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

Before today's text, I want to give you advance warning of a possible present-day "happening" in the history of the daguerreotype. Grant Romer of the George Eastman House was included in the shooting of Spielberg's latest film, "Amistad." What was his role? He played the daguerreotypist, of course! In the scene, a daguerreotypist (Grant Romer) is making a portrait daguerreotype of John Quincy Adams (played by Anthony Hopkins.) The only question remains is whether the scene made the final cut or was left on the floor of the editing room. We will all be watching, Grant! On this day (December 14) in the year 1844, the following advertisement appeared in "The Lynn Democrat" (Lynn, Mass; Vol. 1, No. 1): - - - - - - - - - - - - Daguerreotype Miniatures H. N. Macomber, Would respectfully inform the citizens of Lynn that he has taken rooms in Sagamore Hall Build- ing, and is prepared to take MINIATURES by this won- derful process, from 9 o'clock, A.M. to 4 P.M. daily, without regard to weather. Hitherto, it has been generally supposed that sunshine was indispensable to the production of Daguerreotype Miniatures; but the late important improvements prove that this is a mistake. Those who have never enjoyed the opportunity of seeing a specimen of Photography, can hardly form an adequate idea of the extreme perfection--beauty and wonderful mi- nuteness of a Daguerreotype Picture. It is the work of Nature, not of Art--and as far surpasses the production of the pencil, as all Nature's efforts do those of Man. In the creation of these pictures, the light of Heav- en, alone constitutes the pencil, and Nature the artist! In no case will persons be obliged to take a miniature, unless it is perfectly satisfactory. Apparatus, with the late combinatin Lenses furnish- ed, and instruction given at the lowest rates. Ladies and Gentlemen are invited to call and examine specimens. Lynn, Oct 17 -------------------------------------------------------------- 12-14-97

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