The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

Doctor Jean-François Caplin

Doctor Jean-François Caplin

A carte-de-visite portrait of Doctor Jean-François Isidore Caplin, author of The Electro-Chemical Bath, for the Extraction of Mercury, Lead, and other Metallic, Poisonous and Extraneous Substances from the Human Body, first published in 1856. Wilkie Collins owned a copy signed by the author. He even took a course of Caplan's 'electric baths' himself, writing to a friend that 'The result is great cheerfulness and great disinclination to pay inland revenue.'

His wife, Roxey Ann Caplin, was a corset maker and inventor. From 1839 she operated commercial premises at 53 Berners Street, just north of Oxford Street. At the Great Exhibition in 1851 she was awarded the prize medal of 'Manufacturer, Designer and Inventor' for her corsetry designs. By 1864 she had filed 24 different patents.

Doctor Caplin appears on the 1861 census, living at 9 York Place in Marylebone. At the time of the census he was 67 years old. He gave Paris as his place of birth and for profession he wrote 'Physician.' Also present on the night of the census were his son Francis, aged 15, and four servants.

Photographed by Camille Silvy on 18 April 1865.

Code: 125598
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