Jacob Hicks Photo Collection
Jacob T. Hicks was the first professional photographer in Clay and Ray Counties (Missouri). Born in Liberty, Missouri on October 6, 1840 and died in Liberty, Missouri in March of 1924. He retired in 1912.

His niece, Mrs. B.P. (Nadine Fisher) Thompson - who lived in Liberty - preserved the collection of his glass negatives from which these photographs are made. The collection includes almost 400 glass negatives of various sizes - 3 1/4" x 4 1/4", 5" x 7" and 8" x 10".

Many are historically important subjects in the area, or of early prominent individuals, while many others are presently unknown.

It is possible that Mr. Hicks used the first successful process that was actually practical in making his first photographs, the daguerreotpye, but since this used a polished plate coated with light sensitive chemicals no nagative was involved. Unless some of these are recovered this would be speculation, but since some of the early negatives are of the "wet plate" type it is known that he used the first practical method that used a negative. This used a glass plate which was coated with chemicals which were dipped in a solution just before exposure, place in the camera wet, and then exposed to make the negative from which the positive print was produced. Wet plates allowed shorter exposure times than the Daguerre process, an dmore than one print could be made from one photograph. His later photographs were made using the dry plate method. Because this was invented in the 1870's and available commercially in the mid 1880's, it is assumed that this could be used to date most of the photographs made prior to about 1885.
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