Tag Archives: William B. Matthews

Lewis V. Staffer

1856                Over Baird’s Jewelry Store, Allen’s Block, Ravenna, Ohio.

Lewis V. Staffer was recorded in eight announcements and nine advertisements in The Weekly Portage Sentinel (Ravenna, Ohio).  The first announcement appeared on August 21, 1856. 

Pictures.—Those who desire to obtain valuable and correct likenesses of themselves or their friends, should call at the Ambrotype rooms of Staffer & Stedman in Allen’s Block.  See Advertisement.

The first advertisement ran from August 21 to December 11, 1856.  Ambrotypes!  Ambrotypes taken by Staffer & Stedman, at their Rooms over Baird’s Jewelry Store, Allen’s Block, Ravenna, O., for seventy-Five Cents, where every variety of likenesses can be obtained.  Ambrotypes inserted in breast pins and lockets.  Whole size likenesses for $5 and $6—former price $10 and $12.  Particular attention paid to taking the likenesses of children.  Having a large sky and side light, impressions taken in from three to five seconds.  Our likenesses are all positive and not reversed. All work warranted.  Likenesses taken either in clear or cloudy weather.  August 21, 1855.

The second advertisement ran from September 4 to December 11, 1856.  Something New.—Staffer & Stedman are now taking Ambrotypes on Paper.  The finest articles in the picture line to send by mail, as it cost no extra postage. 

The second announcement appeared on September 25, 1856.  Portage Co. Agricultural Society.  At the Portage County Agricultural Fair, held September 17th and 18th, 1856, premiums were awarded as follows…On Miscellaneous Manufactured Art… 

L. V. Staffer & Co., Best specimen daguerreotype pictures,  dip.   

The third advertisement ran from October 16, 1856 to May 21, 1857.  Premium Ambrotypes and Daguerreotypes.  L. V. Staffer  Co., respectfully invite the public to call at their rooms over Baird’s Jewelry, Allen’s Block, Ravenna, and examine their specimens upon which they received the first premium at the last county fair.  We offer the following reasons why we can produce better pictures than can be obtained elsewhere in this county.  We have the largest and most powerful camera in this section of the state.  Our light is so arranged as not only to give a life like expression to the features, but also drapery of the utmost beauty and richness.  (The want of which is a great fault in the work of some operators.)  We use the genuine chemicals, regardless of expense, and having had ten years experience in the art we know that we can produce better results than the mere tyro of a few months practice.  Those wishing good pictures of themselves or friends will find it to their advantage to call at our rooms and be convinced that this is the place to get a perfect likeness.  Prices as low as in any rooms of good repute in Northern Ohio. Children’s likenesses taken in one or two seconds.  We seldom fail to get a good likeness of the most restless.

Daguerreotypes.—As there are some who still prefer this style, we would say that we are at all times prepared to take them.

Caution.—The public are cautioned against Ambrotypes backed up with black paint or varnished, as the backing will crack eventually and the picture become worthless.  All good operators have discarded this process, we have not used it for many months and all persons having pictures put up by us in that way, are invited to call and when they become cracked and have them made good.  Such pictures can be known by their having a glass over the matting, the position of the setter being reversed, and having a dull appearances at arms length,.

Remember the place, over Baird’s Jewelry Store.  Oct., 16, 1856.  L. V. Staffer  Co.

The third announcement appeared on December 25, 1856.  Holiday Gifts.—We have no doubt but that many of our readers are now thinking of what articles they shall get, with which to present their friends during the present holiday season.  Every body knows that wearing apparel is not a proper article for a gift, and jewelry is considered by many to be equally improper.  Now is this state of the case, we know of nothing more appropriate than an accurate likeness of one’s “own dear self.”  This is a gift which can be received by any one without the least violation of the rules of etiquette, and persons who present such an article are not likely to be soon forgotten, from the fact that whenever it is looked upon, the ‘phiz” of the donor will be observed.  In our peregrinations last week, we called at the Ambrotype Rooms of L. V. Staffer & Co., in Allen’s Block, and if the specimens which were shown us can be taken as an evidence of skill, we have no hesitation in saying that Mr. Staffer stands unrivalled in his profession.  For accuracy, and all other points which go to make up a good picture, he cannot, in our judgement, be excelled by any operator in Northern Ohio.  Call at his Rooms, examine his specimens and our word for it, you will coincide in what we say.

The fourth announcement appeared on March 5, 1857.  Garroting.—The frequency with which this new process of securing victims occurs is truly alarming, and we notice that it has arrested the attention of the Legislature of Massachusetts, who deem it of sufficient importance to appoint a committee to devise [means] of prevention.  The prominent distinctive feature of garroting, is taking the intended victim by the throat, which operation is not at all calculated to amuse the subject, especially if he loses his watch and money.  Now the method of garroting, adopted by Staffer is rather pleasant.  It is true he takes some of your money from you, but he takes you by the hand with a gentlemanly [sir], and gives you an equivalent in the shape of an accurate and life-like Ambrotype.  Call and see him.   

The fifth announcement appeared on May 21, 1857.  Photographs, Ambrotypes And Daguerreotypes.—Our neighbor, L. V. Staffer, is now better prepared than ever to wait on those who may wish anything in the above line.  Mr. S. being one of the best artists in Ohio, and naturally a man of fine taste in arranging drapery, etc., should be patronized by those wishing correct representations of themselves or friends.  Call and examine his specimens.

The fourth advertisement ran from May 21 to September 17, 1857.  Get Your Photographs, Ambrotypes, etc., at Staffer & Co.  Rooms over Baird’s Jewelry Store, Ravenna, O.

The fifth advertisement ran from May 21 to November 5, 1857.  L. V. Staffer & CO., Photograph, Ambrotype And Daguerreotype Artists, (Rooms over Baird’s Jewelry Store, Allen’s Block.)  Are prepared to take every known kind of Likeness in the most superior style.

Photographs!—From the smallest, suitable to send by mail, to the splendid life and cabinet size, colored in oil or water colors.  Large and life-like.  Photographs made from the Ambrotypes and Daguerreotypes of deceased persons.  We have the best process for enlarging that has ever been invented.  (patent or otherwise.)

Ambrotypes!—Beautifully clear and brilliant!, resembling in softness and depth of tone an ivory pairing, and put up in the only durable style, viz: without black varnish.  Our work of this class needs no comments.  The fact that we received the first premium on them at the last county fair, in competition with the other artists of this place, speaks for itself.  In addition to the above, we take Daguerreotypes, Ambrographs, Sphereotypes, etc. 

Call and examine our specimens, learn our prices and you will see that this is the place to get your pictures.  Remember the Rooms—over Baird’s Jewelry Store, Main street. 

The sixth announcement appeared on July 2, 1857.  Staffer’s Photograph And Ambrotype Gallery.—In consequence of his large and increasing business demanding it, our neighbor, L. V. Staffer, has fitted up another room for the accommodation of his visitors and patrons.  His rooms are now well arranged, and a visitor can spend an hour with pleasure and profit in examining the productions of his skill.  We know of no man who possesses in a greater degree the happy art of giving life and expression to a picture than Staffer.  He seems to have an intuitive knowledge of what will develop the features, dress, etc., in the best manner, and as a result the subjects of his pictures are recognized instantly.  He is prepared to take Photographs—(a beautiful invention, by the way,)—either cabinet or life size.  Ambrotypes and Daguerreotypes on the most approved principles, and warrants satisfaction or no charge.  Step in and have a chat with him.

The seventh announcement appeared on September 3, 1857.  Gift Enterprise.—We would call particular attention to the gift enterprise of Messrs. Staffer & Co.   There can be no fraud, no dishonesty and no losses, to any person.  The gifts are simply premiums to those who get likenesses.  You get a good picture at the regular price, and well worth all you pay for it in every instance.  Then, in addition to this, you have a chance to draw a prize varying from twenty-five cents to twenty dollars in value.  Staffer & Co. are excellent artists, and their work will be certain to give general satisfaction.

The sixth advertisement ran from August 27 to December 11, 1857.  Gifts!  One Thousand Dollars Worth Of Watches, Jewelry, Etc., To be given away this fall and winter to the customers of L. V. Staffer & Co.

As we are at present laboring under a sever attack of generosity, we have determined to make the following liberal offer to everybody, viz:  To each person getting a likeness at our rooms, in Allen’s Block, Ravenna, after this date, for which we receive $1.50 or more, we shall present one of the following Gifts, to be drawn and the goods received at the time of getting the likeness.

Schedule Of The Gifts. 

2 Gifts, Silver Lever Watches, each $20.                   $40

2 Gifts, Silver Lever Watches, each $12.                   $24

2 Gifts, Gold Lockets, each $10.                                $20

2 Gifts, Gold Lockets, each $8.                                  $16

To be selected, by the holder of the ticket, from an assortment of lockets, Breast pins, Ear rings, &c., To be selected from an assortment of notions.

11 Gifts, each $5.                                                        $55

15 Gifts, each $4.                                                        $60

20 Gifts, each $3.                                                        $60

50 Gifts, each $2.                                                        $100

100 Gifts, each $1.                                                      $100

300 Gifts, each 50 cts.                                                $150

1500 Gifts, each 25 cts.                                              $375.                                                  

2064 Gifts                                                                   $1000

Manner of Distribution.  The tickets filled out to correspond with the above list, will be placed in separate sealed envelopes, and the whole placed in a box for the purpose, and from which the customer will be entitled to draw one, at random, for each picture purchased as above, and the goods specified will be furnished at the usual retail prices.  And that everyone shall have an equal [chance] the number of tickets will always be kept the same; as soon as one is drawn, another of the same amount will be put in its place.

The $1.50 pictures will be put up as heretofore, in fine double gilted cases, with silk velvet lining and stamped matts, and warranted fully equal in every respect to any that can be obtained, for the same price, in any room in Northern Ohio.

In addition to the above scheme, we shall continue to put up likenesses for those who wish them, for 75 cents and $1 each.

Now we would say to each and every one who wants a good likeness, come along.  Where can you do as well?  You get your likeness as cheap as at any other place; you are sure to get back a portion of the price and may receive several times the amount paid—but a word to the wise is sufficient.

Remember our Rooms are over Baird’s Jewelry Store, Allen’s Block, south side of Main st., Ravenna.  L. V. Staffer & Co.

The seventh advertisement appeared on October 8, 1857.  Never To Be Undersold.—50 to 100 per cent off.—L. V. Staffer  Co. will put up good Ambrotypes at the following rates, until further notice, viz: $1.00 style for 50 cents; $1.25 for 75 cents; $1.50 for $1.00; $2.00 for $1.25; and for $1.50 we will give a $2.50 style and a chance for a gift of 25 cents to $20.00, as per scheme in another column.  Likenesses put up in any style to suit and warranted.  Now is the time to get your family picture cheap. 

The eighth announcement appeared on October 15, 1857. List of Premiums Awarded at the Twelfth Annual Fair of the Portage County Agricultural Society, held at the Fair Grounds in Ravenna, on the 28th, 29th, and 30th of September 1857…Class 17–On Miscellaneous Manufactured Articles…

Frank Ford, best show of daguerreotypes, ambrotypes and plain photographs, for each a Diploma.

L. V. Staffer & Co., best show of colored photographs, Diploma.

The Eighth advertisement ran from January 7 to June 17, 1858.  Ambrotypes and Photographs.  Those wanting a first class Likeness and one that is correct, cannot do better than call on Staffer & Co., at their gallery in Allen’s Block, where you will find a large collection of fine specimens, all of their own manufacture. 

The ninth advertisement appeared on March 31, 1859.  People’s Gallery.  At the old stand of L. V. Staffer & Co., nearly opposite the east end of Phoenix Block, Ravenna, Ohio.

Superb Ambrotypes, Photographs And Melainotypes, 50 Per Cent Less Than Elsewhere.

Persons in want of pictures of any style will find it much to their interest to call at this Gallery before purchasing elsewhere.  No time will be spent in unprofitable “gassing” but all are invited to come and judge for themselves as to the quality of the work with the assurance that no pains will be spared, to make the best picture possible for every customer, and no one will be expected to take work away unless perfectly suited.  O. F. Stedman.  Ravenna, March 31, 1850.

Lewis V. Staffer is not recorded in other photographic directories.  Two additional items have just been discovered.  The first an announcement appeared on April 5, 1854 in the Portage County Democrat (Ravenna, Ohio).  Which establishes his first name.   Married At Cuyahoga Falls, on the 30th ult., by Rev. Thomas Stubbs, Me. Lewis V. Staffer and Miss Sophronia L. Matthews; all of Ravenna. 

The second is an advertisement in The Weekly Portage Sentinel (Ravenna, Ohio) that ran from April 17 to May 1, 1856.  L. V. Staffer, who has had charge of Wm. B. Matthews’ Daguerrean Rooms for the past year, announces to his friends ad the public generally, that he will hereafter be found at the Ambrotype rooms of O. F. Stedman & Co., in Allen’s block, where he will be happy to wait upon those in want of good pictures with promptness and dispatch.