Tag Archives: Albert Litch

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.

A. Watson

1857                83 Main Street, Richmond, Virginia.

1857-1859     77 Main Street, Richmond, Virginia.

A. Watson is a complicated entry.  There are a total of twenty six advertisements and two announcements that were recorded from The Daily Dispatch (Richmond, Virginia).  Two advertisements and two announcements mentioned a Watson & Son, one of the announcements is recorded as Mrs. Watson and Son.  This is possibly a typo but further research is needed.  There are also a number of advertisements between December 8, 1857 to November 21, 1859 that only mention Watson.  The identification of the son is not recorded in any of the ads or announcements recorded.  Craig’s Daguerreian Registry does mention John W. Watson as being active in Richmond in 1859, it is possibly that he is the son.

 1.  Advertisement ran on October 23 & 24, 1857.  Genuine Double Glass Ambrotype Picture For 50 Cents, At Watson’s Melainotype And Ambrotype Gallery—On Friday, 23d Oct.—Fine Ambrotype Views of Niagara, taken on the spot by A. Watson.  Visitors wishing a view of the Falls, can secure a most accurate and imperishable mirror of the greatest cataract in the world.  Ladies and Gentlemen are respectfully invited to call and examine their specimens, as they need only to be seen to be appreciated. 

Remember, Watson intends to give his first week’s profits for the benefit of the poor of Richmond.  Pictures taken from 25 cents to $10.                                                                       

2.  Advertisement ran from October 26 to 31, 1857.  Watson’s Double Glass Ambrotypes, only 25 Cents.—Be sure and see Watson’s Double Glass Ambrotypes at 25 and 37½ cents, before you have your likeness.  Rooms 83 Main street.  Malainotypes and Panotypes taken by him.  The whole of the first week’s profits to be given to the poor of this city.                                                                                                                 

3.  Advertisement ran from October 31 to November 27, 1857.  Watson’s Gives The Largest Ambrotypes, For Fifty Cents—Call and see Watson’s Double Glass Ambrotypes at 25, 37½, and 50 cents, before you have your likeness.  Rooms 83 Main street.  Malainotypes and Panotypes taken by him.  The whole of the first week’s profits to be given to the poor of the city.                                                                                             

4.  Advertisement ran from November 21 to December 10, 1857.  Proclamation.—This is to give notice that if you buy a case a Watson’s Gallery, 83 Main street, he gives you a handsome picture.  Excelsior Ambrotypes taken by him with handsome case, the largest in the city, for 50 cents, and for 25 and 37½, Medalions and cameos taken in Silk Velvet cases for $1.  Also, Malainotypes and Panotypes, which may be sent in a letter, without extra postage.  All pictures taken at his Gallery warranted not to fade.—Old Daguerreotypes copied and pictures put in lockets.

N. B.—The best pictures taken from 9 A. M. to 3 P. M.                                          

5.  Advertisement ran from December 8 to 10, 1857.  Removal.—Watson & Son have bought out the old Whitehurst Gallery lately occupied by Mr. Leitch, which they will open on Monday December 7, and are now prepared to take Pictures from 25 to 37½ cents with cases; and extra large for 50 cents with case, which are not to be equaled in the city, and which is regularly charged $1.  Medalions, Cameos, Maianotypes, and Panotypes, which can be sent in a letter to any part of the world.  His Ambrotypes are warranted not to fade.

Remember the old Whitehurst Gallery, 77 main street, Call and see for yourselves, his specimens, and where Photographs of all the United States Senators can be seen.              

6.  Advertisement ran from December 11 to 28, 1857.  Old Whitehurst Gallery.—This is to give notice that if you buy a case at Watson’s Gallery, 77 Main street, he gives you a handsome picture.  Excelsior Ambrotypes taken by him with handsome case, the largest in the city, for 50 cents, and for 25 and 37½, Medalions and Cameos taken in Silk Velvet cases for $1.  Also, Malainotypes and Panotypes, which may be sent in a letter, without extra postage.  All pictures taken at his Gallery warranted not to fade.  Old Daguerreotypes copied and pictures put in lockets.

N. B.—The best picture taken from 9 A. M. to 3 P. M.                                  

7.  Advertisement ran from December 28m, 1857 to January 28, 1858.  $500 worth of Jewelry and Fancy Cases received by the Jamestown for Watson & Son, for New Years’ Gifts.  A handsome case and picture for $1, which is regularly charged elsewhere $2 for.  What you buy at other places for $1 we give you for 50 cents.  Pictures from 25 cents up to $10.  Groups taken in large cases and charged as single ones.  Union case, with picture, for $1.  Melainotypes, Panotypes, and Ambrographs sent by mail for single postage.  Pictures for Lockets, Breastpins and Rings taken; and old Daguerreotypes copied.  Pictures taken rain or shine, 20 per cent cheaper than any other gallery.—Good fires always kept.  At Whitehurst’s old Gallery, No. 77 Main street                                                                                    

8.  Advertisement ran from January 27 to March 1, 1858.  “Secure The Shadow, Ere The Substance Fade.”—If you wish a fine picture, call at Whitehurst’s old Gallery, (the best skylight in the city,) and examine the specimens of art produced by Watson.  They are warranted not to fade, nor to be easily defaced—equal to the best in the United States, and 20 per cent cheaper than any other in the city.

Pictures taken from 8 A. M. to 5 P. M.  Pictures copied, and either enlarged or diminished.

Melainotypes and Penotypes, for transmission by mail.

Photographs, 1st sitting, $2; Duplicates $1 each.

Remember, 77 Main street.

9.  Advertisement appeared on March 6, 1858.  “Secure The Shadow Ere The Shadow Fail.”—At Whitehurst’s Old Gallery, 77 Main street.  Photographs, either colored or plain, made from life, copied from Daguerreotypes or smaller pictures, and enlarged to any size.  Watson’s Ambrotypes, Maleinotype, Panotype, Ambrograph and Nelograph, a new style of Photograph, taken instantaneously, and finished in three minutes for letters, and are of a superior character. Colored or plain, and for beauty of finish are surpassed by none.  Pictures taken for 50 cents; Photographs 32 ; Duplicates $1.

Photograph of the Washington Monument, with Jefferson and Patrick Henry, for sale.  Price $1.

10.  Advertisement ran from March 6 to April 6, 1858.  “Secure The Shadow Ere The Shadow Fade.” If you wish a good picture go to  Whitehurst’s old Gallery, 77 Main st. and examine the Specimens, Photographs, colored or plain, made from life or copied from small pictures and enlarged to any size.  The pure Ambrotype we warrant not to fade or easily be defaced.  Watson’s unrivalled Niellograph or new style of Photograph pictures, taken instantaneously, and finished in three minutes.  Malainotypes, Panotypes and Ambrotypes for transmission by mail.  This gallery contains two of the largest skylights in Virginia, and for beauty of finish, his pictures are surpassed by none.

Pictures taken from 8 A. M., to 5 P. M.

Old Daguerreotypes copied.                                                                                      

11.  Advertisement ran from June 29 to August 3, 1858.  Whitehurst’s Old Gallery, 77 Main Street.—Notice—Watson takes pictures from 50 cents to $1, Ambrotypes, Melainotypes on leather, and Photographs any size, plain or painted, either in pastille or oil. The painting to be done by a first class Portrait Painter.  He does not pretend to take them by the 1,000 or by the aid of machinery, suitable for running railway cars or an ocean line of steamships.  He has two skylights, enabling him at all times to get good pictures, an advantage, not possessed by any other Gallery in Richmond.                                        

12.  Advertisement ran from September 14 to October 14, 1858.  Watson has just returned from the springs, and will be happy to see his old friends and show them some of his celebrated Chrystal Miniatures, which will neither fade or rub out.

Life-size Pictures, in oil or pastille, at the shortest notice.

Whitehurst’s Old Gallery, 77 Main Street.—Notice—Watson takes Pictures from 50cts to $100.  Ambrotypes, Melainotypes on leather, and Photographs of any size, plain or painted, either in pastille or oil.  The paintings to be done by a first class portrait painter.  He does not pretend to take them by the 1,000 or by the aid of machinery suitable for running railway cars or an ocean line of steamships.  He has two skylights, enabling him at all times to get good Pictures an advantage not possessed by any other Gallery in Richmond.                                        

13.  Advertisement ran from October 16 to November 15, 1858.  Whitehurst’s Old Gallery, 77 Main Street.—Notice—Watson takes Pictures from 50cts to $1.  Ambrotypes, Melainotypes on leather, and Photographs of any size, plain or painted, either in pastille or oil.  The paintings to be done by a first class portrait painter.  He does not pretend to take them by the 1,000 or by the aid of machinery suitable for running railway cars or an ocean line of steamers.  He has two skylights, enabling him at all times to get good Pictures an advantage not possessed by any other Gallery in Richmond.                                        

The first announcement appeared on October 29, 1858.  The Mechanics’ Fair increases in interest, day by day…But, apart from these, are five specimens of sewing machines, always at work, while near them may be seen the photographic displays of Minnis and Watson, that of themselves are worth a visit….

The second announcement appeared on November 10, 1858.  The Fifth Annual Exhibition Of The Virginia Mechanics’ Institute…List of Premiums, Awarded by the Virginia Mechanics’ Institute, at its Fifth Annual Exhibition…

Ambrotypes, Daguerreotypes And Photographs.  Class No. 26.—

G. W. Minnis, for his collection, silver medal

Mrs. Watson & Son, for pictures on leather, honorable mention.

The Photographs by Fredericks, of New York, are very superior, but were entered too late for a premium.  The Committee of Judges, however, deem them worthy of high commendation.

14.  Advertisement ran from November 15 to December 18, 1858.  What’s The News?—Watson, at Whitehurst’s old gallery, 77 main street, is going to Europe, and is selling off his stock of fine Cases at cost, and he gives you a large sized Ambrotype for 50 cents—sold at $1 in any other gallery.

Photographs from $2 upwards.  Pictures put in medallion and breastpins for 75 cents.

Good fires constantly kept.                                                                            

15.  Advertisement ran from December 16 to 29, 1858.  Be In Time If you want a good Picture.  Watson is selling off his stock of fine Cases at coast, as he will shortly proceed to Europe, and if you do not wish to be artistically humbugged, go to him, for he gives you a true picture, warranted to give satisfaction, at Whitehurst old Gallery, 77 Main street, Richmond.  He puts Pictures in Medallions for 75 cents.  His Gallery and Pictures for sale.      

16.  Advertisement ran from December 30, 1858 to January 15, 1859.  Look Out.—Be In Time If you want a good Picture.  Watson is selling off his stock of fine Cases at coast, as he will shortly proceed to Europe, and if you do not wish to be artistically humbugged, go to him, for he gives you a true picture, warranted to give satisfaction, at Whitehurst old Gallery, 77 Main street, Richmond.  He puts Pictures in Medallions for 75 cents.  His Gallery and Pictures for sale.                                                                                 

17. Advertisement ran from January 26 to February 16, 1859.  Good and Cheap Pictures—All who want good Pictures At Cost, should come at once to 77 Main Street, Whitehurst’s old Gallery, as Watson will remain only a few more weeks longer.

Recollect, if you want cheap and good Pictures, you must call at 77 Main Street.

The Gallery and Fixtures are for sale, and will be sold low.                         

18.  Advertisement ran from February 17 to March 9, 1859.  Positively Only For Two Weeks Longer—All who want good Pictures At Cost, should come at once to 77 Main Street, Whitehurst’s old Gallery, as Watson will remain only a few more weeks longer.

Recollect, if you want cheap and good Pictures, you must call at 77 Main Street.

The Gallery and Fixtures are for sale, and will be sold low.                                     

Advertisement ran from March 10 to 29, 1859.1859 March 10.  The Daily Dispatch.  (Richmond, Virginia.)  March 10, 1859, Vol. XV, No. 59, P. 2.

Whitehurst’s Old Gallery will open on the 14th inst, with an entire new stock of Cases, from 35 Cents and upwards.

Recollect, if you want cheap and good Pictures, you must call at 77 Main Street.

The Gallery and Fixtures are for sale, and will be sold low.                                     

19.  Advertisement ran from March 21 to April 20, 1859.  Gallery Of Fine Arts, 77, Main Street, Richmond, Virginia.  Important Notice.

Watson feels it due to his patrons and the public to tender them his warmest thanks for the generous support they have favored him with since he opened the above Gallery, and desires to inform them that circumstances has arisen which has induced him to abandon the project of returning to Europe for the present; and he is now receiving an entire new stock of cases of the best quality, which he is determined to sell at New York prices; and he intends to double his efforts to please all who may favor him with their patronage.

Every variety of picture produced by the Photographic art to be seen at his Gallery, which for style and workmanship, is equal to any produced in the city.  Here you can have a picture of surpassing beauty and size for 35 cents—unequalled by any other house—while Photographs, whole size 8 inches by 6 for $3; duplicates $1.  The public are invited to call and judge for themselves.

One Quarter size Camera, nearly new, for sale.                                            

20.  Advertisement ran from April 27 to May 14, 1859.  Great Excitement—By Telegraph—Watson, 77 Main street, Whitehurst’s old Gallery, has received, by the Europa, Stereoscopic Views taken in England, France, Italy, and the Holy Land, of Landscapes, Groups, and Statuary.—Call and see them.

The best style of Photographs taken by Watson for $1.  Likewise Ambrotypes for $35c.

21.  Advertisement ran from May 16 to 27, 1859.  Remember Watson—Whitehurst’s Gallery, 77 Main street—from Boston, Old England, has received, by the Europa, Stereoscopic Views taken in England, France, Italy, and the Holy Land, of Landscapes, Groups, and Statuary.—Call and see them.

The best style of Photographs taken by Watson for $1.  Likewise Ambrotypes for $35c.

Photographs, life size, colored in oil, or pastel, and copied from old Daguerreotypes and enlarged.                                                                                                           

22.  Advertisement ran from May 28 to June 23, 1859.  Grand Exhibition—Free—At Watson’s, (Whitehurst’s Old Gallery,) 77 Main st.—The public has no occasion to go to Europe to see Rome, the Holy Land, Paris or London, for he is constantly receiving views which are more perfect than scientific men ever dreamed of, for the perspective is perfect.  The finest statuary in the world; groups from life; views by gas light; views of the moon.  The whole for exhibition and for sale.  Call and see them.

Photographs for $1.

Ambrotypes from 35 cts upwards.

Pictures life size, copied or taken from life                                                   

23.  Advertisement ran from July 14 to August 18, 1859.  Great Excitement—25,000 People have visited Watson to see his splendid Stereoscopic Views, as well as to have their portraits taken.  His Portraits cannot be excelled; and for cheapness and durability are seldom equaled.  Call and see them.  Portraits from 35 cents; photographs from $1 to $25.  Old daguerreotypes copied or diminished to any size; painted either Water, Pastile, or Oil Colors, all worked up in India Ink.  Remember Watson’s, Whitehurst’s Old Gallery, 77 Main st.

24.  Advertisement ran from September 13 to October 13, 1859.  Selling Out To Leave, 50 per cent, Below Usual Price.—Great Excitement.25,000 People have visited Watson to see his splendid Stereoscopic Views, as well as to have their portraits taken.  His Portraits cannot be excelled; and for cheapness and durability are seldom equaled.  Call and see them.  Portraits from 35 cents; photographs from $1 to $25.  Old daguerreotypes copied or diminished to any size; painted either Water, Pastile, or Oil Colors, all worked up in India Ink.  Remember Watson’s, Whitehurst’s Old Gallery, 77 Main st.                           

25.  Advertisement ran from October 20 to November 19, 1859.  Selling Off!  Selling Off!  Selling Off!  At Half Price!  At Half Price!  At Half Price!  Watson’s Gallery, 77 Main Street.  77 Main Street.  To Close Business, 77 Main Street.                                                                                

26.   Advertisement ran from November 21 to December 1, 1859.  By J. H. Diggs, Auct.  Whitehurst’s Old Gallery.—Having concluded to close our business in Richmond, we shall sell at public auction, on Friday Dec. 2d, 1859, at 10 o’clock A. M., (if fair; if not, the next fair day, at our residence, 77 Main street, a collection of Oil Paintings, Pastell do., Photographs, and other Pictures; also , at the same time and place, will be sold a good collection of Furniture: Sofas, Tete-a-Tete, Mahogany Chairs, Mahogany Tables, Glass Cases, velvet Frames of Rosewood, large mirrors, Screens, Beds and Bedding, Bedsteads, one large sign, Window Drapery, a large stock of Cases and Chemicals, a lot of Gilt Frames, &c., &c.  The above goods will be on exhibition till day of sale at our rooms, 77 Main st., Whitehurst’s old Gallery.  Watson & Son.  J. H. Digges, Auct.                                           

A. Watson and Watson & Son are not listed in other photographic directories.  According to Craig’s Daguerreian Registry John W. Watson was listed as being at the Whitehurst gallery in 1859, could this be the son?    

Isaac Gale, Jr.

1848-1849       257 Washington Street, Boston, Massachusetts.

Isaac Gale, Jr. was recorded in two identical advertisement. The first advertisement ran from December 6, 1848 to January 6, 1849 in the Boston Daily Evening Transcript, and the second advertisement ran from January 25 to March 10, 1849 in The Daily Chronotype  both were published in (Boston, Massachusetts).    Litch’s Sky-Light Daguerreotype Rooms.  Arranged expressly for taking Family Groups—No. 257 Washington Street, 7 doors north of Winter St.

We have the Best Light in the city, and our extensive facilities enable us to execute likenesses, and especially Family Groups, in a style unsurpassed in the world.  Mr. L. (Formerly of the firm of Litch & Whipple), who has been engaged in the art from its commencement in the United States, attended personally to the operating department.

Perfect satisfaction given, or no charge.  Instruction given in the art, and stock and apparatus furnished.  Isaac Gale, Jr., Proprietor.  Albert Litch, Agent.

Isaac Gale, Jr. is not recorded in A Directory of Massachusetts Photographers or other photographic directories.

Montgomery Pike Simons

 The following is a brief history of the activities of Montgomery Pike Simons (ca. 1817-1877) during his sojourn in Richmond, Virginia as reported in articles and advertisements published in The Richmond Daily Dispatch.   During his stay from 1852 to1856 he was a prolific advertiser, the duration of most advertisements ran for a week or two, but sometimes only a day or two and only occasionally for a month or longer.  Throughout his stay in Richmond, Simons’ studio address stayed the same 151 Main Street, in Eagle Square.

In reviewing his advertisements family groups, and children were a specialty, and a re-occurring theme. Also whenever a convention was in town, be it a Medical Convention, Temperance Convention or Clubs. Simons would be among the first to invite the attendees to pay a visit to his Gallery and examine his specimens.  Like other daguerreotypist of the day the commonality in advertising are very formulaic and the majority sound alike.  As an example the following is an invitation to the Virginia State Legislators that appeared in the Dispatch on February 6, 1852.

Virginia Legislature.—Members of the Virginia Legislature now in session, are     particularly invited to call at M. P. Simons’ Gallery, and examine his exquisite likenesses of the President and his Cabinet, also Senators and Members of the House, together with a large sample of other distinguished and well known persons of this and other countries, too numerous to mention. All are desired to call, whether in want of pictures or not; and those wanting pictures would do well to judge for themselves of their superiority.  All pictures warranted to give full satisfaction.

Some of the prominent and distinguished individual daguerreotype portraits identified by name that Simons advertises in the Dispatch that were on exhibit in his gallery include Jenny Lind (1820-1887), opera singer; Lola Montes (1821-1861), actress and dancer; George Payne Rainsford James (1799-1860), English novelist, historical writer, and British Counsel; Henry Clay (1777-1852), lawyer, politician and Senator from Kentucky; Hon. K. Rayner, possibly Kenneth Rayner (1808-1884), congressman & legislator from North Carolina; General Lopez (full name unknown)[i]. Dr. Gibson; Rev. Mr. Read and William F. Titchis are possibly local individuals.  A view of St. John’s [Episcopal] Church in Richmond which was built in 1741 and is today the oldest standing church in Richmond. Tantalizingly a Tarantula spider that was found under his back gallery.  In addition there were for sale engraved likenesses Rev. Mr. T. V. Moore, pastor of the first Presbyterian Church in Richmond, by A. S. Walker of Philadelphia, after a daguerreotype by Simons.  In an advertisement dated March 30, 1855, Simons is appealing for a sufficient number of subscribers to off-set the expenses for engraved likenesses of the pastors of the different churches in the city.  Moore’s engraving may have been part of this project.

On at least three occasions Simons is extremely aggressive, antagonistic and sarcastic with fellow daguerreotypist. The first is with Frank E. Moulson who is charging $1 for his daguerreotypes.  The fight in the newspapers starts with the following notice which ran on August 13, 1852 in the Daily Dispatch:

A Chapter on the Daguerrean Art, and its Professors.—The Dollar Notoriety.—It has been suggested that these disciples of Daguerre attach the names of sitters to their productions, that they may be the more easily recognized by their friends. But as this is a matter we are not interested in, we leave it for those that are—their patrons. But would, ourselves, suggest the propriety and fairness of the operator’s name being attached, for two reasons—first, that the public may know where caricatures may be had; and, second, that they may avoid them when they wish a Daguerreotype.

Another thought occurs to us: it is well known that the State finds it necessary for the better protection of its citizens, to have officers, whose duty it is to inspect grain, flour, etc., and brand their qualities. Now, for the same reasons, would it not be well to have an inspector of Daguerreotypes?—We think it would, and hope that the Legislature, next fall, will take this matter up, and give it that calm and serious consideration which it deserves.  But as they probably will not understand this subject as well as they do that of unequal and arbitrary taxation, we will assist them, by furnishing for the purpose, a plan of a stamp or stencil plate, viz:—Taken for_________by­­­­­­­­­­­__________, an experimenter in the art, cost one dollar or fifty cents, as the case may be, which would be determined by the quality of the article; and then, on the event of our plan’s being accepted, we fancy we see Daguerreotypes finding their way into the price current of the day, reported thus:

Daguerreotypes, common brand, various prices, ranging from 37½ cts. to a dollar—little or no demand. Genuine article, medium size, ready sale, and firm at three dollars.  Remarks—public taste improving.

We are aware that our endeavors to hold these cadets in the art up to public gaze, that they may be seen in their true light, may, by some, be misconstrued into envy on our part, and by exciting public sympathies, increase the evil which we are trying to abate. But, however deplorable such a result would be, the task had to be performed.—For we should hold the man guilty indeed, who would sit in silence, and see the community in which he resides deluded by impostors.  But our object must not be mistaken.  Our intention is not to abuse, but rather to convince these mercenary operators that they have either mistaken their profession, or have most shamefully neglected to give it that attention and careful study which it requires,  and by improving the public taste, force this conviction upon them.

Moulson’s reply on the following day August 14, 1852;

Let the galled jade wince.”—When a slave is under the lash, his master trying to subdue a spirit of insubordination, the pain sinking deep into his soul, in a spirit of defiance he will often cry, “Oh, you don’t hurt.” Apply the lash, and he piteously cries for mercy.  So is it with some of our Daguerreotypist, for when we, to accommodate a large and respectable class of our citizens, brought down the prices of our pictures, the cry was heard, “it will ruin them,” “nobody will take such things,” &c., they have seen to their great mortification the gallery at 110 Main street crowded from early morn till twilight with the elite of the city; and viewing their own beggarly account of empty benches, cry out for protection by legislative enactment.  Could they produce superior pictures there would be no use for this.  We are delighted with the high encomiums of praise passed upon our productions of the art, and while we continue to receive the applause of the “fair, better part of creation” we shall be content to think, as we are sure thousands of others think, that some of our craft are small per-Simons.  Moulson’s, 110 Main st.

Simons continues his attack on July 29, 1853;

To The Daguerrean Fraternity

When will it be that we like others

Shall form ourselves a band of brothers?

The healing art to keep out quacks

With unity thus wisely acts;

And why not we our interest watch,

Hold up the artist and put down the botch?

Tis easy if we once begin

And show the mass they’re taken in;

Have we no ______ this evil to allay,

To drive them one by one with sticks away;

Or must they ever thus pursue us?

We swarm with skulks as base as Lewis

Trades are forsaken and the arts disgraced

By gawks whose fame is on the dollar based;

They who barns should paint and lumber haul,

Shriek “taken for one dollar” on the wall.

Then some to humbug little more

Stick “patent process” top their door.

All this is done the ignorant to beguile,

When in their sleeve the would be artists smile.

Yes, those who’d acorn the Doctor’s skill

That ignorantly prescribes a pill,

Do quite as bad, nay, even worse,

Encourage him who robs their purse;

Distorts their features, then, with a grace,

Asks you if that is not your face.

The feud continues until May 27, 1854, Moulson’s last advertisement appears in the Daily Dispatch which ran until June 6th.  On June 21, 1854, a constable sale is advertised the following items will be sold on June 23d, 1 mahogany sofa,; 1 pair of card tables; 1 mahogany show case; 1 rocking chair; 5 cane seat chairs; a lot of medallions and daguerrean cases.  Another sale was scheduled for July 11 to sell off all the fixtures at the Daguerrean Gallery.

The second dispute occurs with Jesse H. Whitehurst. Simons advertises On December 2, 1854 that he won the highest award, at the Virginia Mechanics Institute Fair.  Both Whitehurst and Simons did in fact win Silver Medals, but Whitehurst name appears first in the report.  The bantering goes back and forth Whitehurst citing the committees report and Simons going off on a tangent about Whitehurst claim to have won the highest award at the World’s Fair in London a bronze medal and Simons continues to refer to Whitehurst as the “Bronze Medal Man.”

Simons does bring up an interesting point in one of his advertisements, Whitehurst won many awards in New York, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and Washington, D. C. wherever he had a studios. Did Whitehurst actually take the image for which the award was given, or did his studio representatives take the image and then he took the credit because he owned the studio and his operators were his employees.

The third argument occurred again in the newspaper but went much further this time. On October 13, 1855, Simons advertises that he is taking Ambrotypes.  On October 15th Peter E. Gibbs responds

To Mr. M. P. Simons—Sir: Unless you discontinue the use of the word Ambrotype to your card. [which is my property as applied to Glass Pictures.] I shall proceed at once to require you to show cause why you infringe on my rights. ….

Simons continues to advertise Ambrotypes and on November 30th the notice appears in the paper.

Infringing a Patent.—In the U. S. Circuit Court, for the eastern district of Virginia. Judge Halyburton presiding, an application has been made by Mr. P. E. Gibbs for an injunction to restrain Mr. M. P. Simons from infringing a patent for making ambrotype pictures, of which Gibbs is assignee.—In consequence of the delay in receiving papers from the Patent Office in Washington, the case was adjourned until Thursday next, when it will be taken up and argued at length, by A. Judson Crane, Esq., for the complainant, and Messrs. August and Randolph for the respondent.

Court delays and Simons continuing to advertise the term Ambrotypes in numerous advertisements, the bantering and baiting from both Gibbs and Simons finely comes to blows as reported in the Dispatch on January 31, 1856.

Spoiling Pictures.—We understand that Messrs. Simons and Gibbs, picture makers, came in collision on Eagle Square yesterday morning, and made an effort to disfigure each others profiles, but were prevented from doing so by the interposition of bystanders, who separated them. These gentlemen have been pitching into each other, through the newspapers, for several weeks.  Which of the two has had the best of that fight, the public can decide.

Possibly a contributing factor for the continued resentment of each other may have been their egos, they both went so far that neither one could back down. In addition to advertising in the local newspapers Simons wrote articles to the Photographic and Fine Arts Journals, “claiming that he had the right to make Ambrotypes and that he was not infringing on Cuttings patent because he used varnish not balsam to seal the two pieces of glass together.[ii]”  In reading through the advertisements one could surmise that he believed as an artist he had the right to make Ambrotypes and that Cuttings patent had no more right to the exclusive use of two glasses than he had to the word Ambrotype.  A side note Whitehurst on January 26, 1856 reports in an advertisement that he had purchased an equal interest with P. E. Gibbs in his Ambrotype patent for the city of Richmond.  Most of the other Galleries in Richmond also advertise that they too are taking Ambrotypes.

On April 25, 1856 Simons last advertisement appears in The Daily Dispatch it ran until May 22, 1856.  On June 26 an advertisement appeared

For Rent.—The family part of the house at present occupied by M. P. Simons, No. 151 Main street. Possession given 27th August next.  On August 15, 1856 an advertisement appears auctioning off oil Paintings and furniture by virtue of a deed of trust to sell at M. P. Simons Daguerrean Rooms, 151 Main Street on August 23 at 10 o’clock a lot of furniture, consisting in part of tables, chairs, carpets, stoves, frames, &c. Also a lot of oil paintings, amongst which are some very valuable.

In conclusion many questions need to be answered. Was Simons’ business failing or was there a reason that he needed to return to Philadelphia?  By all indications his business in Richmond was thriving, reports in the papers indicated that he was very good and had many patrons.  What may have happen was a loss of business due to his disagreement with Gibbs.  An advertisement that appeared on February 2, 1856, stated that Gibb is a born and bred Virginian, which Simons was not.  Another explanation could be a decline in revenue due to competition from the makers of inexpensive images, such as Johnson (no first name) he advertises that he has twelve years’ experience, and has two wagons on the corner of 7th & Broad Streets. Johnson’s advertisements appear in the Dispatch starting on March 28, 1856 and the last advertisement appears on January 28, 1857, he is charging 50 cents for daguerreotypes; Other daguerreotypist working in Richmond in 1856 were E. M. Powers who is charging $1; Daniel Bendann advertises that his pictures are cheaper than anywhere else, but does not specify a specific price; Powers & Duke are making 50 cent daguerreotypes; William A. Pratt was not doing a lot of advertising and on May 17, 1856 announces that he now has the assistance of Sanxay & Chalmers and proceeds to go to Europe.  In an advertisement dated November 28, 1856 Sanxay & Chalmers announce that they had purchased the business from Pratt on May 5.  A. W. Osborne and Peter E. Gibbs do not list prices in their advertisements.  Where Pratt, Simons, and Whitehurst; do not list prices in their advertisements they are thought to be the elite photographers in Richmond.  By October of 1856 Albert Litch is running the Whitehurst Gallery in Richmond and by April of 1857 Whitehurst is no longer operating there, later in year Litch has also left.

In-fighting and disagreements between photographers is not uncommon Southworth and Whipple in Boston, Mass.; Allen and Van Alstin in Worcester, Mass.; Allen & Partridge in Wheeling, Va. and Tyler & Company where ever they had a presence, to name only a few.

[i] At this time it is not possible to confirm his identity. There are two General Lopez that are found when doing an internet search, but without the image or more information it is only speculation that either man is the correct General.  They are Antonio Lopes de Santa Anna, (1794-1876) Mexican President and General; and General Narciso Lopez (1797-1851) who was most notably known for his invasion of Cuba in 1850, he was defeated and retreated to Key West, he returned again in 1851 with the same results, he and his men were once again defeated, this time they were captured and most were executed.

[ii] The Ambrotype : a misunderstood history of a nineteenth century photographic process. By Sarah Janille Templeton.