Antoine François Jean Claudet was born in 1797 in Lyon, France. He worked in a glass factory in Paris and moved to England to promote the factory’s business activities in London. After the invention of the daguerreotype process in 1839, Claudet was eager to learn the new photography process. He moved to Paris, took lessons from Daguerre himself and bought a licence to use the process in England. Claudet opened a portrait studio in London on the roof of the Adelaide Gallery. He increased the sensitivity of the daguerreotype plates, allowing shorter exposure times, which improved the quality of his portraits. He became one of the most prominent and respected daguerreotypists in London. Among some of his most prestigious sitters were Queen Victoria and the writer Charles Dickens. His black-and-white daguerreotypes were often hand-coloured by miniature painters to rival the colourful painted portraits of the time.
After the introduction of the Brewster-type stereoscope in 1849, Claudet started making stereo daguerreotypes, and he became a great promoter and driver of stereoscopy. He introduced a viewing case for stereo daguerreotypes in 1853, and he patented a design for inter-ocular adjustment and a revolving stereoscope for 100 stereoviews in 1855.
Claudet opened his last photo studio in 1851. The studio was called “Temple of Photography” and was located at 107 Regent Street in London. He died in 1867. Soon after his death, his studio burned down, destroying thousands of his daguerreotypes and negatives.