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Blast From the Past: the Cincinnati Daguerreotype

Arguably one of the earliest photographs taken of a human, this new discovery of a photo taken by Charles Fontayne and William Porter way, way back in 1848 is quite certainly one of the most interesting tidbit we've heard recently. Read on for more!

When we’re defending and/or preaching our analogue ways to our friends, we always say that our emulsions and the prints that result from it stand the test of time. This statement is given a whole lot more meaning with the recent (re)discovery of a landscape daguerreotype of 1848 Cincinnati. The photo itself is incredibly sharp and contains tons of detail, as you can see here. You can actually zoom in and catch the people of yesteryear doing their thing.

Here’s a close-up of the people in the photo who were at a time, considered to be the first humans ever photographed but the credit to that goes to Louis Daguerre, the inventor of the daguerreotype process himself, in this 1838 photo he took of Paris. How’s that for a history lesson, eh?

written by cruzron


  1. stouf


    I love these. Now please someone study the thing in-deep and writes a tipster ! Pleeeease ?

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  2. vicuna


    Fantastic picture!

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  3. calebski


    haha just did history of photography at my college, so good to study photography! im going to incorporate as much lomo lovelyness as possible! :D

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  4. cruzron


    Hmmm a daguerreotype tipster you say? now thats interesting... anybody want to give it a shot?

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  5. realmustache


    @stouf @cruzron that would make for an interesting tipster. sadly i don't have the means to make one. think anyone might be interested in a kodalith or cyanotype tipster? i'm studying alternative photographic processes for my senior studies this semester

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  6. philander

    Looks like they stood there long enough for the same reason as the Paris photo, getting a shoe shine!
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  7. ckpj9983


    @cruzron What a cool shot! I love seeing Cincinnati featured on the site. If we Porkopolians keep it up, maybe they'll bite the bullet and open an embassy here. Where did you find that shot? Is it on display at the library. They have this awesome resource online of "Inland Riverboat" photos - http://wiki.cincinnatilibrary.org/index.php/Inland_Riverboats_Photograph_Collection It's so cool. It has hundreds of photos in it. I've written some articles for the site as well, and I try to pump Cincinnati as much as I can. Keep your eye out for a new one coming soon.
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  8. stickyvinny


    I love this article!

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  9. chritophersandman

    I have all 8 images on my site, if anyone is interested. Here's the url: http://sandmancincinnati.com/fontayne-and-porter-daguerreotype
    about 4 years ago · report as spam

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This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Português & 日本語.