Daguerreian Society

Two items today...
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On this day (April 4) in the year 1851, the following notice appeared in 
the "Boston Daily Evening Transcript":

   One of the pleasantest resorts in this city, for strangers and persons 
interested in all that relates to the advancement of art, is the Daguerrian 
establishment of Mr L. H. Hale, 109 Washington street.  One has but to see 
Mr Hale's rooms, which he has recently fitted up in beautiful drawing-room 
style, to be assured that he is a genuine artist in his tastes.  Ladies in 
particular will be pleased to find that a half hour can be passed here, 
waiting for a friend, as comfortably and profitably as in their own 
parlors.  Music, birds, pictures, books and flowers show, that he is as 
mindful of the comforts of his visitors as of his own.  Of Mr Hale's 
daguerreotypes we can speak in the highest terms.  We have seen none from 
any quarter that are superior to his best.  He is very careful in adjusting 
the position and expression of his sitters, and in securing good and 
pleasing likenesses.

* * * * * * *
And in the April 1840 issue of "Burton's Gentleman's Magazine, and Monthly 
American Review." (Philadelphia; Vol. VI., No.IV; pp. 193-4.)

Under the header "A CHAPTER ON SCIENCE AND ART."

  IMPROVEMENTS IN THE DAGUERREOTYPE.--Numerous improvements have been 
lately made in the beautiful art of photogeny.  The baron Seguier has 
exhibited an instrument constructed by himself, with many ingenious 
modifications, having for their objects a diminution in size and weight, 
and a simplification, in other respects, of the entire apparatus.  Several 
of the conditions which have been announced as required for the success of 
the process, may be dispensed with.  It is probable, now, that the 
operations of the art may be rendered practicable in the open country--even 
those nice and delicate ones which, at present, seem to demand protection 
against too strong a light.  An objective glass has been constructed by M. 
Cauche, with the view of redressing the image obtained in the 
Daguerreotype; this image is now presented reversed, a circumstance which 
has the bad effect of destroying all vraisemblance.  The Abbe Moignat has 
been endeavoring, in conjunction with M. Soleil, (a name quite a propos,) 
to introduce the light of oxy-hydrogen gas as the principle of illumination 
to the objects intended to be represented.  M. Bayard is said to have fully 
succeeded in taking impressions on paper.  Mr. Fox Talbot, in England, has 
also done this.
  In America, we have by no means been idle.  It has been here ascertained 
that instead of the costly combination of glasses employed by M. Daguerre, 
a single Meniscus glass produces an exact and brilliant result.  We have 
also found that we can do without the dilute nitric acid in photogeny, as 
well as in lithography.  The process is thus greatly simplified; for the 
use of the acid has heretofore been considered one of the nicest points in 
the preparation of the plate.  When unequally applied, the golden color is 
not uniform.  Now, it is only necessary to finish the polish of the plate 
with dry rotten stone, well levigated and washed, using dry cotton to rub 
it with afterwards.  We make the iodine-box, too, much shallower than does 
M. Daguerre.  With his box, from fifteen to thirty minutes exposure of the 
plate was required before the proper color was produced.  Four inches will 
be deep enough; and there should be a tray, an inch deep, fitting into the 
bottom of the box.  Upon this tray the iodine is to be spread, and then 
covered with a double thickness of fine gauze, tacked to the upper edge of 
the tray--supports being fastened in each corner of the box, at such height 
as will admit of the plate being lowered to within an inch of the gauze.

Posted for your enjoyment.     Gary W. Ewer     

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