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Daguerreotype of Lorenzo Snow | by
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Daguerreotype of Lorenzo Snow

See the complete Lorenzo Snow Portrait Series.


Enlargement of the January 2013 Ensign cover. The caption says. "Photograph of President Lorenzo Snow by C.R. Saviage, courtesy of L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University; frame courtesy of Library of Congress, Washington, D.C."


Having a knowledge of historic photographic processes, I know this frame to be a Daguerreotype frame. The photo also looks to like a hand-tinted Daguerreotype. This early photographic process became available in the United States during the early 1840's, and virtually disappeared by 1860, as it was replaced by the less expensive ambrotype and faster "wet-plate" processes. If C.R. Savage had photographed Brother Snow in 1860, Lorenzo would have been 46 years old. Savage moved to Utah in 1860, and was an early Utah Daguerreotypist, so it is quite possible that he did take this photo of Brother Snow shortly after this period with the Daguerreotype process. Based on this research and the photos (of known date) that follow, I place the date of this photo between 1860 and 1864, with Lorenzo's age between 46 and 50 years old.


A Daguerreotype photo was unique, as the process produced a direct positive, mirror image (with no negative). The image was developed using hot mercury (some less experienced photographers died from the fumes).


See the complete Lorenzo Snow Portrait Series.

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Taken on December 30, 2012