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Cincinnati 1848 Daguerreotype Deemed not First Photo of Humans

Cincinnati 1848 Daguerreotype is not First Photo of Humans

CINCINNATI (LALATE) – A discovered photo, a Cincinnati daguerreotype, is not the first photo of humans, says reports. A 1848 photo of Cincinnati taken by Charles Fontayne and William Porter and discovered by NPR’s Robert Krulwich is reportedly not the first photo of a human; and yet today, it’s dominating news for its historic importance. Brett Michael Dykes reports that the shocking find, while old, does not replace the “Boulevard du Temple” 1838 photo of Paris by Daguerre.

For days, photography historians have battled the news of the Cincinnati image. On Sunday, September 24, 1848, Fontayne and Porter were shooting images from the opposite side of the Ohio River. While not clear at first, NPR News’ Robert Krulwich points readers to a close up in the 1848 image. There, as Krulwich notes, are two persons near the water.

1848 and 1838 Daguerreotype Pictures
1848 and 1838 Daguerreotype Photo 1
1848 and 1838 Daguerreotype Photo 2
1848 and 1838 Daguerreotype Photo 3

And while news of the discovery shocked historians, the image is not as historic as one by Daguerre himself years earlier.

Louis Daguerre ten years before took another image of a man getting his shoes shined on the streets of Paris. The image shows no traffic on the road; that is because exposure time was in excess of ten minutes. The man getting his shoes shine remained in place during that exposure time long enough, along with a person at the table nearby, that they were captured in the final image.


  1. Cordell

    October 28, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    What about the daguerreotype of Joseph Smith taken before 1844 owned by the Community Of Christ?

  2. Cincinnati Bank Rates

    October 28, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    That still is a reaaaally old pic!

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