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Catalogue Entry 1989

[] Box of exposed but unfixed daguerreotypes by Hugh Lee Pattinson, 1845. The ten quarter plates (4¼ x 3¼ inches) were purchased from John Egerton, the London photographic supplier who, in the same year, was prosecuted by the holder of Daguerre's patent rights, Richard Beard, for selling daguerreotype materials and tuition to amateurs. Pattinson, a metallurgical chemist specialising in the extraction from other metals of minute quantities of silver, would have a natural interest in the daguerreotype process. His photographs are portraits of his family, taken out of doors. It was common practice to return developed plates to their container, fixing and gold-toning them later, at which stage unsatisfactory images could be polished away for re-use. Three examples are exhibited in the form of modern copies. The man is presumably Pattinson himself; the indistinct image is of a young woman in a standing pose.

[From the exhibition booklet Photography 150: Images from the First Generation (Oxford: Museum of the History of Science, 1989)]

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