S. W. Sawyer

1854                Address Unknown, Paris, Maine.

1858-1860       Gallery near the Depot, Winthrop, Maine.

S. W. Sawyer was recorded in seven announcements and four advertisements in two different newspapers. (he was also in the partnership of S. W. & P. M. Sawyer 1854.  The first announcement appeared on June 23, 1854 in the Oxford Democrat (Paris, Maine).  A nomadic Daguerreotype Saloon made its appearance here the other morning.  Messrs. S. W. & P. M. Sawyer accompany it, and are prepared to take your picture at any time, if you will call on them.

The second announcement appeared on November 4, 1858 in the Maine Farmer (Augusta, Maine).  Kennebec Co. AG. Society.  Awards Of Premiums…

Incidentals…Ambrotypes, S. W. Sawyer, Winthrop, book.

The third announcement appeared on March 10, 1859 in the Maine Farmer.  Excellent Photographs.  The citizens of Winthrop and vicinity ow have an excellent opportunity, by applying to Mr. Sawyer in that village, to obtain excellent ambrotypes, and also photographs of themselves or friends.  Mr. Sawyer is a capital artist in this line, and has quite a gallery of specimens, which make a visit to his saloon very interesting.  We found there the other day, some very fine portraits of Rev. David Thurston, the octogenarian divine so well known in this State, and now one of the few venerable links in the chain of time which connect the present generation with those of olde times.  Mr. Sawyer supplies them to purchase s for $1, and we are happy to learn that there is a brisk demand for them.  We wish he would prepare himself to supply photographs of some others of our venerable men.

The fourth announcement appeared on April 14, 1859 in the Maine Farmer.  Mr. Sawyer’s Photographic Gallery.  Mr. Sawyer has recently removed his Ambrotype saloon, and opened a gallery in Downing’s building near the depot in Winthrop Village.

We were in there the other day, and found quite an increase of excellent specimens of the art, which Mr. Sawyer does up in first-rate style.  Among them were very correct portraits of the venerable Rev. D. Thurston, and also of Rev. B. Sawyer, Prof. S. Harris, Prof. Shephard, Revs. E. P. Parker, and Cha. B. Rice, E. B. Palmer of Bangor, Rev. D. B. Randall, of Gardiner, Rev. Otis H. Johnson, of Jay.  The friends of either of these gentlemen can here obtain copies of their portraits for the low price of a dollar apiece.—There are also a large collection of portraits of many of the citizens of Winthrop and vicinity.  The photographic art is a great improvement on the daguerreotype.  Correct portraits are not only taken permanently upon paper, but can be copied to any amount.  Sun painting will prove a great blessing to the world, in the correct representation it gives of whatever is submitted to it action.

The first advertisement ran seven times between June 2 to August 18, 1859 in the Maine Farmer. 

Photographic Gallery at Winthrop.  S. W. Sawyer, would inform in inhabitants of Winthrop and vicinity that he has fitted up a splendid Gallery of Photographic pictures in Winthrop Village, opposite the Depot in Downing’s Building, where they may be found likenesses of many distinguished persons from different parts of the State.

All kinds of Photographic pictures taken at short notice and perfect satisfaction given or no charge.  All plain Photographs are nicely  finished as he employs an Artist whose every business is to finish them.

The second advertisement ran from September 1 to October 6, 1859 in the Maine Farmer

Superior Photographs.  S. W. Sawyer, Having fitted up one of the Largest and best Photographic Galleries in the State, in Mr. Downing’s Buildings, just opposite the Depot, in Winthrop, Me., and engaged the services of Mr.[2] E. E. Lamson, from Boston, who has had several years experience in the art of finishing Photographs in Oil, India Ink, and water colors, and is considered one of our best colorests (sic.) in the country.

Mr. S. is prepared to make Photographic Portraits, of any size, and finished in the above styles.  Also Photographs copied from Daguerreotypes, Ambrotypes, or other Photographs, and enlarged to any size, and finished as above.

Photographic Landscapes taken to order.  Ambrotypes at usual prices.  Lessons given in the art if desired.

The fifth announcement appeared on September 29, 1859 in the Maine Farmer.  Maine State Fair.  Fifth Annual Exhibition Of The Maine State Agricultural Society.  The exhibition opened on Tuesday, Sept. 20th…

Picture Gallery.  The Photographic Specimens here, absorb the largest portion of people’s interest—and they constitute certainly, as fine a show in this line as we have ever witnessed.  The exhibition gives evidence that Silsbee (Silsbee & Case) of Boston and the sun (in some instances Silsbee principally, in some the sun under his tutelage) have produced some inimitable likenesses.  But he is an artist by profession, and knows how to do such things without the sun’s aid.

Burnham (Burnham Brothers) of Portland has an admirably worked up, as well as plain collection of photographs here also, which shows the eye and skill of the true artist; and

The numerous works of Messrs. Starbird & Dodge, on exhibition evidence that the people of this region need not go farther than Augusta to get as good a plain photograph as can be obtained anywhere; whilst productions on which the finishing touches of the pencil have been bestowed, demonstrate that money can buy excellence here as well as in Portland, Boston, or New York.

S. W. Sawyer of Winthrop, shows a very large number of excellent photographs, some of which have been finely worked up by Mrs. Lamson, who is evidently a lady of superior skill in such matters.  Mr. S. has also some well executed ambrotypes.

To Mr. S. Wing of Waterville, must be given the palm of producing the largest photographs in the exhibition—and they are at the same time of a high order of excellence.  Mr. S. Wing on exhibition a number of stereoscopes, made, we understand, by himself, highly creditable to his ingenuity and skill.

Fine Arts…best painting in water colors, Mrs. E. E. Lamson, Winthrop, diploma;…best collection of ambrotypes, daguerreotypes, melainotypes, and photographs, S. W. Sawyer, Winthrop, medal; 2d do., Starbird & Dodge, Augusta, diploma;…best mezzotinto and oil colored photographs by an artist in Maine, Burnham & Bros., Portland, diploma; do. do. do. out of Maine, Silsbee & Case, Boston, diploma….   

The sixth announcement appeared on September 30, 1859 in the Oxford Democrat.  Maine State Fair…There is a fair display of plain and colored Photographs exhibiting great perfection in this wonderful art.  Photographs are destined ere long to supersede portraits painted in oil, not only because they can be taken in greater perfection but because they cost so much less.

Burnham Brothers of Portland…

Silsbee, Case & Co., of Boston…

Starbird and Dodge of Augusta…

Further along is a collection of both plain and colored photographs taken by S. W. Sawyer of Winthrop and painted in water colors by Mrs. E. E. Lamson of Augusta.  This is the best collection taken as a whole and is entitled to the first premium.  Sawyer takes a splendid picture and Mrs. Lamson puts on the finishing touches with the skill and judgement of a true artist.

[Simon] Wing of Waterville.

The third advertisement ran from October 13 to 27, 1859 in the Maine Farmer.  Daguerreotype Saloon for Sale.  The Subscriber has a good portable Daguerreotype Saloon 22½ feet long, and 8½ wide, for sale low for cash.

Said Saloon is new and in good condition for taking Ambrotypes and Photographs, with every desirable convenience to make them of any size.  For further particulars apply to S. W. Sawyer.

The fourth advertisement ran from October 13, 1859 to May 17, 1860 in the Maine Farmer. 

Premium Photographs!  All lovers of the fine arts who are desirous of an exact portrait of themselves or friends, arranged and finished in the best and most approved style will please give Mr. S. W. Sawyer an early call, as he proposes to make changes in his location shortly.

Mr. Sawyer having made extra exertions to perfect himself in his business, sparing no pains or expense to produce the finest effect and finish to his pictures, having received the first prize at the State Fair, and secured the services of Mrs. E. E. Lamson, who also has received the first prize for finishing Photographs in Water Colors, feels confident that he can give as good if not better satisfaction than any other Artist in the State.

By devoting his own personal attention to his customers, he hopes to secure a place in the hearts and confidence of all his friends and former patrons.  All wishing a good likeness and a test of his ability will show their good will be calling as soon as possible.

All of those who have not settled for their pictures as well as those who have demands against him will please call at his rooms immediately, and settle the same.

The seventh announcement appeared on February 2, 1860 in the Maine Farmer.  Sun Printing.  Our Neighbor Sawyer in Winthrop, who took some of the first prizes at the late State Fair for superior photographs, is still doing a good business, and his gallery near the Depot, is well worth visiting.  Mrs. Sawyer is also an excellent artist in finishing up the lesser minutiae of the portrait and setting it in bolder relief.  The visitor will find an admirable photograph of Professor Pond of Bangor recently finished by them, and if he wishes can have one of his own done up in the same style.

S. W. Sawyer is recorded in Craig’s Daguerreian Registry as being active in Calais Maine in 1855-1856, in 1856 in the partnership of Sawyer & Robbins.


[1] Craig’s Daguerreian Registry.

[2] Mrs. E. E. Lamson

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