"the yellowing daguerreotypes swinging by their clothespegs"

The daguerreotype is an early type of photograph. Unlike modern photographs, the daguerreotype had no negative. Instead, the image was exposed directly onto a mirror-polished surface of silver, which had previously been exposed to idonine vapour. In the later use of the process, bromine vapour was employed. The finished daguerreotype was usually housed in a velvet-lined folding case.


Faded by the passage of time, many of these daguerreotypes possess a ghostly, haunting quality, perfectly in keeping with McCarthy's themes of transience and mortality.






Nathaniel Hawthorne (c. 1850–1855)
Public DomainNathaniel Hawthorne (c. 1850–1855) - Credit: Whipple & Black
Harriet Beecher Stowe (c. 1850)
Public DomainHarriet Beecher Stowe (c. 1850) - Credit: Southworth & Hawes
Edgar Allan Poe (1848)
Public DomainEdgar Allan Poe (1848) - Credit: W.S. Hartshorn
Margaret Fuller (1846)
Public DomainMargaret Fuller (1846) - Credit: John Plumbe