Hillotype of Westkill Village, New York

Description (Brief)
The Photographic History Collection at the National Museum of American History holds an extraordinary series of early color photographs: sixty-two color daguerreotype plates made by Rev. Levi L. Hill in the early 1850s in Westkill, Greene County, New York, including this image of buildings in the town. This unique collection is what remains as evidence of the "Hillotypes" produced and experiments conducted by Hill to produce daguerreotype plates with natural colors. No greater controversy has ever divided the history of photography. Approximately 60 related articles appeared in journals between 1851 and 1856, as the photography community awaited the details on how to produce a Hillotype.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
ca 1850s-1860s
Hill, Levi
Physical Description
copper plate (overall material)
photographic emulsion (overall material)
chemicals (overall material)
overall: 8 1/2 in x 6 1/2 in; 21.59 cm x 16.51 cm
Place Made
United States: New York, West Kill
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Photographic History
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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