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

Before I get to today's item, I want to mention the new addition to The Daguerreian Society web site. In conjunction with The Oakland Museum (who will be mounting a major exhibition of cased California images early next year,) we have added a new gallery of nine California daguerreotypes. The URL is: http://www.daguerre.org/gallery/oakland/ca_intro.html As always, the latest additions is included in our "what's new" page at: http://www.daguerre.org/update.html We will be moving to a new URL shortly. After the move, we hope to make our (long-overdue) site-search engine functional. * * * * * * * * * * * * * On this day (February 28) in the year 1843, the following text appeared in the "Daily National Intelligencer" (Washington, D.C.): - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - I presume you would like to know who makes money in New York in these Jeremiad times. I can hear but two classes--the beggars and the takers of likenesses by daguerreotype. It's an old contradiction in human nature (very likely the basis of the parable of the camel and the needle's eye) that we give more as we have less to give: and with the late twin increase of poverty and pity, the beggars of New York have correspondingly increased. . .Daguerreotypying, which is now done for a dollar and a half, is the next most profitable vocation. It will soon be difficult to find man or woman who has not his likeness done by the sun (Apollo fecit) as it was, before the rain of portrait painters, to find one without a profile cut in black. A Frenchman has opened a shop in Fulton street for the sale of apparatuses for daguerreotyping, so that any pedlar can take up the trade. Some beginnings have been made in copying in colors, and one man has altered his sign to "photographer." Should an improvement be made hereafter by which an artist could correct the variations made by the imperfectness of the perspective and the convexity of the lens (for these daguerreotypes are very incorrect after all), the immortality of this generation is as sure, at least, as the duration of the metallic plate. (Cited from Welling "Photography in America, The Formative Years" page 41) -------------------------------------------------------------- 02-28-97

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