Thomas Moore was a British gardener and botanist, an expert on ferns and plants serving as Curator of the Society of Apothecaries Garden from 1848 to 1887. The garden, renamed the Chelsea Physic Garden in 1875, increased the number of fern species cultivated there by fifty percent under his tenure. The Thomas Moore Fernery was built on the site of his original garden in 1907, and today contains a display of varieties of ferns described and cultivated by Moore and popular during the Victorian era.
Henry Bradbury (1831-1860), who printed this The Ferns of Great Britain and Ireland, was among the foremost 19th-century practitioners of nature-printing. The son of William Bradbury, the founder of the publishing house Bradbury & Evans, Henry studied at the Imperial Printing Office in Vienna , directed by Alois Auer, who had improved upon existing nature-printing techniques in 1850, introducing an electroplating technique. Auer patented his nature printing process with his associate Andreas Worring in October 1852. Returning to England , Bradbury patented his own version, resulting in an acrimonious conflict with Auer over credit for the process. Bradbury had wide-ranging interests in printing, including secure means of producing bank notes, paper money. He had planned ambitious projects including nature-printed books on fungi and trees and a work on the graphic arts, but he committed suicide at the age of 29, leaving these plans unfulfilled. After Henry Bradbury's death, the firm continued producing stamps and bank notes as Bradbury Wilkinson & Co. until 1986, when it was bought out by a competitor.
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