Caught Ray or a Story about a "Crazy" Artist

A healthy person does not need a glass lens - he has his own in his eye. However, there is such a device that cannot do without a glass lens: this is a camera.

For many centuries, people dreamed of a substance that would be able to preserve an imprint of light. Chemists were looking for him, but could not find. In the end, this substance was still discovered. And it was not a chemist who discovered it, but a painter.
One of the First Cameras
One of the First Cameras

In 1827, a young woman came running into the laboratory of the famous French scientist in excitement. All in tears, she began to beg the scientist to bring her husband, the painter Daguerre, to reason and to convince him to return to the palette and brush. For many months now, Daguerre has been endlessly experimenting with the crazy goal of catching an imprint of light and storing it on a copper plate. He abandoned all his orders and bought expensive lenses from the optician and a lot of chemicals in the pharmacy for all the money and locked himself in a dark room for a whole day.

The scientist reassured the young woman and promised to exhort her husband. However, when he got acquainted with the work of Daguerre, he not only did not scold him but, on the contrary approved his work and told the overjoyed inventor that he was on the right track.

The First Cameras
The First Cameras
Indeed, this stubborn Daguerre, whom many considered crazy, managed to catch the sunbeam and keep it: he managed to fix the imprint of light on the plate.

To do this, Daguerre coated with silver a copper plate and then held it in mercury vapor. Then he inserted it into the camera. The plate turned black in the places where the light hit. The result was a metal “daguerreotype” - the ancestor of our photograph.

However, if Daguerre exposed his plate simply to the light, then no image would have come out on it: the plate would have become completely black. It was necessary to insert a lens into the camera, similar to that lens which is available in an eye of the person or animal. And if glassmakers did not know how to make lenses, then, of course, there would be no invention of photography.


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