Tag Archives: Boston Massachusetts

Peter G. Clark

1850                Address Unknown, [Boston], Massachusetts.[1]                                                1851                247 Washington Street, Boston, Massachusetts.[2]                                                      1851-1852     36 Washington Street, Boston, Massachusetts.[3]                                                      1852-1854      in San Francisco, California.[4]                                                                          1853                Address Unknown, Boston, Massachusetts.[1]                                                  1854                103 Washington Street, Boston, Massachusetts.[3]                                                    1854-1856      in New York City.[4]                                                                                                1855                158 Bowery, New York, New York.[5]                                                                      1857                Lower Great George Street, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada.[4]  1859-1862      in San Francisco, California.[4]

Peter G. Clark first appeared in the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association Report for September 1850.  He exhibited daguerreotypes at the sixth exhibition of the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association, no award was given.

Reported on December 20, 1851 in The Carpet Bag (Boston, Massachusetts). A Present.—We have received from the artist, Mr. P. G. Clark, No. 247 Washington street, an elegant and faithful likeness of Mrs. H. M. Stephens, of this city, and we take pleasure in exhibiting the treasure to our many visitors. [We have an adjourned promise of the transcript of another fair face from the East—“down east,”—when the “sometimes operator” shall get back.] Of course we are proud of it, and of course we thank the donor, and commend him to the notice of that public which always patronizes those who favor the printers.

Reported in the September 1853 report of the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association.  Peter G. Clark exhibited daguerreotypes at the sixth exhibition of the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association. Award a bronze medal for daguerreotype views of California.

Reported in an advertisement on December 22, 1855 in the New York Daily Tribune (New York, New York). Handsome Ladies!—Pictures Taken Gratis!—The time fixed for the opening of Barnum’s Gallery Of Beauty has been extended for a short period $20,000 will be expended in Premiums to the 100 handsomest Ladies and for painting their portraits.  Highest prize $1,000.  For particulars see circulars at the Museum.  Daguerreotypes for this Gallery will be taken free of all expense to the sitter, if application be made to them immediately, by all the principal artists in the United States, including the following superior Daguerreotypist in the City of New York.

J. Gurney, No. 489 Broadway; M. M. Lawrence, No. 831 Broadway; S. Root, No. 363 Broadway; Meade Brothers, No. 233 Broadway; R. Anson, No. 589 Broadway; Beckers & Piard, No. 264 Broadway; M. H. Kimball, No. 407 Broadway; J. W. Thompson, No. 315 Broadway, and 182 Fulton-st, Brooklyn; M. Kerston, No. 421 Broadway, cor. of canal; P. Welling, Cor. of Bleecker and Carmine-sts; P. G. Clark, No. 156 Bowery; Jullus Brill, No. 204 Chatham-st; R. A. Lewis, No. 142 Chatham Square.

Peter G. Clark is known see the following publications for more information Pioneer Photographers of the Far West, A Biographical Dictionary 1840-1865Craig’s Daguerreian Registry, A Directory of Massachusetts Photographers 1839-1900.

The new Information, is the fact that he showed at the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association in 1850 and in 1853, the advertisement in the Carpet Bag newspaper with the 247 Washington Street address, and the December 22, 1855 New York Daily Tribune advertisement with address of 156 Bowery, New York.

[1] Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association records, 1850 & 1853.                                        [2] The Carpet Bag (newspaper).                                                                                                                        [3] Directory of Massachusetts Photographers 1839-1900.                                                                          [4] Pioneer Photographers of the Far West.                                                                                                        [5] New York Daily Tribune (newspaper).

Mr. Childs

1848                Rooms over S. Walker’s Store, Church Street, Burlington, Vermont.      1848                Rooms over D. Turner, Jr.’s Store, Ogdensburgh, New York.

Mr. Child can be tied to two partnerships The first I posted yesterday was an advertisement recorded on April 14 to May 19, 1848 in the Burlington Free Press (Burlington, Vermont.)  Daguerreotypes.  Messrs. Childs & Steele have fitted up Rooms over S. Walker’s store, Church Street, Burlington, Vt., expressly for the purpose of taking Daguerreotype Miniatures.  We have every convenience for taking groups of from two to ten on the same plate, or single pictures, of superior style and finish.  Set in frames, cases or lockets at moderate prices.

Business hours from 9 A. M. to 5 P. M.  Ladies and Gentlemen are respectfully invited to call at our Rooms and examine specimens.  Entrance up stairs, between N. Lovely’s and S. Walker’s stores.

A few months later he is recorded in two advertisements in the partnership of Wakefield & Childs the first advertisement ran from August 17 to September 1, 1848 in the Daily Sentinel (Ogdensburgh, New York.)  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 in the same newspaper.  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.

Mr. Childs can be attributed to the partnership of Childs & Steele base on the first advertisement in Burlington, Vermont and the second advertisement ties the two together as Childs being from Burlington, Vermont and Wakefield to Boston.  Wakefield is not recorded in other photographic directories.

Daniel Chapman

N.D.                 Address Unknown, Hyannis, Massachusetts.                                                              1855                Address Unknown, Boston, Massachusetts.                                                                    1857-1859     Address Unknown, Boston, Massachusetts.

Daniel Chapman was first recorded in Hyannis, Massachusetts from a broadside formerly in Harvey Zucker Collection.  In 1855 and in 1857-1859 he was listed in the Boston City Directory as a daguerreotypist without a business address.

At the Daguerrean Saloon, [            ] Hotel  “One chance more, as I will own, So call before I go.”

The undersigned would respectfully inform the inhabitants of Hyannis and his patrons generally that he will remain but one week more, and those wishing Pictures of themselves or friends will do well to embrace this opportunity, as his work needs no recommendation but to call and sit.  Having had ten years’ experience, and taken thousands of Pictures he trusts he will give the best of satisfaction.

Cases of all kinds. Lockets, Pins, Rings, & c., constantly on hand.  Pictures for 50 Cents, and upwards.

Daniel Chapman.  P. S.—Adults taken equally as good in cloudy as fair weather.  Children taken from 10 to 2 o’clock in fair weather.

Chapman was not recorded in A Directory of Massachusetts Photographers, 1839-1900 as an itinerant in Hyannis, Massachusetts or in 1855 in Boston.  He was listed in Craig’s Daguerreian Registry in 1855, 1857-1859.


1847                Address Unknown, Boston, Massachusetts

Champney of the firm White & Champney were recorded in the Boston Daily Evening Transcript on November 24, 1847.  They were not listed in Boston City Directories between 1840 and 1850.

Another Great Step In The Arts And On A Great Occasion.  [for the Transcript]                            At the laying of the corner stone of the Cochituate Reservoir on Saturday, the Daguerreotype apparatus was employed by two young artists of this city, Messrs. White & Champney.  Their immediate design was to procure accurate and full views of the things visible, and of all the persons, public and private, who took part in or attended the proceedings, preliminary to the execution of a grand painting of the entire scene.  This is the first time that the beautiful and effective invention of Daguerre has been availed of, in order to secure a representation of a public ceremony of the kind.  Owning to unaccountable circumstances, the impressions upon the plates were less brilliant than had been anticipated, but not fewer than three several views were obtained, each peculiar, comprehensive, and complete in itself, one soon after the procession halted and during the prayer, another as the contractors were letting down the corner stone upon the box in the cavity below, and the third in the midst of the mayor’s address.  The number of human heads, thus fixed by the light of Heaven upon the polished metal plates of the artist, is absolutely countless.  They are of all sizes—varying from that of a pin’s head, to that of “a small pea.”  Among the most conspicuous likenesses are those of the Mayor, Alderman, Common Councilmen, and Water Commissioners, Mr. Whittlesey, member of congress, the Chaplin, Ex-Governor Armstrong and Ex-Mayor Quincy and the offers of the city.  The citizens and spectators generally are in all sorts of groups and positions—some presenting the whole and some but a portion of their faces and persons.  The various pieces of machinery on the premises and buildings in the vicinity, are also distinctly seen.  On one side are the members of the band with their brass instruments glistening in the beams of light, and here and there, are troops of school children looking on the movements of the City Fathers, or watching the workmen about the grounds.

These extraordinary Daguerreotypes will doubtless be esteemed extremely precious—particularly at a future day; and it is gratifying to learn that from them are forthwith to be made, of suitable size, a perfect and magnificent painting of the ceremonies of laying this corner stone, and of the scenery, just as they were on this occasion, engraved by the flashing of the sun upon the silver tablets of Daguerre.

George H. Butler

1853-1856       140 Washington Street, Boston, Massachusetts.                                                          1855                   257 Washington Street, Boston, Massachusetts.

George H. Butler was recorded twice in the Boston Daily Evening Transcript (Boston, Massachusetts) on July 12, 1853 in an announcement and then in an advertisement.  New Daguerreotype Rooms.  It will be seen by reference to our advertising columns, that Messrs. Seaver & Butler have established themselves at No. 140 Washington street, where they would be happy to see their friends and the public, and to serve them in the line of their art.

The advertisement ran from July 12 to 25, 1853.  New Daguerreotype Rooms.  140 Washington Street, Seaver & Butler, having recently purchased these rooms, and neatly fitted and newly furnished them throughout, till they are surpassed in convenience and elegance by none in the city, are now prepared to take Likenesses with promptness, in the very best style of the art, and in every size and mode of finish.  The public are respectfully invited to give them a call.  Entire satisfaction guaranteed.

Mr. Seaver having been employed as Operator at Ives’s Establishment, for over a year past, would be pleased to see his numerous friends and acquaintances at his new place of business, where they will meet with entire satisfaction, as heretofore.

George H. Butler has been recorded in other photographic directories.  The 1853 information above is new and was not included in A Directory of Massachusetts Photographers, 1839-1900.

S. D. Brewer

Ca.1849           109 Washington Street, Boston, Massachusetts.                                        1850                Union Street Bazaar, opposite the Lynn Railroad Station, Lynn, Massachusetts.

S. D. Brewer was recorded in the Lynn News (Lynn, Massachusetts) on April 26, 1850.  He has been hired as an assistant to S. H. Whitmore and was formerly form [Luther Holman] Hale & Company, Boston  gallery.

New Daguerreian Gallery, In the Union Street Bazaar, opposite the Lynn Railroad Station.  The subscriber, having decided upon a permanent Location, has at great expense fitted up a suit of rooms, and furnished them with every facility for executing Likenesses, single or in groups, in a new and unique manner.  He has also the assistance of Mr. S. D. Brewer, who is acknowledged to be one of the best operators in the country, (recently from Hale & Co., Boston,) with the best Voigtlander Camera in the world, which will enable him to carry out his motto, “Excelsior.”

N.B. Particular attention will be given to procure good likenesses of sick or deceased persons, at their residence.  Children taken, in from three to ten seconds, between 9, A. M, and 3, P. M.  Copying attended to with punctuality and dispatch.  Persons learning of him will receive the best of instruction.  Lockets, Cases, and Frames, constantly on hand and for sale.  Perfect satisfaction guaranteed.              S. H. Whitmore

Brewer was not listed in the business or residence sections of the Boston City Directory for 1848 through 1851 and he was not recorded in A Directory of Massachusetts Photographers. 1839-1900, either under Boston or Lynn sections.

Bigelow Brothers & Kennard

Bigelow Brothers & Kennard were recorded in the Boston Daily Evening Transcript (Boston, Massachusetts) in an advertisement that ran from November 20, 1849 to February 12, 1850.  Daguerreotype Plates.  A consignment of French Daguerreotype Plates just received and for sale low, at 121 Washington Street.

Bigelow Brothers & Kennard are a new names and were not recorded in A Directory of Massachusetts Photographers, 1839-1900.

Nahum S. Bennett

There are a series of announcements and advertisements in the Washington, D. C. Newspapers that place Nahum S. Bennett in D. C. from 1850 to late 1852.  He was first recorded in The Daily Union (Washington, D. C.) in an announcement on August 21, 1850.

We are indebted to Mr. N. S. Bennett, of this city, for a daguerreotype likeness of Mr. Millard Fillmore, the present President of the United States, and lithographed by Mr. A. Newman.  It is an admirable likeness, and beautifully executed.  The President’s face is calculated to grace the art of the daguerreotypist or the painter; but those features are too apt to undergo a premature revolution from the wrinkles of care, which power, if faithfully administered, stamps with its seal upon the brow.…

In an announcement that was published in the Daily American Telegraph (Washington, D. C.) on July 13, 1852.  A Beautiful Daguerreotype.  The most perfect and admirable daguerreotype likeness we have ever seen has just been made of General Winfield Scott, by Mr. Bennett, of this city.  It is of very large size, and as clear and distinct as the reflection from a polished mirror.

We learn that the old General sat for this likeness with cheerfulness and patience, though under protest, declaring that so frequently has he of late been called upon to sit to artists of various kinds that he must henceforth refuse.  If others have succeeded as well as Mr. Bennett, we do not, indeed, think further efforts are needed.

Also on the 13th the following advertisement appears Rocky Mountain Indians!  Daguerreotype likenesses of the principal Chiefs of the Different Rocky Mountain tribes of Indians on exhibition at Bennett’s National Gallery, Penna. av., between 6th and 7th sts.

The last Daguerreotype, from life, of the departed patriot, Henry Clay, may be seen at Bennett’s National Gallery, Pa. av., between 6th and 7th sts.

In an article entitled The Pueblo Indians in the Daily American Telegraph (Washington, D. C.) on August 13, 1852 in part….Bennett, the skilful and popular daguerreotypist, took their portraits yesterday.  They were highly gratified, and, when told that each of them should have a copy of his own likeness, their pleasure knew no bounds.  The old man of the party (aged sixty-four) looked at his image for a while, and then said:  “When I am dead, and gone to heaven, I shall still live in this.”…

In an advertisement in the Daily American Telegraph.  (Washington, D. C.) on September 20, 1852 we learn that a portrait of General Scott is being painted by Stanley[1] which is possibly the best portrait of the General ever painted.  It is from a most beautiful daguerreotype by Bennett, of this city.

The last advertisement in the Daily American Telegraph (Washington, D. C.) appeared on October 26 and ran until November 18, 1852.  Crayon Daguerreotypes.  This style of Photographic Pictures was patented by John A. Whipple, of Boston, about six years since[2], and introduced into this city by Bennett in 1850, as many who have had them know.  Mr. B. continues to take them, in a superior manner, at his Gallery, Pennsylvania avenue, between 6 and 7th streets.

Published in an article about early Daguerreotypist in Washington, D. C. a letter from Samuel Rush Seibert dated October 19, 1896 is included.  It is in reply to Samuel C. Busey’s inquiry about early Daguerreotypist in Washington.  He states in part “Mr. N. S. Bennett had a Daguerreotype gallery a few doors west, on the same avenue, in a building which was on the east side and adjoining L. D. Gilman’s drug store. During the winter of 1851 and 1852 I negotiated with him for the purchase of the gallery for Marcus A. Root and John H. Clark, who immediately obtained possession and refitted the skylight and rooms, and there produced many fine specimens of the Daguerrean art.[3]

Based on the last advertisement of Bennett’s (October 26, 1852) and the first ad for Root in the Washington papers (December 19, 1852) the sale of the gallery had to be in October-November 1852.  Interesting John H. Clark[e] does not appear in any advertisements found in the D. C. newspapers.  According to Laurie Baty’s unpublished Directory of Washington, D. C. Photographers Clark was a pupil of Root’s and was the operator of his D. C. gallery.

Bennett was on board the steamer Empire which left Troy, NY around 7 P. M. on Friday July 15, 1853 heading to New York City, when it was in a collision with the sloop General Livingston about 2 A. M on the 16th on the west shore of the Hudson River, opposite Clinton Point, about two and a half miles above New-Hamburg, and six below Poughkeepsie.   A number of people were killed or injured in the accident.  The extent of Bennett injuries are unknown it is reported in the Daguerreian Journal that he did lose a valuable collection of daguerreotypes including a whole plate of the last portrait taken of Henry Clay, sixteen specimens of members of the U. S. Senate, Likenesses of the Rocky Mountain Indian Tribes, and a portrait of Billy Bow Legs and John Howard Payne[4], who was an American actor, poet, playwright, and author.

No other advertisements, notices or articles have been found in any of the Washington newspapers that I have access to, until the three advertisements in the Evening Star discussed previously about Smith Bennett who was award a silver medal at the 1855 Metropolitan Mechanic’s Institute while he was in Alexandria, Virginia.

Reported in the Evening Star (Washington, D. C.) on February 10, 1857.  That N. S. Bennett has sent an application to the Mechanics’ Fair to exhibit ambrotypes and daguerreotypes.  Then on March 31 (in the same paper) a list was published of the premiums awarded at The Fair…Class 30….

Brady, N. Y.—photographs—Silver Medal.                                                                                 Whitehurst, Washington—ambrotypes—Silver Medal.                                                               Whitehurst, Washington—daguerreotypes—First award of merit.                                         Langenheim, Philadelphia—stereoscopes—Silver Medal.                                                      Vannerson, Washington—photographs, ambrotypes and daguerreotypes—Bronze Medal.   Whitehurst, Washington—photographs—Diploma.                                                                       Cutting & Turner, Boston—ambrotypes—Diploma                                                                                  N. S. Bennett, Alexandria—daguerreotypes—Diploma.

Bennett is reported to have been active in 1860 in Alexandria at 69 King Street.  At this time I have been unable to find directories for Alexandria to verify activity dates and address for Bennett from 1855-1860+.

[1] Probably John Mix Stanley.

[2] Crayon Daguerreotypes were patented by Whipple on January 23, 1849, Patent No. 6,056.

[3] In an article published in the Records of the Columbia Historical Society, Washington, D. C.  Vol. 3, P. 81-95.  Entitled Early History of Daguerreotypy in the City of Washington, by Samuel C. Busey.

[4] Article in the New York Times, July 18, 1853, P. 1.

Nathan S. Bennett

Nathan S. Bennett was first recorded in the 1844 Boston City Directory as a photographer at 109 Washington Street, Boston[1], with no residence information provided.  He was not listed in subsequent directories.  He next appears in an advertisement in the Wilmington Journal newspaper (Wilmington, North Carolina.)  The advertisement ran from December 24, 1847 to January 28, 1848.

“Transferred by wondrous magic art, Behold how perfect every part.”  N. S. Bennett, From Boston, would most respectfully inform the inhabitants of Wilmington and vicinity, that he has fitted up rooms in the rear of Dr. Ware’s Office, Front Street, for the purpose of taking Daguerreotype Miniatures, and would invite all who wish really bold and perfect miniatures of themselves or friends, to give him a call.  By a new and expeditious process, peculiar to himself, he is enabled to take the likeness of infants, of almost any age; and parents may now procure pictures of their little ones which will be protraction’s of life itself.  Hours for operating, from 10 a. m., till 4 p. m.

Nathan S. Bennett is recorded in several photographic directories for his time spent in Boston in 1844.  The possible connection to the Hale brothers (Charles E. and or Luther Holman) has not previously been explored.  There is also another possible connection to Smith Bennett and Nahum S. Bennett in Washington, D. C. and Alexandria, Virginia.

[1] He may have worked for Charles E. Hale and or possibly Luther Holman Hale in 1844-1845 at 109 Washington Street.