The First Visual and The First Print
Madam Daguerre approaches the famous French Chemist Dumas with a concerting question.
‘He (Louis Daguerre), for some time, has been possessed by the idea that he can fix images of the camera. I am afraid he is out of his mind. Do you, as a man of science, think it can ever be done, or is he going mad?’
‘It cannot be done, replied Dumas with certainty. But I cannot say that it will always remain impossible, nor set the man down as mad who seeks to do it.’
7th January 1839, Louis Daguerre ‘s invention was revealed to the French Science Congress and the news made public. It took a certain degree of madness to reproduce an image. He beat Fox Talbot by 18 days and found timeless fame and fortune.
William Henry Fox Talbot, parallelly on the same journey, used his process to picturize his house in the summer of 1835.
“And I believe it is the first instance of a house painting its own portrait.”
On seeing Talbot’s exposition, Michael Faraday remarked ‘No human hand has hitherto traced such lines, as these drawings display: and what man may hereafter do, now that Dame Nature has become his drawing mistress, it is impossible to predict …’