Joseph Nicéphore Niépce 1765 - 1833


Born Chalon-sur-Saône, 1765; family forced to flee French Revolution but Niépce briefly served in Napoleonic French army in Italy as a staff officer; concentrated on science and invention in partnership with his brother Claude (1763–1828) from 1795; invented and patented the Pyréolophore, probably the world's first internal combustion engine in 1807; from 1807 to 1809 the brothers worked on developing the Marly Machine, a system for pumping water to the Palace at Versailles; produced his own version of the bicycle, the vélocipède, around 1818; best known for development of what is claimed to be the first photographic process, heliography, around 1825; collaborated with Louis Daguerre from 1829, developing the physautotype process; died in poverty in 1833.