Tag Archives: Boston Massachusetts

Lorenzo H. D. Shepherd

c.1852-1853    299½ Washington Street, Boston, Massachusetts.

1853-1854       Rooms over Owen & Moulton’s Clothing Store, Saco, Maine.

Lorenzo H. D. Shepherd was recorded in two advertisements in the Maine Democrat (Saco, Maine).  The first advertisement ran from August 30 to October 25, 1853.  New Miniature Rooms!  Chlorine Gas!  Bad Eyes cured in a few minutes, and pictures more beautiful and life-like than can be taken by the best operators with the old chemicals, (such as is used by the operators in York County), in the world.  Few there are that know any thing about it.

L. H. D. Shepherd, Having had an advantage that no other operator has had in York County in picture taking, and having recently practiced with the greatest operator in the Known World, Mr. Silsbee of Boston, whose pictures stood foremost recently in the World’s Fair held in New York, takes this opportunity to inform the Ladies and Gentlemen of Saco and Biddeford, that he has located in Saco, where he has fitted and furnished Rooms in a better style than any in York County, Over Messrs. Owen & Moulton’s Store, Where he is prepared to take pictures better than can be obtained elsewhere.  Reference may be had to such as have sat many times in these towns and also in Portland, for pictures and without success, viz: Moses Emery, Esq., partner of S. V. Loring, Esq., Saco;—Umphrey Goodwin, Esq., who says he has had more than 10 pictures taken and never a good one before; Mr. Farwell, and others.

Pictures copied of all sizes; in the most perfect style.

A light, Transparent, the best in York County.  As for Size of Instrument and quality, None like it in York County.

Call and see.  Let the Premium Pictures be laid upon my Show Case.  Perfect satisfaction warranted or no sale.  Call and see.  L. H. Shepherd.

The second advertisement ran from November 1, 1853 to April 11, 1854.  New Miniature Rooms, Over Owen & Moulton’s Clothing Store.  Chlorine Gas Pictures!  Mr. Shepherd, having procured Mr. Colby’s Main Operator from Portland City, with himself, is prepared to put up pictures finer and as cheap as can be obtained in the County Of York.  Please call and see our specimens.

Lorenzo H. D, Shepherd is not recorded in other photographic directories.

Mr. Osborn

1844                Address Unknown, South Boston.

Mr. Osborn was recorded in one announcement on June 4, 1844 in the Portland Weekly Advertiser (Portland, Maine).  On laying the corner stone of the new church in Hanover street, Boston on Thursday, among other memorials deposited, were certain specimens of Daguerreotype work, thus noticed by the Boston Transcript:

“And amongst other matters, Mr. Osborn, chemist, of South Boston, whose perfect skill in the production of the Daguerreotype, we have previously noticed in this paper, has prepared copies of the Proclamations of Governor Everett, for Fast, 1838, and Governor Davis, for Fast, 1841—and also one of the Daily Evening Transcript, of Dec. 8, 1843, which will be placed in the box, having received the approbation and admiration of the Building Committee.  The measure of the letter-press of these specimens of Daguerreotype is an inch by inch and a half, and the words may be read with the naked eye so inimitable is the clearness.  Time itself cannot deface this unique deposit, and Light has produced it—Light, the wonderful agent of God—pervading the Universe for the benefit of mankind—even as the light of Christianity is to pervade the hearts of all nations, and by the means of ministry and churches to prepare for ‘the perfect day’ and the ‘Everlasting Kingdom.’”

Mr. Osborn is not recorded in other photographic directories.

Marcus Ormsbee

1842                62 Milk Street, Boston, Massachusetts.[1]

1843                75 Court Street, Boston, Massachusetts.

1843-1844       31 Middle Street, Over J. D. Kidder’s Store, Portland, Maine.

1845-1846       144 Middle Street, Portland, Maine.

1847-1851       112 Middle Street, Portland, Maine.

1848                Cataract Block, Saco, Maine

1849-1850       8½ Daniel Street, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

1851-1862       203 Washington Street, Boston, Massachusetts.1

1855                777 Washington Street, Boston, Massachusetts.1

Marcus Ormsbee, this is a partial record of his activity before the partnership Ormsbee & Silsbee in Portland, Maine and Boston, Massachusetts (see yesterday’s post for partnership records).  He was recorded in eleven advertisements (three of which he was mentioned in) and one announcement in four different newspapers.  The first advertisement appeared on January 2, 1844 in the Portland Weekly Advertiser (Portland, Maine).  Ormsbee’s Daguerreotype Rooms, For Colored Miniatures, No. 31 Middle Street….Portland.  The Proprietor, who was the operator and Teacher at the Daguerreotype Studio, No. 62 Milk St., Boston, where the art flourished and superseded all other establishments of the kind, (the first year) has, since that time, been employed in the same capacity, at the well-known establishment, “Plumbe” Daguerrian Gallery, No. 75 Court Street; and in fact, has been Teacher of this beautiful and most desirable art ever since the application of the process to taking miniatures.

In compliance with numerous and urgent invitations from the inhabitants of Portland and vicinity, he has opened Rooms, (as above) where can be examined specimens of his work, some of which are taken of public men well known to most persons, and he does not hesitate in saying, would be recognized from their miniatures as readily as they could be, were their faces reflected in a mirror.—He is as will be observed, (having been long time familiar with every department,) well qualified to instruct, or execute, in the very best manner, Miniatures taken from life, copies of Portraits, Bust, Pictures, &c. &c., and color them equal to the finest and most delicately finished painting, with every variety of color in the dress.

His prices being the same, with settings and case, as heretofore charged without—the advantage to his Glass House, so easy of access, (being but one flight of the stairs from the ground)—also affording a light that will admit of producing equal results in any weather—he hopes from these inducements to receive an early call from those who are wanting miniatures taken by his process, which he warrants to produce a copy that cannot be mistaken by the youngest acquaintance.  He will further say, that should the miniatures after being taken and put into cases, not suit, the persons are under no obligation to take them.

N. B.  Instructions in the art given, and every article appertaining to the business furnished, warranted of the best quality, and at the very lowest prices.

Terms.—A single Miniature, with setting and case, $3.  Cases and Lockets furnished, (of superior quality,) from $5 to $15.

All communications (post paid) will receive prompt attention.  Dec. 27.

The second advertisement ran on June 4 & October 29, 1844 and on February 18, & April 15, 1845 in the Portland Weekly Advertiser.  The Art At Last Perfected!  By recent improvements, Ormsbee has brought the Daguerreotype Art of taking Miniatures to a perfection heretofore unparalleled, and he can now warrant, in every instance, a Perfect Likeness, colored or plain, and as strongly brought out as the finest painting or engraving.  Satisfactory proofs of this fact, may be seen at his Rooms, over the Store of J. D. Kidder, Middle Street, in the Miniatures of many well-known citizens, taken by him.  In no case will a sitter be obliged to pay for a Miniature unless it is perfectly satisfactory.

The process is not wearing to the most debilitated invalids; and such applicants as are confined at home he will wait upon at their houses, either in or out of the city.

A Single Miniature with handsome case $3.—Gold, Plated, and Gilt Lockets furnished cheaper than can be had here, or elsewhere.

Apparatus, with his late combination Lenses furnished, and instructions given at the lowest prices.  Portland May 29, 1844.

The third advertisement ran on December 3 to 24, 1844 in the Portland Weekly Advertiser.  Now.  Thanksgiving, Christmas and New-Year are approaching.  Those who wish to confer presents, on ‘Cousins,’ parents, brothers or sisters, could not select a more appropriate gift than a Beautiful Miniature, colored and correct to the minutest particular—such a one may be obtained for only $3, at Ormsbee’s Daguerreotype Rooms, (over J. D. Kidder’s ) Middle st.—Now Is The Time.  nov. 29.

The fourth advertisement appeared on April 15, 1845 in the Portland Weekly Advertiser.  Yes! It is rumored that Ormsbee is about leaving Portland—but notwithstanding his numerous invitations to go to Boston, Philadelphia, Washington and elsewhere, he is yet to be found at his old stand, “One Gross,” (143) Middle street, where he is now exhibiting Daguerreotype Miniatures taken by his very late improvement, by which they are taken much larger, more distinct, and in about one-fourth the time—the process now being but from 9 to 15 seconds sitting.  He is able to obtain Miniatures of groups of children much younger then heretofore, and to the same degree of perfection as of adults.

A single Miniature, with handsome case, $3—Gold, Plated, and Gilt Lockets furnished cheaper than can be had in any other place.

N. B.  Persons wishing to acquire the Art can be furnished with Apparatus of his recent improvements and be warranted with satisfactory instructions, with a few days’ practice, in the new process.

All communications, post paid, will be immediately answered.

The fifth advertisement appeared on December 16, 1845 in the Portland Weekly Advertiser. 

Thanks.  Giving, Christmas, and New Year’s.  If those in want of Presents for either of those days, would just reflect for a moment, will readily perceive the Great advantage that a Daguerreotype Miniature has over any other selection that would cost twenty times the amount.  Portland, Dec 2. 1845.

The sixth advertisement (the first he was mentioned in ) appeared on October 6, 1846 in the Portland Weekly Advertiser.  Commercial Academy.  Messrs. Keene & Drake Have opened a Room at 144 Middle Street, same entrance as to Ormsbee’s Daguerreotype Rooms, for the purpose of teaching Writing and Book Keeping…

The seventh advertisement ran on January 26 & February 2, 1847 in the Portland Weekly Advertiser.  Of Course!!  Although some have thought that Ormsbee would “of course” raise his prices for Daguerreotypes, because his competitors have left the city—he is yet happy to inform them that this opinion is incorrect.  All have still and opportunity of obtaining the most perfect Miniature, set in a good Morocco Case, for the same low price as heretofore–$1.50.  No. 112 Middle, opposite the [bot.] of temple St.

Then let those who are desirous of making the most acceptable Christmas or New Year’s Present, call on the subscriber and obtain a miniature of unrivalled finish.  See a new and splendid case of miniatures at the door.  Ormsbee.  Portland, Dec. 22, 1846.

The first announcement appeared on January 18, 1848 in the Maine Democrat (Saco, Maine).

Likeness of Gov. Fairfield.—Mr. Omsby (Sic.) has, at his Daguerreotype Room, an excellent likeness of the late Hon. John Fairfield, taken just before he left home for the last time,  From this he has taken several copies for some of our townsmen, and can take any number more.  The copies are life-like.  There are also likenesses from the plate engraved for the Democratic Review, but the expression is not so natural.  Mr. John Dennett has taken some very good Daguerreotype copies of this engraving.

Mr. Omsby’s room is in the Cataract Block, where all who wish may see this remembrancer of our late friend—and get a copy of their own features if they choose.

The eighth advertisement ran from April 11 to June 13, 1848 in the Maine Democrat.  Drowning.  “Drowning Men,”  the old adage says “will catch at straws.”  This I believe to be the case with my neighbor, and I would say competitor, had he ever produced one miniature that would bear the least comparison with the most ordinary of even the subscriber’s pupils.  The gent, of course a scholar, being a preacher and doctor, has called the public attention by his advertisement, which I presume he thinks is somewhat peppered with wit.  The troubled man says to the public, not to be duped by persons boasting of their superiority.  In reply to this, I will say that the gent fired without effect, as the daily increase of my customers induce me to believe that his reference to two or three group specimens, which were taken when in practice as a pupil , will not change public opinion in any degree, as relates to his, the ‘Elder’s great Humbug.’  Truly wonderful discoveries!  Hillographic Drawings, not the old dark, rough Daguerreotype, as he is pleased to call it.  I will further state to the public, that I practice the Daguerreotype process, and keep pace with the improvements in the art, having been favored with business enough to keep my whole time employed.  I shall not be obliged to attend two or three other kinds of professions, therefore can give my customers the best miniatures the art affords.  Ormsbee.  Saco, April 3, 1848.

The ninth advertisement (second that he was mentioned in) ran from July 12 to September 14, 1848 in the Portsmouth Daily Advertiser (Portland, Maine). 144 F. M. Danielson Having taken a Room No. 144 Middle Street, wishing to solicit the favor of the citizens of Portland and vicinity, in sitting for their Daguerreotypes, having been in the employ of Ormsbee & Silsbee for the past, and Ormsbee the two years preceding years, feels confident that he can satisfy his patrons with a Daguerreotype Miniature, equal if not better than any one who professes the art, and at the very low price of $1.50 put into Velvet lined, and $1.25 in silk lined cases. May 9. 144 Middle Street.

The tenth advertisement ran from December 26, 1849 to July 18, 1850 in the New-Hampshire Gazette (Portsmouth, New Hampshire).  Daguerreotypes Executed by the aid of Sky-Light.  The subscriber having made some further improvements, also securing the assistance of Mr. F. M. Danielson, his operator for about four years, and the past year having obtained the premium for the best miniatures, feels assured in stating to the citizens of Portsmouth and vicinity, that they may obtain likenesses as much superior to any ever made by common process, as those would be when compared with pictures taken when in the infancy of the Daguerreotype art.  Ormsbee.  Rooms 8½ Daniel street.  dec. 18.

The eleventh advertisement (third that he was mentioned in ) ran from November 13 to 15, 1850 in the Portland Daily Advertiser (Portland, Maine).  Daguerreotype Notice.  The subscriber having disposed of his Stock and Stand to George M. Howe would respectfully recommend him to his friends and the public generally.  M. Ormsbee.

Notice Extra!  George M. Howe having purchased the Stock and taken the Stand of M. Ormsbee would inform the public that Daguerreotypes can be had at his place as well as at any other establishment in the city or country.  Having secured the services of Ormsbee’s best operators he cannot fail to satisfy his customers.

Miniatures taken in any kind of weather, from one dollar to ten and rendered satisfactory, or no charge, at No. 112 Middle street.

Marcus Ormsbee is known and appears in several photographic directories, histories and journals.  The first advertisement we learn that in 1843 he was working for John Plumbe, Jr. in Boston.  A closer look is needed with his activity during and after 1848.  According to Craig’s Daguerreian Registry the partnership (Ormsbee & Silsbee) ended in 1848.  That is verified in the announcement that appeared on January 18, 1848 in the Maine Democrat (Saco, Maine), and the following advertisement that ran from April 11 to June 13, 1848 in the Maine Democrat.   In the advertisement that ran from December 26, 1849 to July 18, 1850 in the New-Hampshire Gazette we learn that he is operating in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  That makes the advertisement that ran from June 1, 1858 to February 20, 1851 in the Christian Mirror (Portland, Maine). Question that assessment.  Daguerreotypes can be obtained at the rooms of Ormsbee & Silsbee, 112 Middle St. from the size fitting the Smallest Ring, Bracelet or Pin, to that of the plate measuring 55½ square inches.

Also—apparatus and stock of every kind appertaining to the business, furnished at prices Low as Can be purchased elsewhere.

N. B.  Instructions given in their Peculiar mode of operating.

Except for the eleventh advertisement above, where he sold the gallery and supplies to George M. Howe on November 13, 1850.  


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

Ormsbee & Silsbee

1847-1851       112 Middle Street, Portland, Maine.

1851-1852       203 Washington Street, Boston, Massachusetts.[1]

Ormsbee & Silsbee (Marcus Ormsbee & George M. Silsbee) were recorded in nine advertisements (one of which they were mentioned in) and ten announcements in six different newspapers, and one journal. The first advertisement appeared on july 6, 1847 in the Portland Weekly Advertiser (Portland, Maine). New. Not only a new association in business Ormsbee & Silsbee, but they are wishing to call attention to a few new specimens of Daguerreotype, which they have within the past ten days executed by a new process–one that is peculiar to themselves, and enables them to take Miniatures with equal certainty, in any weather, early or late, from 7 A. M. to 7 P. M. They are also prepared to take views of cities, villages, houses, to copy Portraits, Bust, &c., &c.–Daguerreotype Portrait Miniatures, equal, and in many instances better than the original.

They will, if desired, go to any part of the city or its vicinity, in case of sickness, old age, or deceased.

Stock.  Operators are supplied with Stock Cameras, (German and American) of different sizes, Plates, Cases, Chemicals, Gold and Gilt Lockets, of every description, delivered at their Rooms, at prices corresponding with Boston or elsewhere.

Instructions.  Instructions given with or without apparatus.  Rooms No. 112 Middle Street.

The first announcement appeared on July 29, 1847 in the Christian Mirror (Portland, Maine). Daguerreotypes.  While Daguerreotypists innumerable in this country are hanging out their signals to the patrons of the New and Instantaneous Art, it cannot be disguised that our citizens are favored with the presence of “Masters” indeed, in this, now, most popular of the arts.

The specimens on exhibition at the rooms of Messrs. Ormsbee & Silsbee, (112 Middle St.) are attracting crowds of visitors—and these gentlemen are deservedly reaping a remunerating harvest, we trust, for their labors.

As yet no miniatures, a la Daguerre, have been executed, in this city so nearly resembling the best pictures on Ivory, as those being scattered far and wide by the above named gentlemen.

No individual in New England, it is hardly probable, is so destitute of pecuniary means as to be unable to spare the money which a Daguerrian likeness costs.

We have often heard expressions of regret, by persons who were mourning departed friends, to the effect that they had neglected to possess themselves of a portrait or miniature of their lost one, while yet the lamp of life burned within him, or her, as the case might be.  The “New Art,” will hereafter preclude any soothing excuse, if we neglect to provide ourselves with transcripts of those whose image, when death shall have remove-them from our sight, would be precious.

We congratulate Messrs. O. & S. on the improvements which have resulted from their inventive efforts, and sincerely which them all the success, their talents, taste and industry so well merit.  Portland.

It is indeed a beautiful art; and who would avail themselves of it to procure images of loved ones, have the opportunity, and can choose between the several artists in the city, after inspecting their pictures.

The second advertisement ran from April 6 to June 1, 1848 in the Christian Mirror (Portland, Maine).  3000 Dollars Reward.  The subscribers propose to pay the foregoing sum to any Daguerreotype operators of this city, who will, with their present skill and process, execute a miniature that shall equal those taken with our process by pupils with only six hours’ practice.  Ormsbee & Silsbee, No. 112 Middle st.

The second announcement appeared on May 23, 1848 in the Portland Weekly Advertiser.  A correspondent of the Transcript, writing from Boston, speaks thus of the Daguerreotype Miniatures of Messrs. Ormsbee & Silsbee, of this city:—

In my walks around town I notice at every turn Daguerreotype specimens, but in none of them do I see anything like an approach to those by Ormsbee & Silsbee.  Theirs are by all odds the most life-like.  There is a distinctness and finish to their specimens which I took for in vain in others.  In their larger portraits which are quite equal to the finest engravings, as well as their miniatures, they certainly are entitled to the palm above all competitors.  There are some specimens in their rooms which all but speak their praise.

The third advertisement ran from June 1, 1858 to February 20, 1851 in the Christian Mirror. Daguerreotypes can be obtained at the rooms of Ormsbee & Silsbee, 112 Middle St. from the size fitting the Smallest Ring, Bracelet or Pin, to that of the plate measuring 55½ square inches.

Also—apparatus and stock of every kind appertaining to the business, furnished at prices Low as Can be purchased elsewhere.

N. B.  Instructions given in their Peculiar mode of operating.

The fourth advertisement (the one they were mentioned in) appeared on July 12, 1848 in the  Portland Daily Advertiser (Portland, Maine).  144.  F. M. Danielson Having taken a Room No. 144 Middle Street, wishing to solicit the favor of the citizens of Portland and vicinity, in sitting for their Daguerreotypes, he having been in the employ of Ormsbee & Silsbee for the past, and Ormsbee the two years preceding years, feels confident that he can satisfy his patrons with a Daguerreotype Miniature, equal if not better than any one who professes the art, and at the very low price of $1.50 put into Velvet lined, and $1.25 in silk lined cases.  May 9.  144 Middle Street.

The fifth advertisement was recorded from July 12 to September 26, 1848 in the Portland Daily Advertiser.  Daguerreotypes can be obtained at the rooms of Ormsbee & Silsbee, 112 Middle St. from the size fitting the Smallest Ring, Bracelet or Pin, to that of the plate measuring 55½ square inches.

Also—apparatus and stock of every kind appertaining to the business, furnished at prices Low as Can be purchased elsewhere.

N. B.  Instructions given in their Peculiar mode of operating.  June 1.

The sixth advertisement ran from July 15 to September 21, 1848 in the Portland Daily Advertiser. Daguerreotypes Can Be Obtained At The Rooms Of Ormsbee & Silsbee, 112 Middle Street, From the size fitting the smallest Ring, Bracelet or Pin, to the plate measuring 55½ square inches.

Also—Apparatus and Stock of every kind appertaining to the business, furnished at prices Low as Can be purchased elsewhere.

N. B.—Instructions given in their peculiar mode of operating.

The third announcement appeared on August 1, 1848 in the Portland Daily Advertiser.  Messrs. Ormsbee & Silsbee have recently been making some further improvements in Daguerreotyping and have just produced some very fine specimens of the art.  Progression is the rule by which these gentlemen are guided and they have been successful in it, having made since their commencement in business in this city some very important improvements, by which they are now enabled to execute as perfect a likeness and as highly finished a picture as can be produced by any other artist in the United States.  Such is the lifelike appearance of their work that it will speak for itself.  Their exhibition room presents several specimens, which they are always pleased to have examined.

The fourth announcement appeared on October 13, 1849 in the Portland Daily Advertiser.  The Cattle Show.  The Fair and Cattle Show of the Cumberland County Agricultural and Horticultural Society, held in this city on Wednesday and Thursday of last week, proved to be the most extensive and finest exhibition  the Institution has ever held.

Specimens of Daguerreotypes, by Ormsbee and Silsbee, were considered as demonstrating an arrival at the highest stages of the art.  Your committee do not hesitate to express their opinion that these cannot be surpassed by any Daguerreotypist in the country—Awarded a diploma.

Some Daguerreotype specimens, by S. L. Carlton, were  likewise thought excellent; but for want of sufficient variety a full comparison cou’d not be instituted between them and those above spoken of.

The fifth announcement appeared on October 16, 1849 in the Portland Weekly Advertiser.  The Cattle Show.  The Fair and Cattle Show of the Cumberland County Agricultural and Horticultural Society held in this city on Wednesday and Thursday of last week, proved to be the most extensive and finest exhibition the Institution has ever held….

Specimens of Daguerreotypes, by Ormsbee and Silsbee, were considered as demonstrating an arrival at the highest stages of the art.  Your committee do not hesitate to express their opinion that these cannot be surpassed by any Daguerreotypist in the country.

Some Daguerreotype specimens, by S. L. Carlton, were likewise thought excellent; but for want of sufficient variety a full comparison could not be instated between them and those above spoken of.

The sixth announcement appeared on October 29, 1859 in the Portland Weekly Advertiser.  (Official.)  Cumberland County Agricultural And Horticultural Society.  Agreeable to appointment the Fair and Cattle Show commenced on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 1850, in Portland.

The Cattle Show was held in the pasture, corner of Green and Portland Streets; the exhibition of Produce, Manufactured Articles, &c., at the City Hall…

Daguerreotypes—It may be proper too, to consider under this head the Daguerreotype pictures which are at the Fair, and are equal in beauty, accuracy, and perfection to those produced in any part of the world.  Though they are paintings by the sun and not by hand of man, which is only mechanically employed to a certain extent in their formation, yet as objects of ornament and not strictly of utility, and indebted for their beauty to the cunning of human skill, their station may be within the province of the Fine Arts.  Of the three different artists who have furnished these, Silsbee and Ormsbee produced their pictures by one method of operation, and Carleton by another; and as to their merit, [that] excellent judge, public opinion, has so decidedly established their equality, that any further distinction by this Society than a diploma to each, would seem invidious and improper.

The seventh advertisement ran from March 1 to December 15, 1851 in The Daguerreian Journal (New York, New York).  Listed in the Daguerreian Artist Register at 203 Washington St., Boston

The eighth advertisement ran from June 11 to 19, 1851 in the Boston Daily Evening Transcript  (Boston, Massachusetts).  203 Washington, Corner Of Bromfield St., Is the number were Ormsbee & Silsbee have opened the most extensive Daguerreotype Rooms in the World.

The subscribers have two Sky-light Rooms, one on the first flight.

They are to be assisted by two of the very best operators, consequently leaving our patrons positive of finding at all times two or more to wait on them, and with-out delay, which so often occurs with one light and one operator.

They also have a Private Reception Room, for Families, while waiting, one for the other.  The public are respectfully invited to call.  Ormsbee & Silsbee

The seventh announcement appeared on July 1, 1851 in The Daguerreian Journal.  Boston Daguerreotypists….Ormsbee & Silsbee had not opened their new, elegant and unique rooms, yet we were kindly invited through their establishment, which is well arranged and is a proud feature of the Daguerreian art in the city of Boston; we shall speak of this, as well as others, more at length in a future number.

The ninth advertisement appeared on August 2, 1851 in the Maine Cultivator and Hallowell Gazette (Hallowell, Maine).  203 Washington, Corner of Bromfield St., Is the number where Ormsbee & Silsbee have opened the most extensive Daguerreotype Rooms in the world.

The subscribers have two Sky-light Rooms, one on the First flight.

They are to be assisted by two of the very best operators, consequently leaving our patrons positive of finding at all times two or more to wait on them, and without delay, which so often occurs with one light and one operator.

They also have a private Reception Room for Families, while waiting, one for the other.

The public are respectfully invited to call.  Boston, June, 1851.  Ormsbee & Silsbee.

The eighth announcement appeared on September 1, 1851 in The Daguerreian Journal.  Olmsbee [sic.] & Silsbee, of Boston have hoisted their banner, and are now under full sail.  This is a new palace, fitted up this summer.

The nineth announcement appeared on September 30, 1851 in the Boston Daily Evening Transcript.  Splendid Daguerreotype Rooms.  Messrs. Ormsbee and Silsbee have recently fitted up at 203 Washington street, corner of Bromfield street, a suite of rooms, that for chasteness and richness, in furniture and pictorial embellishment, is unrivalled in this city; in fact, their entire premises constitute a gallery of art.  The walls are covered with some very fine paintings, and many superb engravings.  But the chief object of attraction is the unrivalled collection of Daguerreotypes, the work of their own hands.  These may be seen iv a great variety of styles, from plain and simple nature, to the most elaborate in tint and coloring.  Some are fair imitation of crayons, while others can hardly be distinguished from miniatures upon ivory, and will bear comparison with any ever taken in the country.

An hour can be spent most delightfully and profitably here on any pleasant day.  A most remarkable picture was taken yesterday by these talented artists, being the family of the late Thomas Gross, of Wellfleet, Cape Cod, consisting of ten sisters, whose united ages number 702 years; the eldest being 85 and the youngest 57.  There are two brothers living, whose ages swell the aggregate to 832.  They met yesterday at the house of Mr. John Bacon, in Alba Court, for the first time, Mrs. Bacon being the youngest sister.  They are of the old Puritan stock, truly a band of sisters, all members of the Methodist Church, to which they attached themselves at a very early period of their lives, and they continue to live steadfast in the faith of their fathers.  The parallel to this we believe cannot be found in the country.

The tenth announcement appeared on November 15, 1851 in The Carpet Bag (Boston, Massachusetts).  Ormsbee & Silsbee.—It is with pleasure we notice the daguerreotype establishment of these gentlemen, corner of Bromfield and Washington streets.  They certainly stand in the front rank of genuine artists; and after examining many of the dull, ordinary daguerreotypes displayed “around town,” it is truly refreshing to look at their brilliant and life-like pictures.  One good portrait is worth fifty poor ones.

Ormsbee & Silsbee are known and are listed in several photographic directories and histories but are included here for the new information in the Maine newspapers.


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

Mrs. E. E. Lamson

1859                91 Middle Street, Portland, Maine.

Mrs. E. E. Lamson appeared in one advertisement that was recorded on July 16, 1859 in the  Portland Daily Advertiser (Portland, Maine).  Mrs. E. E. Lamson, Artist, From Boston, Would respectfully inform the citizens of Portland and vicinity, that having had several years’ experience in the art of Finishing Photographs in India Ink, Oil and Water-Colors.

Would say to all lovers of art, that she would be happy to receive a share of their patronage, and those desiring instruction in the same, would do well to give her an early call at B. F. Smith’s Rooms, Middle Street, where Specimens can be seen.

Likenesses warranted to be kept unchanged. 

Mrs. E. E. Lamson is not recorded in other photographic directories.  Side note only one issue of this newspaper was available for 1859.

Charles T. Carney

1856                138 Washington Street, Boston, Massachusetts.

Charles T. Carney was recorded in one advertisement that appeared on November 4, 1856 in the  Boston Morning Journal (Boston, Massachusetts). November 4, 1856.  To Photographers and Daguerreotypists.  The subscriber offers to trade a full supply of Pure Chemicals and Preparations used in the Photographic Art—the Bromides, Iodides, Fluorides, Silver Nitrate, Collodion, Gold Chloride, &c., &c., and trusts, by always supplying Chemicals of warranted purity, to merit a share of your patronage.  Charles T. Carney, Wholesale Druggist and Chemist.  138 Washington street.

Charles T. Carney is not recorded in other photographic directories.

A. Q. Browns

1849                228 Washington Street, Boston, Massachusetts.

A. Q. Browns was recorded in one advertisement that ran from November 25 to December 3, 1849 in the New York Herald (New York, New York).  Fine Arts.—To All Professional Daguerreotypers and Amateurs of the Photographic Art throughout the United States.—The subscribers, owners of Talbot’s United States Patent for taking pictures on paper, by aide of the Camera Obscura, considering that it is more consonant with the spirit of the age and the free institutions of this country, to give access to a valuable invention to every one who desires it, have concluded to dispose of this Patent Right, together with their valuable improvements, in individual licenses, at the trifling sum of thirty dollars for each of the first two hundred licenses, and fifty dollars for each subsequent one.  For this sum every purchaser receives license to exercise the art throughout the United States, with the exception of the States of Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Texas, for which States the exclusive right has been sold previous to this arrangement; a copy of the original patent and a printed pamphlet containing a full, clear, and minute description of the process, as improved by the scribers.  For further particulars, apply to the subscribers or their agents, post paid, who will send by return of mail a full prospectus of all the conditions.  W. & F. Langenheim, Exchange, Philadelphia.  Agent—E. White, 24 Broadway[1], New York City.

A. Q. Browns, 228 Washington Street, Boston.

Hale & Co., Boston.

Eastern Patent Agency, Boston.

W. A. Wisong, Baltimore

W. A. Pratt, Richmond, Va.

John C. Simons, King st., Charleston, S. C.

Peter Smith, Cincinnati, O.

Messrs. Long, St. Louis, Mo.

D. McDonnell, Buffalo, N. Y.

A. Q. Browns is not recorded in other photographic directories.  There were a number of daguerreotypist/photographers who were recorded at 228 Washington Street, Boston most notably in 1849-1850 was Richard Plumbe, brother to John Plumbe, Jr. in 1850-1851 Bates & Guilford who were recorded as running Plumbe’s Daguerreian Gallery.


[1] Possibly a typo for 247 Broadway

Henry Willard

Ca. 1855          Address Unknown, Boston, Massachusetts

1855                Pennsylvania Avenue, between 4½ and 6th Streets, Washington, D. C.

Henry Willard was recorded in two announcements in the Evening Star (Washington, D. C.).  The first appeared on December 18, 1855.  Henry Willard, a Boston artist of great merit, has taken a studio in the same building with Whitehurst’s Daguerreotype establishment, where he is painting the portraits of several of our distinguished men.

The second announcement appeared on December 22, 1855.  Fine Arts.—Visiting several studios this morning, we found the artists busy at their easels, apparently well content with the patronage they are receiving from an appreciating public…  Henry Willard, in the building with Vannerson, was at work on a portrait, in oils, of the Hon. Mr. De Witt, of Mass….

The New York Historical Society’s Dictionary of Artists in America 1564–1860 list Henry Willard as a portrait, miniature and genre painter of Boston, active from about 1833.

Henry Willard is not recorded in other photographic directories.  Craig’s Daguerrean Registry does record a William Willard as an artist at 5½ Tremont Row.  Both Henry and William are recorded in The New York Historical Society’s Dictionary of Artists in America 1564–1860. William  as a portrait painter active in Boston in the 1850’s and Henry as a portrait, miniature, and genre painter.  It is unknown what arrangements Henry had with Whitehurst or Vannerson if he was just using the gallery space as professional courtesy or if money exchanged hands or if Henry colored or painted photographs.  In the case of William it is unknow if he work for Southworth & Hawes or had his own space in the building.

Asa White

1843-1847       20 Washington Street, Boston, Massachusetts.[1]

1848-1851       36 Washington Street, Boston, Massachusetts. [1]

1854                36 Washington Street, Boston, Massachusetts.

Asa White was recorded in seven advertisements in the Boston Almanac (Boston, Massachusetts)  and one advertisement in the Liberator (Boston, Massachusetts.) 

1.  1847.  Boston Almanac (Boston, Massachusetts), P. 179. Asa White, Soda Manufactory; also Pipes, Ornaments, &c., No. 10 Market square, Boston.

2.  1847.  Boston Almanac (Boston, Massachusetts), P. 179.  Real Turkey Oil Stones ready shaped for mechanics.  A superior article.  Asa White, No. 10 Market square, Boston.

3.  1847.  Boston Almanac (Boston, Massachusetts), P. 179.  Miniatures Daguerreotyped. Price $1.50.  Asa White, No. 20 Washington street, Boston.

4.  1848.  Boston Almanac (Boston, Massachusetts). P. 181.  Asa White, Soda Manufactory; also Pipes, Ornaments, &c., No. 10 Market square, Boston.

5.  1848.  Boston Almanac (Boston, Massachusetts), P. 181.  Real Turkey Oil Stones ready shaped for mechanics.  A superior article.  Asa White, No. 10 Market square, Boston.

6.  1848.  Boston Almanac (Boston, Massachusetts), P. 181.  Miniatures Daguerreotyped. Price 75 cts. Including case Asa White, No. 36 Washington street, Boston.

7.  1850-1851.  Boston City Directory (Boston, Massachusetts), P. 43.  Asa White’s Daguerreotype Rooms, No. 36 Washington Street, Boston.

The advertisement in the Liberator (Boston, Massachusetts) ran from May 26 to October 13, 1854.  Whites’ Daguerreotype Rooms.  No. 36 Washington St., Established A. D. 1840, Still continue in successful operation; and having been recently refitted and improved by the addition of a large northern sky-light, (the only one of the kind in the city,) the proprietors feel confident that they can now offer inducements unsurpassed, if not unequalled, elsewhere.  No person is expected to take a likeness that is not perfectly satisfactory. 

Remember the old place, 36 Washington street, near Cornhill. 

This is probably Asa White who was active according to Boston City Directories from 1843–1851.  From 1843-1847 he was at 20 Washington Street and from 1848-1851 at 36 Washington Street.  He was not listed in the 1852 Boston City Directory and possibly subsequent directories.  It is possibly White’s name is used to further the business opportunities, or White was still connected to the business.  If the advertisement in the Liberator is correct then he was active as early as 1840, but no other documented proof has been found to collaborate this information.  Below are the Daguerreotypists or Photographers who were listed at 36 Washington Street, Boston, Massachusetts. Charles E.  Hale 1842; Asa White 1848-1851; Peter G. Clark 1851-1852; Justin M. Hunting 1852-1857; John D. Fowler 1854; and Freeman J. Amsden 1858-1859. To confuse matters there is also an A. F. White in 1855 at 121 Court; Austin F. White in 1856-1857 at 121 Court and Abiel F. White from 1857-1862 at 121 Court and 1862 at 27 Tremont Row. 


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

Leland Howard Wakefield

C.1847-1848   257 Washington Street, Boston

1848                Rooms over D. Turner, Jr.’s Store, Ogdensburgh, New York.

1849                Rooms over L. Myers’ Store, Plattsburgh, New York

1852                Address Unknown, Portland, Oregon.

Leland Howard Wakefield was recorded in four advertisements.  The first and second advertisement appeared in the Daily Sentinel (Ogdensburgh, New York), the first ran from August 17 to September 1, 1848.  Daguerreotype Miniatures, Messrs. Wakefield & Childs, from Boston & Burlington, will open miniature rooms over D. Turner Jr.’s store, Ford st. about the 25th of August.

P. S.  Those wishing Miniatures will do well to wait and examine specimens before obtaining elsewhere.                                                                                 

The second advertisement ran from September 2 to 14, 1848.  Daguerreotype Miniatures, Messrs. Wakefield & Childs, from Boston & Burlington, have opened rooms over D. Turner Jr.’s store, Ford st. and are prepared to execute likenesses in the latest and most approved styles, and neatly set them into Frames, Pins and Lockets.

All who feel an interest in the Art will please call and see specimens.           

The third advertisement ran from March 24 to April 21, 1849 in the Plattsburgh Republican (Plattsburgh, New York).  Daguerreotypes!  L. H. Wakefield, recently from Mr. Chase’s celebrated rooms in Boston, will remain for a short time in Plattsburgh.  Room over L. Myers Store.

“Particular attention is invited to the distinct mild, and life-like expression of the eye, and to the mellow and warm tone peculiar to his pictures.”

Taken in any weather, with or without colors, singly or in groups, and at the shortest notice—warranted better than can be obtained elsewhere.

Price of common cases $1.25.                                                                       

The fourth advertisement ran from June 26 to July 24, 1852 in The Weekly Oregonian (Portland, Oregon).  Beautiful and Life-Like Daguerreotypes Mr. L. H. Wakefield From Chase’s Celebrated Rooms, Boston, And recently from New York, has opened a Sky-Light room in Coffin’s Block, for a short time, and will execute likenesses, which for beauty and finish, life-like appearance, and artistic arrangement, are superior to any taken in the Pacific coast.  Mr. W. invites all connoisseurs and lovers of the art to examine his specimens and judge for themselves as to their merit.

P. S. Particular attention will be paid to taking groups, suitable to send to the States.

Charges Moderate.

Leland Howard Wakefield was not listed in the Boston City Directory, resident section for the following years 1846/1847; 1847/1848; 1848/1849; 1849/1850; or 1850/1851.  He is recorded in Craig’s Daguerreian Registry as being active in Portland, Oregon. He is also recorded in Oregon Photographers; Biographical History and Directory 1852-1917 by Thomas Robinson.