Jonathan Allen

1856-1859       Main Street, Foot of Canal Street, Webster’s Building, Fort Plain, New York.

1857                Main Street, Canajoharie, New York.

1859                Address Unknown, Minden, New York[1]

Jonathan Allen was recorded in eight advertisements in the Mohawk Valley Register (Fort Plain, New York).  The first advertisement ran from March 6, 1856 to January 29, 1857.  Attention The Lost Found—the Secret Out!  “There is nothing hidden but that shall be revealed.  J. Allen would announce to the public that he is now prepared to take Daguerreotypes, Ambrotypes & Chromotypes.  The latter being a new style of Picture just brought to perfection.  They are taken on glass and no colored as to resemble oil paintings on ivory.  They will not fade, corrode at sea or change in any climate, are beautiful in tone, bold and clear in effect, and can be seen in any light as can also the Ambrotypes which he now takes in the latest improved style.  The public are invited to call at his rooms and examine specimens and judge for themselves.

Rooms foot of Canal street, in Webster’s Building.

The second advertisement ran from January 1, 1857 to April 8, 1858.  Fort Plain Business Cards.  J. Allen, Ambrotypist, and manufacturer of Guilt Frames, Main, Foot of Canal St.

The third advertisement ran from January 29 to April 23, 1857.  The Shadow. The Shadow. The Shadow. The Shadow. The Shadow. The Shadow.  Allen’s Pictures.  Allen’s Pictures. Allen’s Pictures.  Allen’s Pictures.  Allen’s Pictures.  Allen’s Pictures.  Allen’s Pictures.  Premium  Premium  Premium  Premium  Premium  Premium   Premium  Premium  Premium  Premium

At the last Montgomery County Fair, held at Canajoharie in September 1856, the Committee on Ambrotypes awarded to J. Allen The first Premium for his pictures—being superior in tone and life-like expression to all others on exhibition; and all those who have had pictures of him coined with the verdict of the Awarding Committee.

Mr. Allen, (in connection with H. Wendell of Amsterdam) has secured the Exclusive Right of Mont. County, Patent Patent Patent Patent for the manufacture of Cutting’s Patent Ambrotypes, which patent consists in the method of securing them from the action of the atmosphere, and rendering them durable by sealing the picture between two plate glass with a substance which soon hardens and becomes impervious to air, dust and water.

Beware Of Worthless Imitations!      

Beware Of Worthless Imitations!      

Beware Of Worthless Imitations!

Beware Of Worthless Imitations!

All Ambrotypes taken by any other method than Cutting’s patent are worthless imitations.  Some unskilled artists endeavor to evade the patent by palming the public pictures taken upon single glass and coating it with varnish which has a bad effect upon the chemicals and cause the picture to lose its luster in a short time.

Remember, Remember, Remember That the patent Premium Ambrotype may be had only of Allen, who has the exclusive right of the western portion of the County of Montgomery.

Pictures taken by Cutting’s Patent process possess the rare quality of imperishability—remaining unchanged for ages.  These pictures are pronounced to be the Greatest Improvement we have received in the Photographic Art since the days of Daguerre, having a clearness and relief that is truly astonishing.

Mr. Allen’s facilities for giving the public pictures of any size, are not surpassed in this section.  His stock of Cases and Frames comprise all the varieties—plain and fancy—to be found in market.

Our friends from the country, in visiting the village, are respectfully invited to give us a neighborly call in order to Examine our Specimens.  Examine our Specimens.  Examine our Specimens.  Memento.  Memento.  Memento.  Memento.  Memento.  Memento.  Memento.  Memento  We guarantee that no one, unless so desolate and discarded that he has not a solitary friend on earth, will be willing to depart without taking another self with him as a memento to present to some cherished one.

A first class likeness will be admired and treasured up long after almost every other kind of present is destroyed or forgotten—in fact growing more and more precious as each succeeding year rolls around, and with each anniversary recalling to memory the exact features of those we love.

Gilt Frames, Gilt Frames, Gilt Frames. 

A large stock of Gilt Mouldings, of various styles will constantly be kept on hand, and Frames of any size made to order, on short notice, and for reasonable prices.

Allen’s Rooms may be found in Webster’s Building, on Main St., foot of Canal St., Fort Plain, and on Main St., at the sign of the Red, White and Blue,” Canajoharie.

The fourth advertisement ran from May 9 to November 5, 1857.  1857.  Look Ye Here All Lovers Of Fine Pictures!  Seven different towns, fair cities of the earth, Strive for the fame of mighty Homer’s birth; But none the hard contested claim can prove; Two native place of Homer is above!  Before thy friends do vanish from thy sight, and go where Homer is, in realms of light, Secure their picture, as a treasure-prize, With budding lips and bright life-like eyes. 

Allen’s Premium Pictures Melainotypes and Ambrotypes!!  J. Allen would inform his patrons and the public generally that being determined to keep up with “Young America,” and not to be outdone, even in the large cities, he has secured the right, and is now prepared to make another New Style Of Picture, called Melainotype, which is a most beautiful specimen of the sun’s penciling.

The more delicate lineaments of the image are portrayed with a faithfulness surpassing that of the most brilliant Daguerreotype; the glowing tints of nature are blended in sublime harmony; all is here presented with the warmest penciling of Nature.  She has proven herself the Model Artist and gathered charm from all of her own creation, blending, by a single effort, in bold relief.

Beauties that no hand can equal portraying each feature with such exactness, as to seemingly create substance from shadow.  No true lover of nature will contemplate these specimens without feeling a lively admiration of the warm-toned and brilliant life-like effect they produced.  A continued look upon the wonders of art will fill the beholder with sublime enthusiasm, and bring the thought to his mind, “can Nature create such perfect self, and refuse a soul to feel and a tongue to speak?”

The subscriber has constantly on hand a Full assortment of Cases both Plain and Fancy, and all styles of Gilt Frames, all of which will be sold at reasonable prices, and filled with superior Melainotypes or Ambrotypes.

Gilt Frames.  A good assortment of moldings both Gilt and Plain constantly on hand, so that frames of all sizes and styles can be had on short notice.

Also a fine assortment of Lithographs & Steel Plates For Grecian Oil Painting. 

All Work Warranted.

Rooms open from 8 o’clock, A. M., to 6, P. M., and may be found in Webster’s Building, on Main St., foot of Canal St., Fort Plain.  J. Allen.  Fort Plain, May 1, 1857.

The fifth advertisement ran from November 12, 1857 to March 11, 1858.  A P P G stands For Allen’s Premium Picture Gallery.  Owing to the high price of money, J. Allen has reduced the price for Pictures and invites the attention of the public anew to his unequalled facilities for taking Pictures in the most tasty, artistical and complete style of the Photographic art.—His reception and dressing rooms will always be found Comfortable and Pleasant in all kinds of weather; his operating room is spacious and furnished with superior Sky and Side Lights, and all the requisite materials for that department; and his chemical room contains the choicest Foreign and American Chemicals, Glass, &c.

The patented Ambrotypes are considered the best picture extant.  They will last for ages unchanged, and possess the rare quality of imperishability. Being taken on plate glass, which is placed on a corresponding glass, the two being hermetically sealed together with an indestructible cement, which soon hardens and the two glasses become in effect one, with the picture in the center, as durable as glass itself.  The patent Ambrotype is particularly adapted to any kind of face and complexion, and has a clearness and relief that is truly astonishing.

Those desiring Perfect and Lasting Likenesses of themselves or friends, would do well to call and avail themselves of An Experienced Artist with a laboratory of pure chemicals, piles of superior stock, good lights, and best invented instruments. 

His rooms will be open at all business hours of the day.

Copies of Paintings, Portraits, Miniatures &c., executed in an unrivalled manner.

He has constantly on hand a Full assortment of Cases, both Plain and Fancy, and all styles of Gilt Frames, all of which will be sold at reasonable prices, and filled with superior Melainotypes or Ambrotypes.

Gilt Frames.  A good assortment of moldings both Gilt and Plain constantly on hand, so that frames of all sizes and styles can be had on short notice.

Also a fine assortment of Lithographs & Steel Plates For Grecian Oil Painting. 

All Work Warranted. 

His Rooms may be found in Webster’s Building, on Main St., foot of Canal St., Fort Plain. J. Allen.  Fort Plain, November 1, 1857.

The sixth advertisement ran from April 15, 1858 to April 21, 1859.  Fort Plain Business Cards.  J. Allen, Daguerreian Artists.—Likenesses Of the most approved style taken and warranted to give satisfaction.  Gilt Frames of all styles and sizes made to order.  Rooms in the Webster Building, Main-St.

The advertisement ran from August 19 to November 11, 1858.  New Attractions At J. Allen’s Picture Gallery.  The subscriber has recently procured the necessary Apparatus and Chemicals for taking Superior Photographs, which are without doubt the best pictures made.  Being taken on paper they bear a great resemblance to steel engravings, as they are deep-toned, clear and bold and can be view in any light, unlike pictures of other descriptions.  They are Warranted not to fade or change!  In other places where they have been introduced the changes for making this style of picture have been more than for Ambrotypes, but in order to introduce them the subscriber will furnish them at the same Prices As For Ambrotypes, of the same size, and should a person want a number of duplicates he will furnish them At A Much Lower Figure.  But one setting is required for any number of pictures that may be desired.

A cordial invitation is extended to all to call at his office and examine specimens.

Superior Ambrotypes are still taken, at prices varying from 60 cts. to $8.

A long experience in this business renders him capable of giving good satisfaction.

Ambrotypes put in Rings, Lockets, &c., and warranted.

Pictures taken of Invalids and Deceased Persons at their residence, on short notice.

Gilt, Rosewood, & Plain Frames of all sizes and styles, and fitted out with Glass, Cord and Tassels, manufactured on short notice, Lithographs and Steel Plate Engravings in great variety, for ornament or for Grecian Oil Painting constantly on hand, and for sale at reasonable prices.

Caution.—If you would secure Pictures the most durable and perfect, you should avoid patronizing persons of little experience, and Rooms where economy in space and light is certain to render the picture blunt in shade and harsh in tone.—Mr. Allen’s Rooms are ample, his light so arranged as to blend the picture in the most harmonious manner, and his long experience a sure guaranty of artistic excellence.        

Satisfaction Given In All Cases.  Call and examine the numerous specimens at his Rooms. J. Allen.  Fort Plain, August 19, 1858.

The eighth advertisement ran from June 23 to December 29, 1859.  Fort Plain Business Cards.  J. Allen, Photograph & Ambrotype Rooms, in the Webster Building, over Lipe’s Crockery Store.

Gilt and Rosewood Picture Frames of all sizes and styles manufactured to order.

Jonathan Allen is recorded in Craig’s Daguerreian Registry as being active in Fort Plain and Minden, New York in 1859 without business addresses.


[1] Craig’s Daguerreian Registry.

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