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Electronic Art Touch-Screen Display Allows Library Visitors to Interact with a Piece of Cincinnati History

1848 Fontanyne & Porter Daguerreotype—view of eastern edge of modern downtown

Electronic Art provides Interactive display for Cincinnati Public Library’s Riverfront Panorama of 1848

CINCINNATI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Electronic Art (www.ElectronicArt.com), a Cincinnati interactive agency specializing in touch-screen kiosks, digital signage, and integrated websites, announces their contribution to a new exhibit at the Cincinnati Library. Electronic Art has integrated two large-scale digital touch-screen displays into the Cincinnati Library’s much-anticipated exhibit showcasing the restored Cincinnati Riverfront Panorama of 1848 daguerreotype.

The daguerreotype consists of eight slides covering two miles of Cincinnati’s riverfront in 1848. Charles Fontayne and William Porter took the photographs on a rooftop in Newport, Kentucky, across the Ohio River from Cincinnati. The daguerreotype, invented in 1839 as the first practical method of photography, captured images with a very high resolution.

Electronic Art installed two 52-inch flat-panel interactive touch-screens that will allow library visitors to view the images in high definition, and zoom in, much like on an iPad, to see the detail and clarity of the photographs. Visitors will also be able to touch certain areas on the screen to learn more about the photo, view life in mid-nineteenth century Cincinnati, and gain more insight into the city’s then developing neighborhoods.

“The Library has had this daguerreotype for a long period of time, and we knew we had to showcase it. The question was, how do we display it in a way that both protects it and also enables people to appreciate the historic value and relevance of this remarkable piece of Cincinnati history?” said Jason Buydos, Cincinnati Library Assistant Director of Support Services & Project Manager for the daguerreotype display. “That’s where Electronic Art came in. Together we came up with a flat touch-screen display that would allow visitors to tap on the screen to zoom in for a closer look and more information. I am very happy with the result.”

Electronic Art also contracted with Harlan Graphic Arts Services, who helped build the enclosure.

“We enjoyed the challenge of using a multi-touch interface on a grand scale to enable guests to interact with the art,” said Tim Burke, President of Electronic Art. “Our staff faced many challenges, such as working with large file sizes. We had to implement high-end machines with 12GB of memory, and determine a technique to allow the best interaction with the high-resolution images. A database enables staff to add points of interest in an overlay layer within the Adobe Flash-based application, which brings a rich educational component.”

More Information About the Daguerreotype

Conservators at the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester, New York, cleaned and stabilized the photos, digitized the images, and remounted them in their original antique frame. Along with being the first and most well-known daguerreotype to depict an American city, this photo is also one of the most famous in the history of the medium. It was displayed in the Crystal Palace at the first World’s Fair in London, and is widely considered to be the “Mona Lisa” of daguerreotypes. It contains the first photographic images of steamboats, a railroad station, and one of the country’s earliest astronomical observatories.

The Cincinnati Riverfront Panorama of 1848 is now on permanent display in the Joseph S. Stern, Jr. Cincinnati Room at the Library. For more information, visit www.cincinnatilibrary.org.

About Electronic Art
Electronic Art is a Cincinnati-based interactive agency specializing in computer kiosks and digital signage, as well as many related online interactive services. Originally founded in 1998, Electronic Art began primarily as a Web studio, offering high-end custom programming, ecommerce, and design. Today, Electronic Art provides custom solutions for many industries via kiosks, digital signage, and website development.

Judith Rubin
Judith Rubin ([email protected]) is a leading journalist, publicist, strategist, blogger, content marketing specialist and connector in the international attractions industry. She excels at writing about all aspects of design and technical design, production and project management. Areas of special interest include AV integration and show control, lighting design and acoustics, specialty cinema, digital video and world’s fairs. Judith has ties to numerous industry organizations. From 2005-2020 she ran communications, publications and social media for the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA). In 2013, she was honored with the TEA Service Award. She was development director of IMERSA, and co-chair of the 2014 IMERSA Summit. She was publicist for the Large Format Cinema Association in the 1990s, now part of the Giant Screen Cinema Association (GSCA) and has also contributed to the publications of PLASA, IAAPA and the International Planetarium Society. Already making her mark as a magazine and book editor, Judith joined World’s Fair magazine in 1987, which introduced her to the attractions industry. Launching as a freelancer in the mid 1990s she has contributed to dozens of publications and media outlets including Funworld, Lighting&Sound America, Sound & Communications, Urban Land, The Raconteur and The Planetarian. She joined InPark in 2010. Judith earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute. She has lived in New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area, and now makes her home in Saint Louis, where she is active in the local arts and theater community.

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