the way we were

1840 Daguerreotype of Horseshoe falls at Niagara, Ontario

Toronto. Photography changed the way we look at the world and ourselves for ever. Today the smartphone bunch knock off stills and videos galore. When photography began, it took skill and patience to ‘create’ a likeness of the scene in front of the photographer.

Much of the world was taken with the Daguerreotype process from France, announced in January, 1839.  George Dunbar captured the following, “Reported to be the “first ever photograph of Canada” (From the online archive for HuffPost Canada)

“Taken in 1840 [pre dating the Dominion] by British businessman Hugh Lee Pattinson, the picture of Niagara Falls was discovered in 1997 at Newcastle University in England, where it had been sitting forgotten in the Special Collections of the school’s library.

“The photograph is a daguerreotype, which produces images that are reversed (left to right). This is the original photo, and the other has been retouched and flipped to the correct orientation.”

I used the original (left most image) in the thumbnail here and the reversed, retouched image (right most image) for the enlarged version shown when you click on the thumbnail.

Thank you, George, for sharing you historical find with us.

Note: The title of this post is that of a well known song of the same name, sung by Barbra Streisand from the 1973 movie, also of the same name.

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