Daguerreotype – John Charlton and Jane Charlton

Production date
Circa 1850
These paired daguerreotypes are believed to be the Museum's oldest photographs. Named after the inventor Louise Daguerre, daguerreotypes were produced by the process of light-sensitive chemical reactions on a silver-covered copper plate. Unlike subsequent technology that depended on capturing a negative image to produce multiple positive images, this earliest form of photography represented both a positive and negative image, depending on the angle the picture is viewed from. This composition meant that every daguerreotype photograph captured was unique and not reproducible.

This photographed pair is siblings John and Jane Charleton, born to Captain George and Anne Jane Charleton of Kaawhia. The couple were early settlers of the region, arriving in 1836 and purchasing the land which would eventually become the township of Kaawhia. George conducted extensive trade with local Maaori and between Kaawhia and Onehunga before the Waikato War.

In 1860, Jane Charleton married Captain Richard Nazer, who became one of the early postmasters of Raglan township. John, the youngest of all nine Charleton children, became a boat builder in Raglan. Following George's tragic drowning aboard the schooner Thistle at Kaawhia bar, John fought hard to keep within his inheritance the vast piece of coastal land that was held by the Crown. John married Te Ata Morunga Te Waka in 1876 and is thought to have had 15 children.
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Object detail

Production date
Circa 1850
Daguerreotype photo portraits in leather bound case
Part 1- 94 x 81 x 10 mm
Part 2- 94 x 80 x 10 mm
Department collection type
Credit line
Collection of Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato
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