In the overgrowth of the Quassaick Creek Valley in New Windsor lies the memory of an 1850’s hamlet nicknamed Daguerreville. In an old factory there, America’s earliest type of photographic equipment was manufactured: the big cameras that captured and printed fragile images called daguerreotypes. The factory owners there as well as patentees and early families identified with the excitement of this inventive process and were proud to call the place they lived and worked Daguerreville.
Scholar Michelle Anne Delaney grew up in old New Windsor, went to Newburgh Free Academy and then pursued a museum career at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. As curator of the National Museum of American History’s photographic history collection, she was delighted to come upon aspects of her hometown’s past. Her particular research interest is the birth of color photography, something that has a connection to this area too in the person of a rural Baptist pastor who, with his scientific wife, loved to dabble in the chemistry of early photography.
Sunday, May 20th at 3 p.m., Ms. Delaney will present an illustrated lecture on the first photographers of the Hudson Valley and Catskill region showcasing rare images from the Smithsonian national collection. The event will take place at the Crawford House, 189 Montgomery Street. For further information, call 845-561-2585 or visit www.newburghhistoricalsociety.com.