This rare daguerreotype of Douglass is dated around 1850. It features Douglass in profile, a pose that is unusual but not rare. The daguerreotype is named for Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre, who is credited with developing the first commercial method for reproducing the photographic images in 1839. The image is fixed on a chemically sensitized metal plate coated with silver. Daguerreotypes are not made from negatives and are therefore rare one-of-a-kind creations. This particular image, by an unknown artist, is a plate daguerreotype. [Prints and Photographs Department, Manuscript Division, Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University]


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February 2000