Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

email signup
Search Collections

Joseph Nicéphore Niépce.

Joseph Nicéphore Niépce invented one of the earliest kinds of photography.


He called his invention heliography. In Latin, helios means sun and graphein means write, so heliography means to write using the sun.


Because he was not good at drawing, Niépce wanted to capture pictures of the world in a different way, so he used the sun's light to make pictures.


Many inventions begin this way—as answers to existing problems.

Make a Heliograph Color a Picture Fun Facts Careful Looking Then and Now Tools Invention