Daguerreian Society

In February of 1871, the following article appeared in "The Photographic
Times." (New York; Vol. I, No. 2):
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   "A FEW days since, M. Daguerre exhibited, in one of the rooms attached
to the Chamber of Deputies, several specimens of the products of the
Daguerreotype.  Among them were views of three streets of the capital, the
interior of M. Daguerre's atelier, and a group of busts in the collection
of the Louvre.  The deputies who examined them, and who continued to crowd
the room throughout the day, were particularly struck with the marvellous
minuteness of detail which these views, and especially those of the
streets, exhibited.  In one, representing the Pont Marie, all the minutest
indentations and divisions of the ground or the building, the goods lying
on the wharf, even the small stones under the water at the edge of the
stream, and the different degrees of transparency given to the water, were
all shown with the most incredible accuracy.  The use of a magnifying glass
revealed an infinity of other details quite undistinguishable by the naked
eye, and more particularly in the foliage of trees.  The antique busts are
said to have been rendered by this method with very great beauty of effect.
 The chemical substance upon which the light acts, according to M.
Daguerre's method, is laid upon sheets of copper, which, for the drawing
exhibited on Saturday, were about nine or ten inches by six or seven
inches.  The expense of such plates M. Daguerre estimates at about 3 fr
50c. each, but he expects that considerable reductions may be ultimately
made in their cost, and that the improvement of his method will render it
applicable to other substances not metallic."
  The above was published by Galignani in 1840, and is really an account of
the christening of Photography.  How the bright-eyed baby has grown since,
and what a raft of pictures can now be had--full of "minuteness of
detail"--for "3 francs 50 centimes!"--Ed.

(The "1840" date is in error. The "Galignani's Messenger" article describing
this display of daguerreotypes appeared 9 July 1839. --G.E.)
Posted for your enjoyment.     Gary W. Ewer     

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