Le Daguerreotype was Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre's main contribution to camera history: The sliding box camera was designed by him for his Daguerreotype process. Two variants were made since he gave production licences to two Parisian camera makers, Alphonse Giroux and the brethren Susse. Probably Giroux worked together with the optician Bianchi who had his shop in the same street. Thus the original "Le Daguerreotype" of Giroux with Daguerre's quality seal was basically the same as the sliding box camera offered by Bianchi, unsealed. One surviving camera of the Susse brothers' production was sold in a 2007 auction for a record price of 580,000€, and another in May 2010 for a record 732,000€ ($898,000 US).
| Original daguerreotype camera from 1839 built by Susse Frères-Place de la Bourse 31, Paris.
Camera at the Westlicht Museum, Vienna, Austria.
This was a sliding box camera - made of two boxes lined with black velvet, one slightly smaller, a close fit into the larger. The inner box with open front and screen in the back had to be shifted carefully into or out of the outer box for focusing. After focusing the screen had to be replaced with the holder for the light-sensitized plate. The front of the outer box held a meniscus lens in a brass barrel, named like the camera Le Daguerreotype and made by Charles Chevalier or by N. P. Lerebours. The lenses differed slightly in max. aperture (f14 to f17) and in focal length. The camera was sold together with a plate holder with "barn doors", a plate sensitizing box, and a developing box.
|lens built by Charles Chevalier for the Susse Frères Daguerreotype camera.|