The Daguerreian Society

Selected text from "The Diaries of Sidney George Fisher, 1839-1840." Cited from The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography vol. 77, No. 1 (January 1953) p. 83.

[Editor's note: The specimens of daguerreotypes exhibited on this date were likely provided from Paris by Henry Seybert as evidenced by an entry in the "Minute Book" of the same date as the exhibition. A reply to an inquiry by this editor to the American Philosphical Society indicates that the daguerreotype presented by Seybert to the American Philosophical Society is no longer extant.]

"January 3, 1840   Met Bethune, he asked me to go with him to see some specimens of Daguerreotype drawing, this new & wonderful discovery, by which the most minutely faithful copies are taken of buildings, landscapes, etc., by the action of light on a surface chemically prepared. The reality quite equals all I had imagined from the accounts I had read. These were streets & buildings in Paris, etc., some of them by Daguerre himself. They look somewhat like paintings in Indian ink, but surpassing any painting. They are copies mathematically exact, & nothing can exceed their perfection & beauty."

Also in The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biorgraphy vol. 102, No. 1 (January 1978) p. 43 is this notation:

"On Jan. 3, 1840, 'A specimen of the Daguerreotype was presented to the society, on the part of Mr. Henry Seybert now in Paris.'
Minute Book (Sept. 20, 1839—Sept. 18, 1840), American Philosophical Society Library."

(End of text. Please refer to our textnote regarding this text.)

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