Toronto. Daguerre was a scenic painter and creator of dioramas. He wanted to find a way to capture scenes and have a record from which to paint the scene for a diorama much later. When he learned Niepce was also trying to capture scenes, he joined forces.
After Niepce died, Daguerre through many experiments settled on using sensitized silver plates. He finally realized the virtue of the latent image and a means to develop it. He discovered that mercury fumes would bring out the latent image and a salt bath would render the resulting image impervious to light.
He arranged for his process (the Daguerreotype), which took just minutes to record a subject in the camera, to be announced on January 7, 1839 by French scientist François Arago. And in return for a pension of 6,000 francs for him and a pension of 4,000 francs for his late partner’s nephew, Isidore Niepce, from France, he published his process for free use world wide – except England where its use required a licence.
NOTE: Over a century and a half later Daguerre’s mirror with a memory is still crisp, clear, and high resolution – drop in to our Image Show this Sunday and pick up one or a few!