1847-1851 112 Middle Street, Portland, Maine.
1851-1852 203 Washington Street, Boston, Massachusetts.
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.
 A Directory Of Massachusetts Photographers 1839-1900.