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Frederick Walter is perhaps the most picturesque personality associated with the start of photography in Brazil, since he combined his activities as a photographer and teacher with his activities as a magician! He disembarked in Fortaleza in 1847 with “daguerreotype camera equipment and an array of magic instruments.” None of his work survived; however, one of his students, Joaquim Insley Pacheco, went on to be appointed “Photographer of the Imperial House” in Rio de Janeiro (1855) by the Emperor of Brazil, Dom Pedro II, who was himself a keen photographer since the age of fourteen.

William Scully (1821-1885), born in County Tipperary, was an Irish journalist and businessman who migrated to Rio de Janeiro in the late 1850s or early 1860s, following the Great Famine in Ireland. There, he became the proprietor and editor for almost twenty years of The Anglo-Brazilian Times (1865-1884), described in its masthead as a “Political, Literary and Commercial” newspaper. He also founded the Sociedade International de Imigração. According to Scully, Irish immigration to Brazil was “nipped in the bud” and was never successful due to the collapse of an Irish colony, Principe Dom Pedro, in Santa Catarina following a sudden withdrawal of funds between 1868 and 1869.

Cynthia Longfield (1896-1991), “Madam Dragonfly”, was born in London to Anglo-Irish parents whose ancestral home was in Cloyne, Co. Cork. She was an independent scientist, specialising in dragonflies. She travelled extensively throughout the world. In 1927 she participated in a six-month-long scientific expedition to Mato Grosso where she collected 38 species of dragonfly, three of which were previously undiscovered. Two species are named in her honour. She donated her personal archive and library, some 500 volumes, to the Royal Irish Academy, Dublin, which include sixteen manuscripts detailing the species she researched in Brazil.