Tag Archives: Washington D. C.

H. Hayer

1854                Over Gilman’s Drug Store, Pennsylvania Avenue, between 6th and 7th Streets,                               Washington, D. C.

H. Hayer was recorded in an advertisement that ran on July 15, i854 in the Daily Evening Star (Washington, D. C.) 25 Cent Daguerreotypes.  The Great New York Picture Gallery is flourishing rapidly.  After the departure of Hayer, it has fallen into the hands of Prof. Stewart, who is taking those beautiful pictures by the new French process.  I have in my employ Prof. Stiltz, who is not only one of the best daguerrean artist in the United States but in the world, and we guaranted to suit all who may favor us with a call in Pennsylvania avenue between 6th and 7th streets, over Gilman’s Drug Store, at the old stand of J. J. Woodbridge.

H. Hayer is not recorded in other photographic directories. Nor is Prof. Stewart or Prof. Stiltz. John J. Woodbridge is recorded in Craig’s Daguerreian Registry as being active in New York City, New Bern, North Carolina, Baltimore, Maryland, and Cincinnati, Ohio.

N. H. Hammond

1849                First Street, corner Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, District of Columbia.

N. H. Hammond was recorded in an advertisement that ran from May 7 to 15, 1849.  in The Daily National Whig (Washington, D. C.).  Daguerreotype Likenesses.  N. H. Hammond would respectfully announce to the citizens and strangers of Washington that he has purchased the Daguerreotype stock of George & Hammond, and will, at the request of numerous friends, remain at their old stand corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and First street, One More Week.

Hundreds are witnesses that they can obtain better and cheaper likenesses at this establishment than are often obtained.  Please call and satisfy yourselves.

N. H. Hammond is not recorded in other photographic directories.

G. W. Granniss

1856                352 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D. C.

G. W. Granniss was recorded in an advertisement as part of the partnership of Root & Granniss. The advertisement ran from July 29 to August 11, 1856 in the Evening Star (Washington, D. C.)  Root & Granniss, M. A. Root.  G. N. Granniss Photographic, Ambrotype, and Daguerrean Gallery.  Is Now Open At No. 352 Pennsylvania avenue, near Seventh street, where Photographs, colored or plain; Ambrotypes tinted and colored, new style; and Daguerreotypes, are taken in the highest perfection of the art.

The Public are respectfully invited to visit our Gallery whether desiring pictures or not.

G. W. Granniss is not recorded in other photographic directories.


1849                First Street, Corner Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.  C.

George was recorded in two advertisements in the partnership of George and Hammond.  The first advertisement ran from February 8 to March 16, 1849 in The Daily National Whig (Washington, D. C.).  George & Hammond, Daguerreotypists, first door on First street, corner of Pennsylvania avenue, near the Capitol, thankful for past favors, would respectfully announce to the ladies and gentlemen of this city and vicinity, that they intend leaving in a very short time for California.

And having on hand a large Daguerreotype stock, which they are desirous to close up before leaving, would give notice to those who may give them an early call, that they have one very neat  style which they would put up for One Dollar.

Customers may be sure of finding, at this establishment, every desirable style of case.  The latest patterns of Gold Lockets furnished and Miniatures neatly set at reasonable prices.

The second advertisement ran from March 28 to April 27, 1849.  The Daily National Whig (Washington, District of Columbia).  George & Hammond, Daguerreotypists, Corner First Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, near the Capitol, Would respectfully announced to the citizens and strangers of Washington that all who wish to secure a correct and cheap Daguerreotype from their establishment must call immediately, as they will positively leave the city in a few days.  A very neat article put up for $1,00.

All should help sustain that art which keeps the absent near;                                                              The beautiful unchanged from Time’s rude theft—                                                                          Guards the fresh tint of childhood’s polished brow,                                                                            And when love yields its idol to the tomb                                                                                                    Doth snatch a copy.

George, and N. H. Hammond are not recorded in other city directories.

Samuel A. Cohner

1857                380 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D. C.

Samuel A. Cohner was recorded in The Photographic and Fine Art Journal (New York, New York) on December 1857.  Washington Galleries.  Washington November 5, 1857.    Mr. James McCleese of Philadelphia, has opened his new gallery below the Kirkwood House.  His operator is Samuel A. Cohner, Esq., a practical chemist of some notoriety; he is very successful in all of his operations.  I was shown many of his beautiful plain photographs, that in tone and sharpness were exquisite.  But ‘tis just like Mr. McC., he never has any body about who does not fully understand his business.  His gallery is one of the finest in Washington, and the many water colored pictures that are adorning his walls, speak highly for the business.  His artists is a man of the first order and paints with unusual rapidity.  Mr. Vannerson is the agent of Mr. McClesse’s gallery, and for the length of time he has resided in Washington, no man is more capable of doing the agreeable in securing the public patronage.  This gallery will do a large share of the business the coming winter.  I fully predict a brilliant career for them, and well they deserve it.  By the time your next number appears, I hope to be able to speak more of this gallery.

Samuel A. Cohner is recorded in Craig’s Daguerreian Registry.

Professor J. Edwin Churchill

1856                434 Pennsylvania Avenue, Between 4½ and 6th Streets, Washington, D. C. 1857                Address and Location Unknown

Professor J. Edwin Churchill was recorded in two announcements, the first on September 6, 1856 in the Evening Star (Washington, D. C.).  ….Prof. J. E. Churchill, the distinguished American artist, is in this city.  Some of his exquisite specimens of photographs in oil, among which is a fine likeness of Mrs. Julia Dean Hayne, may be seen at Whitehurst’s gallery.

The second on August 26, 1857 in the same paper.  Prof. J. E. Churchill has just finished a fine photographic portrait in oil, of President Buchanan.

According to The New York Historical Society’s Dictionary of Artist in America 1564-1860 J. Edwin Churchill is recorded as a portrait painted in Philadelphia in 1860.


1846-1847       Pennsylvania Avenue, next door to the U. S. Hotel, District of Columbia.

There are two listings for Chase with no first name attached to the advertisements or announcements in Washington, D. C.  The first instances cover 1846 to 1847, in which three announcements and two advertisements appear (which will be referred as Chase.1.)  The second occurrences was in 1851, in which two advertisements and three announcements appear (referred to as Chase.2.)  It is possible that this same person, but at this time it would be only speculation to suggest that.

Chase.1 was recorded in an advertisement in The Daily Union (Washington, D. C.) on December 19 and ran until February 8, 1846.  Van Loan & Chase, From New York And Philadelphia.  Daguerreotype Rooms.  Admittance free.  Next door to the United States Hotel.  Pictures taken in any kind of weather, clear, cloudy, or rainy, from 9 o’clock, a. m., till 5 o’clock, p. m.

The first announcement appeared on December 31, 1846 in The Daily Union.  We would call the attention of citizens and strangers to the daguerreotype establishment of Messrs. Van Loan & Chase, next door to the United States Hotel.

The second advertisement appeared on April 30 and ran until June 1, 1847 in The National Whig.  (Washington, D. C.)            Van Loan & Chase, From New York And Philadelphia.  Daguerreotype Rooms.  Admittance Fee—next door to the U. S. Hotel.  Pictures taken in any kind of weather, clear, cloudy, or rainy, from 9 o’clock, a. m. till 5 o’clock p. m..

The second announcement appears on June 9, 1847 in The National Whig (Washington, D. C.)  Washington As It Is.  June, 1847, Pennsylvania Avenue.  No. II.

Crossing Third street, westwardly…Next Door westward of the United States Hotel is a spacious and lofty building belonging to John Donoho, at present partly occupied by Van Loan & Chase’s admirable Daguerrean rooms.

The third announcement appeared on September 28, 1847 in The Daily Union (Washington, D.C.)  We are indebted to Messrs. Brooke, Shillington, & Co., of this city, for a “View of the Battle of Buena Vista,” published by H. R. Robinson….We are also presented with a fine lithographic portrait of Col. Charles May, from a daguerreotype of Van Loan & Co., of this city.  This is also published by Mr. Robinson of New York….

Chase does not appear in other photographic directories as being active in Washington, D. C. nor does Van Loan.  In the first advertisement that announces the partnership of Van Loan & Chase it states that they are from New York and Philadelphia.  Looking at the various photographic directories and histories this would suggest that Van Loan is from New York and Chase from Philadelphia this would mean that the partnership is Matthew D. Van Loan & Theodore L Chase.


1851                Rooms at the Odeon, Washington, D. C.

Chase.2 appeared in the Washington, D. C. newspapers in an advertisement that ran from April 8 to 14, 1851 in the American Telegraph.  Daguerreotypes Equal to any in the city are taken at the Odeon at the lowest prices.  Entire Satisfaction given, or no charge.

The first of three announcements appeared on April 15, 1851 in the American Telegraph.  Can’t Be Beat!  The great number of Daguerreotypes taken at Chase’s Gallery at the Odeon, to be sent to England and other parts of Europe, is an evidence of the excellency of the work done at this Gallery.

The second announcement appeared on April 22, 1851 in the American Telegraph.  Everybody Says—and what everybody says must be true—that the Daguerreotypes now produced at the Odeon are unsurpassed by any in the city and then the prices are lower than any other Gallery.

The third announcement appeared on April 27, 1851 also in the American Telegraph.  At The Odeon May be seen an admirable and lifelike Likeness of the President, where, also, you can be accommodated with a beautiful Daguerreotype, at a very low price.

The second advertisement appeared on May 30 and ran until June 6, 1851 again in the American Telegraph.  Can’t Be Beat.—The Daguerreotypes taken at the Odeon, in execution and truthfulness, are inferior to none in the city; while the price is much lower than at most other Galleries.

There is the possibility that Chase.1 and Chase.2 are the same person based on the activity being in Washington, D. C.  The problem is that there is no collaborating information two tie the two together and John Craig does not list him in Craig’s Daguerreian Registry nor is he listed in Laurie Baty’s unpublished Directory of D. C. Photographers.


Dr. A. Caspari

1843-1844       Address Unknown, Richmond, Virginia.

Dr. A. Caspari was recorded twice in advertisements that appeared the in The New York Herald (New York, New York) on June 1, and ran until September 5, 1843 and on October 17, 1843 to January 26, 1844.  It is unknown if Dr. Caspari is a daguerreotypist, a supplier or just an agent for the Langenheim Brothers.  Philip Haas, Edward White, and Peter Laurens[1] are daguerreotypist, Dr. Caspari and William West are not recorded in other photographic directories that I have access to.

Philadelphia Daguerreotype Establishment.  Exchange Building, Rooms 26 & 27.  The Subscribers, having procured the agency for the sale of Voigtander’s Daguerreotype Apparatus, constructed according to Professor Petzval’s calculation, have on hand a large assortment of these Apparatus, and artists as well as amateurs of their art, wishing to procure a good apparatus, will find it to their advantage to procure instruments of this construction.  They also have lately imported a large quantity of German and French plates, and all the chemicals used in their art, which they warrant in every respect, as they are made to their order.  Polishing substances, and morocco cases, and all necessary materials, are sold on the most reasonable terms.  The following gentlemen have agreed to act as their agents, viz:—                                                                                                                                      E. White, 175 Broadway, N. Y.                                                                                                                              P. Haas, Esq., Washington, D. C.                                                                                                                      Dr. A. Caspari, Richmond, Va.                                                                                                                              P. Laurens, Esq., Savannah, Ga.                                                                                                                  William West, Esq., Cincinnati, Ohio. Added to advertisement on June 22, 1843.

All communications (post paid) and orders, accompanied with remittance, will be promptly attended to, and should be directed to W. & F. Langenheim, Exchange Building, Phila.

The second advertisement ran on  October 17, 1843.  Peter Laurens has been replaced by Samuel Broadbent for the Southern States.  Philadelphia Daguerreotype Establishment.  Exchange Building, Rooms 26 & 27.  The Subscribers, has received a large supply of Voigtander’s celebrated Daguerreotype Apparatus, large and small sizes, with achromatic lenses made according to Professor Petzval’s calculation.

Also a new supply of the best plates and chemicals, which he warrants good and sells at reduced prices.  The following gentlemen have agreed to act as their agents, viz:—                E. White, 175 Broadway, N. Y. P. Haas, Esq., Washington, D. C. Dr. A. Caspari, Richmond, Va.  S. Broadbent, Esq., for the Southern States.  William West, Esq., Cincinnati, Ohio.

All communications (post paid) and orders, accompanied with remittance, will be promptly attended to, and should be directed to William Langenheim, Exchange Building, Phila.

[1] Active in Savannah, Georgia from 1843 until at least 1863.  Early Georgia Photographers, 1841 – 1861: a Biographical Checklist, Compiled by E. Lee Eltzroth.


Bryant & Smith

1859                Address Unknown, Washington, District of Columbia.

Bryant and Smith was recorded in the Evening Star (Washington, D. C.) on June 14, 1859.  From The photographers & publishers, Messrs. Bryant & Smith, we have six photographic (stereoscopic) views of scenes in and about Washington, which, for excellence of execution, are quite equal to the best French stereoscopic views.  They consist of representations of the Patent Office, Washington Monument, Jackson Statute, White House, Capitol extension, (east front,) and the tomb of Washington.  They are for sale by Franklin Philp.

Bryant & Smith are not recorded in in other photographic directories that I have access to.  They were not listed in the 1860 Washington, D. C. Directory.  Three stereoviews by them can be found at the New York Public Library digital collection they are  Jackson Monument, National Observatory and two views of Tomb of Washington.  They are tan mounts with domed images.

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.