A photograph of Commodore Matthew Perry after his expedition to Japan, ca. 1855.
Matthew Perry rose through the ranks of the US Navy from midshipman to commodore and helped lay the foundation for a professionally-trained, technologically-advanced US Navy. This photograph is a daguerreotype, a photographic format in which the image is recorded on a silvered copper plate. Daguerreotypes were the first commercially successful photographic format, quickly replaced by less expensive techniques.