An introduction to the text extracted from
This text is extracted from Sunlight Sketches' or the Photographic Textbook: A Practical Treatise on Photography (New York: published for the author by H. H. Snelling, 1858) pp. 25-27.
In his history, The Daguerreotype In America, Beaumont Newhall closed his essay with a quote from the following text. Presented here is the full passage from this source. It is indeed a remarkable commentary written as the daguerreotype was passing from popular favor.
We are compelled to offer a disclaimer. It is extremely unfortunate that this text makes use of an analogy that is a strong derogatory racial slur. We would certainly not choose to use such an analogy today. The words remain in this reprint, however, because that is how the text was originally written. Although times have changed, if we are to understand history by studying it, then we must be able to read documents as originally written, without any attempt at cleansing. We do not reprint this text to offend anyone; rather, it is our hope that this text sheds a sharper light on our cultural past.
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