Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Thomas M. Easterly daguerreotype and Louis Daguerre

Missouri Historical Society postcard of Thomas M. Easterly work

I received this Missouri Historical Society from my blog buddy Lynn. The card shows a daguerreotype of still life with flag, lamp and daguerreotype equipment by Thomas M. Easterly, a 19th century Vermont-born daguerreotypist and photographer who is known for his works of the Midwest. His studio in St Louis was one of the first permanent art galleries in Missouri. The Missouri Historical Society operates the Missouri History Museum, which has a nice Flickr page with of a collection of Thomas Easterly's works.

Daguerreotype is a type of photographic process invented by Frenchman Louis Daguerre in 1835. It's too technical for me to explain, so please click on the link if you'd like to know more about it.

Here's a daguerreotype by Daguerre taken in 1938 of the Boulevard du Temple in Paris. It is the first photograph of a person. You can see a man near the bottom left, he is having his shoe polished. The person polishing his shoes can't be seen so well, maybe because of the constant movement as he/she works. There are supposedly also 2 other people sitting at a table close by, but I can't see them. The photo was taken with a 10-minute exposure so the moving traffic and pedestrians do not show up.

Boulevard du Temple by Louis Daguerre, 1838
from Wikipedia (public domain image)

Read this for a bit of speculative writing about the photo. Read this for a more detailed, perhaps more accurate write-up, which also gives a nice history of daguerreotype.

The stamps on the card are so cool.

US stamps: American Toleware, sage, butterfly

by liberal sprinkles