C. E. Tapley

1852-1853       Rooms in Mr. Stewart’s Building, Middlebury, Vermont.

1854                Address Unknown, Brandon, Vermont.

C. E. Tapley was recorded in five advertisements and mentioned in two other advertisements in The Middlebury Register (Middlebury, Vermont). The first advertisement ran from December 22, 1852 to February 23, 1853.  Sky-Light Daguerrean Gallery.  C. E. Tapley would respectfully inform the citizens of Middlebury that he has taken Rooms in Mr. Stewart’s Building, and fitted them up in a respectable manner, with a large Sky-light suitable for securing first class Daguerreotypes.  Mr. T. would therefore solicit the patronage of all who wish to obtain a good likeness of themselves or of friends; and in soliciting this favor he would assure the public that no pains on his part will be spared to afford entire satisfaction.  The demand for first class Daguerreotypes still continues, but it is a demand which can only be satisfied by the life-like, speaking likeness, well secured and well defined—a likeness which will remain fresh and beautiful when the lips of flesh in dust shall rest, and death’s pale film o’erspreads the beaming eye.  People are not satisfied with a mere shadowy representation of their faces—they say, give us a bold, well defined impression, or we want none; and I am glad it is so, for the people have in many cases been villainously imposed upon by men whose ignorance of the principles of this beautiful Art, and imbecility in its execution, are only equaled by their unrivalled impudence and assurance.—Mr. T. boasts not of any particular merit which he may or may not possess in this Art.  He respectfully asks the citizens of this place to call at his rooms and satisfy themselves by sitting for “a picture.”

By the aid of a large Sky-light, pictures can be taken in cloudy as well as fair weather.  Prices, from $1.00 to $5.00.  Sick or deceased persons attended at their residences. 

The second advertisement ran from March 2 to April 20, 1853.  Addison Skylight Daguerrean Gallery, In Mr. Stewart’s Building, A few steps South of the Post Office.  Likenesses taken at this establishment at all hours of the day, and in any kind of weather.

Daguerreotypes of children taken in from four to eight seconds.  The subscriber keeps constantly on hand a neat assortment of the best cases that can be found in the Daguerrean market, and he will put into them pictures which, for faithfulness of outline, depth and brilliancy of tone, and durability, he respectfully asks, not “all creation of operators,” but the operators of this section of the creation, to equal.  C. E. Tapley.              

P. S. Prices from $1.00 to $5.00.  Liberal deductions made to families.

The third advertisement ran from May 25 to July 13, 1853.  Addison Daguerrean Gallery, Stewart’s Building, over R. L. Fuller’s Store!  The citizens of Middlebury are invited to call at the above Establishment, and examine the subscriber’s specimens of the Daguerreotype Art, many of which are faithful likenesses of respectable gentlemen residing in this village.  I would inform the people of M., that I have at considerable expense obtained, and am now using a chemical compound discovered by Mr. Hill, of New York, a man who has probably done more than all others towards bringing this beautiful Art to its present state of perfection.  I have used many compounds for producing the Daguerreotype but have never before used anything that would produce so fine a picture as the above; for proof of its superiority please call and examine some of my late work and if you wish for stronger demonstrations of its virtues just take a seat under my Sky-light, and in a few seconds I will give you an opportunity of convincing yourselves beyond a doubt.  C. E. Tapley.                       

The fourth advertisement ran from July 6 to November 9, 1853.  Addison Daguerrean Gallery, In Stewart’s Building, over R. L. Fuller’s Store!  As good a Daguerreotype Likeness can be obtained at this Establishment as at any other Gallery in Vermont.  C. E. Tapley, Artist.             

The fifth advertisement ran from November 2 to December 7, 1853.  Just Received At C. E. Tapley’s Daguerrean Rooms!  A New And Neat Assortment Of Miniature Cases which will be sold at prices which cannot fail to suit those who are in want of a picture of themselves or their friends.

Mr. T. would respectfully inform the citizens of Middlebury and the surrounding country, that he shall positively close up his business here the 1st of January, 1854.  All therefore who wish for one or more of his faithful Daguerreotype Likenesses, should give him an early call, and he will guarantee to give them as good Pictures, as can be purchased at any Gallery in the State.

Remember The Place Sky Light Daguerrean Gallery Stewart’s Building, Over R. L. Fuller’s Store.  Remember Also, that I leave Middlebury soon, and that now is your only chance of getting your Pictures put up in the best style at prices that cannot fail to give satisfaction.  C. E. Tapley. 

First mention in an advertisement that ran from February 15 to October 25, 1854.  Daguerrean Gallery!  Doct. Brockway, has taken into partnership with him a young man, who will practice this Art and assist in Dentistry.

They have obtained the latest and most expensive and approved instrument and apparatus, and will have both Northern and Sky-Light, (regarded as the most perfect,) as well as a first rate assortment of Cases, both single and groups.  They will be in readiness to wait on Gentlemen and Ladies in this department after the present week.  Having the good will, the influence and instructions, of Mr. Tapley, known as a skillful artist, they expect to please, and of course enjoy the patronage of this community.  Josephus Brockway, Wm. W. Ormsbee.         Middlebury, Feb. 14, 1854.

The second time he was mentioned in an advertisement ran from October 25, 1854 to January 31, 1855.  The Best Daguerreotypes.  At the late Fair at Middlebury, the committee on Paintings, &c., Mr. Battell, chairman, (the celebrated portrait painted, Mr. Mason, by invitation, advising) made the following Awards:

1st best Daguerreotypes, W. W. Ormsbee, $2

2d best (being but two exhibitors) Gillmore, 1.

The pictures exhibited by Ormsbee were his 2d best, as they were duplicates; persons sitting having taken their choice.  Several were likenesses of the last graduating class.  This class were at great pains to obtain the best, as they were to be multiplied and perpetuated by lithograph copies.  The reputation of Tapley attracted them to Brandon; but not quite satisfied, some of them set to Gilmore, but after full trial a majority sent to New York for lithographing were of those taken by Ormsbee, the rest were by Tapley.

Five only of the sixteen exhibited were taken with any reference to the Fair.  To judge of pictures, the difference in the eyes of Ormsbee’s and Gillmore picture could not fail to attract attention.  Ormsbee’s present a clear, well defined eye, Gillmore’s owing probably to his instrument, doubly refractory quality, besides giving an eye imperfectly defined, produces one or more extra white spots apparent in all the pictures on exhibition by Gillmore with one exception.

Ormsbee’s rooms are at the dwelling of Doct. Brockway, Dentist.

N. B.  Ormsbee’s Camera is one of the most modern and perfect furnished by the Present market.

C. E. Tapley is not recorded in other photographic directories.  Charles E. Tapley is recorded in Craig’s Daguerreian Registry as being active in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1857-1860.  See tomorrow’s post.

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