1855 Address Unknown, Alexandria, Virginia. 1853-1854 293 Broadway, New York, New York. 1854 369 Broadway, New York, New York. 1855 Address Unknown, Alexandria, Virginia. 1856 Clay & Kearny Streets, San Francisco, California. 1858 Address Unknown, New Orleans, Louisiana.
Based on work done by Peter Palmquist and Thomas Kailbourn in Pioneer Photographers of the Far West A Biographical Dictionary, 1840-1865, Craig’s Daguerreian Registry by John Craig, New York City Directories, and newspaper advertisements and notices in New York City and Washington, D. C. I’ve put together the following snapshot of Carden’s activity.
Robert A. Carden was not listed in the 1852-1853 New York City Directory, he was listed in the 1853-1854 and 1854-1855 directories as daguerreotypes, 293 Broadway, in 1853-1854 directory his house was listed at 393 Broadway, Carden was not listed in subsequent NYC directories. In 1853-1854 there was also a listing for Carden & Co, daguerreotypes, at the 293 Broadway.
Carden was recorded on April 13, 1853 in the New York Daily Tribune (New York, New York.) 25 Cent Daguerreotypes.—Carden & Co., No. 293 Broadway, are still taking those superb Pictures at the low price of 25 cents, notwithstanding there are some who advertise 12 ½ cent one to be taken at a future day. It is a well known fact that a picture cannot be produced for less than 25 cents; hence the great rush every day at Carden & Co.’s.
Craig’s Daguerreian Registry recorded the partnership of Carden & Norton, 369 Broadway from the 1854 Mercantile Directory.
He was recorded in the Daily American Organ (Washington, D. C.) on February 9, 1855 and in the Evening Star (Washington, D. C.) on February 10, 1855. The Exhibition of the Metropolitan Mechanic’s Institute.—…Contributions from Virginia…Smith Bennett and Robert A. Carden, Frames of beautiful daguerreotypes;
Six months later the following advertisement appears on August 9 & 15, 1855 in the Evening Star (Washington, D. C.) Daguerrean Gallery For Sale in Alexandria, Va. One of the best rooms in Alexandria. Will be sold cheap for cash. Any person who wants to learn the business will be taught; and also will teach the art of Photograph free. That alone is worth one hundred dollars to any artist. Two Artist wanted to color Photographs. Address “RAC,” Artist, Alexandria, Va.
Pioneer Photographers of the Far West A Biographical Dictionary, 1840-1865, by Peter Palmquist and Thomas Kailbourn. They mention that Carden is in San Francisco, California in 1856 working for Henry William Bradley at Clay & Kearny Streets. Also that he wrote two articles for the Photographic and Fine Art Journal on April 1857, p 112 & 113 on Photography in California and was signed R. A. C. the same as the Evening Star advertisement on August 9 & 15, 1855. In August of 1858 he wrote about the New Orleans Photographic Galleries on pages 244 & 245. Carden is reported in the same issue on page 256 that that he has returned to New York from New Orleans where he showed Ambrotypes and prints taken while he was there. Was Carden active as a photographer or possibly as an assistant? Further research is needed. He was not listed in as being active in Photography in New Orleans The Early Years, 1840-1865, by Margaret Denton Smith and Mary Louise Tucker except to mention the article in The Photographic And Fine Art Journal.
Recorded on November 11, 1859 in the New York Daily Tribune (New York, New York.) Carden—At Little Falls, Herkimer County, N. Y., on Thursday, Sept. 15, Robert A. Carden, photographic artist, formerly of this city [died], aged 26.