First name(s)
Position(s) held at King's College London

Lecturer of Photography (1849-1879)

Education & professional details

School, college and/or university attended

King’s College Aberdeen 1836-1841

Qualifications Ref: *3


Position(s) held (non King's College London)
  • London Illustrated News
  • Editor British Journal of Photography
Professional activities Ref: *3
  • A talk to the North London Photographic Association on the "Waxed-paper Process" (1857)
  • Attended a British Association for the Advancement of Science meeting at Aberdeen University in 1859
Publications Ref: *3
  • “The Waxed-Paper Process”, Journal of the Photographic Society, 4, (21 October 1857 & 21 November 1857)
  • with Thomas Sutton BA, A Dictionary of Photography (1858)
  • A Manual of Photography Founded on Hardwich's Photographic Chemistry, 8th Ed. (London, J & A Churchill: 1873)

Personal details

Date of birth
28th February 1821
Place of birth Ref: *1
Ordiquhill, Banff, Scotland
Date of death
Place of death Ref: *2
Lewisham, London
Obituary Ref: *3
  • British Journal of Photography Almanac 1898, 1898
  • Roger Taylor and Larry J. Schaaf, Impressed by Light: British Photographs from Paper Negatives, 1840-1860 (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2007), 307
Family details

George Dawson was unmarried.

Notes Ref: *4

  • George Dawson's numerous publications on photography remain standard reference works on the period to this day (2007). In 1857 Dawson exhibited considerable personal expertise in the waxed-paper process in a talk given to the North London Photographic Association. He was particularly active in the quest for a method of preventing the fading of photographic prints.
  • The waxed paper process, was invented in 1851 by Gustave Le Gray (1820-1882) and extended the life of paper negatives in the 1870s.
  • George Dawson was the first Professor of Photography at King's College London. Thomas Sutton BA was a colleague of Dawson and a Lecturer of Photography at King's College London 1860-1861.
  • George Dawson lived at 44 Nelson St. Bath in 22nd October 1861 when he wrote to King's College London to inform the Secretary that he had been a member of the Church of England for 18 years. Later in 1891 at the age of 70 he lived at Charterhouse, London.

* References

  1. 1871 Census RG10 11C page 13
  2. England and Wales Deaths Index 1897 1d 762
  3. http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/imu/imu.php? request=browse& irn=527
  4. Roger Taylor & Larry J. Schaaf, Impressed by Light: British Photographs from Paper Negatives, 1840-1860 (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2007); Museum of the History of Science Oxford University; KA/IC/D27; 1891 Census RG12 221/136 page 4.
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