Daguerreian Society

On this day (February 5) in the year 1853, the following article appeared in
"Gleason's Pictorial Drawing-Room Companion" (Boston; Vol. IV, No. 6; page
96) The article is accompanied by a wood-engraving illustration of the
interior of their Broadway gallery.
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  This splendid daguerreotype establishment was the first in the world 
built and adapted expressly for all branches of this curious art.  No 
expense has been spared to introduce into it all the facilities of the 
art; and, setting aside the great value of miniatures, views, etc., 
produced by this process, the resources of this great art are developed 
in an extraordinary degree in the application to other arts--and we find 
that the most eminent artists in American are executing words from 
daguerreotypes taken in these galleries.  Portrait and miniature 
painters, sculptors, engravers on steel and wood, lithographers, die-
cutters, etc., here obtain that aid which they cannot procure from any 
other source.  Besides the merit awarded to these pictures by public 
opinion and the press, they have received several medals from the 
different fairs, and testimonials and letters from the crowned heads of 
Europe.  Some of the most prominent pictures in this collection--which 
amounts now to over one thousand, some of them on plates twelve by 
sixteen and a half inches--are, first, Daguerre, the father of the art, 
taken in France, in 1848; also a fine view of his chateau at Brie Sur 
Marne, where he died last July.  One of the Meade Brothers will visit 
Europe next month, and return with many valuable pictures of modern 
Europe and the Holy Land; also a view of the monument to Daguerre.  
There is to be still another monument erected to Daguerre and Neipce in 
France, and Mr. Meade will take with him the American contribution to 
that object.  Mr. Neipce was the associate of Daguerre in his 
experiments, and rendered efficient aid in the discovery.  The only 
pictures of Daguerre from life in America are to be seen in this 
establishment.  The last pictures ever taken of those distinguished 
patriots, Clay and Webster, are also here.  From the latter, Fletcher 
Webster, Esq., had copies made for himself; while Ritchie is executing 
an engraving, Jones a medallion and C. C. Wright gold and bronze medals 
from the profile views of the illustrious statesman.  Next comes Louis 
Napoleon, Emperor of France, Count D'Orsay, now deceased, the eccentric 
Lola Montez, Countess of Landsfeldt, in a variety of costumes, Gen 
Lopez, who was garroted at Havana, Louis Kossuth, the brilliant orator, 
Kit Carson, Billy Bowlegs, the Seminole warrior and his suite.  Several 
of these pictures have been illustrated in this paper.  There are, also, 
fine panoramic view of the city of San Francisco, California, the Falls 
of Niagara, Shakspeare's house at Stratford on Avon, the Boulevards, 
Place de la Concorde, Arc de Triomph, Madalin, Notre Dame, etc., in 
Paris, portraits of Prof. Morse, inventor of the telegraph, the sable 
emperor and empress of Hayti, Gen. Paez, Jenny Lind, Catherine Hayes, 
Commodore Perry, of the Japan Expedition, Edwin Forrest, views in North 
and South America, American statesmen, actors, press and divines, 
embracing nearly all person, male and female, of celebrity in modern 
times.  One portion of the building is used as a store for goods used in 
this art, which they import and send to all parts of the world.  The 
Meade Brothers take every style and size picture known in this beautiful 
art.  They have the largest apparatus in the world.  They have two 
separate rooms for sitters, with toilette rooms adjoining, and two large 
skylight, with conveniences for taking groups--of schools, colleges, 
military and fire companies; also the wonderful sterescopic or solid 
daguerreotypes.  This popular establishment is now one of the lions of 
New York, and is well worthy a visit from the resident or passing 
traveller.  These galleries are free to the public.  What a revolution 
in the matter of art, the famous discovery of Daguerre has made!  It has 
opened a line of occupation for an entire new class of artists, and a 
profitable and useful line too.  The various purposes, of real 
importance, to which the art is and can be appropriated, are but 
indifferently understood, and would require pages properly to explain 
and specify.  In all new discoveries of localities, of inventions, of 
accidents (as practised by the Prussian government), and, indeed, of 
anything that it is desirable to transfer accurately and beyond the 
question of a doubt, the daguerreotype becomes invaluable.  The modern 
improvements in this art are most extensive and elaborate, and each 
month seems to develop some new perfection, some increased facility and 
adaptation, produced by careful experiment and chemical knowledge.

(Original errors of spelling/grammar maintained.)
Posted for your enjoyment.     Gary W. Ewer     

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