Ageing Gracefully: Mathew Brady’s Dying Daguerreotypes

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The daguerreotype was a form of photograph invented by Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre in the 1830s, characterised by its distinctive decay in quality. It is created by bathing a silver-coated copper plate in iodine vapour, which creates a light-sensitive surface to be placed inside a camera. After exposure, it’s developed with mercury vapour. This method of photography was beloved by Mathew Brady, whose mysterious, albeit slightly haunted, images — among them being portraits of 18 US presidents — are housed in the Library of Congress. Read full article here

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