The Daguerreian Society

Cited from Josiah B. Millet, George Fuller — His Life and Works (Boston: Hougton, Mifflin & Co., 1886)

A letter from George Fuller to his father, Aaron Fuller.

Boston April 11, 1840

Dear Father

   ...You have heard much (through the papers) of the Daguerreotype or drawings produced by rays of light upon a plate, chemically prepared. Augustus and I went to see the specimens and were much pleased; our ticket would entitle us to one of the lectures, but we were too late as they had ceased delivering them. Now this can be applied to taking miniatures or portraits on the same principle that it takes landscapes. Mr. Gouraud is now fitting up an apparatus for this purpose. If he can raise a class of ten or fifteen, he will give instruction or private lectures, making them perfectly acquainted with the art. The plate (metallic) costs about $1.50 and it is easily prepared; but two minutes’ time is required to leave a complete impression of a man’s countenance, perfect as nature can make it. He will give me instruction for $10, and the apparatus will cost $51.00, making in all $61.00 only, for the whole concern. He has shown me the machine, and I think it very low at his price. We can afford to take a perfect likeness for $7.00; the plate and glass will cost $2.00, leaving $5.00. With custom enough fifty could be taken in one day.
   This is a new invention, and consequently a great novelty, of which every one has heard, and has a curiosity to see. It is just what the people in this country like, namely, something new. I think any one would give $7.00 for their perfect likeness. We could clear ourselves of all expense in two weeks.

(It is noted that despite his enthusiasm, Fuller apparently used his apparatus only once, making a daguerreotype of “the old homestead.”)

(End of text. Please refer to our textnote regarding this text.)

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