History of Photography Collection Begun

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Smithsonian photographer Thomas William Smillie purchases the first item in the history of photography collection, a daguerreotype apparatus used by Samuel F. B. Morse, one of America's first photographic enthusiasts.


  • Morse, Samuel Finley Breese 1791-1872
  • Smillie, T. W (Thomas William) 1843-1917
  • Division of Photographic History
  • United States National Museum


Chronology of Smithsonian History


David E. Haberstich. Photographs at the Smithsonian Institution. Picturescope 32 (1): 4-20 (Summer 1985), p. 7.

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520, SIHistory@si.edu


March 16, 1888


  • Photography
  • Firsts
  • History of Technology
  • Personnel management
  • Employees
  • National Collections

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