Since the daguerreotype process did not involve a negative, the plate could only be copied by rephotographing it. Although the process was difficult and fairly cumbersome, it was highly profitable. Multiple copies of famous people were widespread, and families often required duplicates for their relatives.
This daguerreotype plate reveals the manufacturer's name: Edmund White & Co. of New York, the largest plate maker in America in the 1840s. Also visible, stamped in reverse along the bottom edge of the plate, are the words "Best Quality Art."