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“Even adult persons had the most absurd ideas about it,” we are told by the son of a popular photographer in 1840, “some believed that my father wanted to collect the sunlight for the purpose of making gold; others imagined that healing powers emanated from the camera which might cure certain diseases . . .One day an invalid, a paralyzed cripple, was taken to our garden gate in his bath chair . . .he said he was prepared to sit still for hours and days, hoping that the lens of the camera, which collects the light, would be able to cure him and restore him to the use of his limbs”

. . .“That particular summer being hot and dry, there were some that suggested that the confounded camera brought about the drought by attracting too many sun rays. . .”

. . .“My father used to tell us, that many children seem to have believed that he called up a spirit under his black cloth . . .and when he reappeared from under it, with his hair standing on end, they thought he had been wrestling with the mystic spirit underneath the cover. They fled with terrified screams every time he reappeared.” (Max Dauthendey on his father K. Dauthenday.)

[Cited in Lucia Moholy, A Hundred Years of Photography (1939), 32-33]


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