William Ackland (1821-1895) was an English optician and photographer connected for nearly forty years with the firm of Horne and Thornthwaite up to his death. He directed the optical works of the firm and in later years gave much attention to equatorial stands and reflecting telescopes.
Ackland was the author of several pamphlets on photographic matters including How to Take Stereoscopic Pictures (1857) and Hints on Fothergill’s Process (1858) which were published by Horne and Thornthwaite. He also wrote on the collodion process on glass in 1857 in Horne and Thornthwaite’s catalogue. As part of his wider involvement in optics he wrote Hints on Spectacles. When to Wear and How to Select Them (1866).
Dr Ackland became a member of the Photographic Society in 1869 and was for many years a member of the Society’s Council. Shortly before his death he was made an Honorary Fellow. From 1856 he wrote several articles for the Journal of the Photographic Society mainly on different processes and was an active participant in the Society’s meetings. He was a Fellow of the Institute of Chemistry.
His interest in photographic matters continued throughout his life and he designed a Photographic Exposure Scale, a form of exposure calculator, in 1888. He applied for a patent for this in 1891 under the title Registering Photographic Expsoures (British patent number 12409) which was subsequently abandoned.
Ackland died in Brixton aged 74 on 30 March 1895.