An early photograph of the Moon, a daguerreotype taken by John W. Draper, March 26, 1840, in New York.
The “Stella” daguerreotype portrait of Edgar Allan Poe, stolen from the archives of the University of Virginia’s Alderman Library in 1973 along with a large number of other rare manuscripts and materials.
Forty-five artifacts with a currently estimated value of over half a million dollars disappeared. The crime was never solved and the materials, including the daguerreotype, remain missing.
Louis Jacques Daguerre: First surviving daguerreotype image, of a collection of plaster casts on a window ledge, 1837
“Louis Daguerre devised the daguerreotype, the first successful form of permanent photography. The French physicist developed the process for transferring photographs onto silver-coated copper plates. His discovery was made by an accident, according to the writer Robert Leggat, who said Daguerre put an exposed plate in a chemical cupboard in 1835 only to later find it have developed a latent image. The daguerreotype process was unveiled at the French Academy of Sciences in Paris in 1839. It became the first commercially successful was of getting permanent images from a camera.”