Platt Babbitt Daguerreotype of Niagara Falls

This whole-plate hand-colored daguerreotype by Platt D. Babbitt shows tourists at Horseshoe Falls, Niagara Falls, New York, circa 1854-1870. Babbitt established himself as a professional photographer on the American side of Niagara Falls in 1853. He built a pavilion for his camera to take photographs of visiting groups, without the tourists' knowing. Babbitt finished his daguerreotypes, unique positive photographs made on silver-coated copper plates, and offered them for sale before groups left. He ran this lucrative business for almost two decades.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
ca 1850
Babbitt, Platt D.
Physical Description
brass (overall material)
copper (overall material)
overall: 23 cm x 18 cm x 2 cm; 9 1/16 in x 7 1/16 in x 13/16 in
Place Made
United States: New York, Niagara Falls
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

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