Daguerreotype of Unitarian Congregational Church, New York City

Daguerreotype of Unitarian Congregational Church, New York City. On the Washington Square campus of the New York University, Samuel F.B. Morse and Dr. John W. Draper operated together one of the first American photographic studios for a short time, from 1839 to the early 1840s. Collaborating on this quarter-plate daguerreotype, the partners achieved a clear photograph of the Unitarian Congregational Church of the Messiah, on the east side of Broadway across Waverly Place, New York City, from their rooftop studio in the fall of 1839 or winter of 1840. Morse quickly refocused his professional career on the perfection of a working telegraph, while Dr. Draper continued to work in scientific photography with his sons for the remainder of his academic career at the University.
Curatorial Note 10.24.2013: It may be contested that this image is taken from a rooftop because so much of the street is visible. It can be argued that the camera was at ground level. stp
Currently not on view
Date made
Draper, John William
Place Made
United States: New York, New York
Physical Description
brass (overall material)
copper (overall material)
overall: 8.1 cm x 11.2 cm x .5 cm; 3 3/16 in x 4 13/32 in x 3/16 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
John William Christopher Draper and James Christopher Draper
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Photographic History
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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