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

To my knowledge, this poem has never been referenced in any photo- historical text of any sort. I came across the mention of the poem in an obscure newspaper than happen to highlight articles from a recent "Ballou's" issue. Of course I obtained the full reading pronto, and I am pleased to present it to you today. On this day (February 24) in the year 1855, the following poem was published in "Ballou's Pictorial," (Boston; Vol. VIII., No. 8): --------------------------------------------------------------- [Written for Ballou's Pictorial.] ORIGIN OF THE DAGUERREOTYPE. (The following verses, from an anonymous author, are gracefully written, and have the playful fancy of Moore or Hoffman.) Venus, gazing in the water, Craved the picture shadowed there; Phoebus heard the wish, and brought her Speedy answer to her prayer. Violet rays her face reflected On his burnished silver shield; Mercury touched it, and, perfected, Every feature stood revealed. Forehead, eyes, and tresses flowing O'er a neck divinely fair; Cheeks, in radiant beauty glowing.-- All were brightly pictured there. Thoughts, her secret soul revealing; Pleasure, sparkling in her eye; Smiles, that round her lips were stealing. Full of magic witchery; Grace,--expression,--and whatever Made that face so animate;-- All were caught and fixed forever, Truthful--life-like, on the plate. F. A. F. ----------------------------------------------------------------- 02-24-96

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