John Adams Whipple (September 10, 1822 – 1891) was an American inventor and early photographer. He was the first in the United States to manufacture the chemicals used for daguerreotypes; he pioneered astronomical and night photography; he was a prize-winner for his extraordinary early photographs of the moon; and he was the first to produce images of stars other than the sun (the star Vega and the Mizar-Alcor stellar sextuple system, which was thought to be a double star until 2009.
Whipple was born in Grafton, Massachusetts, to Jonathan and Melinda (Grout) Whipple. While a boy he was an ardent student of chemistry, and on the introduction of the daguerreotype process into the United States (1839–1840) he was the first to manufacture the necessary chemicals.
His health having become impaired through this work, he devoted his attention to photography. He made his first daguerreotype in the winter of 1840, "using a sun-glass for a lens, a candle box for a camera, and the handle of a silver spoon as a substitute for a plate." Over time he became a prominent daguerreotype portraitist in Boston.