The Daguerreian Society

From The Dollar Newspaper (Philadelphia) Vol. 6, No. 25 (5 July 1848) 3rd page.


    Perhaps few of our readers are aware of the amount of labor, the number of persons employed, and the extent of capital invested, in the business of daguerreotyping. It already gives employment to some thousands of persons, comparatively new as it is, and is rapidly increasing. There are in this city several large establishments, which not only give employment to a number of men in the mere process of transferring likenesses to the plates, but also to some four or five establishments in the manufacture of the morocco cases, in which the plates are put after the likenesses are taken. The inmates of the Auburn State Prison, and the boys and girls of the House of Refuge, in this city, are also engaged in the same manufacture, mostly, if not entirely, for Chapman, the razor strop manufacturer, at New York. The cases manufactured in these institutions are of inferior quality, costing about two dollars per dozen, and are mainly used by those Daguerreotypists who furnish the dollar pictures. The larger and better qualities of cases cost from six to eight dollars per dozen; the smallest about two dollars per dozen. The plates used by our best Daguerreotypists are all re-silvered, with one or two additional coatings, by the operators, after they come from the manufacturer, the better to retain the likeness. Root, at his establishment on Chesnut street, we think, keeps two or three men the year round employed entirely at this business of re-silvering, which adds about one half to the original cost of the plates. His great care in this respect, and his knowledge of the true philosophy of business, advertising—not permitting his good work to pass unknown—have established for the country, and a business which, in its extent and prospects, points directly to fortune. As an evidence of Mr. R.'s success, as well as of the growth of this comparatively new business, we may mention that he has taken over seven thousand five hundred likenesses within the year ending on the 26th ult., against four thousand five hundred for the year ending 26th June, 1847, being an increase of over sixty-six per cent. The cash receipts of his establishment for the time have been over thirty thousand dollars. These large receipts show very conclusively the great extent of the business and the amount of capital invested in it. Perhaps there is not a reader in a hundred who supposed them half as great as they really are.

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

Return to: Biographies / Reviews
  Daguerreian texts index

homepage society info search
resources galleries

Copyright 1995-2006, The Daguerreian Society -