SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Francois Arago (1786-1853), French scientist and statesman. His achievements were mainly in the fields of astronomy, magnetism and optics. He made the first public announcement of the Daguerreotype process in January 1839 to the Academie des Sciences in Paris. Arago, a republican politician, persuaded the French Parliament to award a pension to Daguerre in exchange for the secrets of his technique. Two weeks later, in August 1839, Arago fully disclosed the Daguerreotype process to a joint meeting of the French Academie des Sciences and the Academie des Beaux Artes. Shortly after, Daguerre published a manual giving full details. By 1840, at least thirty editions of his manual had been published in eight languages.
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