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D.D.T. Davie, "The Daguerreotype"
from Secrets of the Dark Chamber, 1870

A friend called me the other day, and finding me engaged in writing the following series of formulae, inquired why I was doing it. Said he: "It looks to me like a waste of time, inasmuch as the Daguerreotype will never be revived again." I replied that it was a pleasure for me to waste a little time on the good old picture that I first made thirty years ago. Again, I said, it has been fifteen years since I have written up these formulae, and to keep them fresh in my memory, I choose to write them again. Furthermore, many of our present photographers are unacquainted with the means for producing Daguerreotypes, and it will, no doubt, deeply interest them. Moreover, it is too valuable a treasure to remain buried; it will be revived, and that, too, ere long. I am merely paving the way for its return, not to take the place of the photograph only, but of all other sunlight pictures. The ambrotype, melainotype, and all the rest of the fading, worthless "types," have had their day; the public have learned, by sad experience, how treacherous they have been, and the voice of the people to-day is: "Give us back the beautiful, imperishable Daguerreotype, let it cost what it may." It will come back, and that, too, in a very short time; even before another year has passed, there will be established in New York a splendid gallery, whereat no other pictures but Daguerreotypes will be taken. In anticipation of this, and for reasons heretofore given, I make this appendage to my book of photographic formulae.


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