Dagron, Prudent René-Patrice

Dagron, Prudent René-Patrice
b. 1819 Beaumont, France
d. June 1900 Paris, France
French photographer who specialized in microphotography.
Dagron studied chemistry, but little else is known of his early career. He was the proprietor of a Paris shop selling stationery and office equipment in 1860, when he proposed making microscopic photographs mounted in jewellery. Dagron went on to produce examples using equipment constructed by the optician Debozcq. In 1864 Dagron became one of the celebrities of the day when he recorded 450 portraits on a single photograph that measured 1 mm3. The image was viewed by means of a tiny magnifying lens popularly known as a "Stanhope" after its supposed inventor, the English Lord Charles Stanhope. The great demand for Stanhoped jewellery soon allowed Dagron to build a factory for its manufacture. Dagron's main claim to fame rests on his work during the Franco-Prussian War. At the siege of Paris, Dagron was ballooned out of the city to organize a carrier-pigeon communication service. Thousands of microphotographed dispatches could be carried by a single pigeon, and Dagron set up a regular service between Paris and Tours. In Paris the messages from the outside world were enlarged and projected onto a white wall and transcribed by a team of clerks. After the war, Dagron dabbled in aerial photography from balloons, but his interest in microphotography continued until his death in 1900.
Further Reading
G.Tissandier, 1874, Les Merveilles de la photographie, Paris (a contemporary account of Dagron's work during the siege of Paris).
H.Gernsheim and A.Gernsheim, 1969, The History of Photography, rev. edn, London.

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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