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Nicéphore Nièpce

Joseph Nicéphore Nièpce (March 7, 1765 - July 5, 1833) was a French inventor, most noted as a pioneer in photography. He also worked on improved designs of pumps and early Internal-combustion_engines. He was born in Chalons-sur-Saone.

The first successful permanent photograph was produced by Nièpce. He began experimenting with processes to set optical images in 1793. Some of his early experiments produced images, but they faded rapidly. He was said to have first produced long lasting images in 1824. The earliest known surviving example of a Nièpce photograph (or any other photograph) was created in June or July of 1827 (or 1826, according to some sources). Nièpce called his process "heliography", meaning "sun writing". It was a slow process which required perhaps some 8 hours of bright sunlight to affix the image; therefore it was used to photograph buildings and inanimate objects, but could not be used to photograph people.

Starting in 1829 he began collaborating on improved photographic processes with Louis Daguerre. Nièpce died suddenly of a stroke in 1833.