Our large photograph collection consists of printed photographs as well as images that were made by early types of photography, including the daguerreotype process which was developed in 1839. This was the first photographic process available to the public. Daguerreotypes are usually quite small, printed on a mirror-like silver surface, and are often housed in ornate cases or frames.
A process developed in 1851 used glass plates treated with chemicals to create negative images which could be printed on paper. Local residents took many photographs of people and places in and around the village from the 1860s into the early 1900s using glass plates. We have over 500 glass plate negatives in our collection. By 1860, newer processes included ambrotypes and tintypes.
Professional photographers in Chagrin Falls were present as early as the 1850s. James Ryder, E. R. Higbee, M. C. Welch, L. M. Rice and Thomas Shaw were some of the early studio photographers in the village.