Identifying Ancestor Photos: Daguerreotypes


Photography arrived in the United States in 1839 thanks to Samuel F. B. Morse, an American artist and inventor. 

Genealogists
often have old family photos in their possession or they find some in
Great Aunt Matilda’s attic. But how do we know when the photograph was
taken? One method is to determine what type of photograph it is. The
earliest type is the Daguerreotype.



Identifying a Daguerreotype

Morse
visited Daguerre in Paris in March 1839 and observed a demonstration of
the daguerreotype process. He returned to the United States to spread
the news, and by the end of 1839 some larger cities on the East Coast
had very successful portrait studios.

Every daguerreotype is a unique image on silvered copper plate.  Daguerreotypes are small, usually about 2×3 inches and they tarnish easily. What else makes it unique? 


Daguerreotype Cases


Daguerreotypes are fragile and were always put in protective cases. Here are a few from my personal collection.

 This is a daguerreotype from 1854


This daguerreotype of a woman in formal evening wear is from the Civil War era.

A rare beautifully decorated double case holding a daguerreotype on side, an ambrotype on the other 



Learn More


Watch my video Five Types of Early 19th Century Photographs

Read more about

daguerreotypes

on

Lost Faces website

Source: Olive Tree Genealogy Blog http://olivetreegenealogy.blogspot.com/

Posted On: May 20, 2021 at 03:00PM