New Subjects


Unknown Photographer, c. 1860s. Tintype.











Carte-de-Visite album












Andre Disderi, Supplicies (Heads of Executed Men), c. 1850s. Carte-de-visite.


other newsworthy carte-de-visites







Abraham Lincoln
Matthew Brady Studio, Abraham Lincoln, c. 1863. Albumen Cabinet Card.
Lincoln campaign button, 1860.











Mike Kelly in Boston Beaneaters uniform cabinet card c. 1888











Maxime Du Camp, View of Nile ruins, 1850.
Bisson Brothers, Valley of Chamonix seen from Le Chapeau, 1860.












Portrait Galleries


Nadar's Portrait Studio on the Boulevard des Capucines, 1860.











Portrait Gallery

A. Berghaus, M. B. Brady's New Photographic Gallery, New York, 1861. Engraving.











Rollin Heber Neal

Southworth and Hawes, Rollin Heber Neal
(Pastor of the First Baptist Church, Boston)
, c. 1850. Daguerreotype.












Dorothy Catheriene Draper

John Draper, Miss Dorothy Catherine Draper, c.1840. Daguerreotype.
Southworth and Hawes, Rollin Heber Neal (Pastor of the First Baptist Church, Boston), c. 1850. Daguerreotype.











Picture Factories


Behind the scenes in a picture factory











Daguerreotype Saloons


Daguerrian Saloon

A traveling daguerrian studio or "Daguerreotype Saloon"











Daguerreotype saloon, c. 1850.











A picture's worth?
  • A professionally made daguerreotype cost one to two pounds in London - about a month's salary for the common person
  • In the United States, a daguerreotype made at the local studio cost $2.50 to $5
  • The price of a daguerreotype, at the height of its popularity in the early 1850's, ranged from:

    25¢ for a sixteenth plate (1 5/8" X 1 3/8"),

    50¢ for a low-quality "picture factory" likeness

    $2 for a medium-sized portrait at Matthew Brady's Broadway studio. 

    50¢, probably the most common price paid, and is equivalent to $14.20 today

    Southworth and Hawes charged $33 for a portrait (about $450 in today's money)











The blossoming popularity and accessibility of the daguerreotype greatly influenced the emergence of new classes of image makers, which then encouraged the development of new classes of images...


Occupation Portraits


Family Vegetable Woman

Carl Ferdinand Stelzner, Mother Albers, The Family Vegetable Woman, c. 1845. Daguerreotype.


More occupational daguerreotypes











Vacation Pictures


Platt D. Babbitt, Tourists Viewing Niagara Falls from Prospect Point, c. 1855.



More Tourist Daguerreotypes










Post-Mortem Portraits


Post-Mortem Portrait

Unknown Photographer, Post-Mortem Portrait, Woman Holding Baby, c. 1855. Daguerreotype.











Photographer Unknown. Father and Mother Holding a Dead Child, c. 1850 - 1860s.  Daguerreotype.










Three kinds of stereoscopes

The Sterescope
1832 Sir Charles Wheatstone describes the phenomena of binocular vision and designs an apparatus that fuses two separate drawings into a single three dimensional image

Prephotography Stereocards

Three kinds of stereoscopes
Unknown Artist. Pre-photography stereo cards. c. 1840.











Stereoview of theGreat Exhibition, 1851.
In 1851 Queen Victoria is presented a special stereoscope during the Great Exhibition and within 3 months, 250,000 stereoscopes and millions of cards are sold to the public
By 1856, the London Stereoscopic Company had sold 500,000 viewers
London Stereoscopic Company motto, "No home without a stereoscope"











Stereo Camera

Stereoscopic Camera












Holmes-Bates Stereoscope with stereograph.











Stereoscopes in use

Photographer Unknown, Untitled (Stereoscopes in Use), c. 1860s.











Chinese woman with bound feet











Geography Lesson
“What an educational revolution is here… Why our Tommys and Harrys will know the world’s surface as well as a circumnavigator…What a stock of knowledge our Tommys and Harrys will begin life with!  Perhaps in ten years or so the question will be seriously discussed… whether it will be any use to travel now that you can send out your artist to bring home Egypt in his carpetbag to amuse the drawing room with.”
– 1858 issue of The Athenaeum
J.F.A. Claudet, The Geography Lesson, 1851.
Stereoscopic daguerreotype.











Maxime Du Camp, The Colossus of Abu-Simbel, Nubia, 1850. Salted Paper Print.


"I had realized upon my previous travels that I wasted much valuable time trying to draw buildings and scenery I did not care to forget.  I drew slowly and not very correctly... I felt that I needed an instrument of precision to record my impressions if I was to reproduce them accurately." - Maxime Du Camp










Maxime Du Camp, The Colossus of Abu-Simbel, Nubia. 1850.
Francis Frith, The Sphinx and the Great Pyramid Geezah, 1858. Albumen print.











Mechanical Photography = a verbatim style of photography which featured maximum detail and sharpness

Great Pyramids

Frith's trademark "mechanical picturesque" approach:
Juxtapose human figures with giant monuments
Dense detail
Sense of mass and scale
Avoided expressive or dramatic effects
Francis Frith, Great Pyramids, 1862.











Mexican-American War
1846 - 1848

General Wool

Fought after Texas seceded from Mexico
Resulted in the U.S. acquiring
California and New Mexico
Considered the first war to be
photographed as it happened
Coincides with the rise of American newspapers
Photographer Unknown, General Wool and Staff, Calle Real, Saltillo, Mexico. c. 1847.











Photographaer Unknown, Amputation, Mexican- American War, Cerro Gordo, 1847.











Crimean War
1853 - 1856
Fought between Imperial Russia and an alliance of the United Kingdom, France and the Ottoman Empire


Railroad Yard

Roger Fenton, Railroad Yard Balaclava #2, 1855.











Roger Fenton, The 57th Regiment, 1855.











The "Photographic Van"


More of Fenton's Crimean War photographs











Death of General Warren

John Trumbull, The Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker's Hill, June 17, 1775, 1786.











"Whatever he represents from the field must be real." - London Times


The Valley of the Shadow of Death

Roger Fenton, The Valley of the Shadow of Death, 1855.