“The Giroux Daguerreotype”
Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre (1787-1851) and Joseph Nicéphore Niepce (1765-1833), the fathers of photography, became partners in 1829 and joined forces to develop a way to capture an image permanently. Unfortunately, Joseph Nicéphore Niepce died a few years later in 1933.
But two years later, Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre managed to get an image rich in details by exposing a sensitized plate to silver iodide and then exposing it to mercury vapours. Daguerre just created the Daguerreotype! The discovery was announced January 13, 1839.
Louis Daguerre and Isidore Jacques Mande Niepce (son of Joseph Nicéphore Niepce) signed a contract with Alphonse Giroux, allowing him to sell the equipment and products necessary for the production of Daguerreotypes. The Giroux Daguerreotype camera is the first in history to have been mass-produced.
Very quickly, Giroux met a great success in France and abroad.
The Giroux Daguerreotype is an improved version of the camera used by Daguerre in his revolutionary experiences. This version possesses an achromatic lens for landscape photography, designed by Charles Knight, an optician who produced optics for microscopes and other optical devices.
The Giroux Daguerrotype was sold in a package that included: the chamber, a lens, a frame plate holder, an iodizing box, a development box to use the mercury vapours, and various other accessories.
On each Giroux Daguerreotype, there is a plate with the inscription: “Aucun appareil n’est Garenti s’il ne porte la signature de monsieur Daguerre et le cachet de monsieur Giroux” what means “No device is Guaranteed if it doesn’t bear Mr. Daguerre’s signature and Mr. Giroux’s stamp.”
After 1840 a wave of daguerreian photographers were born and several Daguerrotypes were manufactured. Here is a list of some of them:
-1840: The Daguerreotype full plate
-1841: The Gaudin Daguerreotype
-1841: The Half-plate Chevalier Daguerreotype
-1842: The Plumbe Daguerreotype
-1842: The Richebourg Daguerreotype (1/4 plate)
-1843: The Grand photographer by Charles Chevalier
-1845: The Bourquin device
-1848: The American Daguerreotype
-1851: The Lewis Daguerreotype (1/4 plate)
Many daguerreotype studios appeared throughout the United States. Photographs made with Daguerreotypes are very striking. The most successful Daguerreotypes give the impression of having been made yesterday. Imagine what one would feel if they had never seen a picture before!