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Archive for August, 2010

Dagguereotypes

print of Tightrope performer on Larimer Street, Denver, CO

Tightrope performer on Larimer Street, Denver, CO. c. 1865 -- before 16th Street (which intersects with Larimer here) was the 16th Street Mall.

171 years ago yesterday — on August 19, 1839 — Louis Daguerre publicly revealed the technological secrets of the daguerreotype, the first successful photographic process. While daguerreotype photography was groundbreaking and spread rapidly after Daguerre disclosed the details, the technology was superseded within the century by cheaper processes that could make multiple photographic prints on paper. For more intriguing backstory, see This Day in Tech: Photography Goes Open Source (Wired Magazine, Aug. 19, 2010). The black-and-white photographic print, above, which was copied in 1900 from a daguerreotype made circa 1865, is a daguerreotypical gem from the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum’s Cragin Collection, available through Colorado’s Heritage West aggregation. For more daguerreotypes and other fine instances of early photography, search Opening History.

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First in flight!

Orville Wright, Major John F. Curry, and Colonel Charles Lindbergh

Orville Wright, Major John F. Curry, and Colonel Charles Lindbergh, who came to pay Orville a personal call at Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio, June 22, 1927

Orville Wright (left), pictured here with Major John F. Curry (center) and Colonel Charles Lindbergh (right)  was born this day in 1871. Together with his brother Wilbur, he is credited with inventing the world’s first airplane. On December 17, 1903, their flying machine achieved the world’s first sustained, powered, heavier than air flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Orville flew 120 feet in 12 seconds. By 1909 the Wright Brothers had formed the first airplane company and in 1910 their company became the world’s first commercial air cargo carrier. They also established the first pilot’s school, training some 115 pilots between the years 1910 and 1916. These photographs are courtesy of the Library of Congress’s Wright Brothers Negatives Collections, part of their Prints & Photographs Catalog.

Wilbur and Orville Wright with their second powered machine

Wilbur and Orville Wright with their second powered machine; Huffman Prairie, Dayton, Ohio

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