"The Dawn of Photography: French Daguerreotypes, 1839–1855" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from September 23, 2003 through January 4, 2004, was the first survey of key monuments from photography's earliest moments, when its pioneers used the invention for a broad spectrum of artistic, scientific, and documentary purposes.
Philippe de Montebello, director of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, commented: "The invention of the daguerreotype—the earliest photographic process—forever altered the way we see and understand our world. No invention since Gutenberg's movable type had so changed the transmission of knowledge and culture, and none would have so great an impact again until the informational revolution of the late twentieth century."
the exhibition site has also a video animation on the Daguerreotype process
The Daguerreotype Process (4 minutes, silent)
Courtesy of Py-Films, Boulogne-Billancourt, and the Musée des Arts et Métiers, Paris