The daguerreotype pron.: // (French: daguerréotype) was the first commercially successful photographic process, invented around 1837 by Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre. The physical daguerreotype itself is a direct positive made in the camera on a silvered copper plate. The raw material for plates was called Sheffield plate, plating by fusion or cold-rolled cladding and was a standard hardware item produced by heating and rolling silver foil in contact with a copper support. The surface of a daguerreotype is like a mirror, with the image made directly on the silvered surface; it is very fragile and can be rubbed off with a finger, and the finished plate has to be angled so as to reflect some dark surface in order to view the image properly. Depending on the angle viewed and the color of the surface reflected into it, the image can change from a positive to a negative. The cases provided to house daguerreotypes have a cover lined with velvet or plush to provide a dark surface that reflects into the plate for viewing.Alternatively there were cases designed as frames to hang on a wall, while the smallest sizes of daguerreotypes could be mounted into lockets as had been done with miniature paintings.
Photographing humans 
At the time the process was introduced, daguerreotyping a brightly sunlit subject typically required about ten minutes of exposure in the camera, so the earliest daguerreotypes were of still lifes and landscapes. The oldest well-documented daguerreotype featuring human subjects is Daguerre's own 1838 view of the Boulevard du Temple, a busy street in Paris. The street appears deserted because the traffic (which would have been horse-drawn carriages) was moving and left no image; but a man having his shoes shined, and the bootblack, are visible because they stayed in position long enough for their images to be recorded.
Reduction of exposure time 
The very first daguerreotypes used Chevalier lenses that were "slow", and the light sensitive material was silver iodide made by fuming the silver plate with iodine vapor. This meant that the exposure in the camera was too long to conveniently take portraits commercially, and the first subjects taken were immobile subjects such as street scenes, still life  architectural studies etc.
Two changes were introduced that shortened the exposure times: one was fitting lenses of a larger diameter to the camera, and the other was a modification to the chemistry used.
When Petzval lenses were introduced in 1841, with a larger effective aperture and the plate was sensitized not only with iodine but also with bromine and chlorine and forming light sensitive crystals of silver iodide, silver bromide and/or silver chloride that are more light-sensitive than silver iodide  the exposures were reduced (the lens remaining uncapped for a shorter time), making commercial portraits viable. Increased speed was achieved using the same chemistry in the later silver processes that followed. Usually, it was arranged so that the sitters leaned their elbows on a support such as a posing table whose height 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. There were exceptions with lively expressions full of character by photographers who saw the potential of the new medium, and these are represented in museum collections and are the most sought after by private collectors today. Daguerreotypes were mounted in cases under glass with a cover, or else in a frame that could be hung on a wall. They were usually sealed with tape to reduce oxidization and tarnishing of the plate as well as mechanical damage from being touched.
Photographic processes that were invented soon after: ambrotypes and tintypes were mounted in similar cases, but were made by the later wet plate process using collodion on glass or on a bitumen coated iron plate. These can be distinguished from daguerreotypes by the image quality. The polished silver surface of a daguerreotype gives a feeling of presence where the image appears to be floating in space.
The process was developed by Louis Daguerre together with Joseph Nicéphore Niépce. Niépce had produced the first photographic image in the camera obscura with an eight hour exposure using bitumen of Judea on a pewter plate developing it in lavender oil, a process he called heliography.  The bitumen hardened where light had affected it, while the non-exposed portions were washed away.
Thomas Wedgwood had made outlines and silhouettes of shapes as well as using a glass negative by painting on glass to produce images on white leather using silver chemistry, but he was not successful in producing an image in the camera obscura and neither did he have a method to fix the image by dissolving out the unexposed silver salts. His images had to be viewed in a dimly lit room, and they gradually blackened entirely with exposure to light.
The image in a daguerreotype is often described as being formed by the amalgam, or alloy, of mercury and silver because mercury vapor from a pool of heated mercury is used to develop the plate; but using the Becquerel process (using a red filter and two-and-a-half stops extra exposure) daguerreotypes can be produced without mercury, and chemical analysis shows that there is no mercury in the final image with the Bequerel process. This leads to questioning the theory that the image is formed of amalgam with mercury development.
Exposure times were later reduced by sensitizing the plate with other silver halides: silver bromide and silver chloride, and by replacing the Chevalier lenses with much larger, faster lenses designed by Joseph Petzval. A reduction in camera size and the size of the image will always result in more light reaching the image plane and consequently reduced exposures. This principle was used in Voigtländer's all metal Daguerrotype camera where a smaller image resulted in reducing the exposure time to two seconds. The camera did not catch on and was not a marketing success.
Since the late Renaissance, artists and inventors had been looking for a mechanical method of capturing visual scenes. Previously, using the camera obscura, artists would manually trace what they saw, or use the optical image in the camera as a basis for solving the problems of perspective and parallax, and deciding color values. The camera obscura's optical reduction of a real scene in three-dimensional space to a flat rendition in two dimensions influenced western art, so that at one point, it was thought that images based on optical geometry (perspective) belonged to a more advanced civilization. Later, with the advent of Modernism, the absence of perspective in oriental art from China, Japan and in Persian miniatures was revalued.
Previous discoveries of photosensitive methods and substances—including silver nitrate by Albertus Magnus in the 13th century, a silver and chalk mixture by Johann Heinrich Schulze in 1724, and Joseph Niépce's bitumen-based heliography in 1822—contributed to development of the daguerreotype. In 1829 French artist and chemist Louis J.M. Daguerre, contributing a cutting edge camera design, partnered with Niépce, a leader in photochemistry, to further develop their technologies.
After Niépce's 1833 death, Daguerre continued to research the chemistry and mechanics of recording images by coating copper plates with iodized silver. Early experiments required hours of exposure in the camera to produce visible results. In 1835 Daguerre discovered—after accidentally breaking a mercury thermometer, according to traditional accounts—a method of developing the faint or invisible images on plates that had been exposed for only 20 to 30 minutes. Further refinement of his process would allow him to fix the image—preventing further darkening of the silver—using a strong solution of common salt. An 1837 still life of plaster casts, a wicker-covered bottle, a framed drawing and a curtain—titled L'Atelier de l'artiste—has been claimed to be the first daguerreotype to successfully undergo the full process of exposure, development and fixation.
The French Academy of Sciences announced the daguerreotype process on January 9, 1839. Later that year William Fox Talbot announced his silver chloride "sensitive paper" process. Together, these announcements mark 1839 as the year photography was born.
Daguerre did not patent and profit from his invention in the usual way. Instead, it was arranged that the French government would acquire the rights in exchange for a lifetime pension. The government would then present the daguerreotype process "free to the world" as a gift, which it did on August 19, 1839. However, on August 14, 1839, a patent agent acting on Daguerre's behalf filed for a patent in England. Consequently, Britain became the only nation in which the purchase of a license was legally required to make and sell daguerreotypes.
André-Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri and Jules Itier in France, and Johann Baptist Isenring in Switzerland, became prominent daguerreotypists. In Britain, however, Richard Beard bought the British daguerreotype patent from Miles Berry in 1841 and closely controlled his investment, selling licenses throughout the country and prosecuting infringers. Among others, Antoine Claudet and Thomas Richard Williams produced daguerreotypes in the U.K.
Daguerreotype photography spread rapidly across the United States. In the early 1840s, the invention was introduced in a period of months to practitioners in the United States by Samuel Morse, inventor of the telegraph code. By 1853 an estimated three million daguerreotypes per year were being produced in the United States alone. One of these original Morse Daguerreotype cameras is currently on display at the National Museum of American History, a branch of the Smithsonian Institution, in Washington, DC. A flourishing market in portraiture sprang up, predominantly the work of itinerant practitioners who traveled from town to town. 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. Notable U.S. daguerreotypists of the mid-19th century included James Presley Ball, Samuel Bemis, Abraham Bogardus, Mathew Brady, Thomas Martin Easterly, François Fleischbein, Jeremiah Gurney, John Plumbe, Jr., Albert Southworth, Augustus Washington, Ezra Greenleaf Weld, and John Adams Whipple.
This method spread to other parts of the world as well. The first daguerreotype in Australia was taken in 1841, but no longer survives. The oldest surviving Australian daguerreotype is a portrait of Dr. William Bland taken in 1845. In 1857, Ichiki Shirō created the first known Japanese photograph, a portrait of his daimyo Shimazu Nariakira. This photograph was designated an Important Cultural Property by the government of Japan.
The daguerreotype is commonly, erroneously, believed to have been the dominant photographic process into the late part of the 19th century in Europe. Evidence from the period shows that it was in widespread use for less than twenty years before being superseded by other processes:
- The calotype, introduced in 1841; a negative-positive process using a paper negative.
- The collodion wet plate process introduced in 1851; a negative-positive process using halide-impregnated collodion poured from a bottle onto a glass plate and sensitized by immersion in a silver nitrate bath.
The collodion wet plate process was used to produce ambrotypes on glass and tintypes or ferrotypes on a coated iron plate.
- The ambrotype, introduced in 1854; a negative image on glass which appeared positive when on dark "ruby" glass or backed with a black varnish or cloth.
- The tintype or ferrotype, introduced in 1856; an image like the ambrotype, but on a thin blackened iron plate instead of glass.
The intricate, complex, labor-intensive daguerreotype process itself helped contribute to the rapid move to the ambrotype and tintype. The proliferation of these simpler and much less expensive photographic processes made the costly daguerreotypes less appealing to the average person (although it remained very popular in astronomical observatories until the invention of glass plate cameras). According to Mace (1999), the rigidity of these images stems more from the seriousness of the activity than a long exposure time, which he says was actually only a few seconds (Early Photographs, p. 21). The daguerreotype's lack of a negative image from which multiple positive "prints" could be made was a limitation also shared by the tintype, but was not a factor in the daguerreotype's demise until the introduction of the wet plate photographic process. The fact that some of those to use the process suffered severe health problems or even death from mercury poisoning after inhaling toxic vapors created during the heating process also contributed to its falling out of favor with photographers. Unlike film and paper photography, however, a properly sealed daguerreotype can potentially last indefinitely.
Modern daguerreotypes 
Although the daguerreotype process is usually said to have died out completely in the early 1860s, documentary evidence indicates that some slight use of it persisted more or less continuously throughout the following 150 years of its supposed extinction. A few first-generation daguerreotypists refused to entirely abandon their beautiful old medium when they started making the new, cheaper, easier to view but comparatively drab ambrotypes and tintypes. Historically-minded photographers of subsequent generations, fascinated by daguerreotypes, sometimes experimented with making their own or even revived the process commercially as a "retro" portraiture option for their clients. The daguerreotype experienced a minor renaissance in the late 20th century and the process is currently practiced by a handful of enthusiastic devotees; there are thought to be fewer than 100 worldwide (see list of artists on cdags.org in links below). In recent years artists like Christopher Brenton West, Jerry Spagnoli, Adam Fuss and Chuck Close have reintroduced the medium to the broader art world. Its appeal lies in the "magic mirror" effect of light striking the polished silver plate and revealing a silver image which can seem ghostly and ethereal even while being perfectly sharp, and in the sense of achievement derived from the dedication and handcrafting required to make a daguerreotype.
Value in the marketplace 
The value of a typical small daguerreotype portrait ranges from as little as US $20 for a damaged or unappealing image with no case to a more normal average of US $50 to $100 for an undamaged portrait of a reasonably attractive or interesting sitter, a complete case usually being required for the high-end price. Elaborate molded or inlay cases add significant value when in good condition. Identification of the sitter by some type of included old documentation adds modestly to the value. Larger "half plate" and "whole plate" size (the latter is 6.5 by 8.5 inches) portraits are uncommon and more valuable, as are portraits which have been hand-tinted with multiple colors rather than simple daubs of rouge on cheeks or touches of gold paint on jewellery, although these also add modestly to the value. The premium is proportional to the subtlety and quality of the coloring. Because the vast majority of daguerreotypes are simple, straightforward studio portraits of ordinary people, normally it is some unusual feature which elevates the value to a multiple of the average. Men in uniform, "occupational" portraits showing a sitter with the tools of the trade, and subjects shown with weapons or other unusual objects are in this category.
Daguerreotypes other than portraits, such as landscape or architectural views, are very rare and may safely be valued from an absolute minimum of US $500 steeply upward unless severely damaged or exceptionally uninteresting. Images with major inherent historical interest, such as the California Gold Rush and other pioneer or urban scenes, sell for many thousands of dollars even with significant damage.
Portraits of outstanding quality with the maker's marks of highly-regarded daguerreotypists such as Southworth & Hawes of Boston, George S. Cook of Charleston, Gurney, Pratt and others are now valued as photographic works of art rather than as antiques or curios, and they fetch corresponding prices when sold at auction. Most valuable of all, when the identity of the subject can be established beyond any reasonable doubt, are authentic original daguerreotypes of very famous people. A damaged daguerreotype copy of one of the nine original daguerreotypes known to have been made of Edgar Allan Poe was featured on the PBS show Antiques Roadshow and appraised at US $30,000 to $50,000. In 2006, Sotheby's sold it for US $150,000. The copy was made by William Abbott Pratt circa 1854 from an original he made two weeks before Poe's 1849 death.
In May 2007, an anonymous buyer paid 576,000 euros for an original 1839 camera made by Susse Frères (Susse brothers), Paris, at an auction in Vienna, Austria, making it the world's oldest and most expensive commercial photographic apparatus. The 2007 record was then bested by another daguerrotype camera, this time with Daguerre's signature on the device. It sold for 732,000 euros.
Daguerreotype camera built by La Maison Susse Frères in 1839, with a lens by Charles Chevalier
Daguerreotype of Andrew Jackson at age 77 or 78 (1844 or 1845).
The solar eclipse of July 28, 1851 is the first correctly exposed photograph of a solar eclipse, using the daguerreotype process.
||Constructs such as ibid., loc. cit. and idem are discouraged by Wikipedia's style guide for footnotes, as they are easily broken. Please improve this article by replacing them with named references (quick guide), or an abbreviated title. (February 2013)|
- Carlisle, Rodney P. Scientific American Inventions and Discoveries: All the Milestones in Ingenuity—From the Discovery of Fire to the Invention of the Microwave Oven. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2004. ISBN 0-471-24410-4
- The Daguerreotype: nineteenth-century technology and modern science By M. Susan Barger, William Blaine White
- The collection of Matthew R. Isenberg The Daguerreian Society
- Easby, Rebecca Jeffrey. "Daguerre's Paris Boulevard". Smarthistory at Khan Academy. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
The Petzval Portrait Lens 1841 Department of Imaging and Printing Technology, Chulalongkorn University, Bankok, Thailand
- Op. cit.
- [Eder History of Photography]
- The Chess Players Daguerreotype Musée d'Orsay
- Daguerreotype at Princeton University with nail holes in the brass preserver from being nailed to a wall
- The Daguerreotype: nineteenth-century technology and modern science By M. Susan Barger, William Blaine White
- Eder, Josef Maria History of Photography
- Museum of Imaging Technology
- Joseph Maria Eder History of Photography
- Stokstad, Marilyn; David Cateforis, Stephen Addiss (2005). Art History (Second ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education. pp. 964–967. ISBN 0-13-145527-3.
- Szabadváry, Ferenc (1992). History of analytical chemistry. Taylor & Francis. p. 17. ISBN 2-88124-569-2.
- "The First Photograph - Heliography". Retrieved 2009-09-29. "from Helmut Gernsheim's article, "The 150th Anniversary of Photography," in History of Photography, Vol. I, No. 1, January 1977: ... In 1822, Niépce coated a glass plate ... The sunlight passing through ... This first permanent example ... was destroyed ... some years later."
- Note: Talbot's early "sensitive paper" or "photogenic drawing" process, which required very long camera exposures, should not be confused with the much more practical Calotype or Talbotype process, invented in 1840 and introduced in 1841.
- "A Daguerreotype of Daguerre". National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 2008-07-17.
- Articles by R. Derek Wood on the history of the daguerreotype at "Midley History of early Photography".
- J. Paul Getty Museum. André Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
- J. Paul Getty Museum. Jules Itier. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
- Wood, R. Derek. "The Daguerreotype in England: Some Primary Material Relating to Beard's Lawsuits." History of Photography, October 1979, Vol. 3, No. 4, pp. 305–9.
- J. Paul Getty Museum. Antoine Claudet. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
- J. Paul Getty Museum. Thomas Richard Williams. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
- London, Barbara, Jim Stone, and John Upton. Photography. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, 2008.
- Cincinnati Historical Society Library. J. P. Ball, African American Photographer. Retrieved 2009-08-08.
- Newhall, Beaumont. The daguerreotype in America. 3rd rev. ed. New York: Dover Publications, 1976. ISBN 0-486-23322-7.
- Leggat, Robert. A History of Photography from its Beginnings till the 1920s. Brady, Mathew. 1999. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
- J. Paul Getty Museum. Thomas Martin Easterly. Retrieved 2009-08-08.
- J. Paul Getty Museum. Jeremiah Gurney. Retrieved 2009-08-08.
- J. Paul Getty Museum. John Plumbe, Jr. Retrieved 2009-08-08.
- Young America: The Daguerreotypes of Southworth & Hawes. Biographies. Albert S. Southworth. International Center of Photography and George Eastman House, 2005-2006. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
- National Portrait Gallery. A Durable Memento. Portraits by Augustus Washington, African American Daguerreotypist. Retrieved 2009-08-08.
- J. Paul Getty Museum. Ezra Greenleaf Weld. Retrieved 2009-08-08.
- Davies, Allan. "Photography in Australia". Celebrating 100 years of the Mitchell Library. Focus Publishing. p. 76. ISBN 187535966 Check
|isbn=value (help). More than one of
- Unlocking the Secrets in Old Photographs, p. 126. 1991. Retrieved 2009-06-29.
- Nelson, Kenneth E. (1996). "A Thumbnail History of the Daguerreotype"
- Davis, D.T. (November 1896). "The Daguerreotype in America" McClure's Magazine 8(1):4-16. Near the end of this article, the author notes that the venerable Mr. Hawes, of Southworth and Hawes, has "a number of daguerreotypes made recently, for he is one of the few operators who remain loyal to the old process". Available online from the Daguerreian society
- Tennant, John A. (August 1902). "Copying methods" The Photo-Miniature 4(41):201 et seq. See page 202 for mention of new daguerreotypes being made circa the 1890s by recycling old plates. (Selected text available online from The Daguerreian Society)
- Cannon, Poppy. (June 1929). "An Old Art Revived" The Mentor 17(5):36-37 Available online from The Daguerreian Society
- "LOT 2 - Le Daguerréotype Susse Frères". WestLicht Auction. May 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-30.. A slightly different value is given by AFP: "Oldest/Most Expensive Camera". Media Speak, Inc. 2007-05-28. Retrieved 2007-08-30.
Further reading 
- Newhall, Beaumont The Daguerreotype in America ISBN 0486233227 ISBN 978-0486233222 Dover Publications.
- Gernsheim, Helmut, and Alison Gernsheim. L.J.M. Daguerre: the history of the diorama and the daguerreotype. New York: Dover Publications, 1968. ISBN 0-486-22290-X
- Barger, Susan M and White, William B. The Daguerreotype: Nineteenth-Century Technology and Modern Science Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1991
- Rudisill, Richard. Mirror image: the influence of the daguerreotype on American society. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1971.
- Coe, Brian. The birth of photography: the story of the formative years, 1800–1900. London: Ash & Grant, 1976. ISBN 0-904069-06-0.
- Sobieszek, Robert A., Odette M. Appel-Heyne, and Charles R Moore. The spirit of fact: the daguerreotypes of Southworth & Hawes, 1843–1862. Boston: D.R. Godine, 1976. ISBN 0-87923-179-3
- Pfister, Harold Francis. Facing the light: historic American portrait daguerreotypes: an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, September 22, 1978–January 15, 1979. Washington, D.C.: Published for the National Portrait Gallery by the Smithsonian Institution Press, 1978.
- Richter, Stefan. The art of the daguerreotype. London: Viking, 1989. ISBN 0-670-82688-X.
- Barger, M Susan, and William B White. The daguerreotype: nineteenth-century technology and modern science. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1991. ISBN 0-87474-348-6
- Wood, John. America and the daguerreotype. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1991. ISBN 0-87745-334-9.
- Wood, John. The scenic daguerreotype: Romanticism and early photography. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1995. ISBN 0-87745-511-2.
- Lowry, Bates, and Isabel Lowry. The silver canvas: daguerreotype masterpieces from the J. Paul Getty Museum. Los Angeles: The Museum, 1998. ISBN 0-89236-368-1.
- Davis, Keith F., Jane Lee Aspinwall, and Marc F. Wilson. The origins of American photography: from daguerreotype to dry-plate, 1839–1885. Kansas City, MO: Hall Family Foundation, 2007. ISBN 978-0-300-12286-2.
- Kenney, Adele. Photographic Cases Victorian Design Sources 1840–1870, 2001 ISBN 0-7643-1267-7.
- Hannavy, John. Case Histories: The Presentation of the Victorian Photographic Portrait 1840–1875, 2005. ISBN 1-85149-481-2.
|Look up daguerreotype in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
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- Hill, Levi L. A Treatise on the Daguerreotype. The Whole Art Made Easy. 1850
- The Daguerreotype Process. Sussex PhotoHistory.
- Daguerre (1787–1851) and the Invention of Photography. Malcom Daniel, Department of Photographs, The Metropolitain Museum of Art
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- Daguerreotype Portraits and Views, 1836-1864: US Library of Congress
- The American Handbook of the Daguerreotype from Project Gutenberg
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