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

On this day (May 6) in the year 1840, the following item appeared in "Alexander's Weekly Messenger." The author of the item? Edgar Allan Poe. - - - - - - - - - - - - The Daguerreotype. The New York Sunday Mercury, one of the very best papers we receive in every respect, has a good article on the Fifteenth annual Exhibition of the National Academy of Design. Its observations on the Daguerreotype are especially excellent. It observes, however, that, until the transcript can be produced on paper, its use can never prove detrimental to the interest of the engraver. This is true in part, but then the production of the Daguerreotype effects on paper is likely to be soon accomplished. In France some very successful attempts have been made in this way. We agree fully, nevertheless, with the Mercury, that the invention will prove, upon the whole, highly beneficial to the interests of the fine arts. By the way, why is it that Americans persist in mispelling the word Daguerreotype. The accent should be placed upon the second e as we give it, and the word thus becomes one of five instead of four syllables. * * * * * (The article that Poe references appeared in the May 3, 1840 issue of the (New York) "Sunday Mercury." Today's post is cited from "Edgar Allan Poe's Contributions to Alexander's Weekly Messenger" [Worcester, The American Antiquarian Society, 1943] pg. 82) A note from Gary: I have not been successful in obtaining a (photo)copy of the article in the May 3, 1840 (N.Y.) "Sunday Mercury" that Poe mentions. Might one of my readers have access to the periodical and be able to provide a copy? ----------------------------------------------------------------- 05-06-96

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