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Colour photography patent

2nd July 2019

In the same year (1895) that he developed the first all-British motor car and continued with his passion for aeronautics, Fred Lanchester somehow managed to find time to patent a method for ‘Photography in colours’.

The apparatus incorporated a grate of parallel opaque bars which were placed as close to the photograph’s subject as possible, with a prism placed close to the lens. The print was a black-and-white lantern slide that was viewed inside the camera in place of the photographic plate, and upon casting a white light onto the slide, it produced a coloured image that could be projected onto a screen.  His ideas were referenced by photography enthusiasts who later developed the concept further using different apparatus.

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