Nicéphore Niepce, inventor of photography, stayed in Nice from 1793 till 1801. He first intended to become a clergyman but finally chose the military career at the beginning of the Revolution. Officer in the 42 nd° regiment of infantry, he arrived in Nice in 1793 and found a flat at Mrs Romero’s, a printer’s widow. He fell in love with his landlady’s daughter, Agnès, whom he married in August, 1794. He had a fragile health, he left the army and, at the end of 1794, was named member of the board of directors of the district of Nice. He soon resigned and, after a journey in Sardinia, settled down in Saint Roch with his wife, his son, born in Nice on August 4, 1795, and his brother Claude. Nicéphore and Claude began to make scientific researches. These works concerned at first the settling of an engine capable of propelling a boat: it will be called the " pyréolophore ", patented in 1807. Previously, in 1801 , Niepce got back to his home town, Chalon-sur-Saône, to solve a problem of succession. He pursued his works on dyestuffs and especially on photography, in association with Daguerre. He died poor, his merits were not really recognized.

Bonne Manuel : Niepce à Nice, Mesclun, n° 16.

Ralph SCHOR

 

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