Daguerreotype History


louis daguerre

Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre (November 18, 1787 – July 10, 1851) was a French artist and chemist, recognized for his invention of the daguerreotype process of photography.



daguerre san franc

His first photographic process, along with the paper negative and salted paper print. Also its highly detailed image and became especially popular portraiture. Including the process of the ambrotypes, tintypes, and prints from collodion negatives.

A daguerreotype is a silver image on a silver-coated copper plate is called "mirror with a memory" which had to be made a high-quality metals. The polished plate was first sensitized through exposure to the vapors of iodine and bromine or chlorine, producing light-sensitive silver salts on the surface.


Daguerreotype photographs


blvd du temple dag

Daguerre in 1838 in Paris, was the first photograph of a person.

The image shows a street, but because of the over ten minute exposure time the moving traffic does not appear. The exceptions are the man and shoe-shine boy at the bottom left, and two people sitting at a table nearby who stood still long enough to have their images captured.


dagurre atelier

L'Atelier de l'artiste. An 1837 daguerreotype by Daguerre, the first to complete the full process.

Daquerreotype processing videos

(View a video introduction by Malcolm Daniel, curator of the exhibition.)



(View a computer animation of the daguerreotype process.)


More information:

The Dawn of Photography: French Daguereotypes, 1839–1855