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Thread: 1848 Cincinnati panorama photograph

  1. #1
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    1848 Cincinnati panorama photograph

    I first heard about this on the Enquirer's website today, but in the comments section someone pointed me to the Wired.com article about it, which is so much better.
    http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/0...type_panorama/

    In 1848, Charles Fontayne and William Porter produced one of the most famous photographs in the history of the medium — a panorama spanning some 2 miles of Cincinnati waterfront. They did it with eight 6.5- by 8.5-inch daguerreotype plates, a then-new technology that in skilled hands displays mind-blowing resolution.

    Fontayne and Porter were definitely skilled, but no one knew just how amazing their images were until three years ago, when conservators at George Eastman House in Rochester, New York, began restoration work on the deteriorating plates. Magnifying glasses didn’t exhaust their detail; neither did an ultrasharp macro lens. Finally, the conservators deployed a stereo microscope. What they saw astonished them: The details — down to window curtains and wheel spokes — remained crisp even at 30X magnification. The panorama could be blown up to 170 by 20 feet without losing clarity; a digicam would have to record 140,000 megapixels per shot to match that. Under the microscope, the plates revealed a vanished world, the earliest known record of an urbanizing America.


    Head over to Wired and check it out. These photo's are the earlier known to show a steamboat and railroad station. It is also one of the earliest photo's known to show free African Americans.

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  3. #2
    Beer is good!! George Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: 1848 Cincinnati panorama photograph

    That is very cool.

    An 1848 version of googlemaps.
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    Re: 1848 Cincinnati panorama photograph

    Ditto.

    Very cool.

  5. #4
    '19 '40 '75 '76 '90
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    Re: 1848 Cincinnati panorama photograph

    Very very neat stuff. Thanks for posting this.

  6. #5
    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Re: 1848 Cincinnati panorama photograph

    Here was a fascinating piece, telling about an earlier examination of the photos back in 1948.

    After all the restoration, historians now know the exact hour and minute when the image was captured. Back in 1947, steamboat enthusiast Frederick Way and Cincinnati Public Library director Carl Vitz undertook an extensive historical investigation of the daguerreotype, using steamboat records to identify the only date on which all of those vessels were in Cincinnati: September 24, 1848. And by analyzing the angles of shadows, they figured the shots must have been taken just before 2 pm. A clock tower showed the time, but however much the researchers strained to read the 1-millimeter-diameter clock face with a magnifying glass, they couldn’t make it out.

    After the images emerged from Eastman House’s microscope scanner, the team cheered when they saw the clock tower: It read 1:55.


    Exactly right on the time of day by examining the shadows. Also their determination of the date by boat log records is phenomenal. Remember this was before computers where someone could just plug in all the data and arrive at that date. Incredible work.
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    Member durl's Avatar
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    Re: 1848 Cincinnati panorama photograph

    Very cool. I love seeing stuff like that.

  8. #7
    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: 1848 Cincinnati panorama photograph

    Those were simply awesome.
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

  9. #8
    The Buckeye Bomber
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    Re: 1848 Cincinnati panorama photograph

    Quote Originally Posted by redsmetz View Post
    Here was a fascinating piece, telling about an earlier examination of the photos back in 1948.

    After all the restoration, historians now know the exact hour and minute when the image was captured. Back in 1947, steamboat enthusiast Frederick Way and Cincinnati Public Library director Carl Vitz undertook an extensive historical investigation of the daguerreotype, using steamboat records to identify the only date on which all of those vessels were in Cincinnati: September 24, 1848. And by analyzing the angles of shadows, they figured the shots must have been taken just before 2 pm. A clock tower showed the time, but however much the researchers strained to read the 1-millimeter-diameter clock face with a magnifying glass, they couldn’t make it out.

    After the images emerged from Eastman House’s microscope scanner, the team cheered when they saw the clock tower: It read 1:55.


    Exactly right on the time of day by examining the shadows. Also their determination of the date by boat log records is phenomenal. Remember this was before computers where someone could just plug in all the data and arrive at that date. Incredible work.
    That is very, very cool. I personally love seeing people with extreme amounts of passion for things that some people would deem totally irrelevant.

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    Joe Oliver love-child Blimpie's Avatar
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    Re: 1848 Cincinnati panorama photograph

    Unbelievable story.

    I now remember why Wired magazine is one of my favorite magazines.
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    We Need Our Myths reds1869's Avatar
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    Re: 1848 Cincinnati panorama photograph

    Wow, that is amazing.

  12. #11
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    Re: 1848 Cincinnati panorama photograph

    Thanks. Neat.
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    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: 1848 Cincinnati panorama photograph

    After some studying of this photo, there appears to be a couple of people in the picture. If so, then this would be one of the earliest known pictures of humans.

    It doesn't appear either person is wearing a floral shirt so that rules out RFS.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_upshot...ans-discovered
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    Re: 1848 Cincinnati panorama photograph

    Wow, awesome stuff. Thank you for posting this.
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  15. #14
    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Re: 1848 Cincinnati panorama photograph

    Ditto on the thanks. That was a neat thing to see.
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  16. #15
    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Re: 1848 Cincinnati panorama photograph

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip R View Post
    After some studying of this photo, there appears to be a couple of people in the picture. If so, then this would be one of the earliest known pictures of humans.

    It doesn't appear either person is wearing a floral shirt so that rules out RFS.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_upshot...ans-discovered
    Here's a bit of an aside, discussing further humans first being photographed. It has a photo of Andrew Jackson, the first president with a photo of him. I remember the first time I saw this and was impressed by it.

    http://gregorear.blogspot.com/2004/1...otography.html

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