Paul Jeantet (1870-1947)
French scientific photographer, born on Aug. 8, 1870, in Digoin (Saône-et-Loire, France) ; first trained in descriptive astronomy, under Quenisset at Camille Flammarion's observatory in Juvisy-sur-Orge (Essonne) ; made photographs from clouds and had a passion for popular scientific works.
1890 Became a member of the Societé Astronomique de France ; worked as an employee in a large bookstore.
1903-1905 Appointed as special assistant to Dr. Buret, a microphotographer who was responsible for the library of biological chemistry, at the Institut Pasteur ; trained in microphotography under Buret.
1905-1913 Appointed as librarian at the library of biological chemistry.
1905-1913 E. Roux assigned him to the post of microphotographer at the head of the Institut Pasteur's photographical laboratory ; by virtue of his office, he was compelled to attend the microbiology course of the Institut Pasteur in order to improve his scientific knowledge ; rapidly collected several thousand photographs, which he made available to Institut Pasteur researchers for information, publication, and teaching purposes ; in addition to his collection of scientific photographs, built up a collection of historical photographs related to Louis Pasteur's life ; was responsible for the projection of slides for teaching at the Institut Pasteur, as well.
1906 Made the first photographs from the spirochetal bacterium Treponema, the cause of syphilis, as E. Roux and E. Metchnikoff conducted research on this bacterium.
1909 Devised an ultramicroscopical equipment, in order to make black background photographs.
1910 With Ed. Dujardin-Beaumetz, A. Borrel and Jouan, photographed the first bacterial colonies causing bovine pleuropneumonia.
1913 Appointed as laboratory head at the Institut Pasteur's Service for Microphotography ; all materials and equipment (such as spectrographs, condensers, prisms, polarizers) were made here.
1917 During First World War, housed one of his nieces, the daughter of a soldier killed in combat, in 1915.
1917-1920 Photographed the earliest plaques of bacteriophages obtained by F. d'Herelle at the A. Salimbeni 's laboratory.
1919 In collaboration with Jacques Duclaux, created a Photographic Laboratory for Chemistry, as part of the Service for Microphotography.
1920-1930 In collaboration with Jacques Duclaux, conducted research on UV-ray and developed photographic plates for the UV spectra, used throughout the world.
1922 Exhibition of enlarged photographs of negatives from microorganisms won him the prize of the Pasteur's centenary celebration, held in Strasbourg ; planned and implemented the construction of a film projection booth in the Institut Pasteur's main auditorium, with the support of the BCG Promotion Fund founded by A. Calmette and C. Guérin.
1924 Promoted to be a knight of Legion of Honor ; together with J. Duclaux, was awarded the Ancel prize from the French Society of Photography, for the development of methods in spectrograpy, especially for ultraviolet photography.
1929 A selection of P. Jeantet 's photographs was published as a pictorial atlas, complementing the book written by P.G. Charpentier, entitled Les microbes.
1937 P. Jeantet's library provided most photographs for the Paris International Exhibition of Medicine at the Palais de la Découverte.
Collaborators : Aynaud, A. Borrel, J. Duclaux, Ed. Dujardin-Beaumetz, Jouan, Y. Kermorgant.
Biographical reference tools :
- Pozerski (Edouard), "Paul Jeantet (1870-1947)", Annales de l'Institut Pasteur, 73, pp. 624-626.
- "M. Jeantet" (archives Pasteur, Bio.10).
Service des Archives de l'Institut Pasteur