Josef Maria Eder is considered a pioneering researcher in the field of photography, especially in the development of the gelatin dry plate. This was easy to handle, could be manufactured industrially, and formed the technological foundation for the large-scale industrial production of artificial light papers and cinema positive films.
His research on sensitometry, the measurement of the light sensitivity of a film or plate, is also considered groundbreaking. Eder’s introduction of chlorobromide silver emulsion revolutionized the copying process, and orthochromatic sensitization drove the development of color photography. Among other measuring instruments for photochemical purposes, he also invented the mercury oxalate photometer for ultraviolet rays.
In 1882, Eder was appointed professor of chemistry and physics at the Höhere Gewerbeschule in Vienna; in 1888, the Graphische Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt was founded according to his organizational design, and a year later he was appointed director of the institution.