go to HOME


  The research archive of Gary W. Ewer regarding the history of the daguerreotype

On this day (January 11) in the year 1840, the following item appeared in the "Niles' National Register" (Vol.VII) under the heading "INVENTIONS, IMPROVEMENTS, &c.": ----------------------------------------------------------------- The Daguerreotype. The New York Observer has been favored with the sight of a large number of pictures from a collection of the exquisitely beautiful results of this wonderful discovery, just arrived from Paris, several of them by Daguerre himself. The collection is in the hands of M. Gourraud, a gentleman of taste, and who made himself acquainted with the mode of obtaining these results, under the immediate instruction of M. Daguerre. M. Gourraud is on his way to the Havana for the purpose of transmitting to Paris photographic views of the scenery of that part of the world. Of the excellence and beauty of these pictures, the Observer says: Our readers may suppose that, after reading the highly wrought descriptions of the new art, which we have transferred to our paper from European prints we were prepared to form something like an adequate conception of its powers; but we can only say as the queen of Sheba said after examining the exhibition of the glory of Solomon, "the half was not told us." We can find no language to express the charm of these pictures painted by no mortal hand. We are not surprised to learn that France and all Europe are so enthusiastically interested in the wonderful discovery. We are told that the shop windows in Paris, in which the photographic pictures are exhibited, are so beset by the crowd that the streets are impassible in their vicinity. M. Daguerre, we are also informed; is wholly occupied in answering the letters simply of the various sovereigns of Europe, who all seem anxious to understand the new art. We hope Mr. Gourraud will stay so long among us as to give us a few practical lectures; and also to furnish an opportunity for our citizens of taste to see this collection of nature's own paintings. (All original errors of spelling/grammar have been retained. -G.E.) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - And also from this day in the year 1847, the following advertisement appeared in the "Boston Evening Transcript": D A G U E R R E O T Y P E S O F T H E D E S - CEASED, often beautiful like quiet sleep: pleasant Pictures from casts of the face, (something new;) also Miniatures of children of any age taken instantly; by SOUTHWORTH & HAWES, 5 1/2 Tremont Row. ----------------------------------------------------------------- 01-11-96

Return to: DagNews