Van Neck, Louis

Identity

Category

Person (Male)

Alternative name or descriptor

  • Royal Photographic Manufactory

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Status

  • Connected

Details

Life dates

Brussels - Molenbeek, 1853 - Antwerp, 1917

Activity

1884 - 1908 / Anvers, Klapdorp, 10 (& 10 bis<97-07>)
Successor: Reynkens Jules
° 10.1.1853; + 10.9.1917. Pharmacist. Sold photographic chemicals and supplies. One of the finest and most inventive Belgian camera manufacturers in the 19th century. Established at this address from 1879 onwards as pharmacist and dealer in chemicals. Subsequently advertising photographic equipment in May 1884 (De Koophandel, 31.5.1884). Agent for Kodak in 1890.
Patent of 16.9.1889 [Van Neck, Brussels] for "a new camera system, the ‘Ultime’ [fitted with a "vlug terug" (quick return) mirror]" - a system which was patented in England in 1890; patent of 30.11.1891 for "a new camera with simplified plate-changing mechanism, the ‘Excellentis’"; patent of 28.2.1893 for "a new system for photographic enlarging and reducing"; patent of 15.9.1893 for "a new, simple stereoscopic camera, the ‘Royal Excellentis L. V. N.’"; patent of 9.2.1897 for "a new support system with rigid and collapsible frame for use in photography". He invented and commercialised the automatic enlarger (1889), the Vade-Mecum (1894-1899), the Alpha (1893), etc.
Van Neck manufactured dry plates under the trademark "Antwerpia Helio", c. 1890. He also commercialised accessories designed by Abbé Coupé, the Dupont printing frame and J. De Neck’s hat camera (1885). In an article in the "British Journal of Photography", 1890, it was stated that his factory in Merxem - probably on the Drayé brothers’ premises (see that name) - employed 30 people. Member of the "Cercle d'études photographiques et scientifiques d'Anvers". He gave a lecture on chronophotography in 1904. A dramatic study of a firework at night, in an album presented by the Antwerp section of the ABP to Albéric Lunden in 1888, in the collection of the Photography Museum in Antwerp, illustrates Van Neck's early interest in high-speed photography. He was also a pioneering motion picture exhibitor from 1902 onwards. He took stereo views of the "Old Antwerp" neighbourhood reconstructed at the 1894 Antwerp Universal Exhibition, published by E. Lyon - Claesen.
Agencies in 1893 in Ostend, Rue Christine, 127, and in Namur on the pharmacist Gelson’s premises. Van Neck was declared bankrupt in March 1898 but appears to have regained solvency very swiftly. During this episode, the premises here were put up for sale and described as "a large building on three floors on the street side with a photography studio and a one-storey rear extension, for a total of 475 sq. metres" (Het Handelsblad, 19.3.1898). Van Neck was still recorded in Klapdorp 10 in the 1908 directory as an optician and his last advertisement at this address, for a patent medicine, was dated 29.2.1908. Simultaneously, Van Neck had entered into partnership with Henri Rubbens in the studio at Rue des Cérises, 7 operating as successors to Hugo Piéron (- Loodts), 1907-1911.
1889 - 1890 Bruxelles, Montagne aux Herbes Potagères, 9
Successor: Steppe Fl. & Cie
Branch.
1892 - 1898 Anvers, Place de Meir, 45
Branch. "Comptoir photographique". General agency for photographic plates and chemicals.
1893 Bruxelles, Rue de la Régence, 58
Branch. Also at Rue des Sables, 22, at an unspecified date.
1907 - 1908 Anvers, Place de Comédie, 1
Sales outlet. "Photo Comptoir General".

Locations

1884 - 1908 / Anvers, Klapdorp, 10 (& 10 bis<97-07>)
1889 - 1890 Bruxelles, Montagne aux Herbes Potagères, 9
1892 - 1898 Anvers, Place de Meir, 45
1893 Bruxelles, Rue de la Régence, 58
1907 - 1908 Anvers, Place de Comédie, 1

Exhibitions

Antwerp, 1885; Antwerp, 1888; Brussels, 1888; Antwerp, 1889; Paris, 1889 (silver medal); Antwerp, 1890; Brussels, 1891; Geneva, 1893; Antwerp, 1894 (silver medal); Courtrai, 1897; Antwerp (CEPSA), 1903; Ghent ABP, 1903.

Genres / subject matter

Techniques

Bibliography/Webography

SCHOUWENAAR, P. "Louis van Neck, vader van de vlug-terug spiegel?", Photohistorisch Tijdschrift, vol. 14, 1991, pp. 4-7.

Context

Affiliations

Affiliated entity

Association belge de Photographie

Type of affiliation

Member of

Dates of affiliation

1886 - 1904

Description of relationship

Management

Record source

DIRECTORY_1997#4509

Status

Level of detail

Dates of creation/revision

SFJ revised 18.9.2017, 31.12.2017 & 17.2.2018, partly based on information supplied by Pool Andries; SFJ revised 17.7.2018, 27.2.2019 & 6.6.2019; revised 22.7.2019 based on information supplied by M. Demaeght; SFJ revised 7.5.2020, 24.8.2020, 17.9.2020, 23.12.2020, 6.4.2021 & 31.5.2021 based on information supplied by M. Demaeght; MD revised 21.4.2020, 8.9.2020, 17.2.2021 & 5.5.2021

Language(s)

Script(s)

Sources

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