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A state pension for L. J. M. Daguerre for the secret of his Daguerreotype technique

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L. J. M. Daguerre realized it was impossible to capitalize by subscription or to patent his daguerreotype technique. In January 1839 François Arago, both scientist and Republican politician, suggested that financial support for Daguerre should be sought from the state in return for his secret. The idea made no immediate headway because of governmental breakdown. Only after a new cabinet was established in May 1839 could any procedure be set in motion to obtain the agreement of parliament. After discussing attitudes towards patents and pensions during the July Monarchy, the article documents the way the Bill for a pension passed through parliament in June and July 1839. An annotated bibliography of the government Bill and Arago's Report to the Chambre des Députés are provided, as well as Arago's Lecture of 19 August 1839 by which a description of Daguerre's process was released to the world.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 34 Murray Avenue, Bromley, BR1 3DQ, UK

Publication date: September 1, 1997

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