History with its flickering lamp stumbles along the trail of the past, trying to reconstruct its scenes, to revive its echoes, and kindle with pale gleams the passion of former days. ~Winston Churchill

01 March, 2013

Daguerreotype Babies

From the first generation of babies to be captured by photograph!

 Average exposure time for a portraits in a well-lit studio during the Daguerrian era (1839-1860) was about 2-5 seconds, during which the sitter couldn't move or the picture would blur. Not bad for an adult sitter, but pretty well impossible for the little ones, let alone getting a pose, gaze, and preventing crying at parental separation. So just about every photograph from the time (well, most of the 19th century!) has a baby on a mother's lap. Sometimes she's a part of the picture and sometimes she's cropped out, or obscured, or even disguised as furniture!




George Eastman House

By Southworth and Hawes, Boston, ca. 1850. Source



Library of Congress

ca. 1855. Source



George Eastman House

By Southworth and Hawes, Boston, ca. 1850. Source




Library of Congress

By James Presley Ball, 1847-1860. Source



Library of Congress

Mamie D. Lee, by W. L. Germon, ca. 1860. Source



Museum of Photographic Arts

By Cathan, 1855. Source



George Eastman House




George Eastman House

By Southworth and Hawes, Boston, ca. 1850. Source




George Eastman House

By Southworth and Hawes, Boston, ca. 1850. Source



George Eastman House

By Southworth and Hawes, Boston, ca. 1850. Source



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