The Daguerreian Society


Daguerreian Texts:
The first two years (1839-1840)


"Chemical and Optical Discovery" A very early report of the daguerreotype from the monthly publication, Journal of the American Institute of February 23, 1839.

"Remarkable Invention" Perhaps the earliest report of the daguerreotype in the U.S. press from the Boston Daily Advertiser of February 23, 1839.

"Extraordinary...Discovery" One of the first reports of the daguerreotype from the Boston Mercantile Journal of February 26, 1839.

"Manner of Making Portraits by the Daguerreotype" The first instructions published by Gouraud in the U.S. from the Boston - Daily Advertiser and Patriot of March 26, 1840.

"Self-Operating Processes of Fine Art. The Daguerotype" An early announcement of the daguerreotype, speculating on its impact in the Arts. From The Museum of Foreign Literature, Science and Art of March 1839.

"The Pencil of Nature - A New Discovery" A milestone text announcing the discovery of Daguerre as well as an included letter by Talbot. From The Corsair of April 13, 1839.

"New Discovery in the Fine Arts" Selected text from The New-Yorker of April 13, 1839.

"New Discovery in the Fine Arts—The Daguerroscope" Text from The New-Yorker of April 20, 1839.

"The Daguerrotipe" Samuel F. B. Morse's widely-reprinted letter to The New-York Observer of April 20, 1839.

"I was admitted to M. Daguerre’s laboratory..." A letter by Robert Walsh, an influential American then living in Paris, from The New-York American of May 22, 1839.

"Perfection of the Art" an early eyewitness account by Sir John Robison from The American Journal of Science and Arts of July 1839.

"Letter from an idle merchant." A fanciful, speculative text from New-York Mirror of July 1839.

"Principle of the Daguerreotype" The initial English-language report of the 19 August 1839 disclosure of Daguerre's process. From The Athenaeum of August 24, 1839.



"The Daguerreotype Explained" A brief initial description of the process from The Journal of the Franklin Institute of September 1839.

"The Daguerreotype" The London Globe account (of August 23) as printed in Nile's National Register of September 28, 1839.

"December 4" The journal entry by Philip Hone describing his visit to Gouraud's 1839 New York exhibition of daguerreotypes.

"The Daguerreotype" An account of the first exhibition of daguerreotypes in New York by Gouraud. From The New-Yorker of December 14, 1839.

"The Daguerreotype" An account of the first display in New York. From The Knickerbocker of December 1839.

"...nothing can exceed their perfection & beauty." A diary entry by Sidney George Fisher or January 3, 1840, describing daguerreotypes likely sent from Paris by Henry Seybert.

"I have taken my first Daguerreotype..." A brief account from an 1840 letter penned by Edward E. Hale.

"...It is just what the people in this country like..." A letter by George Fuller of 1840 describing expenses and anticipated profits...and the purchase of apparatus from Gouraud.

"Probable effects. . .the discovery of Daguerre" Extracts from an 24 April 1840 address by Samuel F. B. Morse.

"...more genius than he yet supposes..." A brief notice regarding Robert Cornelius and his success with the daguerreotype. From Godey's Lady's Book of April, 1840.

"Improvements in the Daguerreotype." Two texts by E. A. Poe. From Burton's Gentleman's Magazine of April and May, 1840.

"Daguerreotype" A description of the early Philadelphia studio operation of Cornelius and Goodman. From The Botanico-Medical Recorder of 1840.


Go to: [ The first two years (1839-1840) ]

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