Tag Archives: Troy New York

Charles T. Ripley

1846                Address Unknown, Troy, New York.                                                                              1846                Rooms over Mr. Steen’s Bookstore, Brattleboro, Vermont.

Charles T. Ripley was recorded in three announcements and one advertisement in the Vermont Phoenix (Brattleboro, Vermont).  The first announcement appeared on March 19, 1846.  Daguerreotype Miniatures.—Mr. C. T. Ripley, of Troy, N. Y., has been in the village for some days, engaged in taking miniatures by the daguerreotype process; and has succeeded admirably well in obtaining correct likenesses.  He makes an absolutely ugly man appear to be very good advantage; while the ladies look so like themselves, that a bashful friend of ours spends all his evenings at Mr. R’s rooms, gazing at their portraits; it being, he says, “a more quiet and far less dangerous pleasure, than visiting the originals.”  Call, and see for yourselves.  Rooms over Mr. Steen’s Bookstore.

The second announcement appeared on April 9, 1846.  Mr. Editor:  I had the pleasure a day or two since of looking in at Mr. Ripley’s Daguerreotype Rooms, and of seeing some specimens of his skill in the art; and it is no more than justice to Mr. R., to say, that I think his work would not suffer in the comparison with that done by the best city Artist.  Likenesses may now be obtained with such facility, and at such slight expense, that one is hardly excusable for neglecting it. Your’s, &c.     ——

We understand that Mr. Ripley is to remain in town but a few days longer, and those who are desirous of being taken would do well to call soon.

The advertisement ran from April 30 to May 7, 1846.  Mr. C. T. Ripley, now absent, will return the last part of the present week, when he will be prepared to execute likenesses by the Daguerreotype process, of all sizes to suite customers.  Mr. R. is grateful for past patronage, and is confident that he can give satisfaction to all who may favor him with a call.

The third announcement appeared on May 7, 1846.  Daguerreotype Miniatures.—Mr. C. T. Ripley has returned, and is now prepared to execute likenesses by the Daguerreotype process, of all sizes, and set in cases, lockets, &c.  Mr. R. is grateful for past patronage, and is confident that he can give satisfaction to all who may favor him with a call.  Mr. R. will be in town but a few days.  Please call soon.

Charles T. Ripley is recorded in other photographic directories as being active in Troy, New York 1845-1847.

William H. Rablen

C.1842-1854   Address and Location Unknown, New York.                                                                  1854-1855       4 Franklin Square, Troy, New York.[1]                                                                          1856                   Address Unknown, Union Village, New York.                                                                1857-1858        Rooms in Stewart’s Block, Middlebury, Vermont.

William H. Rablen was recorded in two announcements and seven advertisements.  The first announcement he was mentioned, appeared on  July 1, 1855 in The New York Herald (New York, New York).  New and Beautiful Discovery.—The Public are invited to call and see some specimens of daguerreotypes, with an improvement discovered by Mr. W. H. Rablen of Troy, formerly one of our artists, by which the most beautiful effects are projected.  Meade Brothers, 233 Broadway, four doors above the Astor House.

The second announcement he was mentioned, appeared on  September 18, 1856 in the Washington County People’s Journal (Union Village, New York.)  Ambrotypes.—Our readers will perceive by the advertisement of Mr. Morse, that they have now an opportunity of procuring the new and beautiful style of picture called the Ambrotype.  The Ambrotype is generally adjusted superior to the daguerreotype.  Mr. M. and his associate, Mr. Rablen, are skilful operators; they have a good instrument, and keep on hand an excellent assortment of cases.  We have seen several pictures executed by them, which for richness of tone, beauty of finish and accuracy in delineating the human face divine, cannot well be surpassed, either in city or country.  Give them a call.

The first advertisement ran from September 18 to November 27, 1856 in the Washington County People’s Journal (Union Village, New York).  Ambrotypes.  George Morse, would respectfully announce to the citizens of Washington County and vicinity that he is now located for a few weeks at Union-Village for the purpose of making Ambrotypes.

He has engaged the services of Mr. W. H. Rablen, of Troy, who for the past 14 years has been engaged in Daguerreotyping in the principal cities in this State, and therefore has had an excellent opportunity of engaging in all new styles of Pictures as they have made their appearance.  Being among the first who launched into the Glass process and for the last 18 months practicing that branch alone, he confidently asserts that he will produce as good a Picture as can be produced by the Ambrotype process; for proof, bring along one of your best Ambrotypes and let him have a “shot at you.”

An Ambrotype is taken on Plate Glass, then hermetically sealed between two glasses, so that it cannot be effected by either air or water.

Mr. Morse returns his sincere thanks for the patronage that he has already met with.  Geo. Morse.

The following six advertisements appeared in The Middlebury Register (Middlebury, Vermont).  The second advertisement ran from March 11 to 25, 1857.  Improved Ambrotypes.  There is nothing prettier to present to a friend than a “fac simile” of yourself, when you can procure one executed in a scientific manner.  Since the introduction of the Daguerreotyping in America improvements have continually been made by our enterprising countrymen.  One of the latest of these improvements the subscribers now introduce to the citizens of Middlebury.  By it we make the picture of the subject have the appearance of projecting an eight of an inch from the glass, therefore get a full stereoscopic view without the use of lenses.

For Brilliancy of Tone and Durability of finish these pictures cannot be excelled.  One of the subscribers has had long experience in picture making, having for the last 14 years been engaged in the principal establishments both in this country and Europe.  Every improvement that has made its appearance he has had an excellent opportunity to “launch” directory into, and is  therefore fully competent to execute first class work at whichever branch of the picture business he undertakes.  Ambrotypes made after the most improved style, either on light or dark ground. An Ambrotype when properly finished is hermetically sealed between two glasses, so that they cannot be affected by either air or water.  All of our pictures are hermetically sealed, which process any one desirous of seeing will be shown with cheerfulness.  Ambrotypes set in lockets.

Pictures of sick or deceased persons taken at their residences.  Particular attention paid to copying Daguerreotypes, Ambrotypes of Paintings.  All copies we guarantee equal to the original pictures.

Rooms in Stewart’s Block.  All are respectfully invited to call and examine specimens.  Putnam & Rablen.

The third advertisement ran from April 8 to 22, 1857.  If You Want A Superior Ambrotype, —You had better call soon,—As We Remain In Town But a few days longer.  Rablen & Putnam.

The fourth advertisement appeared on July 8, 1857.  To The Music World!  Just received, a large lot of New Sheet Music…Call at the Daguerrean Rooms, in Stewart’s Building.  A, J. Hervey…

The fifth advertisement ran from July 22, 1857 to February 3, 1858.  Ambrotypes.  W. H. Rablen respectfully announces to the public that he has purchased his former Partner’s interest in the concern, and having had a good share of patronage awarded him, (for which he is very thankful) he has concluded to remain at Middlebury for some few months longer.  He has recently made great improvements in his rooms, making them much more convenient for customers, and fitted up in a neat and tasty manner.  Having had a number of applications to take views, I have engaged my brother to assist me, and am now prepared to take views of residences, scenery, horses, cattle, or anything that may be desired.  Specimens of scenery may be seen at the rooms.  Those wishing pictures, by patronizing me, may rest assured that they will get as good a picture as can be made, as I take a great interest in producing good work and allow no one to beat me in any branch of my business which I undertake, (unless in writing advertisements)  Please call and examine specimens.  Rooms in Stewart’s Block.

The sixth advertisement ran from February 3 to September 29, 1858.  Rablen Has introduced another new style of picture called the “Scenic Ambrotype.”  Which for beauty of finish and stereoscopic effect, has never before been equaled in Middlebury.  Please call and examine specimens at the Sky-Light Ambrotype Gallery, Stewart’s Block.

The seventh advertisement ran from April 28 to June 9, 1858.  Superior Ambrotypes!  A Good Sky-Light, And an Operator that knows how to use it.  A Genuine Ambrotype, Including Case, Only 50 CTS.

Luther M. Brooks announces to the public that he has reopened the Ambrotype Rooms in Stewart’s Block.  These Rooms have recently undergone repairs, and are fitted up in a neat and tasty manner.  He has engaged the services of the celebrated Ambrotypist, William H. Rablen, who guarantees to make pictures as good as can be produced by the process.

Pictures set in Lockets, Pins, Bracelets, &c.  If you want a first-rate Picture, call and have it done by Rablen, at Brooks’ Sky and Side Light Gallery, Stewart’s Block, over Chapman & Barrour’s.

William H. Rablen appears in Craig’s Daguerreian Registry as being active in Troy New York from 1854-1857.

[1] Dates and address from Craig’s Daguerreian Registry.

Mr. Dewel

N.D.                 Rooms in the Museum Building, Troy, New York.                                                                1857                Room in Hathaway’s Building, Lansingburgh, New York.

Mr. Dewel was recorded in an announcement on July 23, 1857 in the Lansingburgh Democrat (Lansingburgh, New York).  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.

Mr. Dewel is not recorded in other photographic directories.  Craig’s Daguerreian Registry does list a T. Dewell in Albany in 1850-1851, but it would be pure speculation to suggest they were the same person.

Mr. Clark

1855                3 Hathaway Building, Lansingburgh, New York.

Mr. Clark was recorded in an announcement on November 15, 1855 in the Lansingburgh Democrat (Lansingburgh, New York).  The Daguerrian Saloon formerly occupied by Mr. Judd, has passed into the possession of Mr. Clark, who is ready at all times to secure “the shadow, ere the substance perish,” for all those who wish it.—We noticed an Ambrotype of one of our active citizens hanging at his door a few days since—and if we can form an opinion from that, we judge that Prof. Judd’s mantle has fallen upon no unworthy successor.

After checking the photographic directories the only possible identification for Mr. Clark is Charles R. Clark, who was listed in Troy, New York in 1856 to 1861.  The distance between the two towns is only sixteen to seventeen miles away.  But as always this is only speculation on my part.


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.


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.