The daguerreotype was invented in France
by Louis J.M. Daguerre and was the first practical photographic
process. A dagerreotype is a unique image on metal produced
by treating a copper plate with a light-sensitive coating
of silver iodide.
Hold the daguerreotype in your hand and gently tilt it back and forth. The
mirrored image will appear positive and then negative as the light hitting
the image changes. Color pigment was often applied. Early cases were made of
wood and leather. Union cases, made of thermal plastic, date from the 1850s.
When restoration of a daguerreotype is considered, a trained conservator should
always be consulted. There are several ways to stabilize a daguerreotype 1)
Lightly dust the glass or exposed surface of a daguerreotype with a soft brush.
2) Create a micro-enviornment by wrapping the daguerreotype in acid-free paper
and tie with flat cotton tape.
in a cool, dry and dark area where temperature and humidity
do not fluctuate.
(Ideal temperatures are 65° - 68° F and 40%-50%