Giroux's original daguerreotype camera, 1839.

NMPFT Photo Studio

 
Giroux's original daguerreotype camera, 1839.
4 0 c m
 
33cm
actual image size: 25cm x 32cm

Description

Daguerreotype photography was invented by Louis Daguerre (1789-1851) and was made public in 1839. In the Daguerreotype proces a picture made on a silver surface sensitized with iodine was developed by exposure to mercury vapour. Daguerre granted the right to make and sell daguerreotype cameras to a relative of his, Alphonse Giroux of Paris. Photography thus became available to the general public in 1839 and this was the first commercially available camera, which produced the first distinctive photographic positives. It took pictures 8.5 x 6.5 inches (21.6cm x 16.5cm), a size which became known as whole-plate when later cameras were built to take photographs a fraction of the size. The camera is shown on a tripod used by W H F Talbot.

© National Museum of Science & Media / Science & Society Picture Library

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