The Daguerreian Society

On this day (February 11), the following two news items appeared in 
their respective newspapers:

In the year 1843, the following item appeared in "Niles National 
Register" (Baltimore; Vol. 13, No. 24):
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  DAGUERRE'S MAGICAL PICTURES.  We learn from the New Orleans papers 
that the beautiful magical pictures by Daguerre, of Paris, which have 
veen seen and admired by thousands in this country, were entirely 
destroyed by fire on the night of the 29th ult.

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In the year 1854, the following article appeared in "Gleason's 
Pictorial" (Boston; Vol. 6, No. 6):
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  The monument to Daguerre, the inventor of the art which bears his 
name, a view of which is here give, was erected to his memory in the 
cemetery of Bry San Marne, France, by the "Societe Libre des Beaux 
Arts."  The inauguration took place on the 10th of August, 1851, on 
which occasion the members of the society and the inhabitants of Petit 
Bry, with an immense concourse of spectators, assembled to witness the 
ceremonies.  In the vault there is a place left vacant for the widow of 
M. Daguerre when she ends her mortal career.  Bry San Marne is a small 
village where Daguerre lived and died.  He lived in a chateau, and had 
beautiful grounds attached to it; here also he had his laboratory and 
observatory for experiments.  Since his death, his widow and niece have 
resided together in a small cottage close by, and the chateau is let; 
his widow is left in very good circumstances, it is supposed.  The 
picture from which our engraving is copied, was taken by Mr. H. W. 
Meade, while on a visit to Europe in May, 1853.  Daguerre's widow is 
much respected by the inhabitants of the village.  In the church behind 
the altar may be seen one of Daguerre's magical paintings, a number of 
which were exhibited some years ago in America, and destroyed by fire.  
On the front of the monument, with a medallion, is the following 
inscription:--"A Daguerre.  La Societe Libre des Beaux Arts, 1851."  On 
the back of the monument, "Le Conseil Municipal de Bry a Louis Jacques 
Mande Daguerre.  Ne a cormeille en Paris, le 18 Novembre, 1787.  Decedee 
a Bry, le 10 Juillet, 1851.  Concession de Terrain, Gratuite et 
Perpetuelle, Deliberation du 10 Avut, 1851."  A subscription was started 
in America to assist in defraying the expenses of this monument, but it 
has never been completed; the amount which has been received has been 
paid over to the society in Paris.  Daguerre himself could little 
foresee the perfection which his great discovery would be brought to, 
even during his own life; and the present state of the art is as much 
beyond the excellence it had reached in his hand, as its discovery was 
wonderful at the outset.  In its present perfected state it is of 
immense value in all departments of art, and mechanics also, in the 
transmissions of designs, duplicates of machinery, etc.  So cheap has 
the process become, that there a few families so poor but will have 
their respective members depicted by daguerreotype.  The business has 
become vastly extended within a couple of years past, and gives 
employment to a very large class of artists.  One cannot walk through 
the principal streets of any of our cities without observing encased and 
hanging by the entrance to the buildings rich pictures, portraits, etc., 
the result of the daguerreian process.

Posted for your enjoyment.      Gary W. Ewer       

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