Thomas Wedgwood: the Uncle of Photography

Thomas Wedgwood (1771–1805)

As historians of science are forever reminding us (although nobody listens to those killjoys), we enter dangerous territory when we start to discuss the ‘first’ person to do X, the ‘lone genius’ who invented Y, or the ‘Father of’ Great Idea Z.

Darwin's favourite tune

Reminiscing about his father, Charles Darwin's son Francis wrote: In the evening, that is, after he had read as much as his strength would allow, and before the reading aloud began, he would often lie on the sofa and listen to my mother playing the piano. He had not a good ear, yet in spite…