Dr. Theodatus Garlick

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Theodatus Garlick
Born 1805
Middlebury, Vermont
Died 1884
Bedford, Ohio

Comprehensive History

Theodatus Garlick, M.D. (1804-1884), was an early Ohio daguerreotypist. He was born in Middlebury, Vermont, the son of Sabra S. Kirby and Daniel Garlick. In 1818, he moved to Cleveland, Ohio where his brother Abel, worked as a stonecutter, and Theodatus worked as a blacksmith and gravestone carver until he had enough money to go to medical school. After receiving his medical degree from Washington Medical College in Baltimore in 1834, he returned to Cleveland. Garlick became interested in the new daguerreotype picture technology in 1839 and built his own camera and produced the first daguerreotype photograph in Cleveland in 1841 after reading Louis Daguerre's booklet on photography.[1]

He came to Wooster in June of 1842 and took rooms in the U.S. Hall for a few days to take photographs of local citizens utilizing his self-built camera. The technology he utilized was not well understood at that time and the local newspaper described it as "nature's pencil" and the chemical reaction seen as drawing the picture.[2]

It is unknown if any of the local daguerreotypes Garlick produced while in Wooster survived to this day.


  • U. S. Hall, Wooster, Ohio

Newspaper articles

Newspaper ads


  1. Book: Ohio Photographers: 1839-1900 By Diane VanSkiver Gagel
  2. Wooster Democrat, 1842-JUN-23 p.3

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