(b Manchester, Sept 17, 1813; d Southwick, nr Brighton, March 6, 1901).
English photographer, active in the USA. He became established as a daguerreotypist in Philadelphia, PA, but returned to England in 1846, rapidly emerging as one of the top daguerreotypists in London. His association with the USA was tenacious; even Queen Victoria, a regular patron, said of him: ‘the oddest man I ever saw…but an excellent photographer…he is an American’. She was not alone in her observation of Mayall’s eccentric but charismatic behaviour.
Mayall’s forceful monochromatic portrait images were the equal of Antoine Claudet’s and successful competitors of William Kilburn’s hand-coloured daguerreotypes. Mayall exhibited portraits of the famous at his Daguerreotype Institution, and many of his sitters, including Sir John Herschel, Professor Alfred Swain Taylor (1806–80) and Sir David Brewster (1781–1868), were intimately connected with the early history of photography. Mayall also resolutely expanded the scope of the daguerreotype beyond portraiture. His panorama of Niagara Falls (...