Category Archives: Lettertypes

Wells, Miller & Co.

1857-1858       148 & 149 Church Street, Burlington, Vermont.                  

Wells, Miller & Company (Charles Miller) were recorded in two announcements and four advertisements in the Burlington Free Press (Burlington, Vermont).  The first announcement appeared on October 9, 1857.  Chittenden County Fair…Works of Art…Wells, Miller and Co., Burlington—exhibited photographs, plain and touched in oils; Sphereotypes, and ambrotypes—all of high order.  These gentlemen are the successor of Mr. Parker, in the establishment on Church St.  Their pictures indicated both skill of the artist, and the improvement which is constantly going on in photographic art.

The first advertisement ran from October 16 to November 13, 1857.  Patent Sphereotypes, Patent Ambrotypes, Photographs. The only picture that will stand, Exclusive Rights, By Wells, Miller & Co.  Successor to T. M. Parker, 148 & 149 Church St., Burlington.

The second announcement appeared on January 8, 1858.  Holiday Presents.  If you wish to give a friend or relative a really appropriate Christmas or New Year’s Present, which cannot fail to be acceptable, go to Wells, Miller & Co.’s. on Church Street, and get one of the new patent Sphereotypes.

For Two Weeks prices of pictures will be low to accommodate all.

The second advertisement ran from March 19 to August 20, 1858.  Wells, Miller & Co., Would Call The Attention of Persons wishing accurate, durable and desirable likenesses, to the various styles of pictures taken by them at their Daguerrian Rooms and Portrait Gallery, Church Street, Burlington, Vermont.

Among which are Photographs, Sphereotypes, Ambrotypes, Melanotypes, Lettergraphs, &c.  Our Plain Photographs by an improved process we claim to be unsurpassed by any taken anywhere,—New York and Boston not excepted.  We furnish them also, beautifully finished in Oil, or India Ink, making the most beautiful and satisfactory likenesses known to art; and when several copies are desired, the cheapest pictures taken. 

Our Sphereotypes and patent Ambrotypes are unequalled.  We challenge comparison with them the Lettergraph is a picture taken on prepared cloth, of small size, very cheap, and very convenient for sending in a letter. 

The Public are desired to Take Particular Notice that we Own the Rights for Chittenden County, of the Sphereotype and Patent Ambrotype.—None are genuine without the Patent Mark.  People are cautioned against being humbugged by transient and irresponsible individuals into the purchase of pictures, which inferior at first, are sure to fade and become effaced by time. Our Ambrotypes and Sphereotypes are literally indestructible, except by violence or fire.

We pay particular attention to Pictures Of Children.  Infant’s likenesses taken in one second.  Bring the children along; we can take them; it is a sure thing with us.

We have the best rooms and the largest collection of specimens of our art in this State, and invite the Public generally to give us a call.  Wells, Miller & Co., Church st., Burlington, Vt.      

The third advertisement ran from July 2 to 30, 1858.  Where Did You Get That Picture?  Up At Wells, Miller & Co.’s.  The only pictures made on glass which are durable, are the patent Sphereotype and Patent Ambrotype.

Remember that, by using these Patents, we are able to make a much more prominent, brilliant and better picture, every way, and, as we say, the only Durable Picture; in saying so, we say what we know, as we have tested them to our entire satisfaction.  Wells, Miller & Co. have the exclusive right to use these Patents in this town and vicinity, and if any persons tell you that they make the Sphereotype or Ambrotype, they say what is not true.  And, of course, we shall not allow any one to infringe on them.  The Improved Ambrotype, so called, is worth but very little, and those who purchase them, will soon find out the fact.  They can be made cheap and will not last long; but if any person wishes to have such Pictures, we will make all they may want for 50 cents each.

Photographs made as well by any one in the country—colored in oil or touched with India Ink.

We have competent Copying Apparatus, for copying from small up to any size desired; we can copy up and color to nature, old and dim pictures which will soon be worthless, so that you can see your departed friends in life, as it were.

These Pictures Are As Permanent As Oil Portraits.

Please call at our Rooms, 146½ Church St., Burlington, and examine specimens.  Wells, Miller & Co.  Burlington, May 12, 1858

The fourth advertisement ran from August 20 to October 1, 1858.  Chittenden County Picture Gallery.  Wells, Miller & Co. [Successor to T. M. Parker.] Patent Sphereotype, Patent Ambrotypes, Melainotypes, Lettergraphs, Photographs. Plain, In Oil or India Ink.  Pictures made as cheap as in any place in Vermont, and Far Better,

Please remember the place 147½ Church Street, Burlington, Vt.  Burlington, May 17, 1858.

Wells, Miller & Co. do not appear in other photographic directories.  Charles Miller is recorded in Craig’s Daguerreian Registry as being active in Burlington in 1859-1860 (+).  Wells is unknown at this time.  One can speculate that it is Jeremiah D. Wells who was active in Northampton, Massachusetts, Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, Brattleboro Vermont, (which is over 150 miles away from Burlington) and possibly Port Jervis, New York.

Thomas Miller

1857                Rooms a square or two north east of the Post Office, Upper Sandusky, Ohio.       1859                Rooms on Main Street, opposite Mr. Flack’s Grocery, Upper Sandusky, Ohio.

Thomas Miller is recorded in two advertisements and five announcements in The Wyandot Pioneer (Upper Sandusky, Ohio).  The first advertisement ran from October 8 to November 5, 1857.  People Look To Your Interest.  Now Is The Time To Procure Likenesses In Upper Sandusky.  The Misses Brown, in Wm. Ayers’ New Building, says they are prepared to do neat work and with dispatch, and say they have a right to claim the patronage of the people, above some others.  There is also a car right in front of the Court House, we will not say whether they have a lawful right to the ground or not, whether we understand they take so sort of Pictures.  And T. E. Miller, A square or two North East of the Post Office, At the sign of the Portrait Painting Is doing what he can.  A full description of which would far overrun the bounds of this nation, suffice to say as the workman is known by his chips, and by their fruits, ye shall know them, come and see, and though he is a few steps out of the main thoroughfare of business, he flatters himself that those who wish truthful likenesses will not regret giving him a call.  He will just say that he is prepared to take the indestructible and never fading Ambrotype on Glass, Paper, leather and Sheet Iron, in all their richness of tome, lines, and color of nature, And if any should wish the kind of pearl picture which was exhibited at the late fair from an adjoining Co., they can have they can have them by calling.  As there has of late been something said in reference to who had the best right to claim the patronage of the people in respect to pictures, we would also “show our opinion” and would say that we think those who can serve them the best, let them be of whatever sex they may.  People look before you leap.  T. Miller.

The first announcement appeared on January 28, 1859.  If you want to see yourself as others see you, go to Miller’s rooms, nearly opposite our office, and have your picture taken.

The second announcement appeared on February 18, 1859.  Encourage our own Artist.  We have frequently been surprised to see with what eagerness our people rush to the rooms of strangers who chance to come amongst us, claiming that they are capable of taking Ambrotypes, Daguerreotypes, &c., when we have one of the best artist in the State right in our midst, and who is an old and respectable citizen of our town.  We allude to our old friend, Mr. Thomas Miller, whose rooms and general arrangements are so complete as to enable him to take better pictures than any traveling artist can possibly take.  We have been permitted to examine some of his work recently, and we hazard nothing in saying that it will compare favorably with any we have ever seen.  You can have the likenesses of your children taken in so short a time and so perfectly, that you will not only be pleased but astonished.  Call and see Mr. Miller—his rooms are one door north of the Mason property and directly opposite Mr. Flack’s Grocery.

The third announcement appeared on March 4, 1859.  As it Should be.  Our friend, Mr. Miller, has been literally besieged during the past two weeks by persons desirous of having their pictures taken.  This is right; he does good work, and should be encouraged.  If you want a good likeness of yourself, child or friend call on Mr. Miller.

The fourth announcement appeared on March 11, 1859.  The attention of the reader is directed to the advertisement of Mr. Thomas Miller.  His pictures are acknowledged by all parties to be excellent.

The second advertisement ran from March 11 to December 29, 1859.  More Improvements!  Photographs!  At Miller’s Gallery!  Thomas Miller is now in possession of all the latest improvements in the art of Photographing and is prepared to take these most superb and convenient pictures in a style That Cannot be Excelled, at his gallery, on Main Street, Upper Sandusky, opposite Mr. Flack’s grocery.

Ambrotyping Of all varieties executed to order.  The different colors of the dress given if desired.  His rooms are so arranged as to enable him to accommodate any number of customers in the different branches of his business.

Pictures put into Rings, Pins, Broaches, Lockets, &c., in as good style as that work can be done in any establishment in the State.  Thankful for past favors, he cordially invites all to call and examine his specimens, feeling perfectly satisfied that he is prepared to render satisfaction to all.

The fifth announcement appeared on May 13, 1859.  Go to the picture gallery of Mr. Thomas Miller, girls, if you want correct likenesses of your sweet faces.  Mr. M. is taking better pictures now than can be procured any other establishment in the county.

Thomas Miller is recorded in other photographic directories as being active in Upper Sandusky, Ohio in 1859-1865 without a business address.

Charles Miller

1856-1857       Rooms opposite the Post Office, Brattleboro, Vermont.                                        1858-1859       147½ Church Street, Burlington, Vermont.

Charles Miller was recorded in seven advertisements and nine announcements.  The first advertisement ran from December 6, 1856 to March 7, 1857 in the Vermont Phoenix (Brattleboro, Vermont).  New Ambrotype Rooms.  The Subscriber Would Respectfully Give notice to the people of Brattleboro and vicinity, that he has fitted up Rooms Opposite The Post Office, where he intends practicing the above Art in all its various branches.

The Ambrotype Is vastly superior, in every point of view, to the Daguerreotype; the image being taken on a transparent plate instead of a polished reflector, has the effect of softening and diffusing the light through the whole, making a Beautiful And Harmonious Picture, presenting none of that shifting and mirror-like appearance always identical in the latter.  By this process, also, it requires only about one-third as long exposure in the Camera as the Daguerreotype,—so that likenesses of children can be taken with almost absolute certainty.

All are invited to call and examine specimens.  Although all may not wish Pictures, I would be most happy to receive calls from any one at any time.  Charles Miller.

The second advertisement ran from June 18 to August 20, 1858 in the Burlington Free Press (Burlington, Vermont).

Song Of The Sun-Picture.                                                                                                                                  With old and young, with belle and beau,                                                                                                      Miller’s Saloon is all the go;                                                                                                                                    For why?  his picture can’t be beat                                                                                                                    AT ANY “Art Gallery” on Church street.

They are all made with double glass,                                                                                                                And warranted through all time to last;                                                                                                          They will not fade, they will not spot,—                                                                                                        There’s not a poor one in the lot.

His Sphereotype is something new,                                                                                                             For which he has the Patent, too;                                                                                                                        Look in as you go up the street,                                                                                                                      You ne’er saw any thing so neat;

And Photographs, with light and shade,                                                                                                          In all their beauties—there are made                                                                                                                 By process new; and all around                                                                                                                        Say that they are the best to be found.

Ask the first passer-by you meet                                                                                                                        About his Ambrotypes, complete;                                                                                                                    You’ll find their finish, depth and tone                                                                                                      Equaled by few, excelled by none.

His rooms arranged with taste and care                                                                                                    But for one thing, most pleasant are;                                                                                                                With customers they’re crowed tight                                                                                                              From six at morn, till six at night.

Then haste to Miller’s tis the place                                                                                                                    For Brother’s or Sister’s face,                                                                                                                            Uncle’s or Aunt’s, or Ma’s or Pa’s                                                                                                                Cousin’s or dearest “ye ken wha’s.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              On Children of each age and size,                                                                                                                Miller’s entitled to the prize;                                                                                                                              So hurry up the little creatures                                                                                                                        One second, and he’ll “take off” their features.

Hasten, then while you have a day,                                                                                                                    To Miller—suffer no delay;                                                                                                                                    Secure, by Miller’s skill portrayed,                                                                                                                    A Shadow” ere the substance fade.

The first announcement appeared on August 13, 1858 in the Burlington Free Press (Burlington, Vermont).  Photograph of the Allen Monument.—Mr. Miller, of the firm of Wells, Miller & Co. of this place, has just brought us a beautiful photograph of the Ethan Allen Monument.  It gives a view of the monument, as seen from the entrance to the yard, with its surrounding of tombstones and trees.  The effect is uncommonly fine.  We think it fully equal to the best samples of the photographic art which we have seen from any artist whatever.  The monument itself is a credit to the state, and the representation of it is a credit to the photographer.  Mr. Miller furnishes copies at a very available price.

The second announcement appeared on September 24, 1858 in the Burlington Free Press (Burlington, Vermont).  The State Fair…Floral Hall…Charles Miller, of 147½ Church street, displayed a large number of his fine Sphereotypes and Photographs, both plain and in India Ink and colors, which attracted much deserved attention and admiration.

The third announcement appeared on September 24, 1858 in the Burlington Free Press (Burlington, Vermont).  State Fair…Award of Premiums…Floral Hall…Chas. Miller, Burlington, India Ink Photographs,  $5 00.

The fourth announcement appeared on September 24, 1858 in the Vermont Phoenix (Brattleboro, Vermont).  Eighth Annual Exhibition of the Vermont Agricultural Society.  The Eighth Annual Fair of the Vermont State Agricultural Society was held at Burlington, on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of last week….Premiums Awarded….Floral Hall…

A. F. Styles, St. Albans, Photographs in Water colors, and Ambrotypes 5.00                                  C. L. Howe, Brattleboro, Photographs  5.00                                                                                                    Chas. Miller, Burlington, India Ink Photographs   5.00

The fifth announcement appeared on September 30, 1858 in the Green-Mountain Freeman (Montpelier, Vermont).  List Of Premiums, Vermont State Fair, September 1858.….Floral Hall…

A. C. Styles, St. Albans, Photographs in Water colors, and Ambrotypes 5.00                                  C. L. Howe, Brattleboro, Photographs  5.00                                                                                          Chas. Miller, Burlington, India Ink Photographs  5.00

The third advertisement ran from November 5, 1858 to May 27, 1859 in the Burlington Free Press (Burlington, Vermont).  Chittenden County Picture Gallery.  Cha’s. Miller, [Successor to T. M. Parker.]  Patent Sphereotype, Patent Ambrotype, Melainotype, Lettergraphs, Photographs, Plain, In Oil or India Ink.  Pictures made as cheap as in any place in Vermont and Far Better.

Please remember the place, 147½ Church Street, Burlington, Vt.,

The sixth announcement appeared on November 12, 1858 in the Burlington Free Press (Burlington, Vermont).  Likeness.—Miller is getting up some beautiful and lifelike Photographs, colored in oil, about these days.  They are fully equal to city work, as are also his Indian Ink and plain photographs.  If you doubt, drop in at 147½ Church Street and examine specimens.

The fourth advertisement ran from May 27 to June 24, 1859 in the Burlington Free Press  (Burlington, Vermont).  Stereoscopes And Stereoscopic Pictures.  These beautiful and attractive Ornaments for the Parlor or Library Table, may be found at less than City Prices, at the Daguerreian Rooms of the subscriber, on Church Street.

Just Received—a fresh supply of Stereoscopic Pictures, comprising landscapes and objects of interest in Europe, Groups and In-door Scenes, in great variety, both plain and colored.  Charles Miller, Chittenden County Daguerreian Gallery, 147½ Church Street.  Burlington, May 19.

The fifth advertisement was recorded on  June 17,1859 in the Burlington Free Press (Burlington, Vermont).  June 17, 1859.  A fresh lot of Stereoscope Slides just received at Miller’s.  May 31.

The sixth advertisement ran from June 24 to November 25, 1849 in the Burlington Free Press (Burlington, Vermont).  A Dozen of nice Photographs for five dollars at Miller’s.  May 31.

The seventh announcement appeared on  September 16, 1859 in the Burlington Free Press  (Burlington, Vermont).  The State Fair…Floral Hall…Charles Miller of Burlington, exhibits Photographs in a great variety—of Miller’s plain Photographs and Sphereotypes, we have often had occasion to speak.  They are hard to beat.  A photograph of J. B. Wheeler, Esq., finished in India Ink, is fully equal to any thing of the kind wherever seen.  Some of the Photographs finished in Oil, exhibited by Mr. Miller, are striking likenesses and pleasing pictures.

The eighth announcement appeared on September 23, 1859 in the Burlington Free Press  (Burlington, Vermont).  The State Fair…Photographs.  The committee assign the highest place of honor to the plain and colored photographs exhibited by Mr. Charles Miller, of Burlington.  They show uncommon excellence.  A specimen or two of sphereotypes are also deserving of an honorable mention.

The ninth announcement appeared on September 24, 1859 in the Vermont Phoenix (Brattleboro, Vermont).  Ninth Annual Fair of the Vermont State Agricultural Society.  In accordance with arrangements effected last year, the ninth annual Fair of the Vermont State Agricultural Society was held at Burlington on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, the 13th, 14th, 15th, and 16th days of September, inst, on the grounds occupied by the Society in 1856 and again in 1858….Premiums Awarded…Floral Hall…

C. Miller, Burlington, Photographs, 1st premium diploma & 5.00                                                        A. F. Styles, Burlington, Photographs, 2nd premium diploma & 3.00

The seventh advertisement ran from December 3 to 30, 1859 in the Burlington Free Press (Burlington, Vermont).  Pictures!  Pictures!  The subscriber has just returned from market with the largest stock of Daguerrian Goods, Cases, Frames &c., ever brought into the Town of Burlington.  It comprises Oval Frames in rich gilt and ornamental mouldings; black and gold ditto; passe partouts and miniature cases of all approved kinds, including several new and beautiful styles, all eminently suitable for framing and encasing Miller’s Unrivalled Photographs and Sphereotypes, which are taken as usual at his Gallery, 147 Church St.

N. B.—Daguerrean Artist supplied with stock and chemicals at wholesale rates, as low as can be bought in the cities. Charles Miller. Burlington

Charles Miller is recorded in other photographic directories as being active in Burlington, Vermont in 1859-1860.

John S. Lay

1859                3 Hathaway’s Block, opposite the Gazette Office, , New York.

John S. Lay was recorded in one advertisement that ran from June 30 to July 28, 1859 in Lansingburgh Democrat (Lansingburgh, New York).  Ambrotypes.  No. 3 Hathaway’s Block, opposite the Gazette office, Lansingburgh.  Prices Reduced large size only 50 Cents including Fine Case.

The Ladies and Gentlemen of this place and vicinity are respectfully notified that Mr. Lay will remain here a few days, for the purpose of making some of his choice Mezzotint Ambrotypes!

Natural Color, double glass, warranted never to fade.  He wishes to call particular attention to the fact his pictures are made on Black plate glass, which obviates entirely, the use of tar and pitch on the back of Ambrotypes, as the reader can see for himself by knocking an Ambrotypes from its case.  He proposes to furnish the people with Double Glass, Warranted Ambrotypes.  Made on Black Extra Plate Glass, and put up at a style at less than New York and Albany prices.  Each picture will be made and finished by Mr. Lay in person, and he will guarantee it to be as durable as the glass tablet upon which the portrait if fixed.

Pictures taken in Lockets, Rings, &c., old Daguerreotypes Copied, and Lettertypes, cor mail.  Personal attention paid to securing Likenesses of invalid or deceased persons at private residences.  Also, Views of Buildings, Cattle, Machinery, &c.

N. B.—Avoid white, pink and blue in your dresses, ladies,, and never mind the fine clothes. Calico equals, if not excels silk in a portrait. Call and see for yourself.  John S. Lay.

John S. Lay is not recorded in other photographic directories.

Joseph Huckell

1858                Exchange Building, Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania.                                                                1859                Above the Republican Office, Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania.

Joseph Huckell was recorded in one announcement and one advertisement.  The announcement ran on February 27, 1858 in the Columbia Democrat and Bloomsburg General Advertiser  (Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania).  Come All and Come Quick.  Mr. J. Huckell, at his Daguerreian Rooms, in the exchange Building, is now taking off the best Ambrotypes, Melaiontypes, Ambrographs, Patent Leather and Oil Cloth Likenesses, ever seen in this section of country.  They are surpassing in beauty and clearness of expression.  Mr. Huckell’s time of stay is limited, and those who may wish to avail themselves of his professional services, should call at once before his departure.

The advertisement ran from November 2 to December 28, 1859 in The Star of North (Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania).  Joseph Huckell’s Ambrotype Gallery, Above the Republican Office, Bloomsburg, Columbia Co., PA. Where he indulges in all the improvements for taking the latest style of Improved Ambrotypes, Melainotypes, and every other kind, together with Neillographs, which is a great saving of postage in sending pictures by mail.  The improved Ambrotypes have been decided by the best judges of the art, to be the most durable pictures now taken.  They never fade or change, and have all the boldness and beauty that the combined effort of nature and art can produce.

All Kind Of Picture Copied.  Large or small—Ambrotypes inserted in Pins, Rings and Lockets.  Best materials used, and all work warranted.  Pictures taken equally well in cloudy or clear weather, excepting small children, when a light day is preferred.  Avoid white, pink or blue.  They are the most unsuitable of all colors for an Ambrotype.  Likenesses taken for fifty cents, including cases.

Joseph Huckell is not recorded in other photographic directories.

George C. Gillett

1857                Main Street, over White’s Grocery Store, Geneseo, New York.

George C. Gillett was recorded in an announcement and advertisement.  The announced appeared on May 14, 1857 in the Livingston Republican (Geneseo, New York).  We noticed the other day something entirely new in the photographic art, in the way of Ambrotype pictures on patent enamel leather.  They are first taken on glass and then transferred to leather, making a “photo” of great beauty.  Gillett is prepared to furnish the above or any other kind of a sun picture that may be desired.

The advertisement ran from May 14 to July 16, 1857 in the Livingston Republican (Geneseo, New York).  War In China!  Important Announcement!  Whether the present war between the English and the “Celestials: shall effect the price of teas or not, I intend to keep Right On taking those fine Likenesses! which have already pleased so many.  The only deviation will be to present every improvement which I can obtain.  If any have had fears about the durability of my Ambrotypes, I would say that I can show them pictures which have been exposed on the roof with no glass over them to the hot sun, Rain, Snow, and hard Frosts, and are now as good as new.

I would also call attention to a new process for transferring likenesses from glass to patent leather, which I have obtained at considerable expense.—They possess great brilliancy, and cannot be rubbed off without taking the enamel of the leather with them.—They are just the thing to send in a letter, as they cost no additional postage, and are really very nice.

Copying done Promptly and Well.  Children taken perfectly in from 2 to 3 seconds in a fine day.  Please call at my rooms West side of Main Street, over White’s Grocery.  George C. Gillett.

George C. Gillett is not recorded in other photographic directories.

R. Bostwick

R. Bostwick appeared in two advertisements in The Union News (Union, New York.)  The first ad ran from June 11 to August 20, 1857.  Ambrotypes, Sphereotypes, Melainotypes and Stereoscopic Method of taking Pictures, all of which are of the latest improvements, and well known to some of the fraternity as being the most beautiful and durable of any process yet discovered.  Specimens of some of our own townsmen can be seen at my car in Union.  Cases sold 25 per cent less than usual.  Please give me a call before I leave again for the West.      R. Bostwick.  Union, Jan. 14, 1857.

The second advertisement appeared on August 27, 1857 and ran until April 22, 1858.

Ambrotypes.  A gallery In Union!  Now located in the Exchange Block, No. 1, where the Photographic Art will be pursued, with all the latest improvements in the art.  Pictures taken on different materials, such as Glass, Iron, Patent Leather, Paper and Parchment.

Also, instructions given in the art to those who wish.  Three different processes are used in transferring pictures from glass to a lighter and more convenient material, and for sending in letters or cutting for lockets.  Also, the Tinting process, which is beautiful and just the thing, long sought after for coloring the drapery.  Good substantial cases will be offered from fifty cents to six dollars.  Invalids taken at their residences if desired.  R. Bostwick.   Union, Aug. 25, 1857.

In the first advertisement there are several items worth bringing to your attention, no business address is given, and one can only assume that the gallery is in Union, New York.  Second is the date of the advertisement January 14, 1857.  Unfortunately June 11 was the first newspaper that I had access to for 1857.  The other interesting note is his statement about leaving again for the West.

The only other photographic directory that has a listing for R. Bostwick is Craig’s Daguerreian Registry that list a Ransom Bostwick in 1859-1860 in Union, New York without a business address.  It is probably the same person.

William W. Bingham

William W. Bingham was recorded in The Chenango American (Greene, New York) in an advertisement that ran from August 4 to December 29, 1859.  Ambrotypes, Melanotypes and Patent Leather Pictures.  The subscriber respectfully informs the citizens of this village and vicinity, that he has taken the rooms over Drs. Wood’s Drug Store, where he is prepared to furnish Pictures, that cannot fail to please. Persons desirous of obtaining a Good Life-Like Picture, can now have an opportunity, as the subscriber has spared neither pains nor expense in making himself proficient in the business.  He feels confident that he is able to furnish his patrons with Pictures that cannot be surpassed.

Life is uncertain, and should an all wise Providence remove any of your friends from the scenes of earth, it would be a sweet satisfaction to be able to look on their countenances.  Hence lose no time.  Pictures of deceased persons taken correctly.  Persons desirous of obtaining duplicates of which they have already on their possession can be accommodated.  Your patronage is solicited.

N. B.—Particular attention paid to taking children’s portraits.  Wm. W. Bingham, Artist.

William W. Bingham does not appear in other photographic directories consulted.

Tyler & Company

While this is an interesting group of photographers and needs further exploration, the following is what I know at this point. They advertised mostly as Tyler & Co. (with no first names.)  John Craig refers to them as “mass merchandisers” they come in to a town, stay a short period of time, undercut their competition, and flood the market with ninth plate images.  I have advertisements from several newspapers from both Boston and Worcester Massachusetts, but the bulk comes from the Richmond Daily Dispatch.  A new advertisement appears almost every day, starting on March 19, 1857 until late December when they advertise that they have opened another gallery at 39 Sycamore Street, Petersburg, Virginia.  Afterwards their advertising slows down a little, they miss a day or two here and there.  On January 30, 1858 they drop their price in half from .50 – $50 to .25 – $25.  During this time period a typical day’s advertisement is in a solid block with a paragraph or two and or between one and 13 separate lines of often repeating text.  On March 20, 1858 they claim that they have spent $4,000 over the past year on advertising.

They repeatedly make unsubstantiated claims. First that they were in New Orleans, Louisiana for eight years prior to being in Charleston, South Caroline for three.  In reviewing a number of photographic directories, I cannot at this time verify the New Orleans claim.  Looking at Photography in New Orleans, The Early Years, 1840-1866 by Margaret Denton Smith & Mary Louise Tucker they do not mention them. Craig’s Daguerreian Registry also does not list them in New Orleans, except to say that they won a wager that they could make 1,000 likenesses in four hours.  This was probably from an advertisement in one of the Charleston papers.  Looking at Partners with the Sun South Carolina Photographers 1840-1940, by Harvey S Teal.  He has Tyler & Co. in Charleston from December 1855 to June 1856 and again between, November 1856 to February 1857 that’s a total of 11 months, not the three years they claim.

Another claim is the amount of portraits they take daily which can fluctuate between 300 to 1,000 on any given day. They do advertise that they are taking daguerreotypes or what they call Vitrotype, later they advertise ambrotypes, photographs, lettertypes, ect.  They make the same claims “400 taken daily” when they were in Boston, Worcester and Charleston.  In Boston and Worcester they use a double lens camera.  In Richmond they advertise that they are taking “three at a pop.”  They also start out advertising that they employ fifteen artist which quickly becomes twenty and by the end of their time in Richmond they are up to twenty-five artists.

By the tone of their advertisement they are the only ones that ever uses steam in the production of likenesses, and that anyone who say they uses steam are just imitators. John Adams Whipple in Boston advertises on May 12, 1848 in the Salem Gazette that he is using a small steam engine to buff his plates. They also claim to have daguerreotype and ambrotype patents, and that they are inventors from everything I have looked at, no records of patents were ever issued to them.  They are also in the habit of claiming that they have at different time been issued 5 Gold medals, but they never say when or where they received these awards.  Every other photographer list when and where they received an award.  They did win a silver medal for Daguerreotypes at the 1857 Fair of the Virginia Mechanics Institute.  Also Albert Litch won a silver medal for color photographs, Sanxay & Chalmers won a silver medal for Ambrotypes, and E. Powers a first class diploma for Ambrotypes and Photographs.

Their philosophy which they state several time is to “keep it before the people.” Translation beat them over the head with their advertisements, and they do.  Their claim that other photographers are charging $2.50 for the same image they charge 50 cents for, is unjustified.  If fact other image makers were charging 50 cents for their images long before Tyler & Co. came to Richmond.

On May 18, 1858 we learn in an advertisement that C. R. Rees has returned to Richmond from a five month stay in Petersburg (Tyler & Co. new gallery.) On August 10, 1858 we learn that C. R. Rees is now the Proprietor.  Rees continues the same practice in his advertising as Tyler & Co. but with less regularity.  His excuses as to why he did not exhibit at the late fair was that he was getting ready to send specimens to his new gallery in Memphis, Tennessee.  It is interesting Tyler and Company have also opened a studio in Memphis around this time, what is the conection?

Craig speculates that the various listings he has for Tyler & Co. based on the language of the advertisements are the same company.  On June 6, 1857 the following advertisement appears in the Daily Dispatch which seems to verify John’s speculation.

Strangers and all others, are cautioned against being humbugged and deceived by steam pictures advertisements. This steam picture taker has been Driven out of Boston, Cincinnati, Worcester, Mass, and Charleston, S. C.  This Imposter commenced to advertise 50 cent Daguerreotypes but he found they did not take.  He then altered his show bills and advertisements to Vitrotypes for 50 cts., pretending it was a new kind of picture.  This fellow says he has taken 400 Pictures a day for 16 years.  Now he did not have money enough to buy a few yards of carpet when he arrived here, but had to run his face.  This same humbug man took pictures in Boston for 20 cts. apiece.  The public can judge whether his work is good or bad.  It is my intention to show him up just as long as he continues to humbug, lie and deceive the people of Richmond.                                                                       Respectfully, A. W. Osborne, Opposite Exchange Bank.

Below is the timeline and address of their studios to date.


N.D.               Address Unknown, New Orleans, Louisiana. [i]

1853-1855       2 Winter Street, Boston, Massachusetts. (Edward M. Tyler.) [ii]

1855                   Main & Front Streets, Worcester, Massachusetts.[iii]

1855-1856       233 King Street, Charleston, South Carolina. [iv]

1856-1857       233 King Street, Charleston, South Carolina. iv

1857                30 & 32 Fourth Street, Cincinnati, Ohio (James Tyler.) [v]

1857-1858       139 Main Street, Richmond, Virginia. i

1857-1858       39 Sycamore Street, Petersburg, Virginia. i

1858                Canal Street, New Orleans, Louisiana. i

1859-1860       219 Main Street, Memphis, Tennessee (Edward M. Tyler.) v

1860                81 Westminster Street, Providence, Rhode Island. (E. M. Tyler.) v






[i] The Richmond Daily Dispatch

[ii] Directory of Massachusetts Photographers, 1839-1900 and the Boston Morning Journal.

[iii] Worcester Daily Spy

[iv] Partners with the Sun South Carolina Photographers 1840-1940.

[v] Craig’s Daguerreian Registry