F. M. Burnett

1852-1855       J. H. Story’s Building, Cooperstown, New York.

1855-1856       Rooms over P. G. Tanner’s Jewelry Store, Cooperstown, New York.

1859                Rooms over George Story’s Saddlery Store, Cooperstown, New York.

F. M. Burnett was recorded in eleven advertisements and one announcement in The Freeman’s Journal (Cooperstown, New York).  The first advertisement ran from November 19, 1852 to January 27, 1854.  Daguerreotype Rooms.  F. M. Burnett Respectfully informs the citizens of Cooperstown and vicinity, that he has taken a Room in J. H. Story’s new building opposite P. G. Turner’s Jewelry Store, where he is ready to wait upon all of those who wish to procure a correct Likeness of themselves or friends.  Attention is invited to the distinct, lively and life-like expression of the eye, the beauty and perfection of the drapery, the depth of tone and softness of light and shade, to the faithful likeness as well as the beauty of finish and artistical skill and taste which his picture exhibit.  A graceful and easy attitude is always studied, and by the aid of an improved instrument, agreeable and life-like Miniatures are readily taken.  Those desiring a faithful Likeness of themselves or friends or copies of Daguerreotypes, Paintings or Engravings, can have their pictures taken in beautiful style and neatly set in Lockets, Rings, or Frames, in a few minutes.  All Miniatures taken at this establishment will be finished in the highest perfection of the art and warranted not to fade by exposure to the light or air—and no person will be required to take Miniatures that are not satisfactory to themselves or friends.  Miniatures taken in any weather.  The public are respectfully invited to visit his Room and judge for themselves as to the excellence of his work.  

The announcement appeared on December 17, 1852.  Daguerreotypes.—Now is the time to procure a good Daguerreotype.  Mr. Burnett, in Story’s building, adjoining this office, and Mr. Bullard, in Dr. Peak’s building, nearly opposite, are both taking excellent pictures.  We don’t pretend to say which takes the best.—Those who examine them can judge for themselves.  Don’t you want one for a New Year present to some friend?

The second advertisement ran from December 24, 1852 to January 13, 1854.  Price Reduced.  F. M. Burnett Announces To The public that he is selling Daguerreotypes at reduced prices.  Medium size cases which he has formerly sold for $2, $1.50; $1.50 cases, $1.  Those who wish to procure correct likenesses, will do well to call on him before purchasing elsewhere.  We think his specimens are equal to any we have seen.  Room in J. H, Story’s new building next to this office. 

The third advertisement ran from January 20, 1854 to June 1, 1855.  Daguerreotypes.  F. M. Burnett Tenders His Thanks to the people of Cooperstown and vicinity for the liberal patronage he has received during the past year, and he is still to be found at his old stand where he is ready to wait upon all those who wish to procure correct Likenesses of themselves or friends.  I am taking Miniatures that are not surpassed by any Artist for beauty of shade and life-like expression of the Eye.  I would call the attention of the public to my Rainbow Oval Pictures, which no other artist can take.  They are pronounced by good judges to be superior to any thing they have ever seen.

Prices moderate and likenesses warranted to please.—Rooms in J. H. Story’s new building, opposite P. G. Tanner’s Jewelry Store, Cooperstown.  Jan. 16, ’54.

The fourth advertisement ran from February 3, 1854 to February 16, 1855.  Rainbow Oval Pictures.  Daguerreotypes.  To The Editor Of The Freeman’s Journal:—I saw an advertisement of my neighbor artist inserted in your columns, which confutes a statement I made public through your press in regards to my Rainbow Oval Pictures.  He claims that he has taken the Rainbow Oval Pictures nearly two years.  I now beg leave through your press to inform the people of Cooperstown that the Rainbow Oval Pictures are of my own invention, and they cannot be obtained in any other Rooms but F. M. Burnett’s.  I do not say my neighbor artist meant wilfully to make a false statement; I imaret it to his ignorance or want of perception in not noticing the difference between a Rainbow and an Oval Picture.—Those pictures that I have seen of my neighbor artist, are nothing more nor less than plain oval pictures, which do not add any thing to the beauty of the Daguerreotype; wherein my pictures have a variety of colors which give softness of light and shade to the drapery, and adds very much to the beauty of the Daguerreotype.  And I do say that I defy my neighbor artist to produce a finish Daguerreotype that has a variety of colors that mine have which I now have to exhibit.

If the ladies and gentlemen of Cooperstown will favor me with a call I will convince them of this fact.  All of those who wish to procure a well developed likeness, and something a little superior to any thing that has been offered heretofore in Cooperstown, will do well to call on.  F. M. Burnett.     

The fifth advertisement ran from June 22, 1855 to January 18, 1856.  Superior Sky-Light Rooms.  F. M. Burnett, Daguerrean, would announce to the Public that he has taken Rooms over P. G. Tanner’s Jewelry Store, and which are very easy of access, where he has a superior Sky Light for taking Daguerreotypes, he would be very happy to receive calls from his friends and patrons, and likewise of all those who wish a likeness superior to any that has been offered heretofore in Cooperstown.—Those desiring a Likeness of themselves or friends, or copy of Daguerreotypes, Paintings or Engravings can have their Pictures taken in beautiful style and neatly set in Lockets, Pins, Rings or Frames, at short notice.

P. S.—In dress avoid blue, white or light pink.  Cooperstown, June 18, 1855.

The sixth advertisement ran from January 25 to July 4, 1856.  Crystalographs.  F. M. Burnett would say to the people of Cooperstown and vicinity, (that he is now putting up a new style of Photograph, which has recently been discovered.  The pictures are similar to cutting’s Ambrotypes, but in the opinion of competent judges, far superior.  A few attributes of this beautiful [    ] of light may be summed up as follows:  They are beyond all question far superior to the best results of the Daguerreotype; their tone is soft, velvety and harmonious in [a] degree never reached by the old art.  Being taken on glass they are exceedingly brilliant, and yet unlike Daguerreotypes they are perfectly distinct in any angle.  The intensity and clearness of the shade combined with the creamy richness of the middle tints, give them a Marked Superiority over every other style of picture in light and shade.  They are without reversal and hence requires no reflector, the process much quicker than Daguerreotypes—working in from 1 to 5 seconds in good light.

Ambrotypes, Photographs and Daguerreotypes put up in beautiful style and at short notice.  Ladies and gentlemen call and examine for yourself.  Instructions given in the Art.  Rooms over P. G. Tanner’s Jewelry store.  F. M. Burnett, Cooperstown, N. Y.

The seventh advertisement ran from February 22 & 29, 1856.  Editor Of The Journal:  I Saw A Notice Of My Neighbor Artists in your paper offering a reward of fifty dollars for a faded ambrotype; but I have not any ambrotypes, therefore I do not expect to be the lucky man.  But now to the point at once, [and] I will state facts as they have been stated to me.  There are two gentlemen residing in this State who went to Olendorf & Smith’s rooms and asked them to put up two as good ambrotype pictures as they could for them, as they wanted to know the durability of them.  They did so, and what was the result.  In a short time one of them became nearly worthless, and the other they experimented with by hanging it in the sun, and it soon changed its brilliancy.  This I had positive from one of the gentlemen.  And likewise there is a gentleman of my acquaintance who had an ambrotype taken in the city of New York, which has become worthless.  I wonder if my neighbor artists would like to have me refer them to a few more cases of the same sort?

But as to informing the people of Cooperstown whether Olendorf & Smith used all the money they have made in Daguerreotyping to purchase the right for taking ambrotypes in this county.  I am not prepared to say.  But this much I will say, I have been credibly informed that Olendorf said they purchased the right for $300, paid $150 down and gave their note for $150:  Now this does not look to me as though they are so very flush with money, after all of their talk and blowing.  But what puzzles me the most, is that my neighbor artists have been taking the ambrotype pictures some five or six months, and nothing but ambrotypes has been the go with them; and now they find many of them have proved worthless and returned to them, yet they say that the ambrotype will not fade—they are the crystalographs that have faded.  Now I ask my neighbors artists if this statement looks reasonable when it has not been more than four weeks since the crystalograph pictures have been introduced into this county.  I say let the people judge for themselves.  I almost wonder that you did not claim to have taken the crystalographs for more than two years, as you did the rainbow oval pictures.

In regard to the single and double glass pictures, I consider a single glass picture is a crystalograph just as much as I do a double glass if they are both taken by the same formula, and I view it in the same light as regards the ambrotypes.  And I am prepared to put up the single or double glass pictures and cement them so they will last for ages if they are properly taken care of; and I am fully convinced my neighbor artist do not know anything about the crystalograph formula, from the very fact they say the two processes are the same.  Here they labor under a great mistake, for there is a great difference in my ambrotype formula and crystalograph formula.  But as regards how much I have paid for the ambrotype and crystalograph formulas I have not told anyone.  And now, my brother artists, I ask if you believe any one can start themselves well in the ambrotype process for twenty five dollars?  If this be the case I should suppose it would not have cost you anywhere near as much in your business as you tell for—But I do not doubt it in the least that it has cost you all you say it has, and a great deal more to learn the ambrotype process, from the very fact that your perceptions are so very dull, I should suppose it would be almost impossible for any one to enlighten them without great effort.

As to the gentlemen going to Albany and buying the right to work the ambrotype process in preference to his crystalographs, does not look very plausible from this fact, that he has been acquainted with the ambrotype process for more than a year, and he considers the crystalograph process far superior to it; and knowing too that he can work the ambrotype process anywhere in the Union, and no one can prevent him.

I think, my brother artists, you had better hire three or four more rooms, and pay the rent, in order to keep other artists out of the village, so you can monopolize the whole business.  What do you say to this?  Is it not a capital idea?

Now I will bid you a short good buy; but I will see you again in the fall, as the melting snow said to the sun.  F. M. Burnett, Cooperstown, Rooms over P. G. Tanner’s Jewelry Store.  feb. 10.

The eighth advertisement ran from March 7 to April 18, 1856.  The Finale.  Mr. Editor Of The Journal:—The correspondence into which I have been forced by my neighbor O. & S. in regard to the different modes of taking Likenesses, is not in accordance with my own inclinations.  They first made their charges.  I read and refuted them.  They return to the matter, with nothing new.—No reply is needed.  Their personalities I pass by without further notice.

And now allow me to say to the good people of Otsego, that they can get as good Picture at my rooms, and at as reasonable rates, as at any other place in the State.  Any pictures that “fade” or do not give full satisfaction, may be returned.  F. M. Burnett.           

The ninth advertisement ran from May 9 to June 27, 1856.  Double Glass Crystalographs, Daguerreotypes and Photographs.  F. M. Burnett would say to the people of Cooperstown and vicinity, that he is now putting up pictures in the latest improved style of the Art, and at reduced prices.  All those who wish for a superb Likeness will do well to call before purchasing elsewhere.  Pictures taken of the Sick at their residences, if desired.  Rooms over P. G. Tanner’s Jewelry Store.  F. M. Burnett.

The tenth advertisement ran from May 27 to December 2, 1859.  Removed.  F. M. Burnett Would respectfully inform the people of Cooperstown and vicinity, that he has removed to the rooms over George Story’s Saddlery Store, formerly occupied by Olendorf & Co. where I have greater facilities for making Ambrotype pictures than heretofore.  The rooms have been neatly fitted up, and the location is the most pleasant that can be found in the village for those wishing to sit for their pictures.  I have a superior Sky Light for taking children and groups.  I would call the attention of the citizens of Cooperstown to my Stereoscopic Ambrotypes which are acknowledged by the best of judges to be superior to any other style of Ambrotype.  Those wishing for the Lyphanotype can have them put up in neater style than they can get in any other gallery in the State.

I would caution the public against purchasing pictures of those artists who cut down the price of pictures in order to get business, for you may know at once that they cannot complete with the first class artists.

The public are invited to call and examine specimens.—Rooms over George Story’s Saddlery Store.  F. M. Burnett, Artist.

The eleventh advertisement ran from December 2 to 23, 1859.  F. M. Burnet, Ambrotypist, Rooms Over Geo. Story’s Saddlery Store, Cooperstown.

F. M. Burnett is recorder as being active in 1859 in Cooperstown, New York, but not before.  It is possible the same F. M. Burnett was active in Salem, Massachusetts in 1848, but corroborating  documentation to date, has not been located.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.