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

For today's DagNews (July 17), I offer you a few lines from a story entitled "The Daguerreotype." Written by A. Mortimer Cleveland for the 17 July 1858 issue of "Ballou's Pictorial" (Boston). It is classic mid- 19th century schmalz: -------------------------- . . . and he put in my hand a small box containing a daguerreotype. "There," said he, "isn't that as good as life?" Don't I make a splendid picture?" I opened it and found the picture of a young lady, very young, not more than fifteen or sixteen, almost childish in the perfect simplicity of attitude and dress, and yet in the earnest, serious expression of the eyes, and the deep repose of the features, there was denoted maturity beyond the age. Fred had been leaning his head upon his hand, and had not observed my start of surprise, so that I considered it for a long time attentively. All at once he started up, saying: "You don't speak, Amy." And then looking at the picture in my hand, he smiled a little differently from his usual careless manner, and said, "You think I have changed some, don't you? Well, I have made a mistake, for which I was sorry at first, but don't care now. Here is the box I designed for you." And he passed me a very fine likeness of himself. ----------------------------- The story is lengthy and rather than allowing it to crowd your e-mail box, I have only quoted a portion. If you would like the entire story, simply reply to this note with a brief message such as "send it" and I'll happily forward you the entire text. ----------------------------------------------------------------- 07-17-95

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