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  Francois Gouraud

On November 23 1839, shortly after the French government's announcement of the daguerreotype discovery, Francois Fauvel-Gouraud arrived in New York City on the transatlantic steamer British Queen. He was sent by Alphonse Giroux & Cie. from Paris, who was in the business of making daguerreotype cameras. Gouraud mission was to spread the news and process to America so that Alphonse could export his cameras and supplies.

Dr. Francois Gouraud, a young Frenchman calling himself "a pupil of Daguerre", brought with him a large quantity of examples for show including ones made by his friend Daguerre himself and began a series of lectures in all the major cities. This showing was most likely the first time some Americans had seen a daguerreotype. He described the newly discovered Daguerreotype process and offered the latest camera apparatus from Paris. The American press described Gouraud, in regards to the daguerreotype process that he was ushering in, as a gentleman of taste.

In March 1840 he went to Boston and was very successful. Finally he published a pamphlet entiteled, A Description of the Daguerreotype Process or a Summary of M Gouraud's Public Lectures according to the principles of M Daguerre with a description of a provisory method for taking Human Portraits. This provisory method of taking portraits was not a simple method. It described how to build and prepare a sitting room, and how to prepare the subject to be photographed. This description although costly, formed the basis of the early portrait studios.

Gouraud is also remembered in history for his work and publication In 1844, Phreno-Mnemotechnic Dictionary; a philosophical classification of all the homophonic words of the English language. New-York.

1844, Francis Fauvel-Gouraud, Phreno-Mnemotechny; or, The Art of Memory: the Series of Lectures, Explanatory of the Principles of the System, delivered in New York and Philadephia.
1864, Alphabetical Catalogue of the Library of Congress - Authors
1887 McClure's magazine, Volume 8, p3.

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2014-04-22 06:02:28

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