Tag Archives: James Irving

Irvin & Bablin/Ravlen & Irving

1853                Rooms over T. lavender’s Grocery Store, Lansingburgh, New York.

Irvin & Bablin/Ravlen & Irving were recorded in two announcements in the Lansingburgh Democrat (Lansingburgh, New York).  The first announcement appeared on February 3, 1853.  Messrs. Irvin & Bablin, Daguerrian Artists, have opened a Gallery in this village in the room over T. Lavender’s Grocery Store, where they are prepared to receive calls from the ladies and gentlemen of this place.  They have already transferred the countenances of several of our citizens in such a manner that they almost seem to speak.  From what we know of their skill, we are satisfied that they are artists of considerable merit, and they invite an inspection of their work.  Give them a call.

The second announcement appeared on February 10, 1853.  Ravlen & Irving, daguerrean artists, have just received a new invoice of splendid Pearl, Velvet, and Ivory Inlaid cases, for Daguerreotypes.  Since their arrival in this village they have been doing a regular land office building.

Using Craig’s Daguerreian Registry it appears that Irvin/Irving is probably James Irving who was active in Troy, New York which is only 4½ miles away from Lansingburgh.  Bablin/Ravlen is not recorded in other photographic directories.

H. J. Finch

1855-1858       Room in Hathaway’s Building, Lansingburgh, New York.

H. J. Finch was recorded in fourteen announcements and one advertisement in the Lansingburgh Democrat (Lansingburgh, New York). The first announcement appeared on November 28, 1855.  Daguerreotypes And Ambrotypes.—We have just examined splendid specimens at the Daguerrian Gallery of Mr. Finch.  A group of pictures set is one Frame pleased us very much.  Mr. Finch guarantees his Photographs to be equal in every respect, either for fineness of tone, depth of light and shade or durability, to those made at any other establishment in the country.

The second announcement appeared on December 20, 1855 in the same newspaper.  Mr. Finch, the Artist, still keeps open doors and a smiling face, to welcome his friends to his Picture Gallery, where people should go, to be taken.

The third announcement appeared on March 20, 1856.  Finch’s Photographs And Daguerreotypes.—There is no better place in which to secure a perfect copy of the human face divine, than at Finch’s Daguerrean Saloon.  He is a thorough operator, and those who are not good judges of a picture can place confidence in him, for he will not allow a poor picture to leave his rooms.  His ambrotypes are beautiful; and he makes even an ugly face look well, after transferring it to glass.  We are pleased to learn that he is receiving a good share of patronage.  Give him a call, and examine specimens for yourself.

The fourth announcement appeared on March 27, 1856.  Finch swings his banner to the breeze to-day, and invites all who are in want of either Ambrotypes or Daguerreotypes to call and examine some of his specimens.  He has discovered a way of making even ugly faces look pleasing and interesting.

The fifth announcement appeared on May 15, 1856.  All those persons who desire to procure the likeness of themselves or friends, would do well to call upon Mr. Finch, who is one of the best Daguerrean Artists in the State.  Mr. Finch’s shop is in Hathaway’s building.

The sixth announcement appeared on September 18, 1856.  The Fair…  Finch’s Daguerreotypes are the best on exhibition.

The seventh announcement appeared on November 27, 1856.  Finch’s Daguerrean Room is one of the attractive spots of “the garden,” and it does not fail to secure the attention of many passers by.—His Ambrotypes, Photographs, and Daguerreotypes, are splendid specimens of the art, and in his line of business he has no superior.

The eighth announcement appeared on February 5, 1857.  If you have not visited Finch’s Ambrotype Gallery, in Hathaway’s Row, you are behind the age.  His pictures are worthy of examination, as combining all the excellences of the art.  We doubt if he could not compete with the most renowned in his profession.

The ninth announcement appeared on February 12, 1857.  The Fine Arts.  All those who have any fancy for the Fine Arts, should not miss of calling at Fitch’s Photographic Gallery, and examine a specimen of his ambrotypes, colored in Oil.  These pictures are taken by the collodian process, on a metallic plate instead of glass, and then painted in Oil Colors.  They are the most life-like, high toned pictures we have seen, yet possessing all the accurateness of a Daguerreotype, giving natural color, even to the color of the eyes, and we see no reason why they should not be as lasting as any other oil painting.  Mr. Finch informs us that he can copy old Daguerreotypes, and enlarge them several times, and have the copy painted, making a perfect picture, equal to that taken from life.  We think that friend Finch will have enough of that sort of work to do, as there are scores of Daguerreotypes of deceased persons, whose friends would like to see pictured out in Nature’s colors.  Those who have Daguerreotypes to copy, should give Mr. Finch a Call, and have the shadow secured by this new process.

The first advertisement ran from June 18 to July 9, 1857.  A Card.  H. J. Finch would tender his thanks to his friends in Lansingburgh and vicinity for their liberal patronage and would also inform them that his Ambrotype Rooms will be closed after the 20th of this month until the 20th of September, when he will again be happy to wait upon his old customers and all may favor him with a call.

The tenth announcement appeared on June 18, 1857.   H. J. Finch, Esq., of this village, has been chosen Secretary of the Grand National Horse Exhibition and fair, to be held in September next, in Albany.  $6000 in premiums will be awarded, and it is to be conducted in the most liberal manner.

The eleventh announcement appeared on June 18, 1857.  Where To Go.—If you want clothing of any kind, Charley Clark’s “Taylor’s Camp,” is the place to get it, and after you are dressed up in a suit purchased of him, go to Finch’s and get one of those inimitable illuminated Ambrotypes that he takes.  If these directions are followed, we’ll guarantee the only fault to be found will be that the miniature will be a “little flattering.”  Enough said.

The twelfth announcement appeared on July 23, 1857.  A Card.  Those who wish a good Ambrotype, would do well to call at Fitch’s Rooms.  Mr. Finch has made arrangements with Mr. Dewel formerly operator for Clark and Holmes to continue the business during his absence.

The thirteenth announcement appeared on January 7, 1858.  H. J. Finch, Artist, has re-opened his Ambrotype Saloon, and is prepared to take pictures for the million.  Try him on once.  He makes excellent pictures.

The fourteenth announcement appeared on February 17, 1858.  Ambrotypes.  Mr. James Irving, of Troy, has leased the Daguerrian rooms in this place, lately occupied by Mr. Finch, and is now fully prepared to make first class pictures in his inimitable style.  Those who desire a really good picture should give Mr. Irving a call.

H. J. Finch is not listed in other photographic directories.


Recorded in the Lansingburgh Democrat, published in Lansingburgh, New York on February 3d and 10th, 1853.  Two notices appear in the paper which are very confusing, on the third he is listed in the partnership of Irvin & Bablin, Daguerrian Artist, over T. Lavender’s Grocery Store.  The notice goes on to say that we are satisfied that they are artists of considerable merit.  On the 10th they are identified as Ravlen & Irving, the notice mentions that they have just received a new invoice of splendid Pearl, Velvet, and Ivory Inlaid cases, for Daguerreotypes. There is no mention of the two daguerreotypist after the February 10th listing in the newspaper.

In the process of trying to identify who Bablin (Ravlen) and Irvin (Irving) might be. I checked Craig’s Daguerreian Registry.  There was no listing found for Bablin or Ravlen, Under Irvin there is a listing for James Irvin.  John suggest that it is a spelling variant for James Irving.  John says that he was an Itinerate and worked for the Meade Brothers and was in Troy, New York from 1852 to 1861.  The distance from Lansingburgh to Troy is under twelve miles so it is possible that James Irving is part of the partnership based on activity date and location, but this is just speculation on my part.  Bablin/Ravlen remains unknown at this time, but if Irving turns out to be the correct name then that means that Ravlen is possibly the correct name and Bablin is a typo.