The Daguerreian Society


almanac illustration--click for more
Two brief texts on Daguerre
(and a related illustration)

From The Illustrated Family Christian Almanac for The United States, for...1853 (New York: The American Tract Society, 1853) pg. 17.

   EVERY one is familiar with the Daguerreotype, in which not only likenesses of persons, but images of all kinds of objects are transferred from the lens of the camera obscura, and permanently fixed on metallic plates. Though it is said to have been the joint invention of M. Daguerre and M. Niepce, yet common consent seems to have given it the name of the former. The engraving gives the appearance of the man whose name is thus associated with one of the most interesting discoveries of the age. It was copied from a daguerreotype of M. Daguerre, taken in France by Messrs. Meade.

(Transcriber's note: This "worried" portrait of Daguerre, taken by Charles R. Meade, is a half-plate daguerreotype, and is now in the collection of National Museum of American History.)

From the Daily Evening Transcript (Boston, 18 December 1850.)

   DAGUERRE.  The New York Sun gives the following account of a recent visit by an American to Daguerre:
   The improvements which have been made in the Daguerreotype art have mainly been effected in this country. The moment the discovery was made public in France, it quickly travelled to the United States, was taken up instantly by ingenious chemists and improved, until now American Daguerreotypes are acknowledged far to surpass either English or French. It is said that the atmospheres of London and Paris are so smoky that Daguerreotypes cannot be taken as well there as in New York. Daguerre himself, however, gave the preference to an American Artist, for recently he was visited at his chareau, in France, by one of the Messrs Meade of this city, who took several likenesses of the old gentleman. Daguerre pronounced them the best specimens of the art he had ever beheld, and evinced the greatest pleasure that the discovery, of which he was the humble originator, should have een brought to such an astonishing perfection.
   Mons Daguerre is now in his 59th year. His mind is still very active, and he carries on his chemical experiments daily. His gray head, and open, intellectual countenance, form a very handsome picture. The curious may see his Daguerreotype any day at the Messts Meade's rooms in Broadway. Daguerre resides at his Chateau, Brie Sur Marne, not far from Paris, and is passing the evening of his life in quiet content. The French government awarded him a pension of $1000 a year for his art, which sum he still receives.

Marsters illustration--click for more From The Business Directory of Baltimore City, for 1853. (Baltimore: Traveller Office, 1853) pg. xviii.

   This illustration is from an advertisement for the J. D. Marsters gallery and, although not an exact copy of the Illustrated Family Christian Almanac illustration, features both the daguerreotypist and the sitters in their same positions. As these two illustrations appeared in 1853, it isn't known which one might have been copied from the other.

End of texts. Please refer to our textnote regarding these texts.

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