Some of the first portrait photographs ever taken have been colorized for the first time giving a fascinating insight into what people looked like and how they dressed over 175 years ago.
The incredible set of images, believed to have been taken by legendary early American photographer Matthew Brady, show a selection of 12 portraits taken as daguerreotype images.
That was first ever form of photography which involved producing a single image on a silver copper plate before sealing it behind glass for preservation.
A striking portrait of a young woman. Timage is arguably the finest daguerreotype taken that has survived until now and is seen
It is likely that these two men were born around the time of the early years of the United States
The pictures, such as this one of a couple, reveal the faces of some of the very first people to be photographed
Images show various people from what is thought to be 1840s New York, though none of the individuals pictured have been identified.
The 1840s presented a significant time in America’s history, and the people pictured would very likely have lived through the American Revolution, and possibly even the Civil War.
The set of images was restored into colour for the very first time by professional colorizer Matt Loughrey, who says he finds daguerreotypes a fascinating form of photography.
‘Daguerreotypes are a scientific art form,’ he says.
‘They represent the advent of photography and have produced some stunning fine art photography that exists through the ages.
‘What strikes me most about them is the time line. To think of world events that were yet to take place at the time these daguerreotypes were taken. I ask myself how these subjects saw their world.
‘Outside of that I see that dentistry seemed to be an issue back then, as is sun damage to skin.’
These pictures shows how the hard lives people live in the 1840s affected these women’s faces
Professional colouriser Matt Loughrey says he is fascinated by daguerreotype photography
The woman on the left appears to have lost her teeth while the portrait on the right shows the effect of laboring on a woman’s hands
This woman dressed in a bonnet doesn’t not appear to be too impressed by posing for what was then the new art of photography
According to Matt Loughrey, the pictures represent the advent of photography and came soon after the invention of daguerreotype
The process of Daguerreotype was the first ever publicly available method of photography, and was hugely popular after being unveiled to the public by French inventor Louis-Jacques-Mande Daguerre in 1839.
This particular set of images shows some of the first people ever captured by some form of photography, and Matt says it is this that he finds most intriguing about them.
‘Although these pictures are of unknown persons, they will have been alive in the 1700s, and will have seen the American Revolution and indeed the advent of the Gold Rush.
‘They are the oldest generation of human beings to be photographed.’
Included in the collection is picture from early photographic firm Southworth and Hawes, who were based in Boston.
‘The Southworth and Hawes image is arguably the finest daguerreotype taken that has survived until now, and it too is unseen in colour.
‘She is unknown, but was for a time mistaken the world over for women’s rights activist ‘Susan B. Anthony’, though this was recently disproved.
‘This is indeed a journey back in time over 170 years, in actual fact the advent of the Gold Rush.’