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Poe on the new art of photography

POE, EDGAR ALLAN. “The Daguerreotype” in Alexander’s Weekly Messenger

Philadelphia, May 6, 1840

Broadsheet. 4 pp. Old folds. Some wear.

First printing of this notice on the Daguerreotype, which had been invented the previous year. Poe notes of photography, “until the transcript can be produced on paper, its use can never prove detrimental to the interests of the engraver. This is true in part, but then the production of the Daguerreotype effects on paper is likely to be soon accomplished.” Poe ends by objecting to the American pronunciation of Daguerreotype, one that persists to this day.

Poe edited Alexander’s Weekly Messenger from late 1839 through this issue of May 6, 1840. This number includes four additional identified apeparances by Poe and likely many more than have yet to be attributed.

This enormous broadsheet is a rare survival.