Jean Félix Bapterosses, a manufacturer in Briare, and his son-in-law, Alfred Loreau, gave this group consisting of a dark chamber and the equipment necessary to produce daguerreotypes to the Conservatoire des arts et métiers in 1881. The gift was made through the intermediary of Victor de Luynes and Arthur Liébaut, members of the museum's Acquisitions Council. The historic collections went on display in the graphic arts and photography gallery newly created by the institution. "The items you will receive […] passed directly from Daguerre's studio into the hands of Monsieur Bapterosses and we are transmitting them to you as they were grouped together," Loreau wrote to Conservatory Director Hervé Mangon. Nothing is known of the context in which Bapterosses had acquired the collection or about his relationship with Daguerre, who had improved on Nicéphore Niepce's experiments. In 1839 the French government acquired and divulged the "daguerreotype" process, as it was called, to offer it as a gift to humanity.