Philadelphia Central High School for Boys and Pennsylvania State Arsenal daguerreotype, 1839
circa September 25 1839
This 1839 daguerreotype by Joseph Saxton is the earliest surviving American photographic image. Although described as "hardly more than a silhouette", architectural details of both buildings are evident, including shutters, window frames, and window panes. Saxton, an employee of the United States Mint, made the image in Philadelphia on 16 October, 1839. The picture, showing the old arsenal and the cupola of the Philadelphia Central High School, was taken from a window of the Mint.
Several images taken at different exposures are provided for comparison of image details.
Width: 5.8 cm, Height: 4.3 cm (image)
Width: 2 5/16 in, Height: 1 11/16 in (image)
Width: 7.2 cm, Height: 5.7 cm (plate)
Width: 2 3/4 in, Height: 2 7/32 in (plate)