William Willis (inventor)

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This article is about the inventor. For other uses of this name, see William Willis.

William Willis Jr. (1841–1923)[1] is a British inventor who developed the platinum process on the basis of the light sensitivity of platinum salts, originally discovered by John Herschel.[2]

Willis made the first platinum print in 1873 and patented it,[3] but the process was imperfect, attracting little interest. In 1874, the British Journal of Photography announced his Platinum Printing process. It gave a report of the process on 4 June 1875. By 1879 he had improved the process sufficiently to justify founding the Platinotype Company to market his papers.

He began marketing his pre-coated papers in 1880. Taking his cue from Daguerre's marketing practices with his Daguerreotypes, Willis sold licenses to photographers wanting to use his process, and then sold them the materials.

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