A "camera" in 1818?

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Mon Dec 1 04:38:01 UTC 2008

1818 Jan 8.  "His camera exhibited as near life as such a thing can
particularly some fine paintings & colourings of refuse. His views of
Rome were next, the other plates were of less perfect character & of
diminished effect."

What kind of camera is meant here, and what are the "plates"?

I think of a camera obscura, but then I don't know what "plates"
refers to.  A camera obscura would have a glass plate on which the
image was projected, but that wouldn't be the "views of Rome" and
"the other plates".  Or, if this camera were indoors, perhaps these
plates were placed before the lens so they would be projected on the
camera obscura's viewing plate?  And I assume these plates were not
photographic in 1818.

(The only camera obscura I can recall seeing was in "Stairway to
Heaven" (AKA "A Matter of Life and Death"), released 1946, and it was
very impressive.)


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list