Life And Work

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A panel of scientists in Ljubljana on the 14th of September discussed Puhar's invention in their session. They were presented with concrete evidence: two pictures on glass, one depicting the church and the other the rectory in Bled. The Chairman of the panel, Ferdinand Schmidt, personally introduced the curate Janez Puhar, "whose sharp zeal and tireless studies have succeeded in enriching us with a new, astonishing invention, where the image is fixed onto the glass by using the Camera Obscura..." They deliberated on how to "ensure the priority of his invention".


Puhar, perhaps on the advice of F. Schmidt, soon made contact with the secretary of the Academy of Sciences in Vienna. The secretary Schrötter von Cristelli was a scientist who chiefly dealt with problems involving sulphur, which is why he found Puhar's process with sulphuric vapours interesting. Towards the end of the year 1850, they maintained an animated correspondence in secret. The results were positive - the members of the Academy carefully examined Puhar's invention using the attached pictures.


The Academy of Sciences in Vienna publishes Puhar's report entitled "Die Transparentlichtbilder auf Glas" in "Reports of a Mathematical and Natural Sciences Character" ("Sitzungsberichte der mathematisch-naturwissenschaftlichen Klasse der kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften", Bd. IV., Jahrgang 1851, H. 1., pp. 43 - 46).

Puhar displays his photographs on glass at the Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations in London as one of the three representatives of the Austrian Empire. He could be found on the large list under the number 740 with the statement: "Pucher Johann, Veldes, Upper Carniola, Inventor". It was accompanied by an explanation that he was displaying photography on glass created with a new method. He was awarded the bronze medal, which unfortunately has not been preserved.

The publication of the report in "Reports of a Mathematical and Natural Sciences Character", National Museum of Slovenia, photo T. Lauko Inside the Crystal Palace in London, 1851


Puhar on the 27th of March received an invitation from New York. The Engelmann Brothers company stated that they could make a nice profit in reproduction of photographic motifs on glass and asked him to send 300 florins worth of his photographs on glass. This was actually connected to the preparations for the World's Fair in New York in 1853. Puhar sent several photographs.

The original diploma, National Museum of Slovenia, photo T. Lauko


Puhar on the 17th of June received the title of honorary member, and a diploma from the French "Académie nationale agricole, manufacturiere et commerciale", recognising him, although somewhat late, as the "Inventeur de la photographie sur verre" (the inventor of photography on glass). The original is preserved in the National Museum of Slovenia in Ljubljana.

The town hall in Paris where Puhar was awarded the title "Inventor of Photography on Glass" in 1852
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October 20