Category Archives: Stereoviews

Theodore Lessey

1859                534 Broadway, New York, New York.

Theodore Lessey were recorded in two advertisements in The New York Herald (New York, New York).  The first advertisement appeared on September 3, 1859.  America In The Stereoscope.  A series of American Scenery, Photographed And Published By The London Stereoscopic Company.  Theodore Lessey, 534 Broadway, Manager of the United States Depot.

The second appeared on September 5, 1859.  American Scenery.—The London Stereoscopic Company.  The finest views of American Scenery are those photographed and published by the London Stereoscopic Company, who supply their depot in New York by every steamer with all kinds of stereoscopic groups and views, plain, colored and illuminated.  Stereoscopes of every variety, and at prices ranging from 50c. upwards.  Manager, Theo.  Lessey, 534 Broadway, New York.

Theodore Lessey is not record in other photographic directories.

Excelsior Stereoscopic and Photographic Company

1859                663 Broadway, New York, New York.

Excelsior Stereoscopic and Photographic Company appeared in one advertisement on September 28, 1859 in The New York Herald (New York, New York).  Photographic Visiting Cards.  The last and most fashionable mode in Paris.  These visiting cars giving no name, but an unmistakeable likeness of the individual, may only be obtained at the Excelsior Stereoscopic and Photographic Company, 663 Broadway.

Excelsior Stereoscopic and Photographic Company is not recorded in other photographic directories

James F. Chalmers

1856-1857       145 Main Street, Richmond, Virginia.

James F. Chalmers worked for William A. Pratt and was in partnership of Sanxay (Richard S.) & Chalmers was recorded in twelve advertisements and two announcements in The Daily Dispatch (Richmond, Virginia).  The first advertisement ran from May 17 to June17, 1856.  A Card.—For the last ten years I have received a large and increasing patronage from the citizens of Virginia, which I have endeavored to merit by introducing every improvement into my business, in which I have been greatly aided, for some years, by the valuable assistance (more particularly in Ambrotyping) of Mr. R. S. Sanxay and in addition, I shall hereafter have the services of Mr. James F. Chalmers—which, together with my own general superintendence, will enable me to accomplish, I flatter myself, superior work to any I have previously turned out.  I respectfully request the public to call and examine my specimens at Pratt’s Gallery, No. 145 Main st., Richmond, Va.

The second advertisement ran from September 25 to October 9, 1856.  Something New!—An Improvement on Ambrotypes, by which process the picture is made to stand out like the stereoscope, without the use of the lens.

This is an entirely new invention, and is infinitely superior in every respect to the Balsom Pictures, being much more durable and not at all liable to spot, (the great objection to the Balsom Picture.)

This style of Picture is taken at Pratt’s Virginia Gallery, 145 Main street.  The public are respectfully invited to call and examine the specimens.  All pictures warranted to please. R. S. Sanxay, Jas. F. Chalmers, Operators.                                                             

The third advertisement ran from October 10 to 25, 1856.  Returned from Europe.—We beg leave to inform the public thatour Mr. Pratt has returned from England and France, bringing with him all the late improvements in our beautiful art. 

The Ambrotype finished in oil, in the style of the old masters, far exceeds in perfection any thing ever before attempted, and throws the Balsom pictures completely into the shade.

Mr. Pratt will again render us the assistance of his valuable services.  All pictures warranted to please.  R. S. Sanxay, Jas. F. Chalmers, Operators.      

p. s.  The Altoscopic Ambrotype may also be had at Pratt’s Gallery.                       

The fourth advertisement ran from October 28 to November 3, 1856.  Pratt’s Virginia Daguerrian Gallery, No. 145 Main street, sign of the Gothic Window, where in the last 12 years, upwards of 30,000 portraits have been taken in all the varied styles of Ambrotype and Daguerreotypes.

The latest improvements have been obtained by Mr. Pratt in his late trip to Europe, and are now successfully practiced in this establishment, where we guarantee finer pictures than have been turned out in Richmond.

R. S. Sanxay, Jas. F. Chalmers, Operators.  Former pupils of the University, visiting Richmond will please call on Mr. Pratt, as above, and obtain their free tickets.                                                  

The fifth advertisement ran from November 10 to December 3, 1856.  Something New and Beautiful.—Acknowledged by all to be superior to anything yet discovered in the Photographic art as a proof of which all of the most celebrated artists north are taking Ambrotypes by no other process.  These pictures are to be had at Pratt’s Gallery, 145 Main street, where the public are respectfully invited to call and examine for themselves.  Daguerreotypes and Ambrotypes copied in any way to suit customers, and all pictures warranted to please.  Sanxay & Chalmers, Operators.

The sixth advertisement ran from November 28 to December 29, 1856.  Co-partnership Notice.—We the undersigned, having on the 5th if May, 1856, purchased the business Stock and Fixtures of Wm. A. Pratt, in the Daguerrian and Ambrotype Gallery, No. 145 Main street, hereby enter into a co-partnership, to carry on said business on the cash system, we respectfully solicit a share of the patronage of the public, and only ask for an examination of our work.  R. S. Sanxay, Jas. F. Chalmers.

N. B.  I have great pleasure in recommending the above gentlemen, my successors, as the satisfaction which my pictures have given, is mainly ascribable to their efforts-having personally done but little in the business for some years past.  Respectfully, Wm. A. Pratt.            

The seventh advertisement ran from December 23, 1856 to January 22, 1857.  Christmas And New Year Presents.—There is nothing more acceptable than a correct life-like picture of a friend.  And we ask the public to give us a call and try us.  All our pictures are warranted to please.  Call at the Big Gothic Window, 145 Main street, and call early.  Sanxay & Chalmers.                                                                                                 

The eighth advertisement ran from April 9 to 14, 1857.  Ambrotypes!  This great improvement in the Photographic art, far surpasses anything ever yet brought out, for durability and life-like appearance—never fading, but always retaining their original brilliancy.  They can be seen in any light and for softness of tone and durability, they far surpass the old worn  Daguerreotype, which, in many instances, fade in a few months, and in a year or two become entirely extinct.  All in want of a good Ambrotype, will do well to call on Sanxay & Co., At the Gallery 145 Main street, Formerly occupied by W. A. Pratt.

Pictures put up in the best style, at very moderate prices.  A few very fine Engravings of the Rev. T. V. Moore.  Price $1 each.     S & Co.                                                                                               

The first announcement appeared on July 3, 1857.  A Sign Worth Looking At.—Several handsome ambrotypes of Phoenix Engine, No. 3, were taken yesterday by R. S. Sanxay.  The picture thus obtained, is to be copied by Mr. Montague upon a sign which he is executing for the Virginia Fire and marine Insurance Company, the Design of which is highly appropriate.  One side represents a shipwreck, and the reverse a block of buildings on fire.  “Phoenix” will occupy a prominent position, playing away upon the flames.

The ninth advertisement ran from July 7 to 13, 1857.  Photographs!  Photographs!  Photographs!—We take great pleasure in informing  our friends and the public, that we are now prepared to make the above most beautiful style of Portraits.  They have entirely superseded all other known styles wherever introduced.  They are better, cheaper and more artistic.  Five hundred copies may be struck off from a single sitting, surpassing the finest steel engraving.  Sanxay, & Chalmers, 125 Main st., Sign of Gothic Window.                

The tenth advertisement ran from September 7 to 11, 1857.  Photographing.—This art is fast taking the place of Lithographing.  An Extensive glass factory in this city has just ordered 500 copies of a diploma, to be taken by photography, the copying being done as well as if by a lithograph.—Dispatch of Thursday.

We respectfully inform the public that we are prepared to execute any style of copying from Daguerreotypes, Paintings, Engravings, or Drawings in the best manner, at the most reasonable rates.  Views of residences, churches, and places of business taken in the most artistic manner.

Sanxay & Chalmers, Photographists, 145 Main street.                                 

The eleventh advertisement ran from September 18 to 25, 1857. 

“A thing worth doing at all,

Is worth doing well!”

So if you wish a good Picture of yourself, go where an artist will make a miniature representation of yourself—not as a caricature, as is so often the case.  Sanxay & Chalmers’ Photographers, at 145 Main street, seem to excel in the life-like expression of their portraits, while they have a graceful ease that is perfectly bewitching.                                                         

The twelfth advertisement ran from September 28 to October 3, 1857.  Choice Styles Of Pictures.—At Sanxay & Chalmers, 145 Main street, may be obtained Photographs of the greatest accuracy and beauty, Ambrotypes, Stereographs, Mezzographs and Likenesses on patent leather, which may be sent by mail to friends, &c.  Every picture taken at this popular establishment must be of the best quality and please the sitter, otherwise they will not be sent out of the Gallery.

Copies of the Portraits of the Convention of ’49 and ’50 will be ready in a few days.  All orders by mail promptly attended to.                                                                                          

The second announcement appeared on November 7, 1857.  List of Premiums Awarded At The Fair Of The Va. Mechanics’ Institute, November 5th, 1857…Class 26.—Photographs, Daguerreotypes, and Ambrotypes.

Albert Litch, for color photographs, a silver medal.

Tyler & Co., for daguerreotypes, a silver medal.

Sanxay & Chalmers, for ambrotypes, a silver medal.

E. Powers, for ambrotypes and photographs, first class diploma.

John F. Chalmers is not listed in other photographic directories.

W. T. Bowers

1854                6 Central Block, Biddeford, Maine.

W. T. Bowers of the firm McKenney & Bowers was recorded in two advertisements in The Union and Eastern Journal Biddeford, Maine.  The first advertisement ran from February 17 to April 14, 1854.  McKenney & Bowers, Daguerreotypes!  No. 6 Central Block, Biddeford. Rooms open daily for the reception of visitors.  Pictures taken in all sizes and any style desired.  We have the largest and best collection of specimens to be seen in this vicinity.  Also, the best assortment of Gold Lockets and Fancy Cases, at the lowest prices. E. H. McKenney, W. T. Bowers.

Please call and examine specimens.  Don’t mistake the place.

The second advertisement ran from April 14, to May 5, 1854.  Stereoscopic Pictures!!  McKenney & Bowers, No. 6 Central Block, Biddeford, Took And Exhibited The First Stereoscopic Picture!  That were taken in “Your County,” and the public are now informed that they are ready to furnish the above style of pictures, executed in the most perfect manner.

By the Stereoscope two pictures of the same person are seen as one, appearing as large as life; and if properly taken are truly beautiful, almost cheating the beholder into the belief that he gazes upon a “thing of Life,” instead of a picture.

Daguerreotypes Of All Styles And Sizes, Taken In The Most Perfect Manner, Fine Gold Lockets.

Buy your Lockets of McKenney & Bowers, if you want a better article than you can get for the same money at any other place.

Fancy Cases And Frames, Of Every Description.  Call And See!  Call and See!!

W. T. Bowers is not recorded in other photographic directories as being active in Maine.  It is possible that W. T. Bowers is Wilder T. Bowers, who was active in 1850 in Detroit, Michigan[1] and in Lynn, Massachusetts from 1856-1904[2]

His father came from Massachusetts, and Wilder was born in Maine in February of 1824, fourth of the seven children of Wilder and Sarah H. T. Bowers. Hannah was born in Maine in July of 1830, and she married Wilder about 1852. Their children were born in Massachusetts: Charles, Caroline and Willie between 1854 and 1858, and then Nellie in July of 1869. Hannah was a widow and still living at Lynn in 1910.[3]

[1] Craig’s Daguerreian Registry

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

[3] David V. Tinder’s online Directory Of Early Michigan Photographers.


1858                Address Unknown, Ogdensburgh, New York.

Bell was recorded in one announcement that appeared on September 21, 1858 in The Daily Journal (Ogdensburgh, New York).  New Style.—The Bell’s have just introduced in this place a new arrangement of pictures and a new way of looking at them.  The pictures are photographs duplicated, placed in an arrangement not unlike an opera glass, which is divided by a partition so that each eye takes in a picture and reduces the duplicates to a single view.  The effect is magical and produces a perfectness impossible to imagine. 

Their store was crowded last evening by curious and anxious spectators.

Bell is not listed in other photographic directories.

Beckel Brothers

1858-1859       19 John Street, New York, New York.

Beckel Brothers (Joseph & Lewis) were recorded in four advertisements, one in the New York Daily Tribune, and three in The New York Herald.  The first advertisement appeared in the New York Daily Tribune (New York, New York) on  March 2, 1859.  Stereoscopes and Stereoscopic Views.  Beckel Brothers, No. 19 John-st., Manufacture Stereoscopes and Import the Latest Views taken on glass and paper of all parts of the world.

The second advertisement appeared on April 25, 1859 in The New York Herald (New York, New York).  Stereoscopes and Stereoscopic Views.  Beckel Brothers, 19 John street, keep the largest assortment of glass views.  Also Elliot’s and Sylvester’s colored and illuminated groups and paper views.

The third advertisement appeared on May 22, 1859.  Stereoscopes and Stereoscopic Views.—Beckel & Brothers, No. 19 John street, keep the largest assortment of glass views.  Also Elliot’s and Sylvester’s colored and illuminated groups and paper views.

The fourth advertisement appeared on November 10, 1859. A Great Reduction of Prices in Stereoscopic Goods at Beckel Brothers, 19 John street.

Beckel Brothers are recorded in Craig’s Daguerreian Registry under Beckel as being active in Lockport, New York as apparently stereo photographers prior to 1858.  While in New York City they are retailers selling stereoviews.  Joseph Beckel first appears in the New York City directory in 1852 as an Optician at 355 Broadway, from 1853-1855 Joseph is listed as [imp or lmp?] at 19 John.  From 1856-1859 Beckel Brothers (Joseph & Lewis) are listed from (1856-1857) as [imp or lmp?] in 1858-1859 as spectacles at 19 John.

George Washington Barr

1850-1855       Second & Walnut Streets, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.[1]

Third Annual Report Of The Transactions Of The Pennsylvania State Agricultural Society For The Year 1855.  (Fair held on September 25-28, 1855).[2]  Premiums Awarded…No. 35—Miscellaneous Articles And Fine Arts.

To Washington Barr, of Harrisburg, for a collection of daguerreotypes, photographs and stereoscope,……………………………….Silver Medal.

To. A. C. Smith, of Harrisburg, for a case of daguerreotypes and two frames of Daguerreotypes, ……………………………………………..Diploma.

To W. Barr, of Harrisburg, for a large collection of daguerreotype cases,……Diploma.

George Washington Barr is recorded in Craig’s Daguerreian Registry as Barr, W. (D. W.) and he goes on to identify him as Dr. W. Barr active in Harrisburg, Pa. from 1850-1852.  Directory of Pennsylvania Photographers 1839-1900 by Ries & Ruby list Barr, George Washington active in Harrisburg from 1850-1855.

[1] Full name, activity dates and address from Directory of Pennsylvania Photographers 1839-1900 by Ries & Ruby.

[2] Information from Information from Richard Jeffries.

Mrs. Agnes M. Armstrong

1850-1851 Address Unknown, Peekskill, New York.1

1853                Address Unknown, Peekskill, New York.

1859                Address Unknown, Peekskill, New York.

Mrs. Agnes M. Armstrong was recorded in the Photographic Art-Journal (New York, New York) in the February 1853 issue. Minutes of The N. Y. State Daguerrean Association…Moved that Nichols, Benedict and Whitney, be a committee to investigate the character and good standing of the persons proposed for membership, and report at this meeting.,,

The committee of investigation reported the names of J. B. Marcus, Chenango; G. Evans, Utica; L. Gray, Oswego; E. A. Hudson, Syracuse; Mrs. Agnes M. Armstrong, Peekskill; Mrs. Marcilia W. Barnes, Salem Cross Roads; all of whom were unanimously elected…

1859 October 29.  Highland Democrat.  (Peekskill, New York.)  October 29, 1859, Vol. XV, No. 4, P. 3.

A. M. Armstrong Informs the residents of Peekskill and vicinity that at her rooms may be found every style of Stereoscopes, With superior plates and designs by French, English and American Artists, which are offered for sale at prices lower than they can be obtained outside of New York City.  Call and See!!  Peekskill, June 7, 1859.

Advertisement was recorded on October 29 & November 26, 1859.

Mrs. Agnes M. Armstrong is recorded in Craig’s Daguerreian Register as Miss Armstrong in

1850-1851, 1853.

[1] Craig’s Daguerreian Register listed as Miss A. M. Armstrong.

D. Appleton

1853-1866       Address Unknown, New York, New York.[1]

1859                346 & 348 Broadway, New York, New York.

D. Appleton was recorded in four advertisements in The New York Herald (New York, New York).  The first advertisement appeared on April 6, 1859.  New Stereoscopic Views.—D. Appleton & Co. are continuously adding new and attractive stereoscopic pictures to their large and varied assortment, an assortment newly made up, and containing nothing but carefully selected pictures—no old stock.

Every variety of boxes and slides on hand, and sold at reduced rates.

Stereoscopic pictures of individuals and family groups taken in beautiful style, and guaranteed.

In addition to an extensive stock of imported pictures, they are sole agents for the New York Stereoscopic Company, who are constantly manufacturing new pictures, to which the attention of purchasers is directed, as equal to the best, and cheaper than any of the ordinary good views now offered for sale.

The best glass slides of Egypt, the holy Land, Switzerland, &c., $20 per dozen, retail. 

D. Appleton & Co., Nos. 346 and 348 Broadway, corner of Leonard street.

N. B.—Persons at a distance, by remitting $10, $15, $20 or $25 will receive to that amount in an excellent instrument and carefully selected pictures, of each styles as they may indicate.

The second advertisement appeared on May 9, 1859.  Stereoscopic.—Burns.  “The Trees under which he sat with his highland Mary,” “His Cottage Birthplace,” “The Banks and Braces of [Boony] Doon” and other spots sacred to his memory, forming a series of seven beautifully executed double photographs.  Free by post—price $3.  All who revere the memory of Burns should possess these real and graphic mementos of places and spots in which the poet lived wooed and died.

N. B.—A large collection of New and Beautiful Groups, Glass Pictures’ Illustrated Scenes, &c.; just received by the last steamer.  For sale at wholesale and retail.  D. Appleton & Co., 346 and 348 Broadway.

The third advertisement appeared on May 22, 1859.  The Stereoscope, The Wonder Of The Nineteenth Century.—The stereoscope is one of the marvels which astonishes every one who has the opportunity of seeing it.  By its instrumentality one can travel all over the world and see, as if on the spot, the extraordinary scenes, cities, public buildings in Athens, Rome, Egypt, England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Germany, Switzerland, &c.  Send and get a circular describing the stereoscope, which can be had by enclosing a stamp to D. Appleton & Co., 346 and 348 Broadway.  Family groups and country residences taken for the stereoscope.

The fourth advertisement appeared on November 18, 1859.  Stereoscopes And Stereoscopic Views At Low Prices.  “While Photography portrays the sublime and beautiful, the Stereoscope reproduces, in all roundness, and prominence the objects and scenes themselves.”—Sir David Brewster.


A Stereoscope, Opera Glass Styles…………………………….. $0.75

A Stereoscope, Imitation Mahogany, flat Lenses……………… $1.25

A Stereoscope, Mahogany, fine flat Lenses……………….….. $2.00

A Stereoscope, Rosewood,  fine flat lenses  ………………….. $2.50

Besides these, some forty varieties, including instruments to hold 200 views without changing.

Stereoscopic Views.

50  Views of Paris, at………………………………………….. $1.50 per doz.

50  Views  in Switzerland………………………………………$3.00 per doz.    

50  Views in Scotland—Its Lakes, Abbeys, &c………………. $3.00 per doz.

64  Views of Celebrated Statuary—Goodman’s best………. $3.00 per doz.    

150 Views in the United States, plain………………………… $4.00 per doz.   

150  Views in the United States, colored…………………….. $5.00 per doz.

80   Views of European cities………………………………….. $3.00 per doz.

80   Views of European cities colored…………………………. $4.00 per doz.

A catalogue of more than 20,000 Views, together with Drawings of instruments, sent to any address on receipt of a stamp.

The Views may be sent by Mail, the Stereoscopes by Express.

A liberal discount to-dealers.  D. Appleton & Co., 346 and 348 Broadway.  

D. Appleton is listed in Stereoviews An Illustrated History And Price Guide.

[1] Stereoviews An Illustrated History And Price Guide

Wesley Abbott

1855                19 Central Street, Lowell, Massachusetts.

Wesley Abbott was recorded in one advertisement in the Andover Advertiser (Andover, Massachusetts) that was recorded on September 15, 1855.  Wesley Abbott Would say to the citizens of Andover, that he is prepared to take every style of Daguerreotype, in the most artistic manner, at the lowest prices.  He would say that he has the best light in the city, for taking Single Pictures or Groups, and is prepared to execute pictures of every size and price, from 50 cents to $20.

Lovers of the fine arts are invited to call and examine the rooms and apparatus, and see specimens of Stereoscopic pictures, Crayons, Magic and Metalic backgrounds, &c.

His rooms are at 19 Central Street, near the Post Office, Lowell.  March 31.  Wesley Abbott.

Wesley Abbott is not recorded in other photographic directories.