News of Daguerre’s method for fixing images quickly reached Italy, beginning with the scientists at the Imperial and Royal Museum of Physics and Natural History in Florence. The first attempt to reproduce the process was made by Tito Puliti (1809-1870), who was an assistant physics lecturer, on 2 September 1839. One month later he presented the results of his experiments using a “mirror endowed with memory” at the First Congress of Italian Scientists held in Pisa. Researchers in other cities would conduct their own experiments—including Francesco Zantedeschi (1797-1873) in Venice and Macedonio Melloni (1798-1854) in Naples—but Florence would remain the centre for research on scientific photography in Italy.


The Royal Museum of Physics and Natural History in Florence (end of 18th century)
19th-century daguerreotypist’s equipment
Satyrical vignette on daguerreotypy (1840)