To coincide with the George Eastman House exhibition of daguerreotypes by Southwarth and Hawes, here is a little insider's look.

The following email was sent to me during the preparation of the show, where the chief preparator discovered some tattered, barely legible notes attached to one of the daguerreotypes. The notes are an observation of Daniel Webster made by British historian Thomas Carlyle. Webster was a 19th-century politician and the photograph was taken in 1851, a couple of years before he passed away. Brackets represent missing information.

Send your extraordinary observations to

--- Michael Neault

From: Ola M. Dlugosz
To: Michael Neault
Subject: not loquacious but crag-like
Date: 6/8/2005

from the torn inscription on a framed dagguereotype's verso:

Daniel Webster

[...] advocate, or par-

[...] one would incline to

[...] at first sight against all the extant world.

The tanned complexion; that amorphous crag-like face; the dull, black

eyes under the precipice of brows like dull anthracite furnaces needing only to be blown; the mastiff mouth accurately closed.

I have not seen so much of silent berserker rage that I remember of in any other man.

Not loquacious, but he is pertinent, conclusive, a dignified perfectly

bred man, though [...] in breeding.