Collection: Nineteenth-Century Boston Photograph Collection | HOLLIS for Archival Discovery
Nineteenth-Century Boston Photograph Collection halls, churches, and residences in mid to late nineteenth century Boston, Massachusetts. Dates. The history of photography began in remote antiquity with the discovery of two critical principles . Since Arago indicated the first years of the 19th century and a date prior to Wedgwood's process published in , .. characters, diagrams, photographs and other graphics could be transferred into digital computer memory. Compared to photography, memory's records are full of gaps. The fact that He knows every little wrinkle on her face and has noted every date. Memory does.
Other processes that have a similar viewing experience are holograms on credit cards or Lippmann plates. Copies were also produced by lithography or engraving. A well-exposed and sharp large-format daguerreotype is able to faithfully record fine detail at a resolution that today's digital cameras are not able to match.
Reduction of exposure time[ edit ] In the early s, two innovations were introduced that dramatically shortened the required exposure times: Such a lens was necessary in order to produce the highly detailed results which had elicited so much astonishment and praise when daguerreotypes were first exhibited, results which the purchasers of daguerreotype equipment expected to achieve.
Using this lens and the original sensitizing method, an exposure of several minutes was required to photograph even a very brightly sunlit scene. With uncommon exceptions, daguerreotypes made before were of static subjects such as landscapes, buildings, monuments, statuary, and still life arrangements.
Attempts at portrait photography with the Chevalier lens required the sitter to face into the sun for several minutes while trying to remain motionless and look pleasant, usually producing repulsive and unflattering results. Inthe Petzval Portrait Lens was introduced. Petzval was not aware of the scale of his invention at the start of his work on the lens, and later regretted not having secured his rights by obtaining letters patent on his invention. It was the first lens to be designed using mathematical computation, and a team of mathematicians whose specialty was in fact calculating the trajectories of ballistics was put at Petzval's disposal by the Archduke Ludvig.
It was scientifically designed and optimized for its purpose. Although it produced an acceptably sharp image in the central area of the plate, where the sitter's face was likely to be, the image quality dropped off toward the edges, so for this and other reasons it was unsuitable for landscape photography and not a general replacement for Chevalier-type lenses.
Petzval intended his lens to be convertible with two alternative rear components: In Daguerre's original process, the plate was sensitized by exposure to iodine fumes alone. A breakthrough came with the discovery that when exposure to bromine or chlorine fumes was correctly combined with this, the sensitivity of the plate could be greatly increased, which in turn greatly reduced the required exposure time to between fifteen and thirty seconds in favorable lighting conditions, according to Eder.
Krachowila and the Natterer brothers. Unusual daguerreotype cameras[ edit ] A number of innovative camera designs appeared: One early attempt to address the lack of a good "fast" lens for portraiture, and the subject of the first US patent for photographic apparatus, was Alexander Wolcott's camera, which used a concave mirror instead of a lens and operated on the principle of the reflecting telescope.
Designed solely for portraiture, this arrangement produced a far brighter image than a Chevalier lens, or even the later Petzval lens, but image quality was only marginal and the design was only practical for use with small plates. Only of these cameras were produced. Sollinger, August 1, The person to be photographed must be seated in the open air.
The last, however, is seldom employed on account of the deep shadows direct sunlight creates. In Friedrich von Martens invented the first panoramic camera for curved daguerreotype plates with a lens that turned to cover an angle of degrees.
Daguerreotype - Wikipedia
It was called "Megaskop-Kamera" of "Panorama-Kamera". The head rest was already in use for portrait painting. Establishments producing daguerreotype portraits generally had a daylight studio built on the roof, much like a greenhouse.
Whereas later in the history of photography artificial electric lighting was done in a dark room, building up the light with hard spotlights and softer floodlights, the daylight studio was equipped with screens and blinds to control the light, to reduce it and make it unidirectional, or diffuse it to soften harsh direct lighting.
Blue filtration was sometimes used to make it easier for the sitter to tolerate the strong light, as a daguerreotype plate was almost exclusively sensitive to light at the blue end of the spectrum and filtering out everything else did not significantly increase the exposure time.
Usually, it was arranged so that sitters leaned their elbows on a support such as a posing table, the height of which could be adjusted, or else head rests were used that did not show in the picture, and this led to most daguerreotype portraits having stiff, lifeless poses.
Some exceptions exist, with lively expressions full of character, as photographers saw the potential of the new medium, and would have used the tableau vivant technique. These are represented in museum collections and are the most sought after by private collectors today.
Although the daguerreotype process could only produce a single image at a time, copies could be created by re-daguerreotyping the original. With a daguerreotype, any writing will appear back to front. Recopying a daguerreotype will make the writing appear normal and rings worn on the fingers will appear on the correct hand.
Another device to make a daguerreotype the right way round would be to use a mirror when taking the photograph. The daguerreotypes of the Omaha Indian Native American delegation in the Smithsonian include a daguerrotype copied in the camera, recognizable by the contrast being high and a black line down the side of the plate. In Britain, however, Richard Beard bought the British daguerreotype patent from Miles Berry in and closely controlled his investment, selling licenses throughout the country and prosecuting infringers.
Identifying Photograph Types
It is possible that Morse may have been the first American to view a daguerreotype first-hand. For example, an article published in the Boston Daily Advertiser on February 23, described the daguerreotype as having similar properties of the camera obscura, but introduced its remarkable capability of "fixing the image permanently on the paper, or making a permanent drawing, by the agency of light alone," which combined old and new concepts for readers to understand.
For the first time in history, people could obtain an exact likeness of themselves or their loved ones for a modest cost, making portrait photographs extremely popular with those of modest means.
- Nineteenth-Century Boston Photograph Collection
- History of photography
Celebrities and everyday people sought portraits and workers would save an entire day's income to have a daguerreotype taken of them, including occupational portraits. Wedgwood did manage to copy painted glass plates and captured shadows on white leather as well as on paper moistened with a silver nitrate solution. Attempts to preserve the results with their "distinct tints of brown or black, sensibly differing in intensity" failed. It is unclear when Wedgwood's experiments took place.
He may have started before ; James Watt wrote a letter to Thomas Wedgwood's father Josiah Wedgwood to thank him "for your instructions as to the Silver Pictures, about which, when at home, I will make some experiments".
This letter now lost is believed to have been written inor Davy added that the method could be used for objects that are partly opaque and partly transparent to create accurate representations of for instance "the woody fibres of leaves and the wings of insects". He also found that solar microscope images of small objects were easily captured on prepared paper.
Davy, apparently unaware or forgetful about Scheele's discovery, concluded that substances should be found to get rid of or deactivate the unexposed particles in silver nitrate or silver chloride "to render the process as useful as it is elegant". He died aged 34 in Davy seems not to have continued the experiments. Although the journal of the small, infant Royal Institution probably reached its very small group of members, the article eventually must have been read by many more people.
It was reviewed by David Brewster in the Edinburgh Magazine in Decemberappeared in chemistry textbooks as early aswas translated into French, and published in German in Readers of the article may have been discouraged to find a fixer, because the highly acclaimed scientist Davy had already tried and failed. Fleeting silhouette photograms circa ? Charles died in without documenting the process, but purportedly demonstrated it in his lectures at the Louvre.
He later wrote that the first idea of fixing the images of the camera obscura or the solar microscope with chemical substances belonged to Charles. Later historians probably only built on Arago's information and much later the unsupported year was attached to it.
This was a step towards the first permanent photograph from nature taken with a camera obscura. It is a view of a busy street, but because the exposure lasted for several minutes the moving traffic left no trace. Only the two men near the bottom left corner, one of them apparently having his boots polished by the other, remained in one place long enough to be visible.
Disenchanted with silver saltshe turned his attention to light-sensitive organic substances. On the back is written, "The first light picture ever taken". One of the oldest photographic portraits known, or made by John William Draper of his sister, Dorothy Catherine Draper Not all early portraits are stiff and grim-faced records of a posing ordeal. This pleasant expression was captured by Mary Dillwyn in Wales in Exposure times in the camera, although substantially reduced, were still measured in hours.
As with the bitumen process, the result appeared as a positive when it was suitably lit and viewed.
Exposure times were still impractically long until Daguerre made the pivotal discovery that an invisibly slight or "latent" image produced on such a plate by a much shorter exposure could be "developed" to full visibility by mercury fumes. This brought the required exposure time down to a few minutes under optimum conditions. A strong hot solution of common salt served to stabilize or fix the image by removing the remaining silver iodide.
On 7 Januarythis first complete practical photographic process was announced at a meeting of the French Academy of Sciences,  and the news quickly spread. It was superseded by the collodion process. After reading early reports of Daguerre's invention, Henry Fox Talbotwho had succeeded in creating stabilized photographic negatives on paper inworked on perfecting his own process.
In earlyhe acquired a key improvement, an effective fixer, from his friend John Herschela polymath scientist who had previously shown that hyposulfite of soda commonly called "hypo" and now known formally as sodium thiosulfate would dissolve silver salts. The caption on the photo calls the process "Talbotype". Talbot's early silver chloride "sensitive paper" experiments required camera exposures of an hour or more.
InTalbot invented the calotype process, which, like Daguerre's process, used the principle of chemical development of a faint or invisible "latent" image to reduce the exposure time to a few minutes. Paper with a coating of silver iodide was exposed in the camera and developed into a translucent negative image.
Unlike a daguerreotype, which could only be copied by rephotographing it with a camera, a calotype negative could be used to make a large number of positive prints by simple contact printing. The calotype had yet another distinction compared to other early photographic processes, in that the finished product lacked fine clarity due to its translucent paper negative. This was seen as a positive attribute for portraits because it softened the appearance of the human face[ citation needed ].
Talbot patented this process,  which greatly limited its adoption, and spent many years pressing lawsuits against alleged infringers. He attempted to enforce a very broad interpretation of his patent, earning himself the ill will of photographers who were using the related glass-based processes later introduced by other inventors, but he was eventually defeated.
Nonetheless, Talbot's developed-out silver halide negative process is the basic technology used by chemical film cameras today. Hippolyte Bayard had also developed a method of photography but delayed announcing it, and so was not recognized as its inventor. InJohn Herschel made the first glass negative, but his process was difficult to reproduce. Victorpublished his invention of a process for making glass plates with an albumen emulsion; the Langenheim brothers of Philadelphia and John Whipple and William Breed Jones of Boston also invented workable negative-on-glass processes in the mids.
Carroll refers to the process as "Tablotype" in the story "A Photographer's Day Out"  Herbert Bowyer Berkeley experimented with his own version of collodion emulsions after Samman introduced the idea of adding dithionite to the pyrogallol developer.
In he published his discovery. Berkeley's formula contained pyrogallol, sulfite and citric acid. Ammonia was added just before use to make the formula alkaline. The German-born, New Orleans photographer Theodore Lilienthal successfully sought legal redress in an infringement case involving his "Lambert Process" in the Eastern District of Louisiana.
Roger Fenton 's assistant seated on Fenton's photographic van, Crimea, The "Jumelle de Nicour", an early attempt at a small-format, portable camera Popularization[ edit ] The daguerreotype proved popular in response to the demand for portraiture that emerged from the middle classes during the Industrial Revolution.
Roger Fenton and Philip Henry Delamotte helped popularize the new way of recording events, the first by his Crimean War pictures, the second by his record of the disassembly and reconstruction of The Crystal Palace in London. Other mid-nineteenth-century photographers established the medium as a more precise means than engraving or lithography of making a record of landscapes and architecture: Photographers encouraged chemists to refine the process of making many copies cheaply, which eventually led them back to Talbot's process.
Ultimately, the photographic process came about from a series of refinements and improvements in the first 20 years. In George Eastmanof Rochester, New Yorkdeveloped dry gel on paper, or filmto replace the photographic plate so that a photographer no longer needed to carry boxes of plates and toxic chemicals around.
In July Eastman's Kodak camera went on the market with the slogan "You press the button, we do the rest". Now anyone could take a photograph and leave the complex parts of the process to others, and photography became available for the mass-market in with the introduction of the Kodak Brownie.
General view of The Crystal Palace at Sydenham by Philip Henry DelamotteA midth century "Brady stand" armrest table, used to help subjects keep still during long exposures. It was named for famous US photographer Mathew Brady. An Punch cartoon satirized problems with posing for Daguerreotypes: In this multiple-exposure trick photo, the photographer appears to be photographing himself. It satirizes studio equipment and procedures that were nearly obsolete by then. Note the clamp to hold the sitter's head still.
A comparison of common print sizes used in photographic studios during the 19th century. Sizes are in inches. Early photography in India[ edit ] Daguerreotype cameras were advertised in Calcutta a year after their invention in France — but photographic societies in Bombay, Calcutta and Madras were beginning to pop up from the s onward.