Sunday, November 18, 2018

Louis Daguerre, Photography Pioneer

 Louis Daguerre, the creator of the earliest form of photography, was born on November 18, 1787.  The French artist revolutionized the way we see the world when he perfected his process, which resulted in daguerreotypes, in the 1830s.  

Over the next two decades, a mania was created as people were able to obtain, receive and trade images of people and sites.  Samuel F.B. Morse, a painter and later inventor of the telegraph, brought daguerreotype to the United States.

Daguerre’s meticulous chemical process, which reflected mirror-like images, would be superseded by improved photography such as ambrotypes and tintypes, which took hold by the time of the Civil War and continued beyond.  Each of these types of images, which were of varying sizes, was housed in cases, often in ornate early plastic. 

I’m particularly interested in the history of daguerreotypes, and in fact I’m a collector.  Hobbyists seek out unusual poses or settings and even the different cases are avidly pursued.  The example here is identified as a ninth plate, the second smallest size at two inches by two and a half inches.  A later dag, this is one of my favorites.  

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