Daguerreotypes: a collection of photgraphic images from the 19th Century
The daguerreotype was one of the first photographic processes introduced in 1839. While only lasting until about 1855, when less costly processes replaced it, the daguerreotype produced some of the most beautiful early photographic images.
A daguerreotype image is produced on a layer of solid silver that is plated to a sheet of copper. The silver is made light sensitive by placing the plate in a box with iodine fumes which forms a very thin coating of silver salt. The plate is placed in the camera and exposed to light. The image is then developed with mercury vapor. The daguerreotype that is produced is a unique one-of-a-kind image that is also reversed left-to-right (like a mirror image).