Category Archives: Photographs

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.  

Miss Alice Smith

1857                Address Unknown, Watertown, New York.

Miss Alice Smith was recorded in one announcement in The New York Reformer (Watertown, New York) on October 1, 1857.  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.

Miss. Alice Smith is not recorded in other photographic directories as being active in Watertown, New York.

G. K. Smith

1857                At the Wharf, Pomeroy, Ohio.

1858                Rooms over T. O. Crawford’s Store, Pomeroy, Ohio.

G. K. Smith was recorded in two advertisements in the Meigs County Telegraph (Pomeroy, Ohio).  The first advertisement ran from August 25 to September 15, 1857. Ambrotypes.  G. K. Smith, Artist, has opened rooms on the “Floating Gallery,” now lying at Pomeroy, where he will remain two weeks, to enable all to get one of his unrivaled miniatures.  These pictures will be found far superior to any ever before taken at this place; they have a life-like tone, combined with a perfect Stereoscope relief that is rarely met with in Photographic Portraiture, and are pronounced by good judges, perfect gems of the Art.

Those in want of a perfect likeness, should improve this opportunity.

Perfect satisfaction guaranteed.

Rooms open from 8 A. M., to 5 P. M.  Hours for children 9 to 11.  August 18th ’57.

The second advertisement appeared on August 31, 1858.  Life-Size Photographs!  Plain, Or Colored, In Oil, Can Be Had At G. K. Smith’s Gallery, Over T. O. Crawford’s Store.

Girls.  Who would have a beautiful Likeness of themselves for a “Cousin,” or a friend, Should go to G. K. Smith’s Gallery, Over T. O. Crawford’s Store.

Mothers Who would have a life-like Picture of their little loves, should go between the hours of 11 A. M. and 2 P. M., to G. K. Smith’s Gallery, Over T. O. Crawford’s Store.

Ladies, Whether old or young, should remember that they can get better and cheaper pictures than has ever before been made in Pomeroy, at G. K. Smith’s Gallery, Over T. O. Crawford’s Store.

Young Men Who would be remembered in the days of their youth, should get a dozen Photographs to distribute among their friends.  They are the most durable and cheapest picture ever made.  They are only three dollars per dozen at G. K. Smith’s Gallery, Over T. O. Crawford’s Store.

Parents Should secure one of those imperishable Photographs, colored in oil, to leave to perpetuate their memory among their descendants, long years hence, when but for the Portrait that hangs on the wall, their once-familiar faces should have faded from the mind of their children and be forgotten.  You who have lost your parents and have no likeness left to remember them by, think what a treasure a perfect Likeness would be to you now, and get one while you may, at G. K. Smith’s Gallery, Over T. O. Crawford’s Store.

Old Daguerreotypes.  Those who have old Daguerreotypes, half faded away, of some dear friend, now gone, can have a beautiful colored Photograph made from them, at G. K. Smith’s Gallery, Over T. O. Crawford’s Store.

The Public Are respectfully invited, whether wanting pictures or not, to satisfy themselves that the above is not gas or humbug, by calling and examining specimens of work at G. K. Smith’s Gallery, Over T. O. Crawford’s Store. 

G. K. Smith is not listed in other photographic directories.

A. F. Smith

1858-1859       Baltimore Street, 2 Doors North of the Post Office, Cumberland, Maryland.

A. F. Smith was recorded in three advertisement  in the Civilian & Telegraph (Cumberland, Maryland).  The first advertisement ran from April 28 to December 22, 1858.  Smith’s Art Union!  Very Great Attraction!  The Well Known & Celebrated Ambrotype & Photograph Artist.  A. F. Smith would respectfully announce to the Ladies and Gentlemen of the city of Cumberland and the surrounding country, that he has established himself permanently in this city, and is prepared to execute work in every style of the art, and in all kinds of weather, On Moderate Terms,

Satisfaction given or no charge.  Ladies and gentlemen are respectfully invited to call and examine specimens.

Surpassing art, by which we lend,

Our countenance to absent friends;

Or leave a token for the bower,

Where love laments the parting hour:

Where childhood, with its winsome faces,

Or lovely woman’s queenly grace;

Or lordly man’s imperial frown.

Are each adroitly penciled down.

Gallery and Reception Rooms, 2 doors North of the Post Office, Baltimore Street, Cumberland, Md.  Full Instruction in the Art on moderate terms.

The second advertisement ran from June 30 to December 29, 1859.  Smith’s Great Southern Sky-Light Gallery 2 doors North of the Post Office, Balto. St., Cumberland, MD.  A. F. Smith would respectfully return his sincere thanks to the Ladies and Gentlemen of the city of Cumberland and surrounding country for their very liberal patronage, and hopes by strict attention to business and his efforts to please, to still merit and receive an equal share of your custom.

I am prepared to execute work in every style of the art on a very accommodating terms.  I am not selling pictures at cost, consequently I can afford to do my work well, in proof of which you only have to call and have one taken in good cases for 25 and 50 cents.

Don’t forget the place—2 doors North of the Post Office, Baltimore Street, Cumberland, Md.

N. B.—I am also selling color Lithographic Views of the Tomb of Washington and Mount Vernon Mansion, in aid of the Ladies Mt. Vernon Association.  Call and examine Specimens. 

The third advertisement ran from October 27 to December 22, 1859.  Pictures!  Pictures!!  A. F. Smith would respectfully announce to the citizens of Cumberland and surrounding country, that he has just received from the east a whole sized Camera, one of the largest that has ever been in this city.  He is now prepared to make full size photographs, Ambrotypes and Hollotypesas well as all of the smaller sizes, on the most reasonable terms.

I make no pretensions of being the cheapest, but I do claim to do my work in the most artistic and workmanlike manner, in proof of which you have only to call and examine specimens.

Operators supplied with pure chemicals of my own manufacture on reasonable terms.  Gallery and Reception Rooms 2 doors North of the Post Office, Balt. St., Cumberland, Md.  Also agent for the Stereoscopic Boxes and Views of all parts of the world.  A. and F. G. copy.

A. F. Smith is not recorded in other photographic directories.         

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.

Mr. Sheldon

1858                Address Unknown, Kingston, New York.

Mr. Sheldon was recorded in one announcement on December 9, 1858 in Tri-State Union (Port Jervis, New York).  An Ingenious Swindle.—A few days since, Mr. Sheldon, a photographic artist of Kingston, was rather cleverly swindled.  A young man presented himself at the rooms and asked to have his portrait taken.  Pending the arrangements, he suggested the propriety of his noble person being decorated with a gold chain.  Having none of his own he made bold enough to ask the loan of one from Mr. Sheldon, who readily granted the favor.  The likeness was taken, the plate was removed from the instrument, and taken to the chamber, where certain processes are performed to develop the picture, occupying a minute or two.  Mr. Sheldon returned to the sitting room, with the full expectation of gladdening the eyes of his customer with a veritable similitude of himself, but was struck with astonishment to discover that the “substance had vanished while the shadow remained.”

Mr. Sheldon in not recorded as being active in Kingston, New York in 1858.

William S. Shaw


1859                188 Main Street, Richmond, Virginia.

William S. Shaw was recorded in one advertisement that ran on December 29 & 30, 1859 in The Daily Dispatch (Richmond, Virginia).  Duke’s Southern Photographic Temple Of Art, 188 Main st., cor. Above the Post-Office. Plain Photographs executed for $1 only; Duplicates $9 per doz.  Ivorytypes $10 and up.  Photographs in Indian Ink, pastel, Water Colors, and Oil, from miniatures to life size, on the most reasonable terms.

Mr. Wm. S. Shaw, late of London, who had the honor of being selected by the Protestant Episcopal Missionary Board to photograph the Bishops, Clerical and Lay Delegates of the Episcopal Church of America that met here in convention in October, Is now engaged at the Southern Photographic Temple of Art, and the public may rest assured they will be supplied with first class work in all branches of the art, equal to that of any other establishment in the Union—as Mr. Shaw is well known , and acknowledged one of the first photographers of this Country. Advertisement ran on December 29 & 30, 1859.

William S. Shaw is recorded in Craig’s Daguerreian Registry as being active in Baltimore, Maryland in 1858, and 1858-59, and possibly in Richmond, Virginia in 1860.  

Ross J. Kelbaugh  records in Directory Of Maryland Photographers1839-1900, two listings.  The first entry “Shaw” is from The Photographic And Fine Arts Journal. November 1857, page 331.  Friend Snelling, — I promised to give you a full account of the Exhibition of Photographs and Ambrotypes, at the Maryland Institute Fair this year. Well there is plenty of material to go upon. First, Mr. P. L. Perkins has a grand display, better than last year, and the arrangement of his pictures are more tasteful.  He has life sized photographs painted in oil, some eight or ten; cabinet pictures also.  Mr. Shaw who has been operating at. this establishment, is a good workman and fully understands his business…

The second entry is “Shaw, W., photographer” S. Holliday near Fayette (1858-1859). 

Are they the same person I don’t know, more research is needed to make that determination.

James Shaw, Jr.

1856                127 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[1]

1856-1857       128 Arch Street, Philadelphia. Pennsylvania.[2]

1858-1859       606 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[2]

James Shaw Jr. was recorded on April 1, 1856 in the Photographic and fine Arts Journal (New York, New York).  In an article entitled the Photographic Galleries of America.  Number Two, Philadelphia. The author visited 57 Galleries in Philadelphia.

Shaw, Arch St. — Is another excellent artist. His gallery contains many excellent specimens deserving general praise, I cannot however designate any by name, being mostly portraits.

The ambrotypes are not in the first style, not possessing that depth necessary to give effect to pictures on glass. The photographs however are decidedly superior.

James Shaw, Jr. is recorded in other photographic directories, but is included here because of the first hand account of his work.


[1] Not all first names or complete addresses were recorded in article.   Craig’s Daguerreian Registry was used to assist in identification when possible first name and address were added.  [2] Directory of Pennsylvania Photographers, 1839-1900 (Linda A. Ries & Jay W. Ruby) and

Henry Shaft

1855                Address Unknown, Buffalo, New York.

Henry Shaft was recorded in one advertisement that appeared on June 20, 1855 in The New York Herald (New York, New York).  To Photographers.—Wanted, A Person Who thoroughly understands the photographing and daguerrean arts, to go to a large Western city.  To a competent man, a permanent situation, with good salary, will be given.  Address Henry Shaft, box 2410 Buffalo Post Office, with specimens of work.

Henry Shaft is not recorded in other photographic directories.  It is possible that Henry Shaft was an agent or contact person and not a photographer.  

Further research uncovered in the 1855 Buffalo City Directory residency listing Henry Shaft is listed as a book-keeper at R. J. Compton.  Richard J. Compton is recorded in the residence listing as an Engraver and Lithographer, 209 Main Street. In an advertisement P. 81 Compton’s Lithographing & Engraving Establishment, 209 Main Street, Buffalo, R. J. Compton, Proprietor, Having purchased the entire interest of my Co-partners, and having the most extensive establishment of the kind in the west, I am prepared to fill contracts for the largest kind of work with punctuality and in the best style.

Charles A. Seely

1855                324 Broadway, New York, New York.

1856                387 Broadway, New York, New York.

1856-1857       94 Duane Street, New York, New York.

1857-1859       424 Broadway, New York, New York.

Charles A. Seely was recorded in eighteen advertisements in The New York Herald (New York, New York).  The first advertisement appeared on August 29, 1855.  Daguerrean Gallery For Sale—At A Lower price and with a cheaper rent than any in the city, or the apparatus will be sold low by itself, or a partner, with $300, will be taken, by an artist in photography, ambrotypes, &c.; also, a small lathe for sale cheap.  Inquire of C. A. Seely, 324 Broadway.

The second advertisement appeared on January 3, 1856.  For Sale At A Bargain—The Apparatus Of the original stereoscopic daguerrean gallery of New York, including two superior half size Harrison cameras, with every thing peculiar to the business, with instructions, for plate and glass pictures, if desired.  Inquire of C. A. Seely, 324 Broadway.

The third advertisement appeared on March 17, 1856. Daguerreotypes, in Cases, 25 Cents; Ambrotypes extra large size 50 Cents, cases included. Charles A. Seely, photographic chemist, is connected with this establishment from this date. Quinby & Co., Factory 387 Broadway.

The fourth advertisement appeared on November 29, 1856. $700.–One Of The Oldest Established Daguerreotype gallery in the busiest parts of the city, well furnished and stocked with large size apparatus, and now doing a good business; the rent is very low. Apply to Seely & Garbanati, photographic chemist, &c., 94 Duane street.

The fifth advertisement appeared on May 5, 1857.  Seely & Garbanati, Photographic Chemicals, &c., have removed to 424 Broadway.  Amateurs supplies in all their wants.

The sixth ad appeared on September 19, 1857.  Ambrotype Gallery For Sale—At A Bargain. In a good location for business, will be sold at a sacrifice, as the present owner has other business.  Apply immediately to Seely & Garbinatti, photographic chemicals, 424 Broadway.

The seventh ad appeared on December 11, 1857.  $200—For Sale, An Old Established Ambrotype and Photographic Gallery, Apply to Seely & Garbanati, 424 Broadway.

The eighth ad appeared on January 22, 1858.  Daguerrean Gallery.—For Sale, The Lease of an old established daguerrean gallery, with instruments, furniture, and everything necessary for all branches of the business.  Inquire of Seely & Garbanati, Photographic Chemists, 424 Broadway.

The ninth ad appeared on March 24, 1858.  Ambrotype Gallery For Sale—Price $70 cash.  The reason for selling is the owner is going into another business.  Apply to Seely & Garbanati, photographic chemist, 424 Broadway.

The tenth ad appeared on April 7, 1858.  Ambrotype And Photograph Gallery In Broadway.—Authenticated profits upwards of $75 per week.  Price $1,500; $1,000 down.  The above is well furnished and stocked, and is a rare bargain.  Apply to Seely & Garbanati, photographic chemists, 424 Broadway.  An lease on the gallery.

The eleventh ad appearedonMay 22, 1858.  Ambrotype, Photograph And Daguerreotype Gallery.—For sale, the lease, stock and fixtures, and everything pertaining to the art, now doing a good business.  Apply to Seely & Garbanati, photographic chemists, 424 Broadway.

The twelfth adappeared onJune 2, 1858.  For Sale Cheap—A Broadway Daguerrean establishment, thoroughly fitted and furnished, and replete with every accessory for the art. The most satisfactory reason giving for selling.  Apply to Seely & Garbanati, photographic chemist, 424 Broadway.

The thirteenth ad appearedonAugust 17, 1858.  Ambrotypes For Sale—A Well Fitted Up gallery on Broadway, doing a good business, the owners  being engaged in another establishment, will dispose of the above at the lowest price of $175.  Inquire of Seely & Garbanati, photographic chemists, 424 Broadway.

The fourteenth advertisement appeared on August 25, 1858.  Ambrotypes.—For Sale A Well Furnished ambrotype gallery on Broadway, doing an excellent business; the owner being engaged in another business, will sell the gallery for the low price of $175.  Inquire of Seely & Garbanati, photographic chemist, 424 Broadway, New York.

The fifteenth advertisement appeared on April 27, 1859.  To Photographists.—Wanted To Purchase, An interest in, or whole of a first class photographic gallery on Broadway, not above Union square.  Inquire of Seely & Garbanati, 424 Broadway.

The sixteenth advertisement appeared on May 25, 1859.  $1,000 To $50,000—A Valuable Patent, In demand everywhere, for sale by Seely & Garbanati, Photographic Chemists, 424 Broadway.

The seventeenth advertisement appeared on June 29.  Daguerreotypes, Ambrotypes, Photographs, &c. copied, enlarged and colored in all styles of the art at moderate prices, by Seely & Garbanati, photographic chemists and publishers, 424 Broadway, Stereoscopic pictures wholesale.

The eighteenth ad appeared on September 5, 1859.  Photographic Engraving.—Patent Rights for sale, engraving done at moderate rates, by Seely & Garbanati, photographic chemists, 424 Broadway.  A complete set of apparatus, chemicals, &c., for taking pictures on glass and paper, for $30.  The American Journal of Photography, semi-monthly, $1.50 per annum; The Ambrotype, price 25 cents; Hardwick’s Photographic Chemistry, 50 cents; Sir David Brewster on the Stereoscope, $1, will soon be out.

Charles A. Seely, Henry Garbanati and Charles J. Quinby are all recorded in Craig’s Daguerreian Registry.  Seely was recorded in Craig’s as being active in New York between 1857-1860.  It appears that he was active in New York City before the advertisement on August 29, 1855. The partnership of Seely & Garbanati began in 1856 at 94 Duane street, before moving to 424 Broadway.  The other interesting item from all the advertisements is that they were unable to sell the gallery and that they were all over the place with the sale price.  It is also possible that their main focus was the manufacturing of photographic chemicals and not the image side of the business.