First Ever Printed Photograph
Mark Twain once jokingly said to David Croly, Editor of The Daily Graphic: An Illustrated Evening Newspaper, “I don’t care much about reading… but I do like to look at pictures, and the illustrated weeklies do not come as often as I need them.” The Daily Graphic eventually went on to make its reputation by publishing lavish engravings. These included cartoons, reproduction of paintings, illustrations of contemporary news and notable personalities in each issue. On 2 December 1873, Stephen Horgan, an engraver, who at the time worked at the newspaper, introduced the first crudely reproduced photograph using the halftone process. It was an advertisement for Steinway Hall, a popular concert venue. Horgan is credited with inventing an early form of halftone printing. However, this particular photograph was reproduced by a lithographic process and then transferred to an engraving plate for the printing press. These advancements acted as stepping stones, and by World War I, a more regular use of photographs was seen in print media. By 1942, its importance was officially recognised when the Pulitzer Prize board began citing photographs and reportage in its journalism awards program.
—Written by Vedika Singhania
This article originally appeared in the October 2017 issue of Better Photography.Tags: photography, Story Behind the Picture, photograph, archives, Vedika Singhania, October 2017, First Ever Printed Photograph, The Daily Graphic