The Daguerreian Society


On this day (March 14) in the year 1840, the following news item 
appeared in "The New-Yorker" (Vol. 8, No. 26):
------------------------------------------------

  FRENCH IMPROVEMENTS IN THE DAGUERREOTYPE.--
At the late meetings of the Academy of Sciences, much attention has been 
given to the various improvements made in the Daguerreotype, which 
instrument seems to have attracted the very active notice of scientific 
men in general.   In the first place, the Baron Seguier exhibited an 
instrument of this kind constructed by himself, but with ingenious 
modifications, having for their objects, diminution in size and weight, 
and the simplification in other respects of the entire apparatus.  M. 
Seguier expressed himself satisfied that several of the conditions, 
which had been announced as required for the success of the process, may 
be dispensed with; and stated his intention of devoting himself to a 
still further simplification of the apparatus, so as, at least, to make 
it more portable, more easy of use, and less expensive.  His 
improvements have likewise been directed to rendering the operations of  
photography practicable in the open country, even those delicate ones, 
which seem at present to require protection against too strong a light.  
M. Arago afterwards laid before the academicians an objective glass, 
constructed by M. Cauche, with the view of redressing the image obtained 
in the Daguerreotype, which is now presented reversed, a circumstance 
that, in many cases, destroys the resemblance of places and monuments.  
The Abbe Moignat gave an account of experiments made by himself, in 
conjunction with M. Soliel, for the purpose of introducing the light of 
oxy-hydrogen gas, as the principle of illumination to the objects 
intended to be represented by the instrument.  As yet, these experiments 
have been unsuccessful; but M. Arago does not consider the results 
hitherto obtained as decisive against the light in question, when 
applied to the plate itself, instead of the objects to be rendered.  A 
report has also been made on the result of a process, by which M. Bayard 
is enabled to take impressions on paper.  This discovery is described as 
important; but as the process is kept secret, we are unable to say how 
far it differs from, or is an improvement on, that of Mr. Fox Talbot.
                                                   Athenaeum.

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Posted for your enjoyment.      Gary W. Ewer       
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03-14-96


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