Daguerreian Society

A NOTE FROM GARY: Best wishes for the holiday season to you all! I have a 
small gift for you, dear readers, and it can be found, with a small gift 
attached, at:

No, no, isn't a web version of a family newsletter or anything 
tacky like that, but rather a seasonal DagNews-related offering prepared 
especially for you.
Best always,   Gary

On this day (December 20) in the year 1850, the following article appeared 
in the "Boston Evening Transcript):
- - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - -

  NEW WAY TO OBTAIN GROUPS.  A pleasing experiment can be performed when 
occasion offers, by covering successively different portions of the 
Daguerreotype plate, so as to exclude the operation of the light, except on 
that portion of the surface required for the image.  A group of any number 
of persons can thus be represented, each one obtained at separate sittings. 
 The process is as follows:  Take several pieces of black paper, or black 
over writing paper with ink--say as many pieces as you desire impressions: 
each paper must have only one opening, and so arranged that no two will 
expose the same part of the plate to the operation of light.
  Coat the plate as usual--place one paper in the holder, over the surface 
of the plate, and observe that the representation in the camera corresponds 
in position on the ground glass with that of the aperture in the paper. 
 When one impression has been taken, the plate should be kept in the dark, 
and not exposed to the vapors of mercury until all the desired impressions 
have been obtained.
We have taken impressions on the same plate after it has stood for several 
days.  At each sitting the paper must be changed, and there is no 
difficulty in producing likenesses of ten or a hundred persons, each 
without the knowledge of the other having ever sat.
  It is not advisable, however, that this method of obtaining groups should 
be practised to any extent, as an artist might get into difficulty; for 
should he represent upon the same plate, for instance, and old maid and a 
fop, it might cause unpleasant feelings between the parties--the one 
considering herself highly flattered, perhaps, while the other might fancy 
himself n a rather ludicrous position.   [Daguerreian Journal.

Posted for your enjoyment.      Gary W. Ewer       

Return to: DagNews 1996

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