Andreas Friedrich Gerber, a Forerunner in Switzerland

Professor of veterinary medicine at the University of Bern, Andreas Friedrich Gerber was interested in several fields, including the earliest photographs. At the same time as Niépce and Daguerre, he was conducting various research and experiments which, according to his own declaration in the preface to his book “Manual of the general anatomy of man and of domestic animals”, which appeared in 1840, were concluded by 1836, by which time he was already able to achieve an imprint of light passing through a microscope on paper sensitised with silver chloride, using a camera.

Gerber’s discovery was made public by an announcement in the “Schweizerischer Beobachter” (“Swiss Observer”) on the 19th on January 1839.


Self-portrait(?) of Andreas Friedrich Gerber on a daguerreotype (Collection Bürgerbibliothek, Bern).