Miethe Adolph

(25.04.1862 - 05.05.1927)


German scientist, one of the pioneers of color photography.

Born in Potsdam.

He studied physics, chemistry and astronomy at the University of Göttingen, where in 1889 he defended his doctoral dissertation on the theme "Photographic-astronomical photography of fixed stars for actinometry".

In 1887  together with Johaness Goedicke, Mité invented the magnesium flashlight. Subsequently, he worked at Schulze & Barthels in Rathenau, where he developed telescopes, binoculars, and also one of the first photographic telephoto lenses. Since 1894, Mite worked at Voigtländer & Sohn in Braunschweig, where he continued to work in the field of optics.

In 1899  after the death of professor Hermann Wilhelm Vogel, Miethe was appointed professor of photochemistry, photography and spectral analysis at the Imperial Higher Technical School in Berlin.

In 1901  Miethe designed the camera for “tricolor natural photography”, which was then made according to his drawings by Wilhelm Bermopol and in 1903 was presented to the general public.

From 1903 or 1904, an improved version of the camera A. Miethe was used by the Russian photographer S.M. Prokudin-Gorsky. In addition, under the direct supervision of A. Miethe in 1902  Prokudin-Gorsky studied for one and a half months at the photomechanical school in Charlottenburg (near Berlin).

In 1908 A. Miethe made an expedition to Egypt, following which he published an album of color photographs “Under the Sun of Upper Egypt”.

In 1910  A. Miethe participated in an expedition on a dirigible to the island of Svalbard and made the world's first color photographs in the Arctic.

In 1914  as part of another scientific expedition (to observe a solar eclipse) A. Miethe made color photographs in the north of Norway.

At the beginning of the 20th century, A. Miethe enjoyed high prestige among European specialists in relevant fields. He was the author of numerous books and publisher of scientific journals, an honorary member of photographic unions in Germany and abroad, president of the German Ballooning Association and chairman of the jury at several world exhibitions. In the Russian Empire  articles by A. Miethe were regularly published in the magazine “Amateur Photographer” (until 1909) and in some other periodicals.

Miethe left behind a large archive of color photographs of the 1903-1920s.

Died in Berlin, buried in Potsdam.

A small island in Kongsfjord, near Ny-Aizunda on the Bregger Peninsula, Oscar II Land, West Spitsbergen Island. The coordinates are 78° 50'N   12° 00'E.

A glacier flowing from the east into the Vegonway glacier on Albert I Land, West Spitsbergen Island. The coordinates are 79° 30'N   11° 00'E.


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