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 on 2010-11-02 #news #history #story #analogue #vintage #news #daguerreotype


  1. stouf
    stouf ·

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

  2. vicuna
    vicuna ·

    Fantastic picture!

  3. calebski
    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

  4. cruzron
    cruzron ·

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

  5. realmustache
    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

  6. philander
    philander ·

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

  7. ckpj9983
    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 -… 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.

  8. stickyvinny
    stickyvinny ·

    I love this article!

  9. chritophersandman
    chritophersandman ·

    I have all 8 images on my site, if anyone is interested. Here's the url:

More Interesting Articles