Maxham & Tapley

1856                16 Harrington Corner, opposite the City Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts.

Maxham & Tapley (Benjamin D. Maxham & Charles E. Tapley) were recorded in one  advertisement that ran from June 19 to September 13, 1856 in the Worcester Daily Spy  (Worcester, Massachusetts).  Special Notices.  B. D. Maxham Would respectfully invite all those wishing superior Daguerreotypes of themselves or friends, to call at his old stand, where they can procure likenesses taken by himself or Mr. Tapley, an old and experienced operator from the City of New York.  No 12½ or 25 cent pictures will be taken by them—their time and talent will be devoted to their profession, which they wish to make honorable, by giving good pictures at reasonable prices to all who may favor them with their patronage.

Ladies and gentlemen, please call at No. 16 Harrington Corner, opposite the City Hall, and examine specimens. B. D. Maxham, C. E. Tapley.

Both Maxham and Tapley are recorded in other photographic directories but not as partners.

5 thoughts on “Maxham & Tapley

  1. Thanks for this fascinating information!

    Is it possible that Maxham’s partnership with Charles Tapley (at 16 Harrington Corner) ever led Maxham to alter his logo to “B. D. Maxham & Co.” (in 1856 or otherwise)?

    Hopefully that connection might have been reflected by an ad or a sign. Do we know Tapley’s birth/death dates? Maxham’s were 1821-1899.

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  2. The first time that Maxham and Tapley’s (Partnership) Notice ran in the Worcester Daily Spy was June 14, 1856 (Sat). It ran daily for 3 months.

    Interestingly, one of their first customers that week was H. D. Thoreau who paid them 50 cents apiece for three (slightly) different ninth-plate daguerreotypes. Luckily all of them still survive but only the single name of B. D. Maxham appears on the brass mat(s).

    No photograph has ever been found with the joint names of Maxham AND Tapley on the image. That would be quite a find.

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  3. It is something of a mystery as to why Maxham’s short-term partnership was worded in this way (in their 3-month daily ad from June 14 – Sep 13, 1856)):

    “Mr. Tapley, an old and experienced operator from the City of New York.”

    Charles E. Tapley was indeed listed in the 1860 US Census as a Daguerreian Artist, but he was born in Wilton, NH in 1827. He married his young wife (17) Mary A. Carpenter in Oct 1852 (Mass) – and she died in May 1896 (born 1835).

    Charles moved around quite a bit (Mass, NH, VT, etc) but his date of death is still unknown. No indication that he was ever in NYC. Perhaps that urban location had a certain cachet at the time.

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  4. Mr Tapley may have been “experienced” but he never got to be “old.”

    Charles E. Tapley died in Northampton, Mass. on Feb. 16, 1867. His occupation was still listed as a photographer, but he was relatively young (40). The 1870 US Census shows his widow and children without him.

    Perhaps someone who has access to old newspaper files will discover the circumstances of his death.

    Sorry to post these additional details in so piecemeal a manner.

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  5. I have an ambrotype that I’m trying to identify. In the velvet it says: Maxham’s 50c Ambrotypes Harrington Cor(ner). I know that it is in Worcester, MA. I have another that is similar and is probably the same person, taken at a different time, that does not have any identification on it. I know my husband’s genealogy and who was living in Worcester at the time. My guess is that it could be Nathaniel Curtis Moore, who was the Captain of a calvary that escorted Marquis de Lafayette when he visited Worcester in 1824. I think I will post these photos, if I can, to his Find A Grave, where someone posted a photo marked N.C. Moore. I don’t suppose there is any account book or record of the ambrotypes taken by this company?

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