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[Unidentified Man]

Date ca. 1839
Dimensions Framed: 3 9/16 x 4 1/4 in. (9 x 10.8 cm)
Image: 3 x 2 1/2 in. (7.6 x 6.4 cm)
Print medium Photo-Daguerreotype

Credited with taking the first surviving daguerreian portrait in the U.S. (probably october, 1839), Cornelius, of Philadelphia, Pa., was first approached by Joseph Saxton to make daguerreotype plates. He was was intrigued with the process and made his own camera sometime after October 16, 1839. One source noted him in partnership as Cornelius and Baker in 1839-1840. He visited Wolcott's studio in New York City in April, 1840, to study lighting, before opening his own gallery. Cornelius and his silent partner, Paul Beck Goddard, opened a studio in May, 1840 on Eighth Street and Lodge Alley. By November J.F. Watson advertised as successor to Cornelius. Goddard and Cornelius may have spent the winter experimenting, and opened a new gallery at 278 (now 810) Market Street by June, 1841. Cornelius closed his studio by 1842, but took sporadic images probably through 1847. (, March 2009)

Credit line

International Center of Photography, gift of Peter Norton Family Foundation, 2000

Feedback Accession No. 797.2000