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Abel Fletcher


The first photographic process in the United States using paper negatives capable of producing additional prints was developed in Massillon by Abel Fletcher. Fletcher devised the process about 1850, approximately the same time that Fox Talbot invented a similar process in England. Although Talbot is credited with the invention, the Smithsonian and the Massillon Museum both preserve negatives and prints by Abel Fletcher.

When Fletcher was tragically blinded by an explosion of photographic chemicals, his wife Martha took over the South Erie Street portrait studio to become one of the nation’s earliest female photographers.