Richard Beard's daguerreotype studio, c 1841.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving by George Cruikshank. The American Alexander Wolcott (1804-1844) opened the world's first portrait studio in the USA in 1840. He then sold exclusive rights to Richard Beard (1801-1885), who was also the patentee of the daguerreotype proces in England and Wales from 1841 to 1853. Beard opened the first European daguerreotype studio in 1841. Wolcott invented a lens-les camera which produced images only 2 inches square. Behind the sitter's head can be seen the immobilising clamps; Wolcott's cameras are visible on a shelf opposite. Two customers hold magnifying glases emphasising the fact that the detail on the plates truly was microscopic. The photographer himself is shown timing the exposure with a pocket watch.