Some photographs from:


The Birth of an Industry

The Collection of Matthew R. Isenburg


Daguerreian Ephemera

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Click on any of the thumbnails below to view in a larger format

1) E. S. Hayden broadside, ca. 1852

Vintage broadsides and handbills are rare today; originally, however, they were usually printed a thousand at a time. Since Hayden worked as an itinerant, or traveling, daguerreotypist, these broadsides include blank spaces for the changing location of his temporary studio.


2) Gurney Studio advertising bill, ca. 1853

To advertise his new gallery location at 349 Broadway, Jeremiah Gurney issued this amusing “$349 bill.” His earlier $100 promotional note had been confused by some as genuine banknote currency.


3) Low-quality Chase Advertising bill, ca. 1846-48

A crudely printed advertising bill in a denomination matching the studio’s street address between 1846 and 1848.


4) High-quality Chase Advertising bill, 1849

A finely printed advertising note by E. B. & L. G. Chase, of Boston. Reportedly, this was so realistic that it was passed by at least one unscrupulous person as a genuine banknote.


5-6) Two Scovill daguerreian tokens (obverse and reverse,) ca. 1850

Scovill made brass daguerreian tokens—both for themselves first (to advertise their own supplies,) and then for some of the larger galleries—that at first glance looked identical to a US $10 gold piece.


7-9) Promotional tokens struck by Scovill for three prominent galleries in diverse regions of the country

Left) Daguerreian token, with 1850 date stamped on obverse, struck for John H. Fitzgibbon of St. Louis.

Center) Daguerreian token, ca. 1853 struck for the Philadelphia studio of Marcus A. Root.

Right) Daguerreian token, ca. 1850 struck for Edward Jacobs, New Orleans.


10-13) Two genuine 1849 US $10 gold pieces set in white fields, with matching tokens on colored fields to illustrate the closeness of the tokens appearance to the real coins

This deliberate attempt to use advertising tokens that imitated genuine coinage rarely failed to draw a glance, and thus forcefully conveyed the advertising message.


14-17) Four Daguerreian Business cards, ca. 1842-58

14) Hawes & Somerby, 1842

Josiah J. Hawes began his celebrated partnership with Albert S. Southworth in 1843.

15) Brady’s Daguerreian Galleries, ca. 1853

Brady opened his second New York City Gallery in March 1853; this card advertises both locations.

16) James Ford, ca. 1854

17) Samuel Masury, ca. 1858

It is notable that Masury was still advertising himself as a daguerreotype artist at this relatively late date.


18) Humphrey’s Journal (issue of March 15, 1855)

The first U.S. photography journal, edited by S. D. Humphrey, of New York; a trade publication intended for professionals. The first issue appeared in November 1850.


19) Love at First Sight, ca. 1847

Written by Ned Buntline, this novelette centers on the crucial role of a daguerreotype in a boy-meets-girl tale. A promotional pamphlet, given away free as advertising.



The following items decorate the walls in this exhibition room.

Click on any of the thumbnails below to view in a larger, readable format.











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