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

On this day (March 14) in the year 1840, the following news item appeared in "The New-Yorker" (Vol. 8, No. 26): ------------------------------------------------ FRENCH IMPROVEMENTS IN THE DAGUERREOTYPE.-- At the late meetings of the Academy of Sciences, much attention has been given to the various improvements made in the Daguerreotype, which instrument seems to have attracted the very active notice of scientific men in general. In the first place, the Baron Seguier exhibited an instrument of this kind constructed by himself, but with ingenious modifications, having for their objects, diminution in size and weight, and the simplification in other respects of the entire apparatus. M. Seguier expressed himself satisfied that several of the conditions, which had been announced as required for the success of the process, may be dispensed with; and stated his intention of devoting himself to a still further simplification of the apparatus, so as, at least, to make it more portable, more easy of use, and less expensive. His improvements have likewise been directed to rendering the operations of photography practicable in the open country, even those delicate ones, which seem at present to require protection against too strong a light. M. Arago afterwards laid before the academicians an objective glass, constructed by M. Cauche, with the view of redressing the image obtained in the Daguerreotype, which is now presented reversed, a circumstance that, in many cases, destroys the resemblance of places and monuments. The Abbe Moignat gave an account of experiments made by himself, in conjunction with M. Soliel, for the purpose of introducing the light of oxy-hydrogen gas, as the principle of illumination to the objects intended to be represented by the instrument. As yet, these experiments have been unsuccessful; but M. Arago does not consider the results hitherto obtained as decisive against the light in question, when applied to the plate itself, instead of the objects to be rendered. A report has also been made on the result of a process, by which M. Bayard is enabled to take impressions on paper. This discovery is described as important; but as the process is kept secret, we are unable to say how far it differs from, or is an improvement on, that of Mr. Fox Talbot. Athenaeum. ----------------------------------------------------------------- 03-14-96

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