Tag Archives: Moses Sanford Chapin

Adams & Chapin

1851                Waldo Block, Worcester, Massachusetts.

Adams & Chapin (George Adams & Moses Sanford Chapin) were recorded in eight advertisements and one announcement in the Worcester Daily Spy (Worcester, Massachusetts).  The first advertisement ran from May 24 to July 8, 1851

Adams & Chapin’s Premium Daguerreotypes, Waldo Block. 

Call and examine Specimens.

“Ah!  see what a picture, behold what a grace

Lives in that posture and beams in that face,

As the sun-light transfers the soul-speaking eye;

It flashes in joy, though there is ‘nobody’ nigh.

Who ‘nobody’ is there is no need to tell,

Since the lassie herself knows the secret so well;—

Enough that we trace in such touching perfection

The intended—an object of cherished affection.”

The second advertisement ran from June 17 to July 8, 1851.  Daguerreotypes!  Who received the highest premium—a Silver Medal and Diploma— at the Mechanics’ Fair, in 1848?  Adams.

Who was the only person to whom was awarded a Silver Medal for the best Types exhibited at the Mechanics Fair in 1849?  Adams.

Who intends to make Daguerreotypes that will distance all competitors for the Fair of 1851?  Adams & Chapin, of Waldo Block.

Brother Artist, take particular notice.

The third advertisement ran from June 20 to 23 1851.  Notice.—In reference to a certain article that appeared in the Spy, dated June__, I would say, in reply, being requested so to do by that Daguerrian Artist to “take notice” who it was that took the medal in 1848.  It was Walker & Adams, not Adams alone, as be stated.  Who was it that took the medal alone, in 1848?

A. W. Van Alstin.

Adams; perhaps the public will say.  Why not A. W. Van Alstin?  Because he was in California.

Who was it that took so many poor pictures in my room while I was there?

Moses S. Chapin.

Where is George Adams operating at the present time?

Providence, R. I., not in Worcester.

Who is in the rooms formerly occupied by Adams?

Moses S. Chapin.

I hope that the remainder of the Artist’ will soon appear, and place him in his proper position, which is at the bench, with a saw and jack-plane.  A. W. Van Alstin.

The fourth advertisement ran from June 25 to 27, 1851.  Particular Notice.—A. W. Van Alstin, alias Dr. Van Alstin, (formerly a Corn Doctor,) of late from California, and “formerly of Lowell,” is respectfully informed that any statement, however false and malicious, he may publish, respecting us, we are willing should go to the public without any comments or refutations from us, believing it unnecessary, so long as the articles appear where he is known, and over his own signature.  G. Adams.  M. S. Chapin

The fifth advertisement ran from June 25 to July 8, 1851.  A. W. Van Alstin, in reference to a “Particular Notice,” which has appeared, signed “G. Adams,” and “M. S. Chapin,” respectfully refers the public to the Report of the Worcester County Mechanics Association, and would ask the following simple facts, quoted from that Report, and denied by “G. Adams” and “M. S. Chapin,” are “false and malicious.”—”No. 49,

A. W. Van Alstin, First Class Daguerreotypes, Silver Medal.”  “No. 630, Walker & Adams, Silver Medal”

Is it “false or malicious” to say that Adams is in Providence, R. I., when he is in Providence, R. I., although it is pretended he is in Worcester?  Is it “false or malicious” to say that A. W. Van Alstin can always be found at his own stand, taking the best Daguerreotypes that can be taken?  A. W. Van Alstin knows that when a rogues corns are trampled on, the rogue halloos; but he begs to say that if certain too tender-toed pseudo-daguerreotypists will call at A. W. Van Alstin’s rooms, over the New York Store, Worcester, he will cure them of the disease in their feet, and present them with their likeness gratis.  A. W. Van Alstin.

The announcement appeared on August 5, 1851.  Splendid Daguerreotypes.—Mr. Adams has returned to his old stand, having during his absence, been practicing in taking the new style of pictures, called vignette daguerreotypes.  Specimens may be seen at the rooms of Messrs. Adams & Chapin, over Waldo Hall, where customers can be accommodated either in the new or old style.  These specimens are exceedingly beautiful.  There is a softness and delicacy in the style, which we think will make them very popular, wherever they become known.  If executed with the skill and taste evinced in those above referred to.

The sixth advertisement ran from August 22 to September 12, 1851.  That the public appreciate the beautiful Daguerreotypes made by Adams & Chapin, in Waldo Block, is sufficiently evident to any one who visits their rooms, as they are constantly thronged with a class of our citizens who have the taste and judgment to disseminate and admire their splendid Miniatures.  The Vignette Daguerreotype is growing rapidly in popularity. 

The seventh advertisement ran from September 29 to October 7, 1851.  Particular Notice.—Geo. Adams would respectfully announce to his friends and the public, that the limitation of his engagement with Mr. Chapin, of Waldo Block, having expired, he has taken a suit of rooms in Brinley Row, over the Citizens Bank, and directly opposite the American House, where all those who are capable of appreciating fine Daguerreotypes are invited to call.  Mr. A.’s Rooms are very easy of access, spacious, and fitted up with every convenience to produce good miniatures.  The room for his Sky-light is of a size suitable for making a group of 40 persons on one plate.

The eighth advertisement ran from January 9 to February 11, 1852.  To the Public—The well known Daguerrean Rooms, Waldo Block, formally owned and occupied by Geo. Adams, and More recently by Adams & Chapin, have not been removed, but still are the center of attraction for all who appreciate good Daguerreotypes, as the facilities for taking daguerreotypes are such as cannot be surpassed in this city, if in the world.  The limitation between Messrs. Adams & Chapin and Adams & Co. Having ceased Sept. 18, 1851, Mr. Chapin would say to the public, that those splendidly finished Daguerrean Rooms, Waldo Block, are still open for exhibition, or all who may favor him with a call Mr. Chapin would say to all who would like good Daguerreotypes of themselves or friends, they will do well to call on Mr. C., Waldo Block, where all may be sure of obtaining perfect daguerreotypes for the extreme low price of 50 cents.  Perfect satisfaction given or no charge.  Particular attention paid to taking Children.—Hours for taking children from 9 A. M. to 3 P. M.  Call and examine for yourselves.         

George Adams & Moses Sanford Chapin are both recorded in other photographic directories but not in partnership.

Walker & Adams

1848                136 Main Street, Worcester, Massachusetts.

Walker & Adams (Samuel Lear Walker & George Adams) were recorded in three advertisements and one announcement in the Worcester Daily Spy (Worcester, Massachusetts).  The first advertisement ran on July 6 & 7, 1848.  “A. W. Van Alstin, late of Lowell.”   It was not my intention to notice you again, satisfied as I was that instead of answering facts, you would have recourse to falsehoods to sustain yourself.  You allude to a law suit I had in Norwich.  True, I had the misfortune to have a competitor a miserable fellow—a fit boon companion of yourself, a man by name of N. S. Bennett who according to his own statement escaped from a jail in Canada, a man only to be known to be depressed.  This fellow after persuing nearly the same course towards me that you have since done, tore my sign from my door in my presence, and I did, in the excitement of the moment, throw one of his at his head, for which he brought a suit against me and recovered 25 cents damage, which was duly collected by Mr. Warren of this city.  As to the Sag Harbor advertisement, it is only necessary for me to say, that it was written by N. S. Bennett, and published in the Norwich News at the instigation of said Bennett, during the absence of the responsible Editor.  Mr. Faulkner, the Editor of the News, upon ascertaining the facts, fully contradicted the false statement made by Bennett, at the same time speaking of him as he deserved.  As to the character I sustain in Norwich, I would refer to the Editor of the Norwich News.  Mr. Failkner, Wm. L. Hommedieu, Esq., P. M. and indeed, to any of the business men of Norwich.  Many of the citizens of Worcester know the course you have persued towards me, since I came to this city.  I came here with the intention of persuing my business as I had a right to do.  I said nothing respecting you or your pictures, and treated you with civility.  But you, envious of the superiority of my pictures and my increasing business, commenced your low and miserable acts towards me.  You first endeavored to excite a prejudice against me, stating that I tore your Bills down—a base falsehood, which I have dared you to prove.  Failing in this, you hired a room in the Exchange, with the intention and boast of running me out of town in one month.  You, at that time, put out your sign to take pictures for 50 cts., but the public understood your motive and avoided your room, and you was obliged to sail under false colors, and pretend to sell out to get any custom.  At the same time you offered the Worcester Brass Band $25, to induced them to have me leave.  But they “scorned the bribe” and exposed you in the Transcript and Telegraph.  You, at the same time, tore down my bills at night; which statement I can prove, when called upon.  While I was in the Exchange, you copied my card, word for word, as anyone can see buy reading yours and comparing it with the one I had printed previously.  You have since boasted, that you would have a show case, made to hang at the door, exactly like mine, so that strangers would think your room was mine.  If you deny it, I will prove it.  You have stated that I did not pay my operators, and spoke of Mr. Lyon as an instance, at the same time you knew that it was a base and malignant falsehood.  You have heaped your abuse upon me daily, and now I challenge you to produce any evidence that I have ever done any mean or dishonorable act.

Notwithstanding your paid-for puffs, and ridiculous statements, respecting your business the public have not been deceived, but have compared your pictures with those made by me, and have patronized me accordingly.  In one of your letters, you say that you have pictures of mine that you have taken over which you will sell for 14 cts. per lb.  I will give you $50,00 per lb. For all you can produce.

For want of patronage, it seems that you and your man in the Exchange are to take Daguerreotypes for 50 cts.—I never knew before what you estimated your pictures to be worth, but, as you have set your own value on them, the public will probably consider that high enough.  The writer of your communication has called me many hard names, but I shall not return the compliment by bestowing common epithets on you.  I can call you something you are ashamed of, a name that you for more than a year endeavored to hide from the citizens of Worcester, that name is “a. w. van alstin” late of Lowell.  In conclusion I would say, respecting your threat of introducing me to friend Mathews, that, whenever you are ready, you will find me at 136 Main St.  G. Adams

The announcement appeared on September 27, 1848.  Splendid Daguerreotypes.  On Monday we called by invitation at the Daguerreotype Rooms of Walker & Adams, and examined, with great satisfaction, a suite of pictures, prepared by them for the Mechanics Fair, now open in this city.  They were certainly che  d’oeures in the art, and cannot be excelled by any establishment in the country; and we have never seen any French or English daguerreotypes equal to them.  We presume these specimens are now to be seen at the exhibition, where others will have the opportunity to judge whether our eulogium is over wrought or not.  We learn with pleasure, that the success of these enterprising artists is such that they have been obliged to add another room to their suite, and will soon have it open, extending through the whole length of the building from front to rear, when they will be able to accommodate their numerous visitors better than they can do now.

The second advertisement ran fromJanuary 2 to 18, 1849.  To The Public.  In justice to my late partner Mr. S. L. Walker, and myself, I am reluctantly compelled to appear before the public and make a statement of a few facts relative to the Report of the Committee on Fine Arts at the Mechanics Fair held in this City in Sept. Last.  Agreeably to the invitation of the Mechanics Association, we were induced to enter for competition and examination at said Fair specimens of Daguerreotypes made by us.

Since the Report of the Fair has been published.  I have had conversation with five of the six members of the committee on Fine Arts. and they have informed me that at the examination of the Daguerreotypes of the different Artists, at said Fair, the Committee were UNANIMOUS in the opinion that those made by Walker & Adams were very superior and the BEST submitted to their examination.  Such having been the decision of the Committee, some of its members, as well as the public, were surprised in reading the Chairman’s Report, to find that an artist, whose specimens they considered second best, has received an award for pictures of the first class.  But the following may, perhaps, throw some light on the subject: I was informed by the chairman “that the Committee considered Walker & Adams’ types the Best; that the Report was so made out, but that the Association suggested, that, as there had been an old quarrel between Adams and a rival artist, they had better smooth it over and give them both a medal.”

Such is the case, the inference to be drawn is, that the Association awarded medals, not on the score of merit, but to settle old difficulties, and smooth over old quarrels.  Is this one of the objects of the Association?

Will the Association, or those interested, put us to the “proof positive” of the above statements?

Geo. Adams, late of Walker & Adams.

The third advertisement ranfrom June 20 to 23 1851.  In reference to a certain article that appeared in the Spy, dated June__, I would say, in reply, being requested so to do by that Daguerrian Artist to “take notice” who it was that took the medal in 1848.  It was Walker & Adams, not Adams alone, as be stated.  Who was it that took the medal alone, in 1848? 

A. W. Van Alstin.

Adams; perhaps the public will say.  Why not A. W. Van Alstin?  Because he was in California.

Who was it that took so many poor pictures in my room while I was there?

Moses S. Chapin.

Where is George Adams operating at the present time?

Providence, R. I., not in Worcester.

Who is in the rooms formerly occupied by Adams?

Moses S. Chapin.

I hope that the remainder of the Artist’ will soon appear, and place him in his proper position, which is at the bench, with a saw and jack-plane.  A. W. Van Alstin.

Walker & Adams are not listed in other photographic directories as partners.  Both Samuel Lear Walker and George Adams are recorded in other directories, etc.

Benjamin Swasey

1847                No. 6 under Cabot Hall, Cabotville, Massachusetts.

1847                Exchange Street, Over D. Wells Jewelry Store, Cabotville, Massachusetts.

1848                4½ Exchange Street, Cabotville, Massachusetts.[1]

1849                6 Exchange Street, Cabotville, Massachusetts.[1]

Benjamin Swasey was recorded in two announcements and two advertisements in the Daily Republican (Springfield, Massachusetts).  The first announcement appeared on May 5, 1847. 

Daguerreotypes.—We call the attention of our readers in Cabotville and vicinity, to the advertisement of Mr. Swasey, in another column.  We are assured that he is a skilful, successful, and accomplished artist, and well worthy of public patronage.

The first advertisement ran from May 5 to July 10, 1847.  Benj. Swasey’s Daguerrian Rooms, Cabotville, The subscriber has removed for a few weeks, because of the dampness of the walls in his late rooms, to No. 6, under Cabot Hall, where he will be thankful to receive the calls of his friends and the public in general who may be in want of good Daguerrian likenesses.

Having decided to locate permanently in this village, and having one of the largest sizes German Cameras of a quality inferior to none in the country, he is prepared to take miniatures that shall give perfect satisfaction to all who may favor him with their patronage, or no pay will be asked.

Please call and examine specimens.  Benj. Swasey.  Cabotville.

The second announcement appeared on July 12, 1847.  It will be seen by Mr. Swasey’s card, that he has removed his Daguerrean Rooms, at Cabotville.  We are glad to here that he is doing a prosperous business, and that his work gives good satisfaction.

The second advertisement ran from July 12, 1847 to March 7, 1848.  Benj. Swasey’s Daguerrian Rooms, Over D. Wells’s Jewelry Store, Exchange St., Cabotville, Mass.  Pictures taken at these Rooms, warranted to give perfect satisfaction.

Benjamin Swasey is recorded in other photographic directories as being active in Cabotville (Chicopee) Massachusetts in 1848-1849.  In 1849 Benjamin Swasey was in the partnership of Swasey & Chapin.


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