From Leipziger Stadtanzeiger, 26.08.1839,p.1
"Our greatest master of optics, enjoying the highest esteem at Lindenau and Leipzig and throughout Saxony and known everywhere to be foremost in his sphere throughout all the German-speking countries, and who, moreover, is a burgher of Leipzig, has occupid himself in vain with this new French invention. But in spite of most careful work, he has not succeeded in making a picture with the camera obscura. If so great a German master of optics has thoroughly investigated a new invention and found it yielded no results, it is to be assumed that it can be nothing but a worthless Parisian swindle. Therefore all those intending to send their money away for a camera are warned rather to leave this money within German lands where better employment can be found for it.
To hold fast fleeting mirror images is not only something impossible as has been
shown after a thorough German examination but the mere wish to do so is sacrilege.
Man has been created in the image of God and Godīs image cannot be produced by a human
machine. At most, the imaginative artist, guided by divine inspiration and in a spirit of
profound consecration, may, at the command of his genius, dare to reproduce the god-like
human features without the help of any machine.
But a machine created by man on the basis of his calculations alone and intended to
replace genius, has its foundations in the presumptous wish to achive the end of all
creation. For the man who conceives such a thing must think himself cleverer than the
Creator of the universe.
It is true that, so far, God has magnanimously tolerated in His creation the mirror,
which is a vain toy of the Devil. Most probably, however, He has shown this tolerance so
that female persons especially can read from their faces in the glass of the mirror their
own silliness and conceit. No mirror, however, neither its glass nor its mercury, has so
far been given permission by God to preserve human faces in its plane. Never has God
permitted the tricks of the Devil, embeded in the mirror, to grow so wicked and
presumptous as to be able so easily to get within their power Godīs image, the face of
Well then, seeing that for thousands of years God never permitted the reflection of a
man in the mirror to remain eternally fixed, should we believe that this very God suddenly
became disloyal to His eternal principles, allowing a Frenchman in Paris to bring forth
into the world an invention of the most devilish kind? One must realize, after all, how
un-Christian and horribly vain mankind will become once anyone, for coin of the realm, can
order his mirror image by dozen!
An epidemic of vanity-maniacs will break out;for, when any face can be given away and
admired cheaply by dozen, man will become wickedly superficial and wickedly vain. And if
this Monsiur Daguerre in Paris affirms a hundred times that with his machine he can fix
human mirror images on silver plates, this must be called an infamous lie a hundred times,
for it is beneath the dignity of the sober German masters of optics to be beguiled by so
impertinent a statemant.
The invention of revolution and Napoleonīs idea of making European empire of brethren-further than all these exaggerated ideas Monsiur Daguerre wants to go, for he wants to go further than the Creator of the world. If this possible at all, famous men in olden times, such as Archimedes or Moses, would have attemted something similar long before him. But if these most clever people did not know anything about mirror reflections held fast, one may be permitted forthwith to call the Frenchman Daguerre- who would like to pride himself on such unheard-of things-a fool of fools, just as anyone in German who places credence in this idiotic invention must be called an ass of asses."
(From Photoguide Magazine Oct 1950)
This article was written by Max Dauthendey and published 1912. A falsification.