Category Archives: Melainotypes

G. M. Thomas

1846                Rooms at the Banner Office, Louisiana, Missouri.

1858                181 Main Street, opposite the Worsham House, Memphis, Tennessee.

G. M. Thomas was recorded in one advertisement in Democratic Banner (Bowling Green, Pike County, Missouri), and mentioned in and additional five advertisements and six announcements in the Memphis Daily Appeal (Memphis, Tennessee) while working for William H. DeShong.  The first advertisement ran from July 25 to August 17, 1846 in Democratic Banner.  Daguerreotype.  G. M. Thomas would respectfully inform the citizens of Louisiana and vicinity, that he has taken rooms at the above place and will remain in town but a few Days.

Daguerreotype Miniatures taken in the most perfect style, plain or colored; and perfect satisfaction warranted to all.  The public are respectfully invited to call and examine specimens.

Rooms at the Banner Office.

The following five advertisements and six announcements appeared in the Memphis Daily Appeal.  The first advertisement ran from July 14 to August3, 1858.  DeShong’s Pictures Still all the Rage.  Persons wishing the best style should not fail to give him a call.  He is now assisted by Mr. G. M. Thomas, who is acknowledged to be one of the best artists in the States.

Remember that DeShong has the exclusive right of Memphis for the Melainotype Patent.

His Gallery is 181 Main street, opposite the Worsham House.                                 

The second advertisement ran on November 4 to 6, 1858.  Premium Pictures.—People will inquire no longer where to get pictures, when they learn that Thomas, at DeShong’s Gallery, 180 Main street, opposite the Worsham House is Making Malameotypes (on iron plates) as cheap, if not cheaper, than those worthless glass pictures made elsewhere.  Recollect—first premium awarded to Thomas for the best pictures at every fair where exhibited.

The third advertisement ran on November 4 & 5, 1858.  We are informed through the press that a great blessing has been conferred on this community by the introduction of a cheap Gallery.  we doubt that the people of Memphis will consider it a greater blessing when they learn that Thomas, at DeShong’s, is making pictures as cheap, if not cheaper, and warranted fifty per cent better, or no pay required.

The first announcement appeared on November 9, 1858.  To The Citizens of Memphis.—A certain humbug establishment in this city say they have eight premiums awarded them—have sixteen years experience.  They wish to know what more can be said in their favor.  Thomas, at DeShong’s will state for their favor, that he has a little boy under his charge, not thirteen years old, has not had sixteen weeks’ experience (not years), who will bet his own money —$50—he can beat them making pictures.

Thomas bets two to one on the boy.

Thomas bets $100 they never got eight premiums—not even one; bets twenty to one they will never get one in Memphis.

First premium to Thomas throughout the South and West.  Got the fixings as proof.

Thomas, at DeShong’s, is working cheaper, and warranted 100 per cent. Better, or no pay required.

Thomas does not wish to boast or humbug.  The above is to let the people know where the best pictures in the world are made.

Thomas will stand up to all he says.  Call and see if I am not right.  Will make your pictures for nothing if you don’t think so.

The fourth advertisement ran on November 10 & 11, 1858.  Memphis Against The World.—Thomas, at DeShong’s, will compare malaneotypes and ambrotypes, for superiority, with any body in the world, for $500—more or less.  The pictures are his own productions, and mostly citizens of Memphis.  Call and see them.  They cost less than elsewhere.

Let the people of Memphis recollect that Thomas will make 50 per cent. Better pictures than the great humbug establishment, or no pay required.  I will do what I say.  Rooms 180 Main street.

The second announcement appeared on November 12, 1858.  Premium Pictures.—Let the people recollect where they are made.  Thomas had no opposition at Fall Fairs, never expected any—sufficient evidence of their superiority over all others, they are not brought from the North.  Warranted 100 per cent. Better than at the great Humbug Depot, or no pay required—all at DeShong’s, 180 Main street.

The third announcement appeared on November 13, 1858.  Premium Pictures.—Thomas, at DeShong’s, is making Pictures as cheap as elsewhere and warranted 5 per cent. Better or no pay required.  First premium awarded to Thomas at every State Fair, South and West, were exhibited.

The fifth announcement ran on November 18 & 19, 1858.  One hundred persons at least, collected at DeShong’s yesterday, disgusted with their steam portraits made on green window glass—“serves them right,” coming to their senses at last.  First premium awarded to Thomas, at DeShong’s, throughout the South and West; one hundred present better or no pay required and cheaper than elsewhere.

The fourth announcement appeared on November 20, 1858.  The reason everybody are now getting pictures at DeShong’s, is they say Thomas, took the first premium everywhere, without even any opposition.  No one has the presumption to compare pictures when he is in the field—sufficient evidence of their great superiority over all others.  AS cheap as elsewhere.  Warranted 100 per cent. Better; or no pay required.

The fifth announcement appeared on November 25, 1858.  Premium Pictures.—Let the people recollect that Thomas, at DeShong’s, has been awarded first Premiums throughout the South and West for the finest pictures.  Warrants them 50 per cent. Better and as cheap as elsewhere, or no pay required.

Everybody says that Thomas’ pictures, at DeShong’s, are the finest they have ever seen in any part of the world.  They are mostly of citizens of Memphis.

The sixth announcement appeared on November 3, 1858.  Premium Pictures.—Everybody that has visited the northern cities, and traveled throughout Europe, pronounce Thomas’ Ambrotypes and melaneotypes, (at DeShong’s Gallery,) the finest specimens of the art they have ever seen, in any art of the world.  They cost no more than elsewhere, and are warranted 100 per cent finer, or no pay required.  First Premium awarded to Thomas, at every Fair South and West.

G. M. Thomas was recorded in Craig’s Daguerreian Registry as being active in 1851 in Mobile, Alabama apparently in partnership with William H. DeShong and again in 1859 in Memphis, Tennessee.  According to the 1858 advertisements and announcements it appears that Thomas worked for DeShong.  This might have changed in 1859 but to date no newspapers have been consulted in Memphis in 1859.

L. T. Tew

1855                Rooms in the County House, Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.

1855                Room on Sarah Street, a few doors east of the Presbyterian Church, Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.

1858-1859       Rooms near the Court House, Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.

L. T. Tew was recorded in two announcements and one advertisement in the Jeffersonian (Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania).  The first announcement appeared on January 18, 1855.  Mr. L. T. Tew, Daguerrean Artist, who is well and favorably known to many of our citizens, as a successful and skillful operator in Daguerreotyping, has fitted up the room on the second floor, in the County House, and is fully prepared to accommodate all who may wish a true and life-like picture of themselves or friends.

Having seen a number of pictures taken by Mr. T., and which are equally as correct as any produced in New York or Philadelphia, we deem it an act of justice to call the attention of our citizens to the opportunity they now have of getting their likeness taken.

The second announcement appeared on November 22, 1855.  Good News.  Daguerreotyping.  Mr. Tew would inform the inhabitants of Stroudsburg and vicinity, that he has returned and opened a room, on Sarah street, a few doors east of the Presbyterian Church, where he is now ready to wait on all who wish good Pictures of themselves or friends.  Also, copying old Daguerreotypes and Paintings.  An inspection of specimens is solicited, where every polite attention will be paid to visitors, whether or not wishing a setting.—Prices to suit the times, from 75 cents to $1 and upwards, in an excellent case and on the finest French plates.

N. B. likeness guaranteed perfect and satisfactory in clear or cloudy weather, of grown persons, children, and family groups in an ordinary bright light, not delaying it too late in the evening; morning is preferable.                              

The advertisement ran from September 16, 1858 to November 24, 1859.  Photographs In Every Style of the Art.  L. T. Tew takes this method to inform the inhabitants of this Town and vicinity, that having procured a new Instrument expressly for the purpose, is now prepared to take all the latest styles of Type, combining all the newest improvements of Ambrotypes, Melaionotypes, Photographs, Nielotypes, at his old Room near the Court House, in a style unsurpassed.  From his long experience as an Artist acknowledges no superior.

Those wishing good Likenesses of themselves or friends, are invited to call and examine specimens.  No charge made unless perfect satisfaction given.  L. T. Tew.     

L. T. Tew is not recorded in other photographic directories.

E. B. Taylor

1855                Large Brick Building, South Side of Square, Fayetteville, Tennessee.

1855                Address Unknown, Millville, Tennessee.

1856                Sulphur Spring at Craighead, Tennessee.

1857-1858       South side of the Square, long brick building, Fayetteville, Tennessee.

E. B. Taylor was recorded in three announcements and five advertisements in the Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, Tennessee).  The first announcement appeared on April 26, 1855.  Daguerreotypes—Mr. E. B. Taylor, Daguerrean Artist, has taken a room in the large brick building, south side of the Square, where he may be found on Friday and Saturday of each week, ready to furnish customers with any number of superior pictures that may be desired.  He has an excellent camera, good light, fine and common plates and cases, the best of chemicals, and what is more, he knows how to use them.  Give him a call—he is a clever, accommodating gentleman.

The first advertisement ran from April 26 to May 24, 1855.  Daguerreotypes!  The subscriber has the pleasure of informing the residents of Fayetteville and vicinity, that he has taken an excellent room in this pace, in the large brick, south side of the public square, where all are respectfully invited to call.  Come whether you want pictures or not, and see what is to be seen.

My stay will be short—only every Friday and Saturday of each week—come without delay.  Secure some precious Memento of your friends before death takes them from you.

E. B. Taylor, Practical Daguerreotypist.                   

The second announcement appeared on May 24, 1855.  Daguerreotypes—By reference to the advertisement of Mr. E. B. Taylor, Daguerrean Artist, it will be seen that he will close his room in this place the last of this week, and open on Friday next week, at Millville.  To our many friends in that region, we commend him as a good operator, and an honorable, gentlemanly, courteous man.

The third announcement appeared on June 26, 1856.  Daguerreotypes—Mr. E. B. Taylor has opened his daguerrean rooms at the Sulphur Spring, eight miles north-west of this place.  Our friends in that section who may desire good pictures, would do well to give him a call.  See his card in another column.

The second advertisement ran from June 26 to July 31, 1856.  Pictures.  Do You Want Good Pictures?  Then come one come all to the Sulphur Spring, at Craighead.  Come and see my new specimens—and you that want your pictures, come and sit for one, and I will try to give satisfaction to all.  If I can’t, I will not bind you to take it.  Come soon as my stay is limited. 

The third advertisement ran from February 5 to October 29, 1857.  E. B. Taylor, Daguerrean, Ambrotype, Melainotype Artist, South side of the Square, Fayetteville, middle door of the long brick, and 3d story.

The Melainotype is something entirely new.  It can be seen alike in all lights.  There is no metallic glare in the way as is in a Daguerreotype, and cannot be surpassed by any other Pictures for their richness and beauty, and they can be sold from 75 cents up.  Pictures taken in cloudy weather as well as fair.  I only ask from 1 to 3 seconds in clear weather to take children’s Pictures.  The Melainotype Pictures can be sent in a letter, without a case, and not be soiled.  Come everybody, and see what is to be seen, and get Pictures if you want.  If I can’t give satisfaction before finishing, there is no obligation on the purchaser.      

The fourth advertisement ran from October 29 to November 19, 1857.  E. B. Taylor, Artist, Fayetteville, Tenn.  Takes this method of informing his friends and the public generally, that his business requires him to close his Gallery in Fayetteville in a few days—or at farthest, 3 weeks.  All those desiring Pictures will come.  I have some fine Frames and fine Cases I will sell very low. The price of other Cases as heretofore.  Those owing me will please pay against that time.  If not paid without suing for it, be assured you never get another on a credit.                            

The fifth advertisement ran from February 18 to 25, 1858.  E. B. Taylor, Has opened his Picture Gallery at his old stand, South side of the Square, Fayetteville, middle door of the long brick building, and third story.—My room will be open to all who will favor me with a call.  Always kept on hand an assortment of Cases and Frames.  Prices as heretofore.  I will say to those owing me, that I am obliged to have money to carry on the business. And if settlement is not made by the First Monday in March, I will certainly place their account in the hands of an officer for collection.                 

E. B. Taylor is not recorded in other photographic directories.

William Summerhays

1858                            Centre Street, Nantucket, Massachusetts.

Ca. 1860-1865            Main Street, Nantucket, Massachusetts.[1]

1860                            Address Unknown, Nantucket, Massachusetts.[1]

1865-1869                   Address Unknown, Nantucket, Massachusetts.[1]

William Summerhays was recorded in one advertisement that was recorded in the Nantucket Inquire (Nantucket, Massachusetts) on May 4, 1858.  The subscriber is now prepared to take those splendid Milleneotypes, which are far superior to anything yet discovered for lockets.  He also continues to take the Ambrotypes, in a style unsurpassed.  Persons wishing an imperishable picture of themselves or friends can obtain them at the most reasonable prices at the Saloon on Centre Street.

P. S.—The Subscriber will remain in Nantucket, and warrants every picture he puts up.  Wm. Summerhays. 

William Summerhays is recorded in other photographic directories as being active in Nantucket, Massachusetts in 1860.


[1] A Directory Of Massachusetts Photographers 1839-1900.

G. W. Stillman

1859                            146 Fifth Street, Cincinnati, Ohio.

G. W. Stillman was recorded in five advertisements in The Daily Press (Cincinnati, Ohio).  The  advertisement ran from February 23 to March 1, 1859.  Home Interest…The Union Gallery, now under the supervision of Mr. Stillman, is one of the best in the city.  Stillman’s pictures astonish the natives by their beauty and cheapness.  Don’t forget to give them a call.  No 146 Fifth street.

The second advertisement ran from March 4 to 10. 1859.  Home Interest…G. W. Stillman, late Hoag’s Gallery, 146 West Fifth street, is prepared to take Pictures at much reduced prices.  Give him a call; you are sure to be pleased.  His motto is “Excelsior.”

The third advertisement ran from March 10 to 19, 1859.  Home Interest…G. W. Stillman is doing a rushing business at his Gallery on Fifth street.  His Pictures are proverbial for their beauty and originality.

The fourth advertisement ran from March 21 to 26, 1859.  Home Interest…Stillman’s is the place to get your phiz taken.  His style of taking pictures is generally admired.

The fifth advertisement ran from March 28 to 31, 1859.  Home Interest…To get a good Melainotype, Stillman is the gentleman to apply to.  He insures a correct Picture always.

G. W. Stillman is not recorded in other photographic directories.  Craig’s Daguerreian Registry does list a George H. Stillman in Cincinnati in 1855, and in 1859-60.  It is unknown if they are the same person.

Charles M. Speelman

1859                Rooms over the Chronicle Office, Penn-Yan, New York.

Charles M. Speelman was recorded in three announcements and three advertisements.  The first announcement appeared on March 9, 1859 in the Penn Yan Democrat (Penn-Yan, New York.   

Photographs, Daguerreotypes, &c.  Mr. T. J. B. House has disposed of his Photograph and Daguerrean Gallery to Mr. C. M. Speelman, who is to take possession on Monday next.  While we regret to part with Mr. House, we are well pleased to know that his successor is fully qualified to fill his place.  Mr. Speelman is an excellent artist and a through gentleman.  He has had much experience in taking pictures, and we are quite sure Mr. House’s patrons will lose nothing by the change, should they wish anything in the line of Photographs, Ambrotypes, Daguerreotypes, &c.  We predict for our young friend Speelman abundant success.

The second announcement appeared on March 10, 1859 in the Yates County Chronicle (Penn Yan, New York).  Mr. T. J. B. House has sold his Photograph and Ambrotype Gallery together with his entire business, to Mr. Charles M. Speelman of Torrey.  Mr. House is an excellent artist, and a very worthy man.  He has made best of friends during his stay of two years in Penn Yan who will regret his departure.  The young man who takes his place is said to be a skillful artists and worthy successor to Mr. House.

The first advertisement ran from March 30 to August 17, 1859 in the Penn Yan Democrat (Penn-Yan, New York).  Photographs, Ambrotypes, Melainotypes, &c., Penn Yan, N. Y.  Charles M. Speelman Having purchased the Rooms of T. J. B. House, over the Chronicle office, will carry on the business in all its branches.

Photographs Taken Any Size.  He hopes, by strict attention to business, to retain the public patronage that has ever been given to these rooms.

None But The Best Kind of Pictures taken at this Gallery.  His Instruments are of the best manufacture.  His stock is of the Latest Style and patterns in the New York Market.

Pictures from 50 Cents Upwards.  Cha’s M. Speelman.

The second advertisement ran from March 24 to May 5, 1859 in the Yates County Chronicle  (Pen Yan, New York).   Photographs, Ambrotypes, Melainotypes, &c., Penn Yan, N. Y.  Charles M. Speelman Having purchased the Rooms of T. J. B. House, over the Chronicle office, will carry on the business in all its branches.  Photographs taken any size.  This is the only room in Yates County where Photographs are taken.  He hopes, by strict attention to business, to retain the public patronage that has ever been given to these rooms.

None but the Best Kind of Pictures taken at this Gallery.  His instruments are of the best manufacture.  His [stock] is of the latest style and patterns in the New York Market.

Pictures from 50 Cents Upwards.  Cha’s M. Speelman.

The third announcement appeared on May 11, 1859 in the Penn Yan Democrat (Penn-Yan, New York).   Pictures.  Mr. Speelman has recently added largely to his stock of plain and fancy Cases, &c., and has reduced his prices for Photographs, Ambrotypes and melainotypes.  He takes excellent pictures, and should be liberally patronized.  See his advertisement in another column.

The third advertisement ran from May 12 to July 14, 1859 in the Yates County Chronicle (Pen Yan, New York).  Pictures!  Pictures.  Photographs, Ambrotypes, And Melainotypes, At Speelman’s Gallery, (over the Chronicle’s Office.)

Mr. Speelman continues to take the best Pictures in Town.  Photographs, Ambrotypes, and in fact, every kind of Picture of his [Profession.]  A large stock of Plain & Fancy Cases Just Received, and Prices Lower then ever before.  Call and examine them.  Particular attention paid to copying , and all work warranted to give entire satisfaction.

Charles M. Speelman is recorded in Craig’s Daguerreian Registry as being active in West Dresden New York in 1859 without a business address.  There are several scenarios that I would suggest. First—the distance between Pen Yan and West Dresden is less then six miles, Speelman might have had a gallery in both towns.  Second—he might have had a gallery there before March 9 or after July 14th.  Third—since he was recorded in the residence section of the city directory without an address he probably lived in West Dresden and worked in Pen Yan.  Having done a lot of work with city directories this has always puzzled me why did they not add a business address.  Either they worked in a different town or it is also possible they were employed by someone else, another suggestion is they were semi-retired, or in-between jobs.  

J. M. Snyder

1859                Rooms at Light Street, Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania.

J. M. Snyder appeared in one announcement in The Star of the North (Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania) on March 2, 1850.  Melainotypes.  We were shown some beautiful specimens of Melainotypes taken by our friend J. M. Snyder, who is now operating at Light Street, and for richness of tone, life-like and durability, surpass any thing we have as yet seen in the Photographic art.  Those wishing a perfect picture either of themselves or friends, cannot meet with a better opportunity.  Mr. Snyder has been attentively engaged in the business for several years and guarantees general satisfaction.  Give him a trial, and judge for yourselves.

J. M. Snyder is not recorded in other photographic directories.

Mr. Sloan

1857                Rooms on Texas Street, Shreveport, Louisiana.

Mr. Sloan was recorded in one announcement and one advertisement in The South-Western  (Shreveport, Louisiana).  The announcement appeared on June 10, 1857.  Melainotypes.—Mr. Sloan, an experienced artist, has opened on Texas street, a gallery, where he is prepared to that Melainotype and Ambrotype pictures in a superior manner.  Being fully conversant will all the latest improvements in the photographic art, he is able to produce superior pictures.

The advertisement ran from June 10 to 17, 1857.  Melainotypes and Ambrotypes.  The subscriber begs respectfully to announce that he has taken rooms on Texas street—No. 1, up stairs—for the purpose of taking these beautiful Pictures, which have been pronounced by artists and connoisseurs to be the newest, latest and greatest improvement in Photography.  The Melainotype possesses several advantages over any other style of picture, among which will name a few, viz: they will receive a fall without fracture; a bend without injury; may be washed off when soiled; be handled without the face being marred; they are susceptible of high and beautiful coloring; which for richness of tone, completeness of design, and boldness of feature, cannot be surpassed by any other style of picture, and can be cut in breastpins, lockets, etc., like a daguerreotype; and for durability, there is no question of their superiority.

Ladies and gentlemen are invited to call and view my specimens, whether they want pictures or not.

All pictures warranted to give satisfaction, or no charge will be made.  Sloan.

Mr. Sloan is not recorded in other photographic directories as being active in Shreveport, Louisiana.

R.H. Sheppard

1859                Near the Western Hotel, McArthur, Ohio.

R.H. Sheppard  was recorded in one announcement and one advertisement in the M’Arthur Democrat (McArthur, Ohio).  The announcement appeared on December 15, 1859

Pictures.—Persons desiring pictures of almost any style or description, are invited to look at the advertisement of Mr. Sheppard, whose Daguerrean car is situated near the Western Hotel.

The advertisement ran from December 15 to 29, 1859.  Pictures!  Pictures!  Sky Light Pictures!   If you wish a picture artistically executed, come to the “Roving Palace.”  My facilities for taking Ambrotypes, Melaneotypes, Sphereographs, &c., are unsurpassed, and it is acknowledged by all persons who know anything about pictures, that the Sky-Light picture for clearness, beauty of light and shade, &c., is far superior to the picture made by a side light.  Another advantage is that Good Pictures can be taken in Cloudy Weather. 

Opinions Of The Press.  “We can say conscientiously, that Mr. Sheppard’s work is of the finest order, and is seldom surpassed.—Jackson Standard.

Mr. Sheppard is an excellent artist, he having been engaged in the business for the last fifteen years.  We can safely recommend him to all.—Iron Valley Express.

He has some specimens of Art, in the way of paintings, Ambrotypes, Melaneotypes, &c. as beautiful as were ever looked upon.—Piketon Union.

From what we have seen we can, without fear of successful contradiction, say that R. H. Sheppard is an excellent artist, and can heartily recommend him and his work to the people whom he may visit.—Waverly Dollar Times.

As I shall remain but a short time in this place, I would say that now is the time.  Tomorrow may be too late.  Life size Photographs, plain or in colors, made to order.  R. H. Sheppard

Drawing and Painting.  R. H. Sheppard, of the Maryland Institute School of Design, would respectfully inform the public of McArthur and vicinity that he is prepared to teach free-hand Drawing.  He will also give lessons in India Ink, Water Colors, Distemper and Oil Colors.  Those desirous of learning either of the above beautiful Arts may rely on through instructions for a moderate price.—For Particulars apply at the Roving Palace.  December 8, 1859.

R. H. Sheppard is not recorded in other photographic directories.

Samuel R. Sample

1858                Osman’s Post Office Building, Ottawa, Illinois.

Samuel R. Sample of the partnership of Robinson & Sample (Samuel T. Robinson and Samuel R. Sample) were recorded in one announcement and one advertisement in The Ottawa Free Trader (Ottawa, Illinois).  The announcement appeared on April 24, 1858.  Pictures!  Pictures!!—Messrs. Robinson & Sample have just fitted up, in the new post office block (third story) a handsome suit of daguerrean rooms, where they are now ready to make copies of the “human face divine” in a style up to the finest touches of nature.  They appear to be adapts in the whole range of the photographic art.  They take daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, spereotypes, metanotypes, hallotypes, and we don’t know how many other types; at prices ranging from about nothing upwards.  Whether you can afford to have your handsome countenance perpetuated or not, go at least and see their pictures, for they are worth looking at.

The advertisement ran from May 1 to June 5, 1858.  Photography In Ottawa!  Robinson & Sample Would respectfully announce to the citizens of Ottawa and surrounding country that they have just fitted up a suit of rooms in Osman’s Post Office Building, where they are prepared to put up Daguerreotypes, Ambrotypes, Melainotypes, Spereotypes, Stereoscopes, Photographs, Hallotypes, &c., in the highest style of the art.  The public are respectfully invited to call and examine for themselves.

Perfect satisfaction given or no charge made.  Lockets, Pins, and Rings of all sizes filled.    S. T. Robinson,  S. R. Sample.

Samuel R. Sample, Samuel Robinson and the partnership of Robinson & Sample is recorded in A Directory of Early Illinois Photographers Preliminary Investigations into Photography as Practiced in Illinois, Excluding Chicago; from circa 1846 to 1914.