Louis Daguerre, Fench inventor, would have been 224 today. Daguerre, along with Joseph Niépce, made photographic images using lavender and alcohol-coated silver plates with mixed results.
As the story goes, one day Daguerre accidentally broke a thermometer and found that mercury vapors develop latent images (exposed but undeveloped plates).
Before long, Daguerre was coating copper plates with silver, treating them with iodine vapor, and exposing them for about 20-30 minutes. Daguerre developed his plates with mercury vapor and fixed with ordinary salt to produce what we know as daguerreotypes.
On Jan 7, 1839, Daguerre presented his first daguerreotypes to the world in a Paris exhibition.
Thank you, Daguerre, for your curiosity and your accidents!