The Daguerreian Society

On this day (September 27) in the year 1850, the following article 
appeared in the "Boston Daily Evening Transcript":
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By the following letter, addressed to a friend in London, and by him 
communicated to us, it will be seen that Mr Mayall claims the credit of 
having first "daguerreotyped the Heavens;"
  433 West Stand, 13 August, 1850.  Dear Sir: I am extremely obliged for 
your kind note and papers in relation to the application of Photography 
to the mapping out of the Heavens, an idea which struck me in 1845, and 
which I successfully carried out three years ago, as specimens will show 
that are now in the hands of several scientific men in London--a very 
beautiful copy of the moon and an occulation of a star, in the 
possession of Prof Taylor, of Guy's.  In fact, I had a reflecting 
telescope of 9 inch aperature made for the purpose,  (Gregorian) and put 
the Daguerrian plate in the place of the little metal, but my images 
were taken instantaneously, and think a refractor by no means applicable 
to the subject even if equitorially mounted.  The length of time, 30 
seconds, would prevent a correct image being taken, and I know it is not 
possible with high powers to prevent tremor and consequently distortion.
I am but too happy to learn that the subject is being followed out by a 
gentleman of the talent and perseverance of Mr Bond, and shall be happy 
to furnish him with all the experience I accumulated while investigating 
the subject, which, by the by, I am preparing to resume this following 
winter.  Believe me ever yours, very truly,

(A note from Gary:  I've received occasional comments from some 
recipients about the long list of email addresses that precedes the 
message. As I send these messages with the entire distribution list in 
the "bcc" field, you really shouldn't be seeing the list's addresses. 
However, some older e-mail programs apparently do not hide the list from 
the viewer. My apologies if this is the case with you, but I am unable 
to send this in any other way.)

Posted for your enjoyment.      Gary W. Ewer       

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