Platt Babbitt

American (1853 - 1870s)
Platt Babbitt Tourists Viewing Niagara Falls from Prospect Point About 1855


Born 1853
Died 1870s
Nationality American

From the 1850s, tourism and photography became close associates, offering enormous financial rewards to photographers. By 1853, Platt D. Babbitt had set up his camera on the American side of the Niagara Falls, keeping it permanently pointed towards Horseshoe Falls. He photographed any tourists who came within sight, later offering them the image for sale. Babbitt was granted a monopoly by the manager of the American side which he guarded jealously, producing thousands of photographs during a period of over twenty years.

Glossary terms

  • One of the first two effective photographic processes. A unique image on a silvered copper plate, sensitised by iodine, is exposed and then developed with mercury vapour. The surface of the daguerreotype is vulnerable and it is usually encased or framed.