This section goes out to all you history lovers. And a pretty neat story it is, too!
We're gathered here today because some 175+ years ago, two messrs. Charles Chevalier and Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre changed history: they gave the world practical photography.
The magic was made possible in 1835, thanks to two elements. The first was a Daguerreotype camera, invented by Nicéphore Niépce and perfected by Louis Daguerre – after whom it was named. A Daguerreotype camera was essentially a large wooden box. Utilising the light-sensitive properties of silver salts, it produced photographs on silver coated plates – before negatives were invented.
The second element was the very first photographic lens in the world, built by Charles Chevalier – an ingenious achromat design which has been our inspiration. Adding this lens to the Daguerreotype camera made it a successful photographic process.
The Daguerreotype camera captured the first ever picture of a human being, at Boulevard du Temple in Paris, in 1838.
The patent was publicly announced on the 19th of August, 1839, when the French government presented the Daguerreotype process as a gift "free to the world". 1839 has since been the official birth year of photography.
© Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre, France