First, Happy Easter/Happy & Kosher Passover to all who celebrate!
And now for the good stuff. This here is Robert Cornelius.
Isn’t he just the DREAMIEST??? You may have seen him before because many a blogger has displayed his handsome visage. Google him, you’ll see.
There are only a few facts that are commonly known about our friend Mr. Cornelius. For starters, this self-portrait of him is considered to be the earliest existing photographic image (called a daguerreotype) of a human being, taken in 1839 at his house in Philadelphia. His daguerreotypes were a lot nicer than a lot of the others out there—and I’m not saying this because I’m biased—people at the time said so too. He had a portrait studio for a few years, and he also taught his techniques to others daguerreotypists. But his main work was at his father’s company, Cornelius & Co., manufacturing light fixtures. His father had been fairly successful but it was Robert who transformed the business into the internationally known firm that it became. Cornelius chandeliers and lamps were (and still are) at the White House, the U.S. Capitol, various state capital buildings, various concert halls, and lots of fancy houses. By the 1840s, Robert Cornelius was a household name in Philly, and by the 1850s he was known throughout the United States and beyond.
I could go on, but I’m not gonna. See, I’m writing a biographical piece on him. The research has taken me to all kinds of interesting archives in Philadelphia and elsewhere. So the rest of the juicy details on our Victorian dreamboat will be a secret until my work is published.
But I will provide this one teaser: he did magic tricks!