In this one-hour talk, Joe Bauman presents his unparalleled collection of identified photographic portraits of soldiers, and one sailor, who served in America's Revolutionary War as young men and lived through the Daguerreian Era. These people were now in their eighties, nineties, and even one-hundreds when they were daguerreotyped or photographed by the CDV camera.
As Bauman puts it: "Nothing comes close to the time-machine thrill of looking into the eyes of a man whose same eyes had watched George Washington on the battlefield."
Bauman has spent most of his life shoveling words – mainly as a journalist, starting in 1963 as editor and columnist for his high-school paper and later as a reporter, editor, blogger, columnist, freelancer – and also as an author of fiction and non-fiction books.
In 1970 he was photographing and writing a feature article about a flea market near the Delaware coast, when he ran across a table filled with knickknacks among which were three cased images. He had never seen anything like them. One was a photo on glass, not in good shape. The others were images on silver plates. He bought all three.
Since then, Joe and his wife Cory have collected all sorts of antique photos, but mostly daguerreotypes. His family now has hundreds of pre-1900 images of many varieties. They are intrigued with the tie to history, their intimacy and, as far as daguerreotypes are concerned, the unmatched beauty of the process.
Presented on July 4, 2020.