Unknown Microphotograph Maker "HJB"

by Brian Stevenson
last updated June, 2019

The currently-unidentified microphotograph slide maker "HJB" used yellow labels that strongly resemble those of the well-known J.B. Dancer. Quite likely, this was a ploy to confuse customers. Like Dancer, HJB numbered his slides - all known examples are illustrated below (Figure 1). Slides numbered as high as 154 are known, and a list indicated 183 different images (Figure 2). Microphotograph number 10 shows a ten Pound note that is is dated July 6, 1861(Figure 1).

An 1863 instructional pamphlet / catalogue from Joseph Solomon, entitled Photographic Wrinkles, Remedies, and Recipes, included a numbered list of microphotographs (Figure 2). The numbers and descriptions match all known HJB microphotographs. Although this does not yet identify HJB, it does provide a context for this mysterious photographer.

Of note, a different series of microphotographs was issued by Solomon with his initial (J.S.), of subjects that do not match the HJB series.

Any information on this maker’s identity, or other examples of HJB’s work, will be greatly appreciated.

Figure 1. Microphotograph slides by HJB.


Figure 2. List of microphotograph slides from Photographic Wrinkles, Remedies, and Recipes, by Joseph Solomon, 1863. The numbers and titles match the known microphotographs of HJB.


Many thanks to Richard Courtiour and other contributors who provided images.


Solomon, Joseph (1863) Photographic Wrinkles, Remedies, and Recipes, London, pages 62-64