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McAllister's Optical Shop
CREDIT: Marian S. Carson Collection (Library of Congress)

Finding stuff to do

Keeping going through lockdown

Here in the UK we are back in lockdown, so I am revisiting my thoughts on stuff to do. Last time I shared with you my 4 brands of stuff; build, see, study and share. I plan to get back into "build" mode, picking up on where I left off on the Moon Camera project. While I could resort to some Internet shopping I plan to do some repurposing of stuff I find to keep me going.

The issue of access to equipment made me consider how early photographers coped, before the days of established camera supply chains. I came across an interesting early example on a recent visit to the US in a Daguerreotype image from 1854 of McAllister's Optical Shop, seen in their National Gallery of Art. The optical shop opened in 1839 and was a significant gathering point for early adopters of the Daguerreotype process, catering for the needs of chemists, scientist and mechanical tinkerers. I felt an affinity with this shop as I fall into all 3 categories.

The photographer in this case was Frederick DeBourg Richards who combined landscape painting and photography as his craft. Unfortunately the National Gallery of Art are not opening this image for reproduction but a later one from the Library of Congress collection shows the new enlarged premises as a set of images.

In amongst this there is loads of stuff on to keep us going - I had 2 events yesterday.

Build, see, study and share. Stay well and do stuff.