Skip Navigation Links  The Library of Congress >> Researchers
Prints and Photographs Reading Room (Prints and Photographs Division)
  Home >> Collection Guides & Finding Aids >> Photo Processes

Popular Photographic Print Processes: Daguerreotypes


Occupational portrait of a tinworker
Abraham Bogardus, photographer. [Occupational portrait of a tinworker (?)]. Daguerreotype, between 1851 and 1860.
LC-USZC4-3945
Dates in general use: ca. 1839-1860

timeline ca. 1839-1860

Description: The daguerreotype image is formed directly on a silver plated copper plate which was made light sensitive with a surface coating of iodine vapors. It is a direct-positive process, made without a negative. It has a highly reflective surface that sometimes makes it difficult to see the image. The image is reversed - letters will appear backwards unless a special lens or prism is used to take the picture. Daguerreotypes are commonly found in leather or thermoplastic cases. Typical dimensions range from the sixteenth plate (1-3/8 x 1-5/8 inches) to whole plate (6-1/2 x 8-1/2 inches). Portraits are the most common subject matter

Further information and examples


View Photographic Print Processes Introduction and Table of Contents

Top of Page Top of Page
  Home >> Collection Guides & Finding Aids >> Photo Processes
  The Library of Congress >> Researchers
  August 30, 2011
Legal | External Link Disclaimer

Contact Us:  
Ask a Librarian