The First Photographed US President

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john quincy adams 1843 first presidential photograph The First Photographed US PresidentThe website All That Is Interesting recently posted a little nugget about John Quincy Adams. Adams, it seems, was the first US President to be photographed.

But according to the Tumblr blog Retro Campaigns, he was unhappy with the results:

“Four daguerreotype likenesses of my head were taken, two of them jointly with the head of Mr. Bacon. All hideous.” Adams continued his diary entry the following day, “At seven this morning Mr. Bacon came and I went with him to the Shadow Shop, where three more Daguerreotype likeness were taken of me, no better than those of yesterday. They are all too true to the original.”

Still, bravo to Adams for earning this place in history (though, it should be noted that Adams wasn’t actually the sitting president when this was taken in 1843). And for being self-deprecating enough to write that. Though to be fair, most people looked uncomfortable sitting for the long exposures required in the early days of photography.

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