The invention of the daguerreotype in 1839 was a revelation. These jewel-like, reflective objects were capable of capturing likenesses with incredible clarity, to the delight and astonishment of their viewers. For the first time in history, portraits of loved ones could be accurately recorded and shared or passed down to descendants. The impact of photography on the lives of ordinary people was immense.
This exhibition, drawn from the collection of Library and Archives Canada, offers examples of “Daguerreotypomania,” a worldwide phenomenon that lasted through the 1850s. Intimate, detailed and captivating, these objects provide some of the earliest photographic glimpses of Canada.