Articles by Massena teacher and Potsdam resident on photography history featured on national history website
Tuesday, February 4, 2014 - 2:49 pm

A three-part story on the history of photography and simultaneous development of 3-D, written by Massena teacher and Potsdam resident Tom French, is featured on the national website, The

The website says it “promotes high-quality cutting-edge historical scholarship intended for everyone.”

The first part, Capturing the Perfect Image, went live on the site’s homepage recently, and focuses on the early history of photography from the first photograph taken in 1826 (with an eight-hour exposure) to the celluloid canisters developed just over 50 years later but which became the standard technology for over 100 years.

The second part, 3-D: A Decidedly Victorian Innovation, explores how 3-D photography was invented almost simultaneously with commercial photography, both in 1839.

Finally, part three documents the varied lives of the numerous inventors of photographic technology.

The Ultimate History Project’s board of directors includes well known scholars including Robert Ehrenreich of the United States Holocaust Museum and Sarah Leavitt, curator of the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.

Tom French teaches English in Massena. His work has been featured in MacLife, Adirondack Life, Thousand Island Life, and The Watertown Daily Times. Several of his commentaries have aired on North Country Public Radio. His book, “River Views: A History of the 1000 Islands in 3-D, received an Independent Book Publishers Award Silver Medal for best non-fiction in the Northeast in 2012. The hardcover book includes a 3-D viewer so that readers can enjoy over 100 full-size stereoview reproductions. The book is available at Amazon and

He also maintains a website dedicated to the oral history of the 1000 Islands, The site includes recordings from the 1970s through 1990s of now-deceased individuals discussing the history of the 1000 Islands as well as home movies from the 1940s on. There are also old photographs and newspaper clippings.