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Profile of the Day: Nicéphore Niépce

Profile of the Day: Nicéphore Niépce

Nicéphore Niépce

Do you have French ancestry? On this day in 1765, French inventor Nicéphore Niépce was born. Credited as the inventor of photography, Niépce developed heliography, a technique used to create the world’s earliest known permanent photographic image.

He was born Joseph-Nicéphore Niépce on March 7, 1765 in Charlon, France to a wealthy family. After serving in the French military, Niépce shifted his focus to pursue his scientific interests. Working alongside his brother, Claude, Niépce developed the Pyréolophore, the world’s first internal combustion engine in 1807.

Later, intrigued by the new art of lithography, Niépce began to explore ways to capture an image using light. He built his first camera around 1816 and experimented with different processes. He eventually developed heliography, which produced the earliest known surviving image of a real-world scene. After partnering with Louis Daguerre, the two worked together to further and develop and refine the photographing process. However, on July 5, 1833, Niépce died suddenly of a stroke. Daguerre would go on to continue their work and eventually develop the daguerreotype.

Explore Nicéphore Niépce’s family tree on Geni and share how you’re connected to the photography pioneer.

View Nicéphore Niépce’s Geni Profile


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