In 1839, French artist and chemist Louis Jacques Mandé (1787-1851) invented the daguerreotype, the forerunner of modern photography. In the time that followed, there became several portrait photographs that documented people who were born over 200 years ago. Some as early as in the 18th century!
Exposure time was considerably longer than that of today’s cameras. It was not uncommon that the photograph subject had to sit unmovable between 60 and 90 seconds. The slightest movement could lead to blurring of the image. That’s why group images where small children were included often show a blurred face. 60 to 90 seconds without moving became in many cases too challenging.
Below you will find a number of photographs of Norwegians of that time taken with the daguerreotype method. The pictures are from the period 1845-1865.
Children were also immortalized on the earliest portrait photographs
Portrait photographs of children were probably not made as frequently as portrait photographs of adults, but they do exist.