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Collection Daguerreotypes

Timeline of the Daguerreotype Era

Advances in the medium and related historical events


  1. 1839

    The invention of the daguerreotype by Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre is formally announced in Paris, France.

    William Henry Fox Talbot announces a cameraless photographic process called photogenic drawing, which creates images of plant forms, lace and other objects placed directly on a sheet of light-sensitive paper.

    In September, the first American daguerreotypes are made in New York City.
  2. 1840

    William Henry Harrison is elected President of the United States.
  3. 1841

    William Henry Fox Talbot patents the calotype, or paper negative process.

    President William Henry Harrison dies and is succeeded by John Tyler.

    P. T. Barnum opens the American Museum in New York City.

    Horace Greeley begins publishing The New York Tribune.
  4. 1844

    Mathew Brady opens a daguerreotype studio in New York City.

    Samuel F. B. Morse sends the first successful telegraph message between Baltimore and Washington.

    James Knox Polk is elected President of the United States.
  5. 1846

    The Mexican-American War begins.

    Sewing machine is patented by Elias Howe.
  6. 1847

    Liberia becomes an independent republic in Africa. (Liberia was founded by the American Colonization Society.)

    Gold is discovered in California.
  7. 1848

    The Mexican-American War ends.

    Zachary Taylor is elected President of the United States.
  8. 1849

    William and Frederick Langenheim acquire the American rights to Talbot's calotypeprocess.
  9. 1850

    Mathew Brady begins publication of his Gallery of Illustrious Americans.

    Two American photography journals begin, the Daguerreian Art Journal and the Photographic Art Journal.

    Henry Clay's compromise slavery resolutions are laid before U.S. Senate.

    President Zachary Taylor dies; Millard Fillmore becomes President.

    Jenny Lind tours the United States.
  10. 1851

    Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre, inventor of the daguerreotype, dies.

    Daguerreotypes are exhibited at the Great Exhibition of the Industry of All Nations held at London's Crystal Palace.
  11. 1852

    Franklin Pierce is elected President of the United States.
  12. 1854

    James Ambrose Cutting patents the ambrotype process. (In the late 1850s, the ambrotype would replace the daguerreotype.)

    George Eastman, the father of Kodak, is born.
  13. 1856

    James Buchanan is elected President of the United States.

    The tintype is patented.

    William and Frederick Langenheim copyright the first paper photographs, stereographs of Eastern U. S. sites.
  14. 1860

    Abraham Lincoln is elected President of the United States.