Re: Daguerreotypes again-mercury (OT)

From: Ryuji Suzuki ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 08/25/04-11:46:25 PM Z
Message-id: <>

From: Phillip Murphy <>
Subject: Re: Daguerreotypes again-mercury (OT)
Date: Wed, 25 Aug 2004 23:54:43 -0500

> The collaboration between the two men was much
> greater than had been thought by earlier scholars. The only
> thorough documentation of their correspondence prior to very
> recent times was printed in Russian in 1949.

What is the very recent publication you refer to here? It is most
likely not in the list of my sources. Russian one is certainly
not. But the possibility that Niepce had tried silver iodide and
abandoned is discussed in other literatures as well. It is also
discussed that Niepce probably wasn't interested in materials that
make negative image.

> Now, to the point of how he came to use Mercury vapor; the following
> is part of a quote by Daguerre when asked about the discovery. It
> was printed in "La Photographie consideree comme Art et comme
> Industrie", Paris, 1862 - Mayer and Pierson

This doesn't answer the question of how he arrived at mercury
compounds. Once he arrived at mercury compounds, the rest is
straightforward like what you said. Also, does your most recent
publication discuss any previously unknown influence of Niepce to the
mercury developer?

> Daguerre was later to invent the process that bears his name after
> eleven years of experimentation. One can only imagine how many
> disappointments in his experiments that he encountered in those
> years.

The story that his wife complained about him not working hard enough
and doing dubious experiments (I don't have any ref here) is well

About Bayard, I mentioned one of his obscure activity on this list on
August 10. It was about raspberry process Christina brought
up. Whether the raspberry process was inspired by, or had anything to
do with Bayard at all, is up to imagination for now. Tha baton's back
in Christina's hand...

From: Ryuji Suzuki <>
Subject: Re: new process
Date: Tue, 10 Aug 2004 23:25:53 -0400 (EDT)

> From: "Christina Z. Anderson" <>
> Subject: new process
> Date: Mon, 09 Aug 2004 23:08:08 -0500
> > [...] this week I came across the raspberry syrup process. It was
> > in the Photographic Journal from the 1850's. I didn't record how it
> > was actually done (except for the page no. for future reference) but
> > thought that if Photo Techniques magazine could run a Green Tea film
> > development process, raspberry syrup wasn't too far behind.
> Out of mere curiosity and distraction and frustration that most
> photographic history literature do not discuss the historical
> importance of silver gelatin process, I did a quick search for this
> line of ideas and thought about where it might have come from.
> In 1830's, Hippolyte Bayard of Paris was apparently interested in
> making light sensitive material. He took the idea from that his father
> used to "print" the pattern of stencils on ripening fruit by sunlight,
> and tried to "sensitize" paper with safflower dye. I am not sure how
> far he went along this direction. He changed to silver process, and he
> made direct positive silver images on paper in 1840's. In the shadow
> of Daguerre backed up by politics, his work got almost no attention or
> money.
> If the raspberry syrup process of 1850's makes additional
> photosensitive material like iron, chromium, etc. it is a different
> story but it might be that someone got the idea from safflower...
> --
> Ryuji Suzuki
> "You have to realize that junk is not the problem in and of itself.
> Junk is the symptom, not the problem."
> (Bob Dylan 1971; source: No Direction Home by Robert Shelton)
Received on Wed Aug 25 23:46:58 2004

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