William Henry Fox Talbot was born on 11 February 1800 in Melbury, Dorset. Before Henry Fox Talbot reached the age of one year old his father passed away which left just him and his mother.
In 1833 William Henry visited Lake Como in Italy, he had a lack of success at sketching the scenery prompted so he came up with a new machine with light-sensitive paper that would create the sketches for him automatically. When he returned to England, he began working on this project at his home at Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire
Fox Talbot went on to develop three primary elements of photography: developing, fixing, and printing. Although simply exposing photographic paper to the light produced an image, it required extremely long exposure times. By accident, he discovered that there was an image after a very short exposure. Although he could not see it, he found he could chemically develop it into a useful negative. The image on this negative was then fixed with a chemical solution. This removed the light-sensitive silver and enabled the picture to be viewed in bright light. With the negative image, Fox Talbot realised he could repeat the process of printing from the negative. Consequently, his process could make any number of positive prints, unlike the Daguerreotypes. He called this the 'calotype' and patented the process in 1841. The following year was rewarded with a medal from the Royal Society for his work.
William Henry Fox Talbot introduced calotype in 1841, using paper coated with silver iodide. The term calotype comes from the greek kalos tupos meaning beautiful impression.
Talbot’s search for a photographic process using permanent printer’s ink was a final step in the refinement of his earlier, still imperfect, invention.