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

*********************************************************************** A NOTE FROM GARY: Best wishes for the holiday season to you all! I have a small gift for you, dear readers, and it can be found, with a small gift attached, at: http://www.poweramp.net/~garyewer/holiday.html No, no, no...it isn't a web version of a family newsletter or anything tacky like that, but rather a seasonal DagNews-related offering prepared especially for you. Best always, Gary ************************************************************************ On this day (December 20) in the year 1850, the following article appeared in the "Boston Evening Transcript): - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - NEW WAY TO OBTAIN GROUPS. A pleasing experiment can be performed when occasion offers, by covering successively different portions of the Daguerreotype plate, so as to exclude the operation of the light, except on that portion of the surface required for the image. A group of any number of persons can thus be represented, each one obtained at separate sittings. The process is as follows: Take several pieces of black paper, or black over writing paper with ink--say as many pieces as you desire impressions: each paper must have only one opening, and so arranged that no two will expose the same part of the plate to the operation of light. Coat the plate as usual--place one paper in the holder, over the surface of the plate, and observe that the representation in the camera corresponds in position on the ground glass with that of the aperture in the paper. When one impression has been taken, the plate should be kept in the dark, and not exposed to the vapors of mercury until all the desired impressions have been obtained. We have taken impressions on the same plate after it has stood for several days. At each sitting the paper must be changed, and there is no difficulty in producing likenesses of ten or a hundred persons, each without the knowledge of the other having ever sat. It is not advisable, however, that this method of obtaining groups should be practised to any extent, as an artist might get into difficulty; for should he represent upon the same plate, for instance, and old maid and a fop, it might cause unpleasant feelings between the parties--the one considering herself highly flattered, perhaps, while the other might fancy himself n a rather ludicrous position. [Daguerreian Journal. ----------------------------------------------------------------- 12-20-96

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