The Daguerreian Society


On this day, July 16, in the year 1853 the following article appeared
in "Illustrated News" (New York; Vol.II, No. 29):
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ANECDOTE OF DAGUERRE.--   M. Dumas related the following anecdote
 of Daguerre:  In 1825 he was lecturing in the Theatre of Sorbonne, on
chemistry.  At the close of his lecture a lady came up to him and said:
"Monsieur Dumas, as a man of science I have a question of no small
moment to me to ask you.  I am the wife of Daguerre, the painter.
For some time he has let the idea seize upon him that he can fix the
image of the camera.  Do you think it possible?  He is always at the
thought; he can't sleep at night for it.  I am afraid he is out of his
mind.  Do you, as a man of science, think it can ever be done, or is he
mad?"  "In the present state of knowledge," said Dumas, "it cannot be
done; but I cannot say it will always remain impossible, nor set the
man down as mad who seeks to do it."  This was twelve years before
Daguerre worked his idea out, and fixed the images; but many a man
so haunted by a possibility has been tormented into a mad-house.


(This anecdote was widely printed. It also appears is the 6 August 1853
issue of "Gleason's Pictorial"  - G.E.)
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Posted for your enjoyment.      Gary W. Ewer       
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07-16-95


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