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date: 20 April 2024


The Oxford Companion to United States History
Peter Bacon HalesPeter Bacon Hales

From its arrival in 1839 to its 1990s immersion in the digital world of computers and on-line information, photography both reflected and influenced American culture. The first widespread form of photography in America was the daguerreotype process, which produced images on a small silver plate. This “mirror with a memory” attracted entrepreneurs who bought inexpensive kits that included a camera, materials, and such studio accessories as pastoral backdrops and a neck brace for the long exposures. Daguerreotype businesses ranged from ornate palaces in major cities to itinerant flatboat studios on inland rivers.... ...

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