Tag Archives: John Plumbe Jr.

Paige & Beach

1848                Concert Hall, Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D. C.

Paige & Beach (Blanchard P. Paige & Albert Beach) was first recorded in unpublished research A Directory of Nineteenth Century Photographers of Washington, D. C., by Paula Fleming & Laurie Baty.  Paige & Beach proprietors for Plumbe Gallery, Washington, D.C.

They next appeared in an advertisement and article.  The advertisement appeared in the  New York Daily Tribune (New York, New York) on July 12, 1848 Henry Clay In His 71St Year.—Published this day, (June 6, 1848.) by E. Anthony, 205 Broadway, a beautiful steel mezzotint engraving of Henry Clay, drawn and engraved from several Daguerreotypes by H. H. Ritchie [Possibly Alexander Hay Ritchie]

This likeness was mainly taken from a fine Daguerreotype now in the possession of the subscriber, executed by Messrs. Paige & Beach, Washington.  The artists is also indebted to Daguerreotypes taken by Messrs. Root, Simons, and W. & F. Langenheim of Philadelphia, and M. B. Brady, M. M. Lawrence and the Plumbe Gallery of New York, to all of whom the subscriber takes this occasion to express his thanks for the liberality with which they placed their valuable pictures at his disposal.

In addition to its merits as an exquisite likeness, this picture stands unrivaled as a work of art.

The title prefixed to this advertisement will distinguish the engraving from any other likeness of Henry Clay published by the subscriber or others.

Price of Proofs on India paper, $1.                                                                                                                      Price of plain paper, 50 cents.                                                                                                                      Price of prints in enameled frames, from $1 upwards.                                                                            For sale by E. Anthony, 205 Broadway.

Daniel Webster.—Also a fine steel engraving of Daniel Webster by Ritchie, from an excellent Daguerreotype by Whipple, of the same size and style with the above.

To any Editor who will give the above advertisement, with this notice, a prominent insertion, a copy of Henry Clay will be forwarded on the receipt of the paper.

The article appeared in the American Telegraph (Washington, D. C.) on July 8, 1851.  A sad case.—about a week ago the records of the Criminal Court should that Albert Beach had been found guilty of obtaining money under false pretenses; and he was yesterday sentenced by Judge Crawford to the Penitentiary for eighteen months.

This man is, we suppose, about thirty-six years old.  He was educated to commercial business in the city of New York, where he afterward held a profitable and responsible position in one of the first establishments.  He subsequently followed the business of daguerreotyping in this city, with apparently very good success; and while so engaged, two or three years ago, married a most estimable and excellent young lady.  To the surprise of many, however, he suddenly sold out his interest in the daguerreotyping establishment, and threw himself out of business for a time; but after a little commenced an auction store, in which his career was brief, as many who had come to know him predicted.  His course was then rapidly downward, and instead of “swelling” at the hotels he turned to lounging at the groggeries; and instead of trying to effect “transactions” at wholesale stores, his aim was simply to “do” some poor fool out of a few dollars.  Caught in one of these tricks, he has at least been sentenced to the felon’s punishment….

The partnership of Paine & Beach is not recorded in published photographic directories.  Paine is recorded in Craig’s Daguerreian Registry, but Albert Beach is not.

C. L. Middlebrook

1846                Address Unknown, Norfolk, Virginia.                                                                            1846                Address Unknown, Petersburgh, Virginia.

C. L. Middlebrook was mentioned in an article that appeared on August 4, 1846 in The New York Herald (New York, New York).  At Norfolk…We had a grand ball last evening at the hotel, which was crowded to excess. The officers and belles danced with considerable spirit and animation, and seemed to enjoy themselves a good deal.  The band from the fort performed, and were led by W. E. Bloomfield, formerly of the New York brass band…We have here a branch of Plumb’s Daguerreotype establishment, under the management of Mr. C. L. Middlebrook, who does a good business here and at Petersburgh.  The idea is a very good one, too, for those young beaux who loose their hearts, if they cannot get the original, can be supplied with an excellent copy by Mr. M., and thus afford a temporarily relief to the victim of unrequited love in these “diggings.”

C. L. Middlebrook  is not recorded in other photographic directories.  Both Craig’s Daguerreian Registry and Photographers In Virginia A Checklist by Louis Ginsberg list a C. S. Middlebrook in Petersburg.  It is possibly they are the same person.

J. A. McDougal

1849                251 Broadway, New York, New York.

J. A. McDougal was recorded in one advertisement that ran 16 times between October 4 and November 23, 1849 in the New York Herald (New York, New York). Miniatures.—Mr. J. A. McDougal, Artist, Has returned to his studio, No. 251 Broadway, corner of Murray street, over Tenney’s, in Plumbe’s. Mr. McD. Is enabled by a process peculiar to himself, to copy Daguerreotypes, no matter how dim or faded, and give the expression as well as if from life.

J. A. McDougal is not listed in other photographic directories. This is probably James Alexander McDougall Miniaturist and portrait painter, and not a daguerreotypist.

Johnson & Gurney

1852                Rooms at the Odd-Fellows’ Building, Franklin, Louisiana.

Johnson & Gurney were recorded in three announcements and one advertisement in The Planters’ Banner (Franklin, Louisiana).  The first announcement appeared on April 3, 1852. Messrs. Johnson and Gurney daguerreotypist, have taken rooms at the Odd-Fellows’ building, for the purpose of “practicing the daguerrean art in all its minutiae.”  The specimens of their work, which may be seen at the entrance to their rooms, are highly finished and beautiful.  See their card in another column.

The advertisement ran from April 3 to 24, 1852.  Mr. Johnson, The Oldest Daguerreotypist now living, and Mr. Gurney, of the firm Gibbs & Gurney, of Vicksburg and Natchez, Miss., have opened a room in the Odd-Fellows’ Hall, at Franklin, where they will remain a short time, for the purpose of practicing the Daguerrean Art in all its minutiae.

Mr. Johnson is a pioneer in the business, has practiced the Art ever since its introduction into the United States, and is acknowledged by Root, Brady, Plumb and Hill, of New York, and Jacobs, Maguire and Moissenett, of New Orleans, to be the best artist now living in America, as almost all of the above artist have received their instructions direct from him.

We have a beautiful variety of Cases and Lockets of all descriptions, namely—Parodi Cases, Kossuth Cases, Jenny Lind Cases, Catharine Hayes, Eareka Cases, Bridal Cases, Breast Pins, &c.   The Citizens of Franklin and its Vicinity are invited to call and examine our specimens.  Perfect satisfaction given, or no charge made.  N. B.—A rare chance is now offered for obtaining instructions in this beautiful Art, direct from Mr. Johnson.   Charles E. Johnson.  M. J. Gurney.

The second announcement appeared on April 10, 1852.  Messrs. Johnson & Gurney Daguerreotypist, are making admirable pictures at their rooms, in the Odd Fellows’ building.

The third announcement appeared on April 17, 1852.  Messrs. Johnson & Gurney Daguerreotypist, will only remain at their rooms in the Odd Fellows’ building a few days longer.  Those needing pictures had better make an early call.

Johnson & Gurney (Charles E. Johnson & M. J. Gurney) are not recorded as being partners in other photographic directories.  Both are recorded in separately.

DeWitt C. Grenell

N. D.               5½ Tremont Row, Boston, Massachusetts.                                                                            N. D.               205 Broadway, New York, New York.                                                                                      N. D.               100 Chestnut, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.                                                                        N. D.               Eighth and Chestnut, Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.                                            N. D.               205 Baltimore Street, Baltimore, Maryland.                                                                      1849                Rooms in Safford’s New Block, Watertown, New York.                                              1850                236 Grand Street, New York, New York.                                                          1851                557 & 559 Broadway, New York, New York.

DeWitt C. Grenell was recorded in three advertisements.  The first advertisement ran on October 17 to November 14, 1849 in the Northern New York Journal (Watertown, New York).  Daguerreotype, Plumbotype, and Calotype Pictures, “Secure the Shadow ere the Substance Fades.”  DeWitt C. Grenell, Daguerrean Artist, just arrived from New York and Philadelphia, with the largest assortment of Daguerreotype Stock, Apparatus and Specimens, ever exhibited in Watertown.  Having had many years experience in the largest establishments in the United States, viz: Southworth & Hawes, Boston, M. B. Brady, N. York, T. P. & D. C. Collins, McLees & German sic. McCless & Germon Philadelphia, also Plumbe’s National Daguerrean Gallery, Baltimore.  He has taken and furnished in the best manner three large and commodious rooms in Safford’s New Block, opposite the American Hotel.  Having a thorough knowledge of all the late improvements in the art, and a superior Apparatus, he feels confident his portraits will excel anything before offered.  Ladies and Gentlemen are respectfully invited to call and examine specimens , among which are several distinguished personages.  Photographs neatly set in Lockets, Pins and Rings.  Family Groups of any desired size, also Children taken instantly.

Daguerreotype Stock constantly on hand at the lowest New York Prices.  Goods will be forwarded to Operators in the country on the shortest notice.  Also, instructions given to any person desiring to learn the mysteries of the art.  Watertown, Sept. 26th, 1849.

The Second advertisement ran on June 8 & 10, 1851 in The New York Herald (New York, New York).  D. C. Grenell’s New-York Daguerreian Gallery at the Alhambra, building 557 & 559 Broadway, formerly occupied by J. Niblo, is now open for the reception of the public; no expense has been spared in making it one of the most perfect establishments of the kind in the world, with a thorough knowledge of every improvement the art has attained, and operators of long experience and superior talent employed enables the proprietor to warrant every picture equal to any taken in this country.  The Sky light which is arranged upon a new plan, is superior to many and surpassed by none.  The public can rely upon perfect satisfaction, both with regard to quality and price.

The third advertisement ran on June 9 & 10, 1851 in the New York Daily Tribune.  (New York, New York.)  June 9, 1851, Vol. XI, No. 3165, P. 4.

D. C. Grenell’s New-York Daguerreian Gallery at the Alhambra, building 557 & 559 Broadway, formerly occupied by J. Niblo, is now open for the reception of the public; no expense has been spared in making it one of the most perfect establishments of the kind in the world, with a thorough knowledge of every improvement the art has attained, and operators of long experience and superior talent employed enables the proprietor to warrant every picture equal to any taken in this country. The Sky light which is arranged upon a new plan, is superior to many and surpassed by none. The public can rely upon perfect satisfaction, both with regard to quality and price.

DeWitt C. Grenell is recorded in Craig’s Daguerreian Registry in 1850 to 1851 in New York City.

Zenas Gage, Jr.

ND                       75 Court Street, Boston, Massachusetts.                                                              1842                    74½ Exchange Building, Auburn, New York.

Zenas Gage, Jr. was recorded in an advertisement that ran from August 17 to 31, 1842 in the Auburn Journal and Advertiser (Auburn, New York).  Photography.  Mr. Zenas Gage, Jr., Pupil of John Plumbe, Prof. Photography, in the U. S. Photographic Institute, Boston, respectfully announces to the ladies and gentlemen of Auburn, that he has taken rooms in Exchange Buildings over No. 74½, where he will furnish those who feel desirous, with beautiful and correct Daguerreotype Likenesses, taken with a costly and perfect instrument, at an ordinary window in about 30 seconds, without the direct rays of the sun.

He will also teach others the art, and furnish them with apparatus as cheap as they can buy in Boston, New York, or elsewhere.  All are cordially invited to call and examine specimens.

Zenas Gage, Jr. is not recorded in other photographic directories.

F. M. Foster

1848                 Room opposite Temperance Hall, Indianapolis, Indiana.

F. M. Foster was recorded in an advertisement and was mentioned in an article. The advertisement ran from December 2 to 30, 1848 in the Indiana State Sentinel (Indianapolis, Indiana). F. M. Foster’s Daguerrean Rooms, Opposite Temperance Hall, Indianapolis.  Ladies and Gentlemen are invited to call and examine specimens.  A perfect likeness of a friend is the most acceptable holiday present that can be given or received.  Miniatures taken in cloudy as well as clear weather.  Instructions in the art carefully and faithfully given.  Apparatus, Plates, Cases, Chemicals, &c., furnished to order.

The article was recorded on December 16, 1848 in the Indiana State Sentinel (Indianapolis, Indiana).  Daguerreotype Likenesses.—A rare opportunity is now offered to those who desire to obtain correct likenesses by the daguerreotype process.

First in the list of operators at present in this city, are our friends Munsell & McNaught.  As a scientific chemist, Dr. Munsell has few superiors any where, and as a practical operator in photographic miniatures, large and small, McNaught has no superior in this country.  We use this expression deliberately, and trial will prove its truth.  We visited “Plumbe’s Daguerrean Gallery,” and various other similar rooms, on a late journey to the east, and among the hundreds of specimens which we saw, we did not see one superior, if indeed any equal, to those which can be exhibited by Mr. McNaught.  We therefore feel it due to unpretending but real merit, to recommend our friends to call at the rooms of the gentlemen her indicated, and see for themselves; and we urge them to do so immediately, as we understand that one of them (Mr. McN.) will soon leave town.  It is a common error that one man can make these pictures as well as another; but this is a very great mistake.  To make good ones, requires much practical knowledge, and some good taste; and these qualities are united in these gentlemen to an eminent degree.  Let our friends at once call at the office of Dr. Munsell, in Norris’s building, and see for themselves.

Secondly: we have an artist in the person of Mr. Foster, room opposite Temperance Hall, who has been but a few days in the city.  He exhibits some excellent specimens, and promises to give satisfaction to all who may call his services into requisition.  We have no doubt of his ability to redeem all the promises he may make, and we mean to try his skill in a day or two, upon our handsome phiz.

Albert Beach

Albert Beach is recorded in the New York Daily Tribune (New York, New York) on July 12, 1848 in the partnership of Paige & Beach. The advertisement reads in part.

Henry Clay In His 71st. Year.—Published this day, (June 6, 1848.) by E. Anthony, 205 Broadway, a beautiful steel mezzotint engraving of Henry Clay, drawn and engraved from several Daguerreotypes by H. H. Ritchie.[1]  This likeness was mainly taken from a fine Daguerreotype now in the possession of the subscriber, executed by Messrs. Paige & Beach, Washington.

The second entry was actually the first mention of the Albert Beach that I came across which appeared in the American Telegraph (Washington, D. C.) on July 8, 1851.

A sad case.—about a week ago the records of the Criminal Court should that Albert Beach had been found guilty of obtaining money under false pretenses; and he was yesterday sentenced by Judge Crawford to the Penitentiary for eighteen months.

This man is, we suppose, about thirty-six years old.  He was educated to commercial business in the city of New York, where he afterward held a profitable and responsible position in one of the first establishments.  He subsequently followed the business of daguerreotyping in this city, with apparently very good success; and while so engaged, two or three years ago, married a most estimable and excellent young lady.  To the surprise of many, however, he suddenly sold out his interest in the daguerreotyping establishment, and threw himself out of business for a time; but after a little commenced an auction store, in which his career was brief, as many who had come to know him predicted.  His course was then rapidly downward, and instead of “swelling” at the hotels he turned to lounging at the groggeries; and instead of trying to effect “transactions” at wholesale stores, his aim was simply to “do” some poor fool out of a few dollars.  Caught in one of these tricks, he has at least been sentenced to the felon’s punishment…

After checking Craig’s Daguerreian Registry Beach was not list but Blanchard P. Paige was.  I checked part of Laurie Baty’s unpublished research of Nineteenth Century Washington, D. C. Photographers, and found an entry that said that he they worked at Plumbe’s studio.

[1] Alexander Hay Ritchie, Engraver, genre, portrait, and figure painter.

Barstow & Spencer

Two advertisements were recorded in the Plattsburgh Republican (Plattsburgh, New York.) on March 15 and on May 10, 1845.  The partnership of George F. Barstow & James C. Spencer have been previously unrecorded in photographic directories or histories.

Colored Photographs.  “First Come First Served.”  Barstow & Spencer Will remain in Plattsburgh for a short time only, taking Daguerreotype Miniatures, at the rooms hereto fore occupied by Geo. F. Barstow where they will be happy to attend to as many more as may choose to embrace the opportunity of obtaining, for a trifle, beautifully accurate likenesses of themselves or friends.

Ladies and gentlemen are invited to call and examine specimens of their work.                 Geo. F. Barstow.         Jas. C. Spencer.                      March 11.

May 10, 1845.  Plumbe’s Premium Colored Daguerreotypes.  Barstow and Spencer would inform the public that they will remain at their rooms one week longer, and that they have just returned from Plumbe’s National Miniature Gallery, New York, with the latest improvements in the Photographic Art; they are certain of giving their customers complete satisfaction by furnishing them with Pictures which for beauty and accuracy of delineation cannot be surpassed.

Ladies and Gentlemen are invited to call and examine the late specimens of their work.

Daguerreotype Apparatus and Stock of a superior quality, for sale.  Also, instruction in the art given on reasonable terms.     G. F. Barstow, J. C. Spencer. Plattsburg, May 10, 1845.

What is the connection to John Plumbe, Jr. were they students, did they work in one of his establishments or did they just purchase supplies from him?  These are the only entries found for James C. Spencer, see tomorrows post for more on George F. Barstow.

John Plumbe, Jr.

 

The following is a description of John Plumbe’s gallery in New York that I just found and wanted to share. All I can think of is how incredible and amazing this would have been to see.  Hundreds of daguerreotypes exhibited from floor to ceiling, of some of the most recognizable people of their time.  If we could travel back in time it would be amazing to walk into his gallery and see hundreds of daguerreotypes of this caliber, I personably would be blown away.  I’ve seen some great exhibitions over the years but I think this would have been right up there with the best.  All spelling and punctuation remain the same as in the newspaper article.

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle and Kings County Democrat.  (Brooklyn, New York.)  July 2, 1846, Vol. 5, No. 160, P. 1.

Visit to Plumbe’s Gallery.  Among the “lions” of the great American metropolis, New York city, is the Picture Gallery at the upper corner of Murray street and Broadway, commonly known as Plumbe’s Daguerreotype establishment.  Puffs etc., out of the question, this is certainly a great establishment!  You will see more life there—more variety, more human nature, more artistic beauty, (for what created thing can surpass that masterpiece of physical perfection, the human face?) than in any spot we know of.  The crowds continually coming and going—the fashionable belle, the many distinguished men, the idler, the children—these alone are enough to occupy a curious train of attention.  But they are not the first thing.  To us, the pictures address themselves before all else.

What a spectacle!  In whichever direction you turn your peering gaze, you see nought but human faces!  There they stretch, from floor to ceiling—hundreds of them.  Ah! What tales might those pictures tell, if their mute lips had the power of speech!  How romance, then, would be infinitely outdone by fact.  Here is one, now—a handsome female, apparently in a bridal dress.  She was then, perhaps, just married.  Her husband has brought her to get her likeness; and a fine one he must have had, if this is a correct duplicate of it.  Is he yet the same tender husband?  Another, near by, is the miniature of an aged matron, on whose head many winters have deposited their snowy semblance.—But what a calm serene bearing!  How graceful she looks in her old age!

Even as you go in by the door, you see the withered features of a man who has occupied the proudest place on earth; you see the bald head of John Quincy Adams, and those eyes of dimmed but still quenchless fire.  There too, is the youngest of the Presidents, Mr. Polk.  From the same case looks out the massive face of Senator Benton.  Who is one of his nearest neighbors?  No one less than the Storm-King of the piano, De Meyer.  Likewise Chancellor Kent and Alexander H. Everett.

Perico’s statuary of the drooping Indian girl, and the mail figure up-bearing a globe, is in an adjoining frame, true as the marble itself.  Thence, too, beams down the napoleon-looking oval face of Ole Bull, with his great dreamy eyes.  Among others in the same connection, (and an odd connection, enough!) are Mrs. Polk, her niece Miss Walker, marble the comedian, Mayor Mickle, George Vandenhoff, Mrs. Tyler, and Mr. Buen, a most venerable white-haired ancient, (we understand, just dead!)  On another part of the wall, you may see Mrs. J. C. Calhoun, the venerable Mesdames Hamilton and Madison, and Miss. Alice Tyler.  There, also, are Mike Walsh—Robert Owen, with his shrewd Scotch face, but benevolent look—Horace Greely—[the] “pirate” Babe—Grant Thorburn—Audubon, the ornithologist, a fiery–eyed old man—Mr. Plumbe himself.  Besides these, of course, are hundreds of others.  Indeed, it is little else on all sides of you, than a great legion of human faces—human eyes gazing silently but fixedly upon you, and creating the impression of an immense Phantom concourse—speechless and motionless, but yet realities.  You are indeed in a new world—a peopled world, though mute as the grave.  We don’t know how it is with others, but we could spend days in that collection, and find enough enjoyment in the thousand human histories, involved in those daguerreotypes.

There is always, to us, a strange fascination in portraits.  We love to dwell long upon them—to infer many things, from the text they preach—to pursue the current of thoughts running riot about them.  It is singular what a peculiar influence is possessed by the eye of a well painted miniature or portrait.—It has a sort of magnetism.  We have miniatures in our possession, which we have often held, and gazed upon the eyes in them, for the half-hour!  An electric chain seems to vibrate, as it were, between our brain, and him or her preserved there so well by the limner’s cunning.  Time, space, both are annihilated, and we identify the semblance with the reality.—And even more than that.  For the strange fascination of looking at the eyes of a portrait, sometimes goes beyond what comes from the real orbs themselves.

Plumbe’s beautiful and multifarious pictures all strike you, (whatever their various peculiarities) with their naturalness, and the life-look of the eye—that soul of the face!  In all his vast collection, many of them thrown in hap-hazard, we notice not one that has dead eye.  Of course this is a surpassing merit.  Nor is it unworthy of notice, that the building is fitted up by him in many ranges of rooms, each with a daguerrian operator; and not merely as one single room, with one operator, like other places have.  The greatest emulation is excited; and persons or parties having portraits taken, retain exclusive possession of one room, during the time.