George S. Rugg

1854-1856       Fairbanks’ Block, corner Arsenal and Court-sts., Watertown, New York

1857                Washington Hall Block, Watertown, New York.

1859                480 & 482 Broadway, Albany, New York.

George S. Rugg was recorded in six advertisements and five announcements in two different newspapers.  The first advertisement ran from August 31, 1854 to May 17, 1855 in The New York Reformer (Watertown, New York).  George S. Rugg’s Sky And Side Light Daguerrean Gallery!  The subscriber would respectfully say to the citizens of Watertown and vicinity, that he has opened in Fairbanks’ Block Splendid Daguerrean Gallery, convenient in every respect for executing pictures of all sizes, from the smallest ever taken to the largest.  His rooms are all separated from each other, so that no one branch of the business shall interfere with the other.  He will keep constantly on hand every variety of the Latest and Best Styles of Daguerreotype Stock.  Artists Supplies With Stock on most liberal Terms.

A cordial invitation is extended to all to visit his Gallery, and examine his stock, specimens, &c. No Picture will be considered sold until perfect satisfaction is given.  he has all the Latest Improvements in the Daguerreotype Art.  He has lately discovered a new Chemical Compound for cleaning plates, which excels every other article for that purpose now in use, enabling him to produce better and more Life Like Pictures Vignette and Stereoscopic Pictures will be neatly executed if desired.  Also Pictures taken on Ornamental Back-Ground.

Opinions Of The Watertown Press.  Daguerreotyping.—We were more than ever impressed with the beauty and utility of this invention, while lately visiting the pleasant suit of rooms expressly fitted up for the execution of this art, by our friend Rugg, in the Fairbanks Block, and examining the specimens of his handiwork.  We there saw the likeness of some of our townsmen, that if anything was wanting to render perfect we were not able to detect it; pictures that spoke highly of the skill of the operator.  Mr. Rugg has spared no pains or expense in fitting up this suit of rooms, and we hope he will receive a share of the public patronage.  A trial of his ability to give satisfaction, will convince all who may favor him with a call.— The New York Reformer.

Rugg’s Gallery.—In the very top of Fairbanks’ Block, is the best place to take likenesses we ever visited.  A man may let his face out there to double in a few seconds.  If any one shall desire that there should be any more faces in the world, that appear just like his own, let him call on Rugg, up, up, up stairs at “Fairbanks.”—Democratic Union.

Fairbanks’ Block, on the Corner of Arsenal and Court-sts., (opposite American Hotel,) Entrance to Daguerrean Gallery, on Court and Arsenal Streets.  Geo. S. Rugg.  Watertown, April 10, 1854.

The second advertisement ran from February 7, 1856 to April 30, 1857 in The New York Reformer.  S. S. (sic.) Rugg, Artist in Patent Ambrotype and Photographic Pictures.  Corner of Court and Arsenal Streets, Opposite the American Hotel.

The Ambrotype was invented by Mr. Cutting, of Boston, and is patented in the United States, Great Britain and France.  The picture is taken on fine plate glass, and permanently secured between two plate of glass, and permanently secured between two plates of glass; is bold, clear and distinct, not reversed, and will not change in any climate—taken from the smallest to full size.

The Public are cautioned in purchasing pictures taken on glass as Ambrotypes, that do not bear patent stamp.

Pictures taken on single glass, and covered with black paint, are not Ambrotypes.

Notice.  G. S. Rugg has this day purchased the exclusive right, for making Cutting’s Patent Ambrotype Pictures, in the Counties of Jefferson and Lewis, N. Y..—Shaw & Clark, Att’ys for Company.  Watertown, Jan. 1st, 1856.

The first announcement appeared on March 5, 1857 in The New York Reformer.  Removal.—G. S. Rugg, Artists, has removed his Daguerreian Gallery from Fairbanks’ Block, Court-st., to Washington Hall Block, where he has fitted up rooms with new and elegant furniture, and is prepared to take pictures in the best styles of the art.

But his old rooms are not deserted:  Mr. Oscar Button, an operator of experience, has engaged the same rooms in the Fairbanks Block, vacated by Mr. Rugg, and will continue the business in all its branches.

The second announcement appeared on May 6,1857 in the  Northern New York Journal (Watertown, New York.)  Daguerrean Gallery.—Messrs. Rugg & Fowler have fitted up a fine Gallery in Washington Hall building, and are taking some excellent life-like likenesses, either Daguerreotype, Ambrotype, Melainotype, Ambrograph, or Photograph.  Indeed we have never seen better specimens of the art than from their Gallery.  Their advertisement will be found in another column of our paper.

The third advertisement ran from May 6 to August 12, 1857 in the Northern New York Journal.  

Removal!  New Daguerrean Gallery!  New Firm, New Styles of Pictures, &c. Such As Ambrotypes, or Pictures on Glass, Melainotypes, or Pictures on Iron. Ambrographs, or Pictures on Card Board.  Photographs, &c., &c.

G. S. Rugg, The Well Known Daguerreotypist, has removed his Gallery to Washington Hall Building, and entered into co-partnership with S. J. Fowler, on New York, who has been engaged since the first introduction of the Collodeon Process in teaching and practicing the art of Ambrotyping and Photographing in the principal Galleries in the State.  We, therefore, feel warranted in saying, that we are prepared to produce as good Pictures, as can be made in New York City, or elsewhere.  Our rooms are large, pleasantly located, finely furnished, and easy of access, and we shall spare no pains in endeavoring to please our customers—We have also something entirely New, which is a Patented apparatus for copying Daguerreotypes or Ambrotypes on Canvas to Life Size! And Coloring Them In Oil.  Which are acknowledged the most Perfect Picture Made.

Persons having small Pictures of departed friends, can, by this process have a Perfect Portrait from them.  Please call and examine specimens, whether you want pictures or not.

Daguerreotypes Made in the best Style for those who prefer them. Rugg & Fowler.  Watertown, March 7, 1857.

The third announcement appeared on May 7, 1857 in The New York Reformer. Daguerrean Artists.  The tendency towards perfection in no art has been more steady and rapid than that of taking likenesses on silver, glass and other prepared substances.  Pictures are now produced in such elegance of style, softness of tone, and exactness of likeness, on silver, glass, paper, paste-board, &c., as would astonish Daguerre himself could be revisit the earth and witness the progress the great art which bears his name has made within a few years past.  Nor is any city or village more fortunate in the possession of skillful artists in this line than Watertown.  The pictures now produced at Rugg & Fowler’s gallery in the Washington Hall block, evince a practical knowledge of the art in all its branches which marks a degree of perfection that may well be called complete.—Their rooms are very tastefully fitted up with new and elegant furniture for the express purpose of making an inviting retreat for all wishing to see their pictures or procure likenesses.

The fourth advertisement ran from May 7 to August 13, 1857 in The New York Reformer.  Removal!  New Daguerrean Gallery.  New Firm, New Styles of Pictures, &c. Such As Ambrotypes, or Pictures on Glass, Melainotypes, or Pictures on Iron. Ambrographs, or Pictures on Card B’d.  Photographs, &c., &c.

G. S. Rugg, The Well Known Daguerreotypist, has removed his Gallery to Washington Hall Building, and entered into co-partnership with S. J. Fowler, on New York, who has been engaged since the first introduction of the Collodeon Process in teaching and practicing the art of Ambrotyping and Photographing in the principal Galleries in the State.  We therefore, feel warranted in saying, that we are prepared to produce as good Pictures, as can be made in New York City, or elsewhere.  Our rooms are large, pleasantly located, finely furnished, and easy of access, and we shall spare no pains in endeavoring to please our customers—We have also something entirely New, which is a Patented apparatus for copying Daguerreotypes or Ambrotypes on Canvas to Life Size! Which are acknowledged the most Perfect Picture Made.

Persons having small Pictures of departed friends, can, by this process have a Perfect Portrait from them.  Please call and examine specimens, whether you want pictures or not.

Daguerreotypes made in the best style for those who prefer them.  Rugg & Fowler.  Watertown, May 1, 1857.

The fifth advertisement was recorded from August 12 to September 30, 1857 in the Northern New York Journal.  Bought Out!  Having Purchased The Sky and Side Light Daguerrean Gallery!  (Known as Rugg’s Gallery, in the Fairbank’s Block,) the undersigned would respectfully inform his friends and the public generally, that after many additions and improvements, in which he has spared no pains or expense, he is now fully prepared to execute Pictures in the very best style and finish the art is enable of producing.  He has had many years experience in the art, and during the time has been in many of the larger cities of the Union, North and South, East and West.  All work taken by him is warranted and unless entire satisfaction is given, the money will be refunded.  Of Cases, Frames, &c. he has an entirely new lot of every possible variety.

Remember, Fairbanks Buildings, Corner Court And Arsenal Streets, Opposite The American Hotel.  O. P. Button.  Watertown, April 29, 1857.

The sixth advertisement ran from August 20 to September 3, 1857 in The New York Reformer. 

Dissolution.  The Copartnership heretofore existing under the name and firm of Rugg & Fowler, is this day dissolved by mutual consent.  The business will be carried on in all its branches by G. S. Rugg.  The debts against the firm will be paid by him, and all debts due the firm must be paid to him.   G. S. Rugg, O. (sic.) S. Fowler.  Watertown, Aug. 10, 1857.

Daguerreotyping will be renewed for the benefit of those who still adhere to them, and at reduced prices.  S. G. Rugg.

The fourth announcement appeared on October 1, 1857 in The New York Reformer.  Jefferson County Agricultural Society.  Premiums Awarded…Pictures…

Best Specimens Daguerreotypes, Hart & Hose, Watertown, Dip. $1.00.

2d Best Specimens Daguerreotypes, Thos. Waite, Pamelia, book.

Best Specimens Photographs, Hart & Hose, Watertown, Dip. & $1.00.

2d Best Specimens Photographs, G. S. Rugg, Watertown, book.

Miss Alice Smith, Watertown, recommended, $3.00.

Hart & Hose, Watertown, recommended, $2.00

Those recommend a discretionary premium of $3.00 to No. 207 for best Ambrotypes, also one of $2.00 to No. 65 for 2d best Ambrotypes.

The committee would recommend that, at the next annual exhibition there be one premium for the best ambrotypes and one for the 2d best, and also a premium for the best ambrotype views.  A large portion of the pictures exhibited were of this character, and as they form a very interesting part of the exhibition the committee have recommended premiums to be given, and that greater inducement be offered by the society hereafter for the exhibition of specimens of art.  E. Q. Sewall, T. C. Chittenden, Jr., E. H. Smith, Judges.

The fifth announcement appeared on January 13, 1859 in The New York Reformer.  Fire In Broadway.—The only really alarming fire that has occurred in this city for six months, broke out a little before 9 o’clock on Saturday evening, on the third floor on Nos. 480 and 482 Broadway, in a room occupied by G. S. Rugg (late of Watertown) as a photographic gallery.  The origin of the fire is not known definitely, but is supposed to have been either a spontaneous combustion or taken from a spirit lamp in his laboratory.  When discovered, the room was enveloped in flames, and in a very short space of time the fire had crept through the lath and plaster partitions into the fourth story and thence to the roof….

George S. Rugg is not recorded in other photographic directories.  Craig’s Daguerreian Registry does record a G. S. Rugg in 1854 without a business address or location, it is unknown if this is the same person.

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