The Daguerreian Society

From Francis's New Guide to the Cities of New-York and Brooklyn, and the Vicinity (New-York: C. S. Francis & Co., 1857) pp.79-80. The first two paragraphs are taken directly from a previous—and more lengthy—text in the New-York Tribune of April 1853.


   In the cities of New-York and Brooklyn, there are upward of 100 Daguerrean establishments, giving direct employment to about 250 men, women and boys, though the number who derive support from the art in the United States, in all its branches, is variously estimated at from 13,000 to 17,000, including those working in the manufactories. For some years, a great proportion of Daguerreotype goods were imported from Europe, principally from France; those made here being considered by operators as much inferior, especially the plates. A great improvement has, however, of late taken place in our production of these articles, and it will be seen by the number of persons employed, as given above, that this is now quite an important branch of domestic industry, there being in this City alone six large establishments for the making, importation and sale of photographic goods, the amount of cash invested being about $300,00, and the annual sale of materials, $1,000,000.
   It is estimated that there cannot be less than 3,000,000 daguerreotypes taken annually in the United States; Boston, Philadelphia and Baltimore being extensively engaged in the trade, but not equally with New-York.
   Among the most skilful operators, we may mention Root, of 363 Broadway, whose pictures have not been surpassed; Meade, Brothers, 233; Gurney, at 349; Brady, at 359; and Lawrence, at 381 Broadway. The pictures taken by the above-named artists are of superior merit; while several others might be named whose works are almost equal to these in exactness and beauty.
   Admirable pictures for the stereoscope—an instrument giving remarkable boldness to daguerreotype pictures—are taken by Peters, of 394 Broadway.
   The prices of good daguerreotypes vary from $3 to $50, corresponding to the size and perfection of the picture.

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

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