AN AMERICAN LENS: A History of Photography in Waterbury

An exhibition chronicling the history of photography in Waterbury through early photographs shot by Waterbury residents, and objects including cameras manufactured by Waterbury's Scovill Manufacturing Co.

More about this exhibition

The earliest form of photography were daguerreotypes, created by Louis Daguerre in France in 1839. Just a few short years later, major Waterbury factory Scovill Manufacturing Co. became the first and largest manufacturer of photographic plates in the United States. As photography became more established, Scovill began manufacturing cameras and related accessories, and became a dominating force in the market. From photographic societies to professional photography studios to newspaper photography, Waterbury residents were greatly affected by the development of photography because it allowed them to document their city, their families, their work, and their homes.

Photograph by Shelley Farkas | Waterbury Photographic Society on the steps with their cameras, c. 1890, Negative, Mattatuck Museum Archives