Pictured is some of the equipment needed to produce Daguerreotypes.
This process, because it used mercury vapor, was a very dangerous process and bad health and early death was common among the early daguerreotype photographers.
Daguerreotypes are very fragile and were mounted in a sandwich of a backing, a vignette and then glass then mounted into a tooled leather or sometimes moulded bakelite holder. If the silver surface was touched or contaminated with moisture or any other substance the image would be destroyed.
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