Frank Forster Renwick

Frank Forster Renwick



Frank Forster Renwick was a leading photographic scientist who worked to develop photographic papers. He joined the Britannia Works Company of Ilford as a chemist in 1898 and worked continuously as a photographic scientist and research administrator until three weeks before his death in 1943.

In 1922, Renwick left Ilford for three years to become Director of Redpath (film) Laboratories of E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Company. When he returned to Ilford he helped to consolidate the research facilities of a number of British photographic firms that were being combined under the central control of Ilford.

In 1930 he was appointed Research Director of Ilford, where Renwick developed the first variable contrast paper, Ilford Multigrade. He also helped to standardize the specification of paper contrasts. His studies of fluorescence led to the development of Ilford’s paper-based “Kryptoscreen” x-ray material during World War II.

Renwick was a member of the British Royal Photographic Society for 40 years and was awarded a number of honors including Fellow, the Progress Medal, and Honorary Fellow. He was also a member of the Optical Society of America and the Society of Motion Picture Engineers. The latter has since been changed to include television engineers.


Share history with the world at IPHF.

Get involved