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

For this installment of DagNews, I have no item for this date. Rather, I will offer the following poem, clipped from newspaper of unknown date and origin, but probably from the 1940's: ------------------------------------------------------------------------ The Old Daguerrotypes (sic) Found by Mrs. Nellie B. Stevens in an old New Hampshire attic trunk Up in the attic I found them, locked in the cedar chest, Where the flowered gowns lie folded, which once were brave as the best. And like the queer old jackets, and the waistcoats gay with stripes, They tell of a worn-out fashion, these old daguerrotypes. Quaint little folding cases, fastened with tiny hook, Seemingly made to tempt one to lift up the latch and look; Linings of purple and velvet, odd little frames of gold, Circling the faded faces brought from the days of old. Grandpa and Grandma, taken ever so long ago, Grandma's bonnet a marvel, Grandpa's collar a show; Mother, a tiny toddler, with rings on her baby hands Painted, lest none should notice, in glittering gilded bands. Aunts and uncles and cousins, a starchy and stiff array, Lovers and brides, then blooming, but now so wrinkled and gray; Out through the misty glasses they gaze at me sitting here, Opening the quaint old cases with a smile that is half a tear. I will smile no more, little pictures, for heartless it was, in truth, To drag to the cruel daylight these ghosts of a vanished youth. Go back to your cedar chamber, your gowns and your lavender, And dream 'mid their bygone graces, of the wonderful days that were. ----------------------------------------------------------------- 04-15-95

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