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Bishop & Gray Studio 
John Quincy Adams 
1843 
  
Daguerreotype, 1/6 plate 
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution 
NPG.70.78 
  
 
LL/60153 
  
Boston, September 27, 1842
Today, I visited a Daguerrean Gallery to have my photograph taken. They took me to the top of the house where a round house had been erected; it had windows like a green house, with a door opening to the sun. I took a seat at the corner of a settee so that the light of the Sun came obliquely on the side of my face. There was a small telescope nearly in front of me pointed directly at me. And at a corresponding angle on the other side a mirror. A tin or metallic plate was fitted into the telescope, and on that metallic plate the photographic impression is made. Not more than two minutes were required for each impression during which I was required to keep my head immovable, looking steady at one object. They kept me there an hour and a half, and took seven or eight impressions, all of them very bad. An exposition of sleep came over me, and I found it utterly impossible to keep my eyes open for two minutes together. I dozed, and the picture was asleep. I give it up in despair. How the impression is taken or comes upon the plate is utterly inconceivable to me.
 
Massachusetts Historical Society, Adams Family Papers
John Quincy Adams diary 43, 1 January 1842 - 8 July 1843, page 280
www.masshist.org/jqadiaries/php/ 
 

 
  
 
  
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