The First 90 Years

To those that are interested in the early years of photography, and the growth of the profession, the table below may be of interest. The information provided shows the growth of professional photographer numbers in America over a ninety year time frame.

The data has been collected from official U.S. Decennial Census Reports for each decade that was available in 1938. Notice that the largest relative increases in photographer numbers happen in the decades 1840-50, 1850-60, and 1880-1890. It is during these decades that new photographic processes were introduced. During these decades daguerreotypy, then collodion (wet plate) photography, and then dry plate photography were introduced. It is interesting to notice that with each easier, and more accessible process the numbers of photographers increased.

Year_______Total Population_____Photographers

1840——————17,069,453—————-0
1850——————23,191,876—————-938
1860——————31,000,000—————-3,154
1870——————39,000,000—————-7,558
1880——————50,000,000—————-9,990
1890——————63,000,000—————-20,040
1900——————76,000,000—————-27,029
1910——————92,000,000—————-31,775
1920——————106,000,000—————34,259
1930——————123,000,000—————39,529

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~ by Phil Nesmith on August 21, 2007.

 
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