Photograph of Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre

A popular portrait method of photography from the 1839 announcement of its invention to about 1860, the Daguerreotype was a unique photograph with no negative—each photograph was exposed on a copper plate coated with silver-nitrate. The process was later replaced with easier and less hazardous methods of negative-positiv-based photography like wet-plate collodion and albumen.
This half-length Daguerreotype portrait of Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre, inventor of this photographic process (1839), was taken by American photographer Charles R. Meade when he visited Daguerre at his home in Bry-sur-Marne, France, in 1848. The image is matted in a wooden picture frame for exhibition, unlike most Daguerreotypes, which are preserved in small cases. The photograph was donated to the Smithsonian in 1890.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Object Type
Date made
Daguerre, Louis Jacques Mande
Meade, Charles R.
Physical Description
copper (overall material)
overall: 27 cm x 22.5 cm x 3 cm; 10 5/8 in x 8 7/8 in x 1 3/16 in
Place Made
France: Île-de-France, Marne-la-Vallée, Bry-sur-Marne
Associated Place
United States: Missouri, Saint Louis
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Photographic History
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Enter the characters shown in the image.