In the Eye of the Camera, 1840-1867

Introduction
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Introduction I-1063 MP-0000.502.2 MP-1985.10.1.1 MP-0000.542 MP-1975.209.4 MP-1974.114.3 I-6243.1 N-0000.157
 
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Photograph
Mrs. Joseph Savage, Montreal, QC, about 1850
Thomas Coffin Doane
About 1850, 19th century
Silver amalgam on metal (copper) - Daguerreotype
10 x 8 cm
Gift of Mrs. Judith St. John
MP-1985.10.1.1
© McCord Museum
Description
Keywords:  female (19035) , Photograph (77678) , portrait (53878)
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Keys to History

Each daguerreotype is unique. The plate that was in the camera at the time the photograph was taken was sold to the client in a case. There was no negative, so there was nothing to keep on file. Reprints were impossible: if you wanted another picture, you had to have another one taken. Daguerreotypes in their cases were hard to paste into albums and difficult to share with your family. Another disadvantage was that over time, air sometimes leaked into the sealed package the daguerreotypist put together and tarnished the silver, making the image hard to see.