Draper, the name of two United States scientists, father and son.

John William Draper

(1811-1882), a chemist, made important early experiments with radiant energy and was among the first to study the colors that make up light, a field called spectroscopy. Draper established the principle that only absorbed rays produce chemical change. A pioneer in photography, he made one of the first photographic portraits (1839) and took the first photographs of the moon (1840) and of the solar spectrum.

Draper was born in England. In 1832 he came to the United States and in 1836 received an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. Draper soon became a chemistry professor at what is now New York University.

Henry Draper

(1837-1882) pioneered in celestial photography. He took the first photograph of the spectrum of a star in which the dark lines called Fraunhofer lines show (1872). He was born in Virginia and graduated from New York University.