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

Before I give today's item, I want to pass along the following notice: - - - - - - I received this note from Ron and Anne Coddington: Just a note to let you know Image Magazine's third issue is now online! Inside, you'll find a profile of veteran daguerreotype collector Mark Koenigsberg, an article on the history of the daguerreotype in Argentina, a colection of images from Union College's class of 1864, a vintage image and article on the Reading, Pa., Grimshaw Silk Mill disaster, and the Image I.D. contest. The URL is: http://www.imagemag.net * * * * * * * The following anecdote appeared in "The National Magazine" (New York) Vol. 9 (July 1856) pp. 85-86: CALIFORNIA SCENES.--Our California papers are getting to be as full of humor as the sands of her rivers are of golden treasure. One facetious editor makes us shake our sides over a scene he witnessed in a daguerrean gallery, and which he describes in a very amusing style. The poor artist had hung out a very handsome and showy sign over his door, on which was painted in large letters, "Babies taken at all hours of the day in two seconds." This sign soon caught the eye of a middle- aged woman; but we will let the Californian tell his story in his own way: "'Bless the Lord for that!' exclaimed the woman, who, with three or four young ones in her arms, stood gazing upon the happy announcement. 'Bless the Lord! Relief has come at last! Babies taken at all hours. I'll go right in and let him take his pick out of mine. I'm tired of them.' "She started in, but was met by the worthy artist himself, who was on his way to the street. "'Good morning, my dear madam; walk up. What can I do for you to- day?' "Two of the children commenced crying. "'Are you the man that takes babies?' "'O yes, with the greatest ease.' "The old lady cast a lingering look at her young brood, as if she was bidding them adieu forever. "'I guess you ain't particular what kind of babies you take?' "It matters not, madam; I have taken all kinds.' "The woman gave the artist a suspicious look, as much as to say, what kind of a man are you? "'You have taken all kinds! Then I guess you'll have no objection to taking these brawling things here?' "O! it would give me pleasure, madam, to take these crying babies. had I not better take all of them at once?' "The woman drew back in astonishment. "'All at once!' said she. 'And do you pretend to say that you will take all these dirty, good-for-nothing, squalling brats at once?' "'Nothing would give me more delight,' answered he, in his usual agreeable manner. 'I have taken more than that at once, fifty times.' "'Well, you can take them,' said she, as she ap-proached him; 'but before you do so I would like to know what you are going to feed them on?' "The artist saw his mistake, and attempted to back out. "'On second thought,' he said, 'I will not take your interesting little group. It would be cruel to deprive a mother of so many of her beautiful children.' "'O! yes,' she insisted, 'you can take them.' "But, my dear madam,' commenced the artist, turning away in alarm, 'recollect that--' "'Never mind that. Take them along. There's plenty more at home.' "The artist was compelled to explain the mistake, and the woman left in disgust." -------------------------------------------------------------- 07-31-98

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