Sunday, February 17, 2013

John Quincy Adams: The First Photographs of an American President

John Quincy Adams was the sixth President of the United States (1825–1829). He served as American diplomat, Senator, and Congressional representative. He was the son of former President John Adams and Abigail Adams.

Photographic copy of a daguerreotype taken in 1843

Althought other sources content that the first photograph of a sitting United States president was taken of William Henry Harrison on March 4, 1841, Adams sat for the earliest confirmed photograph still in existence of a U.S. president in 1843, a good number of years after Adams’ failed re-election bid in 1828 to Andrew Jackson. The original daguerreotype is in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution. This image seems to have been captured at Adams's home in Quincy (formerly Braintree), Massachusetts by Philip Haas.

Another is this one, of the same man, taken around the same time. A sixth-plate daguerrotype made of the ex-president at the age of 76:

A 1970 news report announcing the finding of the Adams daguerreotype, accompanied by an ad for a water-weight reducer (AP/Google News)
(via Wikipedia and The Atlantic)

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1 comment :

  1. Imagine the shock, when someone tried to wipe dust off an old daguerrotype, only to discover that it wipes the image away as well.