Originally created 02/20/01

Newspaper develops with times

The universe is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.

- Eden Phillpotts

There are dozens of photographs in today's newspaper, but such reproductions were not always the case.

It was 160 years ago today that The Chronicle used its front page to report a demonstration of the new daguerreotype.

As you might know, this early method of photography created an image on chemically treated metal or glass, a breakthrough over engravings and paintings because it was accurate and fast.

"For likenesses, it has very many recommendations," The Chronicle reported Feb. 20, 1841.

"Its perfect correctness, being in fact, but the reflection of the face. Its extreme expedition - not requiring, as for a painting, repeated sittings, but being executed in a bright day in 15 seconds, and on the darkest day requiring but 5 minutes.

"The ladies and gentlemen of Augusta are respectively invited to a public exhibition ... to take place at the Masonic Hall on Saturday at 12 o'clock. A great number of specimens will be shown upon the occasion, and a picture of two taken at the time."

I believe the old Masonic Hall was on the south side of the 700 block of Broad Street.

I wonder if any of those images still exist?

* * *

BASEBALL DEATH: Auto-racer Dale Earnhardt Sr.'s tragic death overshadowed a quieter passing Sunday - Braves Hall of Fame third-baseman Eddie Mathews, who died in his sleep in California.

Mr. Mathews was the only Brave to play in Boston, Milwaukee and Atlanta, a solid fielder and a clutch power-hitter of the 1950s.

His career was winding down when the Braves moved to Atlanta, but Mr. Mathews had something left.

On Aug. 9, 1966, the aging slugger ended a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the ninth with a homer off Sandy Koufax - at the time the best pitcher in baseball.

It was amazing. It was dramatic. And many consider it the best game in Atlanta Stadium history. As someone who sat through it all in an upper deck seat behind home plate, I agree.

* * *

MAILBAG: This comment on a recent column comes from Phil Draughon, who writes: "You wrote: `There are two ways of arguing with women. And neither one works,' which reminds me: If a man says something and no woman hears him, is he still wrong?"

(Of course he is, Phil.)

* * *

TODAY'S JOKE: This one comes from Ruth Tewes.

Wanting to be married, a couple traveled to a county courthouse in a neighboring state because they heard such requests could be handled more quickly there.

Unfortunately, they accidentally walked up to the offices where hunting licenses were sold.

"We're from out of state," the prospective groom said. "Can we get a license?"

"No," the clerk replied, "but I can give you a three-day permit."

Reach Bill Kirby at (706) 868-1222, Ext. 107.


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