only limited informstion is available on Wilhelm Hammerschmidt. He is the first important German photographer that we have noted, although his work is primarily associated with the Middle East--especially Egypt. He was born in Berlin about 1830. We know nothing sbout his childhood. Suddenly we begin to see his photographs (about 1955). Hammersmith was not the first European photograoher to photograph in the Middle East, but he was the first German photographer we know of and he was one of the first to set up a studio in Cairo rather than just visit. With the invention of photography (1839), Europeans and Americans began figuring out how to turn the new technology into a business. People at the time were hungry for images and there was a market for images frfom exotic places like the Middle East to include in photograph albums. And as steamships and railroads made travel easier, we see new photographers attempting to meet the demand for oriental images. Wilhelm Hammerschmidt dirst and then Félix Bonfils opened studios in Cairo. Having local studios meant that these photographers could use glass-plate negatives which enabled them to capture wonderful, crystal clear images. Hammerschmidt appears to have opened a studio in Berlin (mid-1850s) and then in Cauiro (about 1860). He appears to have worked for or with Hermann Wilhelm Vogel. Hammerschmidt traveled back and forth. While not the first orientalist photographer, he was the first of the second generation of photographers who bwith improved techniques and equipment, capture the first ctrystal clear images of the Middle East. His impaces are notable for their technical perfection and the way he captured the bright sunlight of the desert. He produced some wonderful panoramas. He worked extensively along the Nile south to Sudan and also west into the Libyan Desert and east into Palestinr\e, especially Jerusalem. He was granted mermbershup in the Socité française de la photographie (1865). His photographs were shown at the Paris World Fair (1867). He photographed the Suez Canal opening (1869), but tghen his work suddenly stopped. Perhaps he became ill. He died soon after (about 1870). We have seen different dates.


Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing Web Site:
[Return to: Main 19th century photographer page]
[Return to: Main photographer page]
[Introduction] [Activities] [Biographies] [Chronology] [Clothing styles] [Countries]
[Bibliographies] [Contributions] [FAQs] [Glossaries] [Images] [Links] [Registration] [Tools]
[Boys' Clothing Home]

Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing Web Site:
[Sailor suits] [Sailor hats] [Buster Brown suits]
[Eton suits] [Rompers] [Tunics] [Smocks] [Pinafores] [Lederhosen]

Created: 3:37 AM 5/8/2011
Last updated: 3:37 AM 5/8/2011