It has been 175 since Louis Daguerre introduced photography to the world. The Giroux daguerreotype apparatus is photography’s first camera manufactured in quantity.
On June 22, 1839, L.-J.-M. Daguerre and Isidore Niépce (the son of Daguerre’s deceased partner, Joseph Nicéphore Niépce) signed a contract with Alphonse Giroux (a relative of Daguerre’s wife) granting him the rights to sell the materials and equipment required to produce daguerreotype images.
Scientist and politician François Arago publicly announced the new daguerreotype process in a speech to the French Academy of Art and Sciences on August 19, 1839, and the first advertisement promoting the process appeared in the August 21 issue of La Gazette de France.
Within three short weeks, Giroux met with popular success both in and outside of France; the first export of his company’s cameras arrived in Berlin, Germany, on September 6, 1839.
Click here to learn more about Daguerre and the Daguerreotype photographic process.
For more about the history of photographic technology, check out the book Camera: A History of Photography from Daguerreotype to Digital.
Todd Gustavson is the curator of technology at George Eastman House, working with the collection for more than 20 years.
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