The 
Daguerreian Society


On this day (September 20) in the year 1839, the following article 
appeared in "The Belfast Newsletter" (Northern Ireland):
- - - - - -


            THE DAGUERROTYPE.
   On this curious subject the following interesting letter has been 
addressed to us by Mr. Beatty, the well-known engraver of this town.  
We have also received the specimen to which he refers, and the effect 
noticed by him is extremely singular--

      TO THE EDITOR OF THE NEWS-LETTER.

   SIR--Being occasionally engaged since the announcement of M. 
Daguerre's extraordinary invention, of fixing on silver plated on 
copper the minute images of external objects produced by means of the 
Camera Obscura.  After a number of experiments, I was somewhat 
surprised to find that in using silver paper the effect was different 
from silver plated on copper, although treated in similar manner.  
Silver plated on copper gives the true effect of light and shade, while 
silver on paper gives the opposite, namely, the light parts of the 
subject are dark, and the dark shades are in proportionate degree 
light.  In order to convince you of the fact, I send you a specimen;  
but our days of late having been cloudy, you cannot expect it to be as 
perfect as I would wish.  I hope before your next publication to be 
able to submit to you a specimen on silver plated on copper and silver 
on paper, in order that you may more completely understand the 
difference.  Hoping that this communication may have the effect of 
promoting inquiry on the subject,
            I remain your obedient servant,
                           FRANCIS S. BEATTY.


Thanks to Justin Carville (of the republic of Ireland) for today's 
post.  Mr. Carville also provides the following information:
   "...Francis Steward Beatty (1807-1891) was an engraver from Belfast 
in what is now known as Northern Ireland.  Beatty worked as an operator 
for Richard Beard before returning to Belfast to set up his own studio 
in the early 1840's.  As with most of his business ventures it does not 
appear to have been a successful venture (Beatty died a pauper in a 
Dublin Workhouse.)  He continued his profession as an engraver during 
this time and eventually moved to Dublin to set up a photographic 
studio during the mid 1840's.  His premises seemed to have moved almost 
yearly so I would surmise that his various endeavours in photography 
were extremely unsuccessful, as were most similar ventures in Dublin 
during this period.  He also dabbled in photo-lithography and had a 
spell as a patent agent."
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Posted for your enjoyment.     Gary W. Ewer     
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09-20-99 


Return to: DagNews 1999

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