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Daguerrian Camera
Ratty paid 20% fees more. He had to sell all of his shares in Swiss Cheese Factories. And he had to run to catch with some of them!
No kidding, guys. Here's the article on the Westlicht Photographica Auktion.


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31st May, 2007 10:08 (UTC)
31st May, 2007 13:19 (UTC)
That is pretty cool. I wonder if that old camera still works. I didn't see anywhere in the article that said if it worked or not.

Ratty must have really, really wanted that camera to sell his shares in the Swiss Cheese Factories. I love the cartoon. :)
31st May, 2007 14:44 (UTC)

Well, an expert and chemist could do, yes. As long as they're ready to prepare the plate (Daguerre used metallic plates made for printing music sheet) with endless polishing and thin and even silver-coating. Then to expose it (not as longer as you may think, some tens seconds were enough in bright sun). Then processing the plate with the right chemicals (cyanide, mercury vapours and I don't remember what, I'm not a specialist- and yes, it was pretty dangerous).

Modern historians of photography already made daguerreotypes following the original instructions and using true devices. As long as the lens is in good shape, there's no problem... The quality is usually amazing. Of course you get a negative picture as it's a direct photo. Nevertheless you can see it as a positive leaning it in at a proper angle.

I suppose one could use too modern film plate, cut to the right size. But those early lenses hadn't an iris diaphragm so the exposure could be a little too long! There was no real shutter, in fact the photographer was taking the cap off for the needed time for correct exposure (or swiveling the metallic piece).
1st Jun, 2007 12:41 (UTC)
Jeezz...I think I will stick with my point and shoot camera. :)

Imagine someone going to that much trouble and having that kind of expertise in 1939. I remember reading somewhere that people had to stand still for a very long time to get their picture taken with those old cameras. Incredible.
1st Jun, 2007 15:52 (UTC)


I know, you weren't born, me neither LOL

Photography was discovered in 1822 by Niépce and Daguerre "revealed" it in 1839. It was then "given" to world by French government.

Portraits were taken in painters-like studios, with wide windows orientated towards North (even light). The pose could take a few minutes sometimes, right, and that's why the operator was using a series of devices helping his model to hold his head still. There's a good example in "The Left Handed Gun" with Paul Newman as Billy the Kid.

Sigriste camera, in 1898, reached 1/10,000th second...

In 1939 people had been using roll-films for 50 years.
2nd Jun, 2007 14:37 (UTC)
That is incredible. Not only the information, but your knowledge of the history or photography. It makes me wonder if you've taken a class on the subject or it you've researched due to your interest as an artist.

Incredible. :)
2nd Jun, 2007 16:06 (UTC)

I fell into the Magic Potion when I was a little girl... Daddy (Pierre G. Harmant) was a collector and a historian (image) and my hubby Paul, his friend, in cameras. I don't think I ever spent one week in my life w/o hearing the word "Photography", usually alluding to XIXth century!

I'm actually redoing the whole site because surfing inside it is a pure nightmare :o/ In fact, I'm rewriting the whole of it, its easier than to correct.
6th Jun, 2007 11:31 (UTC)
That is a great website and I really enjoyed reading about your Dad. What amazing men you have had in your life.

Some of the links didn't work on the main page since you are redoing the website but I was able to go to the site map and navigate from there. I saved the URL to look at again later.

Thank you for sharing the site with me. :)
6th Jun, 2007 14:22 (UTC)
Some of the links didn't work on the main page

Most of them, in fact! Something weird happened a few years ago: I was warned by my provider that the site was using more room than allowed. I started deleting files after files, and it was always to big... Then I realized there was another file, automatically generated, keeping statistics. And it was *that* file that was so huge! I emptied it, of course, but I was too lazy to re-upload all the site, thinking I'd be soon refreshing it. Which I didn't <blushing>

I spend a lot of hours yesterday and last night polishing the pages I'm going to upload. I still have to check W3C compatibility, ahem. Then I'll put the new version of the site on line. Right now there will be only a few articles by Dad and Paul, links, and Fox & Ratty cartoons LOL

But I'll add more, a piece at a time. I'll tell on my LJ when it's available, and I'll be happy to hear of your opinion about the look (quite different) and the navigation (logical and simple, now...)
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