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Samuel F.B. Morse
Mercury fuming box for daguerreotypes used by Samuel F. B. Morse
Black and white image
National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Object ID: PG*0005
The Photographic History Collection holds the photography equipment originally made for Samuel Morse by George W. Prosch (Morse's instrument maker) following Morse's return from visiting with inventor Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre in 1839. This Mercury fuming box for developing daguerreotypes is certainly among the earliest photographic equipment used in America, dating 1839-1840. Working closely with Dr. J.W. Draper in New York, Morse was instrumental in promoting photography in America, furthering experimentation, and producing early examples of the daguerreotypes.