Philip Haas

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HAAS, PHILIP (ACTIVE 1840s–1860s) was a German daguerreotypist. Born in Germany around 1808, Philip Haas emigrated to the United States in 1834 and established himself as a lithographer and print publisher in Washington, D.C. When the invention of the daguerreotype was announced in 1839, Haas possibly went directly to Paris to learn the art. Although his earliest documented daguerreotype is dated March 1843, Haas was still among the first resident daguerreians in the nation’s capital. With his image of John Quincy Adams in 1843, Haas became the first to produce a lithograph directly from a daguerreotype. In 1844, he moved to New York City and established a daguerreian gallery on Broadway. Between 1844 and 1860, he moved up Broadway at least four times.

In 1861, at age 53, Haas lied about his age to enlist with the First New York Engineers, which was sent to South Carolina. Here, he was detailed with Washington Peale to shoot photographs. Their most distinctive image shows the USS New Ironsides in action in Charleston Harbor as the smoke from its broadsides trails into the southern sky. Haas apparently was weakened by ill health in 1862. He resigned from the army on May 25, 1863 and from here the trail of his life is lost [1].