Daguerreotype

Invented in Paris by L.J.M. Daguerre in 1839, it was the first commercial photographic process. It used a copper plate with a polished silver surface sensitized by iodine fumes which was exposed in a camera, and the image developed over heated mercury vapour. There is no negative but a reversed plate mounted behind protective glass in a decorative case. It became a widely popular process for portraiture as refinements in technique were made and exposure times considerably reduced.

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Charles John Canning, Earl Canning, by Richard Beard, 1840s - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Charles John Canning, Earl Canning
by Richard Beard
1840s
NPG P119

Sir Marc Isambard Brunel, by Unknown photographer, circa 1845 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Sir Marc Isambard Brunel
by Unknown photographer
circa 1845
NPG P578

Sir George Scharf, by William Edward Kilburn, circa 1847 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Sir George Scharf
by William Edward Kilburn
circa 1847
NPG P859

Charles Babbage, by Antoine Claudet, circa 1847-1851 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Charles Babbage
by Antoine Claudet
circa 1847-1851
NPG P28

Sir John Frederick William Herschel, 1st Bt, by John Jabez Edwin Mayall, circa 1848 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Sir John Frederick William Herschel, 1st Bt
by John Jabez Edwin Mayall
circa 1848
NPG P660

John Holmes, after a wax medallion by Richard Cockle Lucas, (1849-1850) - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

John Holmes
after a wax medallion by Richard Cockle Lucas
(1849-1850)
NPG 1781a

Henry Brinley Richards, by Unknown photographer, circa 1850 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Henry Brinley Richards
by Unknown photographer
circa 1850
NPG P1317

Robert Stephenson, by Unknown photographer, circa 1851 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Robert Stephenson
by Unknown photographer
circa 1851
NPG P4

Sir Charles Wheatstone and his family, by Antoine Claudet, circa 1851-1852 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Sir Charles Wheatstone and his family
by Antoine Claudet
circa 1851-1852
NPG P154

Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker, by William Edward Kilburn, circa 1852 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker
by William Edward Kilburn
circa 1852
NPG P1027

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