A Look at Vintage Daguerreotypes

A Look at Vintage Daguerreotypes

A Photographic Blast from the Past

The daguerreotype represented a short, but sweet chapter in the early stages of photography. Invented by Louis Daguerre in the 1830s, the daguerreotype was an image created on a polished silver-plated copper sheet that had undergone various chemical treatments. It became wildly popular when it came out, but the process was also expensive so, in just a few decades, the daguerreotype had been almost completely replaced with cheaper, newer alternatives. The good news is that, stored in proper conditions, daguerreotypes are pretty durable which means that we can still use them to catch a glimpse of a world gone by.

Daguerreotype of its inventor, Louis Daguerre

Daguerreotype of its inventor, Louis Daguerre

Earliest dated daguerreotype - 1837

Earliest dated daguerreotype – 1837

Daguerreotype of Lincoln when he was an Illinois Congressman.

Daguerreotype of Lincoln when he was an Illinois Congressman.

1838 daguerreotype of Paris which allegedly is the first photograph of humans.

1838 daguerreotype of Paris which allegedly is the first photograph of humans.

Oldest surviving Japanese photograph - 1857 daguerreotype of Japanese lord Shimazu Nariakira.

Oldest surviving Japanese photograph – 1857 daguerreotype of Japanese lord Shimazu Nariakira.

McKay's Shipyard in Boston - 1855

McKay’s Shipyard in Boston – 1855

Retouched 1850s daguerreotype of a woman misidentified as Susan B. Anthony.

Retouched 1850s daguerreotype of a woman misidentified as Susan B. Anthony.

1850 daguerreotype of opera singer Jenny Lind, the "Swedish Nightingale".

1850 daguerreotype of opera singer Jenny Lind, the “Swedish Nightingale”.

1847 daguerreotype of renowned abolitionist John Brown.

1847 daguerreotype of renowned abolitionist John Brown.

Daguerreotype Capitol Building

Capitol Building in 1851

General store in Nevada City, California

General store in Nevada City, California

1850s daguerreotype of a class of children with their teacher.

1850s daguerreotype of a class of children with their teacher.

Poet Henry Longfellow and his family at the Niagara Falls.

Poet Henry Longfellow and his family at the Niagara Falls.

1844 daguerreotype of Arthur Wellesley - the only known photograph of the Duke of Wellington.

1844 daguerreotype of Arthur Wellesley – the only known photograph of the Duke of Wellington.

San Francisco's Portsmouth Square in 1851.

San Francisco’s Portsmouth Square in 1851.