Daguerreotype of John Avery Stranded In Rapids Above Niagara

Made:
1853 in Niagara Falls
maker:
Platt Delascus Babbitt

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Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London

Cased sixth plate daguerreotype of John Avery stranded in rapids above Niagara Falls, 1853, by Platt D Babbitt. One of several daguerreotypes made by Babbitt of Avery who after being swept from his boat, spent 18 hours clinging to a log jammed between two rocks above the American Falls. Despite several attempts to resuce him, he was eventually swept to his death over the falls by the water which was moving at between 18 and 20 miles per hour.

Babbitt had established his photographic business on the American side of the Falls. His camera sat under a pavilion and when a party of visitors gathered on the edge of the cliff to admire the Falls he would take their photograph unawares and then offer it to them for purchase as a souvenir of their trip.

Details

Category:
Photographs
Object Number:
1983-5158
Materials:
brass (copper, zinc alloy) and silver plated
type:
daguerreotype
credit:
The National Media Museum, Bradford