Format and Process: Daguerreotypes

Instructional Resource

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Format and Process: Daguerreotypes

Instructional Resource

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This is a small sampling of photographs, cameras, and apparatus related to daguerreotypes found in the Photographic History Collection.  There are also several short videos that demonstrate the making of daguerreotypes.

Many daguerreotypes are portraits, including two by the Meade Brothers of Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre. The PHC holds images of the Smithsonian's own Spencer Baird, Senators Daniel Webster, Sam Houston, and Henry Clay, and photographers Frederick Langenheim and Samuel Fitz are among other noted individuals. Particular collections include the transfer of cased images from the Anthropological Archives of Native Americans, the Warren Fox Kaynor case collection, John William Draper image and apparatus collection, and daguerreotypes made by African American daguerreotypist Augustus Washington. Many well-known makers are also represented.  Samuel F. B. Morse's camera, hand-crafted using the lens he brought back from Paris in 1839, was the first object cataloged for the collection.  Two contemporary daguerreotypists include Jerry Spigoli's image of President Obama's Inauguration and Mike Robinson's daguerreotype of the Daguerre memorial.

For additional information search collections.si.edu or contact the division.