American Treasures of the Library of Congress: Reason

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Samuel F. B. Morse

Samuel F. B. Morse
Samuel F. B. Morse
Sixth-plate copy daguerreotype, ca. 1845
Prints & Photographs Division
Gift/purchase from Marian S. Carson, 1997

Photography notebook
Samuel Finley Breese Morse (1791-1872)
"Photography notebook"
Page 2 - Page 3
Holograph bound notebook, ca. 1840
Manuscript Division
Gift, 1922 (125A, 123.11)

In March 1839, artist and inventor Samuel F. B. Morse traveled to Paris to promote his latest invention, the telegraph. On this trip, Morse met with Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre, inventor of the "daguerreotype," one of the earliest photographic processes. Morse was the first American to see examples of this new art form. After returning from abroad, Morse experimented with the process, made early portraits, and taught others in the art. His notebook records his photographic experiments--both his successes and failures.


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