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

A miscellany of things today. . . * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Astute wordsmith and DagNews reader Stephen Herbert corrected my post of January 22. "Veriest" is indeed a legitimate word and, according to my (larger) dictionary, means: ...being such to the highest degree; utter Hence, "From the most aged to the veriest (utter) child. . ." * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * I also intended to preface an announcement for January 31 with the following text; here it is a day late: On this day (January 31) in the year 1846, the following announcement appeared in the "Saturday Courier" (Philadelphia; Vol XV. #47): - - - - - - - - - BAER, (SIC) the Buckeye Blacksmith, is taking Daguerreotype likenesses at Wilmington, Delaware. - - - - - - - - - On the heels of this notice of the activity of John W. Bear, I would like to mention that a portion of his little-known autobiography is now available on The Daguerreian Society's web site at: http://www.daguerre.org/resource/texts/bear.html I've extracted a portion of a chapter wherein he describes some of his very interesting daguerreian activities. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * and finally something for yesterday. . . On this day (February 1) in the year 1857, the following commentary appeared in "The American Journal of Photography" (Vol.4, No.6): T H E D I F F E R E N C E . Photography in the United States, is practiced only as a livelihood-- in Europe as a pastime or amusement. In America, Smith or Jones are Photographic Artists--making portraits of the people for a few shillings. In Europe, Lord Nobleborough or Prince Royalblood, is a connoisseur amusing himself. In America, photography is a business as legitimate as dentistry or blacksmithing. In Europe, it is a fashion for the opulent. In America, there are no photographic societies--trade doesn't need societies. In Europe, in every important town, you find an association of zealous experimentalists under the patronage of his majesty, and presided over by some Sir David or Lord Rosse, In America, three Journals, professedly devoted to Photography-- through scissoring, taking pay for puffing quackery, or advertising their proprietors' merchandise, eke out a sickly existence. In Europe you find genuine scientific original journals of photography in all languages. In Europe then, finally and consequently, they make discoveries and real progress in the Art and the science, with noble generosity giving the fruits of their labor to the world, while we here appropriate or steal what we can, and invent only the Hillotype, Hallotype, Balsam Sticking, Collodion Gilding, and all sorts of sham. ---------------------------------------------------------------- 02-01-97

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