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Saturday, January 4, 2014

TMIH - The world's first photographs

On Friday, January 3, 2014 3:34 PM, <> wrote:
fold3: Military records
This Month in History: January 1839 Daguerreotype Announced in Paris
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Fold3 This Month in History

January 1839 Daguerreotype Announced in Paris

One hundred seventy-five years ago, in January 1839, members of the Academy of Sciences in Paris were shown a unique photographic process that literally changed the world as we see it. The inventor, Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre, called his discovery the "daguerreotype." It was the first commercially successful form of photography.
Later that year, a British inventor, William Henry Fox Talbot, announced his calotype process, making 1839 the year photography was popularized. Some controversies regarding who was first ensued. Daguerre did not claim a patent in France but gave the French government the rights to the process as a gift "free to the world," although an agent later filed a patent in England on Daguerre's behalf. As can be imagined, the early history of photography was rife with similar designs, claims to fame and compensation, and many other related intrigues that go hand-in-hand with an invention of such universal significance.
Today, most of us recognize daguerreotypes and may be fortunate to own such historic likenesses of our ancestors. As early as the 1840s, there were daguerreotype studios in the United States. Many early photographs using the daguerreotype process can be viewed online at the Library of Congress and in images like these of Maria Weston Chapman and Daniel Webster in the Boston Public Library Collections on Fold3.
According to the Library of Congress, there were over seventy daguerreotype studios in New York City by 1850. One of those studios was owned by Mathew B. Brady, one of the most notable photographers of the 19th century. By the 1860s, daguerreotypes had been replaced by processes that would allow Brady and his team of photographers to go out into the field where they took remarkable and haunting battlefield images during the U.S. Civil War. The results are available in the Civil War Collection on Fold3.
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Civil War Collection 150th Anniversary
150th Anniversary
This Month in the Civil War: Winter Quarters
There wasn't a lot of fighting in the winter months of the Civil War, and January 1864 was no exception. It was too cold, wet, and muddy to do much more than hunker down in camp and let the generals determine their next battle strategies.
Staying put for the season, however, didn't stop death from claiming thousands of men each month. Pneumonia, winter fever, and various other diseases continued to take their toll even though camp conditions were only slightly better than sleeping outdoors or within the hastily erected canvas tents typical of a traveling army.
Most winter quarters featured more permanent structures and fireplaces for warmth and cooking. Fold3's Civil War Photos from the Library of Congress and the Brady Civil War Photos include remnants of one such fireplace, while others depict muddy conditions and log huts, and others show views of the winter camps of the 12th Infantry and the 50th New York Engineers. Officers were provided with more comfortable quarters as seen in photos of the Winter of 1864 headquarters of the 6th Army Corps and Army of the Potomac at Brandy Station.
There are also documents on Fold3 reflecting those tough winter months, including a requisition for supplies to build winter quarters and a widow's pension application filed after her husband died of winter fever at Bentonville, Arkansas.
Find your Civil War ancestors on one of the largest Civil War collections online.
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