Englishman Charles Daubeny was well known in his fields of chemistry, botany, medicine, geology, and natural philosophy. He attended Winchester College and Oxford University and became a professor at the university’s Magdalen College. He founded and served as president of the Chemical Society, was responsible for the establishment of an honors school in natural science, and worked diligently to establish a degree program in this same field. With others, he was responsible for the construction of the University Museum.
While visiting Amherst, Massachusetts, in 1837, Daubeny was shown footprint fossils and from that moment became one of the first geologists to support Edward Hitchcock’s theory that the marks had been made by very large prehistoric birds. Daubeny was also a friend of Henry Fox Talbott, another Englishman, who is generally acknowledged as the inventor of photography. Many early images of botanical and geological items and features were created by English photographers.