Daguerreian Society

Jim Whitehead (ejw@ics.uci.edu)
Fri, 30 Apr 1999 14:07:05 -0700

In 1837, Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre developed a photographic process where
silver-plated copper sheets are treated with iodine to make them
light-sensitive, then exposed in a camera. After exposure, the plates are
"fixed" with warm mercury vapor. Due to the efforts of Francois Arago, who
convinced the French government to compensate Daguerre and collaborator
Joseph-Nicephore Niepce and then publicize the details of the process
without patent or licensing restrictions, the Daguerreotype process took off

The Daguerreian Society's web site <http://www.daguerre.org/> provides a
super introductory history of the Daguerreotype:


This history also hints at another "standards" story waiting to be told, the
history of how the paper photographic process eventually supplanted the
dominant standard, the daguerreotype process.

The site also has an extensive gallery of daguerreotype images:


It's really amazing viewing these portraits and images from the
1840's-1850's, and then compare them to the contemporary daguerreotypes,
some taken in the past 2-3 years. In many respects, it brings the past

- Jim