Around 1840-1850, we witnessed the development of the daguerreotype, one of the first stable photographic processes. The process broke boundaries.

Relatively fragile since it was designed on a polished copper plate, the image took on a metallic finish and had reflections like a mirror. And depending on the angle from which one looked at the image, it could appear as a negative or positive. The daguerreotype was usually delivered in a case.

Joseph Nicéphore Niépce (1765-1833), a French engineer, is known as the inventor of photography, since he was the first to have been able to stabilize an image, which was called the “heliographic process” at the time. Louis Daguerre (1787-1851), a painter then a set decorator, met Niépce and added his grain of salt. The new process would take his name.

Few people had the financial means to have their portrait taken. In addition, this process produced a relatively fragile document. It is therefore unusual to see that this family had five of them that are still in quite good condition.

Joseph-Napoléon Bureau (1827-1897), law student.

Joseph-Napoléon Bureau was the son of Jacques Bureau and Françoise Deveau. He was born on March 15, 1827, in Trois-Rivières, Quebec. He began his studies at the Séminaire de Nicolet (1839-1847) before studying law.

Donation from Mrs. Berthe Bureau-Dufresne
Musée Pierre-Boucher Collection
2005 97 F