NY: Holman & Gray, Printers, 1851. First edition. 8vo., 15 pp. Stitched into the original printed wrappers. The bottom tip of the leaves extend beyond the trimmed edge are lightly creased. There are small remnants of a brown paper affixed to the blank rear wrapper. A near fine copy. Item #52555
In 1850, the Rev. Levi Hill announced his "discovery" of producing a daguerreotype in color, which he called a "Hillotype," Between the years of 1850 and 1856 when he published his treatise, there was considerable controversy as to whether he really had discovered a color process or was simply a fraud. According to Eder, the "Hillotype" was nothing more than a daguerreotype with color painted upon it. John Towler, editor of Humphrey's Journal [previously the Daguerreian Journal] wrote in 1865, when Hill died "He always affirmed to this writer that he did take pictures in their natural colors, but it was done by an accidental combination of chemicals which he could not, for the life of him, again produce!" Today, evidence seems to indicate that Hill did indeed produce daguerreotypes from life in natural colors.
This short pamphlet was prepared by Hill to promote his forthcoming work on the daguerreotype in natural color; the Hillotype. It includes 4 pages in which he defends the authenticity of his color process, while fending off offers to buy it. The remainder of the text reproduces the table of contents and notices of the press. Given the length of time until the publication in 1856 of; A TREATISE ON HELIOCHROMY... it would appear that Hill continued to improve upon his process. In the interim, in 1851, Hill brought out what may be called the second edition of his, A TREATISE ON THE DAGUERREOTYPE; it has a similar title to our pamphlet, PHOTOGRAPHIC RESEARCHES AND MANIPULATIONS: INCLUDING THE AUTHOR'S FORMER TREATISE ON DAGUERREOTYPE, and is in substance largely a manual of the conventional daguerreian process. When his, A TREATISE ON HELIOCHROMY was finally published in 1856, the price of the book was an exorbitant $25.00, resulting in poor sales.
A rare pamphlet, with WorldCat locating only the following copies; New York Public Library, Yale and American Antiquarian Society. Roosens and Salu No. 2879.