Re: Color Daguerreotypes?

From: Judy Seigel ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 01/23/04-07:20:25 PM Z
Message-id: <>

On Fri, 23 Jan 2004, John Cremati wrote:
> The book describes the day the secret color process arrived... He
> closed his studio as not to be disturbed , ran to his bed room and began to
> read the instructions on how to make a Hillotype......
> The instructions described that to obtain a color Daguerreotype or
> Hillotype, one must coat the image in a thin wash of glue to give it byte
> or tooth prior to "hand
> tinting" the image using various pigments and chemicals and then they would
> stick properly !!...
> This guy scammed every photographer that read and believed the
> newspaper in the
> United states.

There's been quite a bit published about Levi Hill, but this story is not
among the many I've read. There was in fact a respected book about the
issue, probably about 1990 (I saw it at Harvey Zucker's, and skimmed it,
but didn't buy)... In sum, several serious experts (from RIT? Don't
remember) did succeed in making the "real color" dags according to his
instructions, which were shown in the book. They didn't look exactly like
C-prints, but they were still a real accomplishment... and exceedingly
difficult to make and replicate.

The "explanation" of these workers was something (again from vague memory)
to do with the chemicals which were not uniform at the time -- nor were
instruments and manipulations very advanced.

I suspect that this book is the same kind of hoax it purports to describe.
What are the footnotes and the the documentation? Sounds way way way too
pat, or glib, to me... and I think not mentioned, let alone documented, in
other histories.

What has been reported, howwever, is the crazed frustration Hill
experienced as he repeatedly failed to duplicate his original results. He
died bitter and defeated, also hounded by accusations of the sort repeated

Received on Fri Jan 23 19:20:43 2004

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