Robert W. Addis

1851 Corner of Centre Square and North Queen Street, Lancaster, Pennsylvania.[1]

1853                Corner Light and Baltimore Streets, Baltimore, Maryland.[2]

1855                187 Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland.[3]

1855-1857       Gallery Next Door West of the City Hotel, Frederick, Maryland.

1858-1859       20½ East King Street, Lancaster, Pennsylvania.1

Robert W. Addis was recorded in six advertisements in the Maryland Union (Frederick, Maryland). The first advertisement appeared on December 27, 1855. Ambrotypes, Photographs, Daguerreotypes, And Every Style Of Picture Known Can Now Be Had At Addis’ Sky-Light Gallery Next Door West Of The City Hotel.

Having completed my instructions at the Gallery of the most Celebrated Photographist and Ambrotypist in the United States, I am prepared top offer to the public every style of pictures known, at greatly reduced rates.

Ambrotypes, or Imperishable Pictures!  This beautiful style of Picture is taken on fine French Plate Glass, and warranted never to fade in any climate.  The advantages over the Daguerreotypes consist in their being unreversed, more brilliant and clear in tone and effects, and can be distinctly seen in any light, or in any position.  A call is only necessary to convince all.

Photographs.  Are taken on Paper, (especially prepared for the purposes,) and cannot be distinguished from a fine steel plate engraving, the likeness being as perfectas a Daguerreotype.  The great improvements in this branch of sun Drawing, by the most celebrated Chemists of this country and Europe, place it far in advance of all other styles.  Another advantage is, that the Picture being a part of the paper, can only be erased by destroying the paper.  These can be supplied by single impressions, or hundreds at an extraordinary low price.  Of Photographs, I have two processes:  Collodion for Portraits, and Albumen for Views, Buildings, Landscapes, Farms, with all buildings attached, &c.  A variety of specimens at the Gallery.

Persons, wishing copies of Buildings, will please remember this, as they are far superior to Daguerreotypes, they being unreversed and beautiful ornaments for a parlor. Great reduction in price of Gold Lockets, Gilt Frames and fancy cases, all of which I have the largest assortment in this city; and all who wish to make a Beautiful and Appropriate Christmas Present, in the way of Lockets, Pearl Cases, Oval and square Ebony, Velvet, or Papier Mache, would do well to call at the City Gallery, where they can be supplied, 50 per ct. cheaper, with Ambrotypes or better Daguerreotypes than at any Gallery in this city.  I am determined to sell my Fancy Stock, cheaper than the cheapest Galleries.

The Daguerrean Apartment will be under the immediate control of D. T. Coweel, [sic.] Esq., late principal Operator at Whitehurst’s Gallery, Baltimore, whose services I have secured and whose reputation as an artist is unsurpassed in the country, as those, who had Pictures taken during my absence, will corroborate.

N. B.—Persons wishing to learn Ambrotyping and Photographing, will do well to call on me as I warrant full instructions for less money than I paid, and of my work they can judge for themselves; facilities for acquiring a perfect knowledge of the business, and can be supplied with material at the cost price without going to the larger cities.  Frederick, Dec. 22, 1855.  R. W. Addis.

The second advertisement ran from August 21 to December 25, 1856. Remember That next door West of the City Hotel, is Addis’ Northern Sky-Light Gallery, Where Ambrotypes, Daguerreotypes, and Photographs, are taken in the highest perfection of the Art.  Especial attention is called to Ambrotypes, his new and popular process is fast superceding the old style Daguerreotypes, not in their being more durable but for beauty of pictures, they can be seen in any light no matter what position in which they are held, thus doing away with that unpleasant glare which all Daguerreotypes must have and rendering the surface soft and pleasing. When family groups are required in frames, this process is indispensable, for the Likeness can be distinctly seen across a room as accurately as though ’twas in the hand—and for persons who wish pictures to last—one that in fifty years hence will bring vividly to mind a perfect likeness of departed friends or relatives.  This process stands unequalled, and in range of every one in any circumstances in point of price.  In corroboration of this, you have only to call and examine specimens.

Paper Pictures Or Photographs.  These beautiful and also indispensable pictures, are a fac simile of steel plate engravings and when a number are required, they are much cheaper than the lowest price Daguerreotype, thus if one person wants 25 copies, a perfect likeness can be made at 50 cts. apiece, the largest size.

Daguerreotypes, In every Style Of The Art. Crayon, Stereoscope, light and dark background.  The Daguerreotype taken [in] this establishment, for the last 18 months rank with the best productions in the country to perfection of likeness, fleshiness of tone, position, artistic and for brilliancy of finish.  Persons who wish copies of old daguerreotypes of departed friends and relatives can have them accurately taken in either of the above styles.  Pictures neatly set in Breastpins, Rings, Lockets, &c., a variety of Fancy Cases, and full assortment of Gold Lockets always on hand and cheap.

Study your own interest and call on Addis over J. Nussbaunt’s confectionary.

P. S.—Persons who wish to learn Daguerreotyping, Ambrotyping or Photographing, and get a perfect knowledge of all chemical apparatus, &c., would do well to call on Addis.   

The third advertisement ran from December 11, 1856 to February 5, 1857.  Christmas Presents.  Remember Addis’ Sky-Light Daguerrean Gallery Next door to the City Hall, Offers the greatest inducement in the way of suitable presents of any establishment in this city.  A large and fresh assortment of Fine Gold Lockets. Made to hold from 1 to 10 Daguerreotypes so that a whole family can be inserted in one locket; lockets purchased at this place are warranted and a large deduction made for the likeness, making the lockets filled with pictures cheaper by 40 per ct. than can be had elsewhere.

Fancy cases of every description both for Daguerreotypes and Ambrotypes.  Also a large lot of handsome Gilt Frames fresh from the manufactures, sold very little higher than cases.

Don’t forget if you wish anything in the Daguerreotype, Ambrotype or Photograph way to give Addis’ a call, where satisfaction is warranted at an extraordinary cheap rate. 

The fourth advertisement ran from January 22 to March 12, 1857.  Cheap:  Cheaper:  Cheapest!  75 Cts.!  75 Cts.!  Ambrotypes, Melainotypes, Daguerreotypes & Photographs, At Addis’ Sky-Light Gallery:  (Next door to the City Hotel,) For 75 Cents!

Finely Colored, and put up in large size cases, and finely secured, and warranted as good if not better than any taken in this town for $2.

Ambrotypes & Melainotypes are precisely the same thing, bade by the same process and presenting the same appearance,—the only difference is, that Ambrotypes are made on glass, and Melainotypes on iron, the latter process being preferable for many reasons, It being impossible to break them, also being more sensitive to color, for beauty of which they far surpassnthe Daguerreotype.  They can plainly be seen in any light, can be cut to fit lockets, rings, breastpins, oval cases, or any style whatever.

In thus lowering the prices of my pictures, I merely act as my competitors did, when I first made my residence here, and I am now determined to be as cheap as any Gallery in Frederick, if not cheaper; and make as good Pictures as I ever made for double the price now asked for them; and would respectfully inform the many persons who have called at my room for low-priced Daguerreotypes, and been refused and sent elsewhere, to call again, and in place of Daguerreotypes I will give them Ambrotypes or Melainotypes, furnished in the most careful and durable manner.  For &5 Cents!  A large assortment of Gold Lockets, Gilt Frames, and Fancy Cases, of every style, sold for nearly one half the regular price; in fact, a general reduction of everything.

Notice to Students.  All who wish to learn Ambrotyping, Melainotyping, Daguerreotyping or Photographing, can do so at my rooms for $20, and satisfaction guaranteed. An outfit, including instructions, camera and all materials, furnished for $64, and everything prepared so as to open a room one day after getting instructions.  ja.9.   

The fifth advertisement ran from February 12 to April 9, 1857.  Daguerreotypes, Ambrotypes, Melainotypes and Photographs, at Addis’ unequalled Sky-Light Gallery, for the sum of 75 cents.

The sixth advertisement ran from April 2 to 9, 1857.  Don’t Forget Addis’ Gallery, where you can get a Splendid Melainotype, done up in a fine case, and beautifully colored, for 75 Cents, warranted to give satisfaction.

Robert W. Addis is recorded in other directories but not in Frederick, Maryland.


[1] Craig’s Daguerreian Registry.

[2] Craig’s Daguerreian Registry. Craig used the1853-1854 Baltimore City Directory which was published in 1853, there is no corroborating information that he was still active at that address in 1854.

[3] Directory Of Maryland Photographers 1839-1900.  1855-1856 Baltimore City Directory which was published in 1855, there is no corroborating information that he was still active at that address in 1856.

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