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Levi Hill

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Last Updated: 05 December 2020

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Levi Hill

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Levi Hill was, among other things, Baptist minister in Westkill in New York's Catskill Mountains area. In the early 1840s, Hill learn daguerreotype process, only photographic process commonly used during that decade. It yields black-and-white photographs that reproduce light and shade but not color. By 1851, Hill had worked out his own very different version of process, which he claimed was able to reproduce colors of subject, too. Though many were of the opinion that color in Hill's photographs was added by hand-tinting, he received support from some in the scientific community, most notably Samuel F. B. Morse, inventor of the telegraph. Claims made about Hill and his commercially unavailable secret process draw both skepticism and wrath from some professional photographers, who believe that clients were put off having their pictures taken until they could be Hillotyped in color. In 1851, photographer Daniel DeWitt Tompkins Davie, then-president of the Association of Daguerreotypists, assembled an investigating team that pronounce Hill's invention delusion. In 1856, Hill wrote Treatise on Heliochromy, book that promised to reveal his secrets at last. It was available only by advance subscription for $25 copy, exorbitant price at that time. Davie obtained a court order banning sale of Hill's book on grounds that it libel him and his committee, with the result that most of the editions were pulp. Few surviving copies show that the book consists of rambling autobiography, history of photography, cookbook for many other processes, and finally, a recipe for making Hillotypes that is so chemically complicated it is practically unworkable. Hill died in 1865 at the age of 48, possibly victim of his long and incautious exposure to many extremely poisonous and corrosive chemicals involved in his experiments.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Subsequent research

In 1981, photography professor and historian Joseph Boudreau compounded archaic chemistry and replicated techniques described by Hill in Treatise on Heliochromy. Boudreau was able to create Hillotypes that distinctly and verifiably show muted reproductions of many of the colors in test subjects photograph, including red, green, blue, yellow, magenta and orange; These colors were all produced by action of light alone, without application of dyes or pigments. Chemical analysis of Hill's plates by researchers affiliated with the National Museum of American History, conducted in 2007, found that pigments had indeed been used to enhance colors in some Hillotypes, but that this accounts for only some of the photographs' color. They find that reds and blues had, for the most part, been genuinely reproduced photographically, but that other colors had been fraudulently add. Getty Conservation Institute senior scientist Dusan Stulik, who performed analysis with colleague Art Kaplan, concluded that fter pressure mount to produce additional colors. Hill begin adding additional pigments to his color plates by hand, doctoring them to look more multi-hue than originals.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

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