Marcus Aurelius Root learned the daguerreotype process from Robert Cornelius in 1843 (see lot 522 for a portrait by Cornelius), having first studied painting and taught penmanship. The following year he became a partner in daguerreotype studios in Mobile, Alabama, and New Orleans. He later became a partner in Saint Louis, Missouri, and Philadelphia studios. In 1846 Root purchased John Jabez Mayall's studio in Philadelphia. Three years later, in partnership with his brother Samuel, he established a studio in New York on Broadway; this studio lasted until 1857.
Following a disabling railroad accident, Root turned to writing about photographic history and aesthetics; The Camera and The Pencil, published in 1864, was perhaps his best-known publication.
Another example of Root's rare and extremely interesting work can be found in this sale - lot 534.