Tag Archives: Worcester Massachusetts

Henry Conant

1848                15 Fourth Story, Central Exchange, Worcester, Massachusetts.                      1850                Address Unknown, Worcester, Massachusetts.

Henry Conant was recorded in an advertisement the ran from January 27 to April 6, 1848 in The Massachusetts Cataract and Temperance Standard (Worcester & Boston, Massachusetts).    H. Conant’s Daguerreotype Rooms, No. 15 Fourth Story, Central Exchange.

The attention of the public is invited to the excellent tone and beauty of the Pictures taken at this place—the perfect delineation of the features and drapery—the expression of the countenance, and the life-like appearance which they exhibit.

Miniatures put up in silk-lined case for $1.  Other prices according to richness or size of case, or number of pictures on a plate.

Ladies and Gentlemen are respectfully invited to call and examine specimens before engaging elsewhere, as they will be waited upon with pleasure whether they contemplate sitting for a Miniature or not.

Henry Conant was not recorded in A Directory of Massachusetts Photographers 1839-1900.  He was recorded in Craig’s Daguerreian Registry in 1850 without a business address.

Chase & Welch

1856                222 Main Street, Worcester, Massachusetts.                                                          1857                Address Unknown, Worcester, Massachusetts.

Chase & Welch were recorded in three advertisements and an announcement in the Worcester Daily Spy (Worcester, Massachusetts.)  The first advertisement ran from July 26 to August 8, 1856.  Special Notice.  Re-Opened by a New Company.—The subscribers would respectfully inform the citizens of Worcester and vicinity, that they have purchased the Ambrotype Rooms in Foster’s Block, No. 222 Main Street, and will be in operation on and after Monday, July 28, 1856.  In re-opening this beautiful suit of rooms, the proprietors are happy to announce to the citizens of Worcester and vicinity, that they have secured the services of Mr. Wm. Hathaway, as their Operator and Artist.  Those wishing for pictures of themselves or friends, are respectfully informed that every picture emanating from the establishment will be warranted to give entire satisfaction.  The Ambrotype has now become the prevailing style of Picture in all the principal cities of the Union.  We shall, as soon as necessary arrangements can be made, be able to supply the public with all kinds of Photographic Pictures.

N.B.  Ambrotypes at the same price of good Daguerreotypes.  The public are respectfully invited to call and examine specimens.  Chase & Welch.  Wm. Hathaway, Artist

The second advertisement ran from November 4 to November 18, 1856.  We would advise all who are in want of superior pictures of themselves or friends, to call at the rooms of Chase & Welsh, in Foster’s Block, 222 Main Street.  We pronounce their pictures superior to those taken at any other establishment in the city.  We have observed the beautiful pictures in their show case, and to say that they were most natural and lifelike, is to use a hackneyed expression; but no other would be appropriate in this case.  Their pictures are bold and clear, and for brilliancy of tone and finish, we do not hesitate to say that they are superior to any other establishment in the city; and we would say to all, if you want a likeness that you will not be ashamed to look at, and show to your friends, call at their rooms, and you will not be disappointed.  Their prices are very moderate, and their pictures will give entire satisfaction.

The third advertisement ran on November 13 & 14, 1856.  And was issued by Benjamin D. Maxham.  Take Notice, that our friend Chase proposes to make single glass pictures.  Why this condemnation to what he calls humbug!

The only place to procure the genuine improved Ambrotype on double glass, is at B. D. Maxham’s.  He will tell you the truth and nothing but the truth; that in his opinion the Daguerreotype is far more durable, being composed entirely of mineral substances, whereas the Ambrotype is vegetable.  As for the patent, it was given up six months since Mr. Cutting, as also was the use of gum.  The only way to seal up a picture to make it permanent, is to seal them up in tin boxes, the same as sardines are sealed.

The announcement is a reply from Chase & Welch to Benjamin D. Maxham’s advertisement which ran on November 25, 1856.  We see by the Spy of Nov. 18th, that B. D. Maxham wants the public to take notice that friend Chase proposes to make single pictures, and wants to know why this condecentson to what he calls humbug.  I have never have called the single glass picture a humbug; what I call humbuging the community is, for a man professing what he does, to deceive the public by selling a single glass picture, and telling them that it is an Ambrotype, when he knows that it is not, and never can be an Ambrotype.  He knows very well what constitutes an Ambrotype, and he knows that to make it an Ambrotype, it must be sealed between two plates of glass with Fir Balsam, or its equivalent.  He knows that he has not a right to take the Ambrotype picture, and therefore cannot take them, but if he can deceive and impose upon the public by misrepresentation and deception, it will answer his base purpose.  In his advertisement he says, that he will tell the truth and nothing but the truth, but he forgets to tell the whole truth for he says that the patent was given up some six months ago by Mr. Cutting, as also the use of gum.  Now, if his object was not to deceive, why did he not tell that Mr. Cutting surrendered his patent and applied for re-issue and got it, against the combined forces of the Daguerreotypist, who brought every thing to bear against it which they possibly could, to break it down and prevent a re-issue, but it proved a decided failure.  The government granted a re-issue covering the whole ground; and now, if he can dupe and deceive the public by telling them that his pictures are Ambrotypes, he will not hesitate to do it.  Now where is the deception? why does he wish to impose upon the public by selling a spurious article for a genuine?  Can there be any thing manly in this?  Does this look like having a just regard for other people’s rights?  I leave it with the public to decide, and will say that the only place where you can get a genuine Ambrotype, is at Chase & Welch’s rooms in Foster’s Block, No. 222 Main street.  We have the exclusive right for taking Cutting’s patent Ambrotypes, for the City of Worcester, and all pictures emanating from any other room in the city, called Ambrotypes, are spurious and worthless.                          Chase & Welch.

Chase & Welch was listed in the 1857 Worcester City Directory, residence section but was not included in A Directory of Massachusetts Photographers, 1839-1900.  Craig’s Daguerreian Registry only list them in 1857.

Joseph K. Bundy

1848                Waldo Block, Worcester, Massachusetts.                                                                    1850                142 Main Street, Worcester, Massachusetts.                                                                1852                Brinley Row, Worcester, Massachusetts.[1]                                                                1854                District 4, Southbridge, Massachusetts.

Joseph K. Bundy was recorded in 1848 and in 1854 in A Directory of Massachusetts Photographer, 1839-1900.  On March 23, 1850 he appeared in an advertisement in the Worcester Daily Spy (Worcester, Massachusetts) that ran until May 18, 1850.  Can’t be Beat!  The subscriber would say to his old friends in this City and vicinity that he has taken the well known Daguerreotype Rooms, No. 142 Main Street, Worcester, two doors north of B. L. Hardon & Co.’s Store, where he is prepared to take As Good Pictures, and as Cheap, as can be taken in this or any other city, and set them in Cases, Lockets, Pins, and Rings.  No pains will be spared in giving satisfaction.  Ladies and Gentlemen are invited to call and examine specimens before sitting elsewhere.    J. K. Bundy

On April 4, 1850 in the same paper the following announcement appeared.  Fine daguerreotypes.  We would call the attention of our readers to J. K. Bundy’s advertisement of Daguerreotypes, at the old stand, next door to B. L. Hardon, & Co.’s Store, where so many good pictures have been made.  Those who wish any thing in his line will be promptly attended to, and may expect good likenesses.

In the same newspaper the following advertisement ran from January 20 to March 29, 1852.  To the Public.  Adams’ Premium Daguerreotypes!  Rooms, directly opposite the American House, over the Citizen’s Bank.

Good Pictures taken as cheap as at any other room in the city.  Customers will find one of the Best Reception Rooms, furnished with Musical Instruments for Ladies and gentlemen to while away their time, while waiting.  Also, one of Carharts Best Æolians for sale. Visitors from the Country are respectfully invited to give us a call.              J. K. Bundy, Assistant Operator.

In 1851 George Adams is reported to be in Providence Rhode Island it is possible that J. K. Bundy as the Assistant Operator is running the gallery in Worcester.

[1] Address based on George Adams’s entry in A Directory of Massachusetts Photographers, 1839-1900.

Blodget

Blodget was recorded in two advertisements on October 18 and 19, 1855 in the Worcester Daily Spy (Worcester, Massachusetts) in the partnership of Rees, Blodget & Company.  It is not known with any certainty who Rees and Blodget are because no first names were ever recorded in the newspaper.  One could speculate Rees is C. R. Rees who known to have operated studios in Richmond, Virginia, Cincinnati, Ohio, and in New York City, among other locations.  The problem with this theory is that in both Richmond and New York he uses steam in his galleries to produce images.  Blodget is also a mystery, it’s possible that he could be Cyrus Blodgett who was in Boston in 1854-1856.

Advertisement from October 18.  Take Notice!—Opposition to Steam Daguerreotypes, taken by a new American discovery, for only 25 cents, warranted to be of the best quality, and satisfaction given.  Something less than 500 taken daily.  No connection with the steam whistle, next door.  Rees, Blodget, & Co, artists.  Piper Block, Main st.

Advertisement from October 19.  Rees, Blodget, & Co. do not take Daguerreotypes by steam, as their noisy competitors boast to do, but at the same time give all who visit them good portraits, and at a quick rate, for 25 cents.  Rees, Blodget & Co. have opened their rooms at Piper’s Block, bent upon blowing up all steam boilers in the vicinity, if they burst themselves in doing so.

Rees, Blodget and Company are new names and not recorded in A Directory of Massachusetts Photographers, 1839-1900.

W. A. Bigelow

W. A. Bigelow appeared in the Worcester Daily Spy (Worcester, Massachusetts) in an advertisement on November 12 to 17, 1855.  Daguerreotypes From 25 Cts. To $10.00.  W. A. Bigelow & Co.  Would respectfully inform the public that they are now taking Daguerreotypes by the quick camera, which enables them to take Pictures of children in the most perfect manner in three or four seconds, where as they would have to sit from thirty to forty seconds by the old process.  This is the only instrument of the kind in the city.  Rooms 227 Main st., opposite the Worcester House, up one flight of stairs,—this is another advantage over other rooms in the city.  Copying done in the neatest manner.  Pictures of sick or deceased persons taken at their residences.  Remember 227 Main st., Worcester.

W. A. Bigelow was not recorded in A Directory of Massachusetts Photographers, 1839-1900.     

Aldrich & Morse

Recorded from the Worcester Daily Spy, published in Worcester, Massachusetts on January 1, 1851.  The name(s) and partnership are new and were not recorded in A Directory of Massachusetts Photographers, 1839-1900.  One could speculate, but that is all it would be speculation at this time, that Aldrich is L. Aldrich who was record in Lowell, Massachusetts in several newspaper advertisements from May 29 to August 22, 1846 but there is no information that tie the two together.  A stronger case could be argued that Morse is possibly L. Morse who was recorded in the Worcester newspapers at 142 Main Street, from January 11 to 27, 1849.  Note of advertisement in the lower right hand corner was date November 2, 1850.

Now Is The Time, And Waldo Block is the Place.

In order to introduce our Types to the public, we shall sell them for a few days for fifty cents.  In the Best Cases for One Dollar, such as are sold for $1.50 at other rooms.  We intend to attract the public to our Rooms by making good Miniatures at fair prices, rather than by a display of Stained Glass, costly Mirrors, Tapestry Carpets, &c.  Beware of humbugs, and remember our Rooms are up only one flight of stairs, and that we have decidedly The Best Light in the City.     Aldrich & Morse.  Worcester.                          Nov. 2, 1850.                Advertisement ran from January 1 to March 14, 1851.

Tyler & Company revisited

While in my opinion Tyler & Company are not in the top echelon of photographers operating in America during the first twenty years. Their advertisements would lead you to believe that they were.  In researching the Memphis Daily Appeal newspaper. In which I have access to the latter part of the project from January 1857 through December 1859 and beyond. Fortunately, or unfortunately Tyler and Company fit into this time slot during their stay in Memphis.  Like in Richmond their modus operandi is the same, they brag that they are better than everyone else, that their accomplishments are better, and that their gallery is the finest in the State that they have won many awards and have 16 years of experience.  Again like Richmond they undercut the other photographers’ prices and start fights in their advertisements with their competitors.  In reviewing the files they have advertised more in 15 months, (October 1858 through December 1859) then all the other photographs put together in 36 months.

On October 17, 1858 their first advertisement appeared in the Memphis Daily Appeal.

Tyler & Co. Give notice to the public of Memphis that they have opened an extensive Sky Light Depot of Art at 219 Main Street, opposite Odd Fellows’ Hall, for the purpose of introducing a new and original plan of Picture Making.  It consist in taking at the rate of 300 pictures daily, and being enabled to make fine Ambrotypes for 75 cents, the same as others charge $2 for. Ladies and gentlemen who visit Tyler & Co.’s Gallery, can be assured of receiving the best of treatment and the highest satisfaction in point of good work.  Tyler & Co., have had 16 years’ experience in their profession, and enjoy a celebrity worldwide throughout the Union.  They make all the various styles of pictures at prices ranging from 75 cents to $1, and also introduce the Vitreotype[1], a picture heretofore unknown in Memphis.  Call and see the new Gallery.

As stated above there are many similarities between their advertisements in Richmond and Memphis. “They still keep it before the public” their words.  Meaning that they advertise most every day often there are multiple entries of between one paragraph, or more often than not three to nine lines consisting of a sentence or two in the same Business Notices or the Local Matters columns.  The overall tone of the advertisements seems to have become more reserved then in Richmond, they are still making claims that they have the finest and largest gallery in the state.  In Richmond they continued to say that they made 400 to 800 portraits daily and sometimes as high as 1,000 a day.  In Memphis they are consistent throughout their stay at 300 portraits taken daily.  From October 17, 1858 to January 4, 1859 their prices stay the same at 75 cents to $100.  On January 5, 1859 they lower their prices to 50 cents to $50.

Tyler and Company use several name to describe their gallery. Sky-Light Depot of Art; Tyler & Co.’s Gallery; Young America Picture Depot; Big Depot of Art; Locomotive Picture Depot; Great Depot; Great Depot of Art; Tyler & Co.’s Gallery of Art; and Great sky-light Daguerreotype Depot and Emporium of Art, Beauty and Fashion to name but a few.

There seems to be a double standard in the way that Tyler & Co. attacks their competitors…their work is inferior, their images cost too much, they will fade or rust…when the other photographers voice their opinion of them, Tyler and Company often attack back “Don’t be deceived by the bombast of their rivals. The fogyism they exhibit in the newspapers, shows their envy of Tyler & Co.”  They never really answer the other photographers’ accusations.

In trying to tie up the record for Tyler and Company in Memphis I searched the latter part of 1860 knowing that Tyler and Company only stays in one location for two or three years at the most, see below for activity dates. They also probably were not in the South during the Civil War, since the first hard dates for them was 1853 in Boston, which would mean that they probably had northern sympathies. In addition Edward M. Tyler is recorded as being in Providence, R. I. in 1860 and in Newport, R. I. in 1865.  The last advertisement found was on October 11, 1860 and reads Tyler & Co. attend personally to their visitors, assisted by a corps of talented artists.

To confuse the time line more, two days later on October 13 the report of the Shelby County Agricultural Fair is published.  It list for Best Daguerreotypes, $5, O. H. Tyler; Brandon & Crater received a certificate.  Than on October 19 the following appears

Premium Daguerreotypes.—We will willingly correct an error which in the hurry of reporting the premiums awarded at the late fair, we, with other reporters, fell into, copying the list of premiums from the Secretary’s books. We reported Tyler & Co. as having received the premium for best daguerreotypes, and Brandon & Crater the certificate.  We understand from a member of the latter firm that the premium was awarded to them instead of O. H. Taylor & Co.  Since no first name was ever used for Tyler & Company in the Richmond or Memphis newspapers it is unclear if O. H. Taylor is another typo or do we have a clue as to who Tyler is.  At least in Richmond it was suggested that there was at least two Tyler’s running the gallery. Possibly Edward M., or O. H.?

Unlike John Plumbe, Jr., Jesse Harrison Whitehurst, and Thomas Jefferson Dobyns who had multiple galleries operating at the same time Tyler & Co. appears to open one studio and then moves on after a couple of years. This may not have been the case while they were in Richmond and Petersburg, Virginia where they seem to be operating both galleries at the same time.

A side note Charles R. Rees who worked for Tyler & Company, in the Richmond and Petersburg Galleries and possibly in several other locations, took over their Richmond Studio and made reference to sending ambrotypes to a new gallery in Memphis. On October 23, 1858 the following appeared in the Richmond Daily Dispatch. “We understand the reason that Rees & Co. have no Pictures on exhibition at the Mechanics’ Institute, is partly owing to their not having had time to arrange them in time for competition, and having just sent about 200 specimens of their new style of Ambrotypes to Memphis, Tenn., for the opening of a new Gallery. We are certain that their new style of Pictures would be much admired at the Institute.”

This opens a whole new line of questions. On May 5, 1859 in the Richmond Daily Dispatch the following appears….Old Rees has had 17 years experience in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Charleston, New Orleans and Cincinnati…. Did Rees work for Tyler & Co. in those locations? We know that Tyler and Company was in Boston and Charleston, and they claim they were in New Orleans and in Cincinnati, there was a James Tyler & Co. in 1857.  No hard evidence has been found at this time that Tyler & Company were in New Orleans, New York or Philadelphia.  John Craig does list Rees in Craig’s Daguerreian Registry as being in Richmond and in New York. What is the connection with Tyler & Company in Memphis?  Is he a partner?  No advertisement, articles or notices were recorded in the newspaper for C. R. Rees that I have found to date.

To throw another twist to the relationship with Tyler & Company there is a Rees, Blodget & Company in Worcester, Massachusetts at the same time that that Tyler & Co were there. There are no first names attached to the company so it is unclear if this could possibly be C. R. Rees or not…  The advertisements are a standard attack by their competitors. Two advertisements follow.

October 18, 1855 in the Worcester Daily Spy. Take Notice!—Opposition to Steam Daguerreotypes, taken by a new American discovery, for only 25 cents, warranted to be of the best quality, and satisfaction given.  Something less than 500 taken daily.  No connection with the steam whistle, next door.  Rees, Blodget, & Co, artists.  Piper Block, Main st.

October 19, 1855. Rees, Blodget, & Co. do not take Daguerreotypes by steam, as their noisy competitors boast to do, but at the same time give all who visit them good portraits, and at a quick rate, for 25 cents.  Rees, Blodget & Co. have opened their rooms at Piper’s Block, bent upon blowing up all steam boilers in the vicinity, if they burst themselves in doing so.

While reading through the Memphis Daily Appeal newspaper the following item appears.  It’s not directed by name specifically to Tyler and Company, nor is it signed, but by the tone and history of Tyler & Co.’s advertisements it is conceivable that a rival had it published.  This is pure speculation on my part and I really try not to do that.  There is a quote that I’ll end with that I try to live by, but in this case it sounds so much like them that after days of consideration I decided to include it here.  It was published on November 17, 1858 exactly one month after Tyler & Co.’s first advertisement appears in Memphis papers.

What sort of an Animal a “Snob” is.—Thackeray thus daguerreotypes this animal. He is speaking of English society:

“A snob is that man or woman who are always pretending before the world to be something better—especially richer or more fashionable—than they are. It is one who thinks his own position in life contemptible, and is always, yearning and striving to force himself into one above, without the education or characteristics which belong to it; one who looks down upon, despises, and overrides his inferiors, or even equals of his own standing, and is ever ready to worship, fawn upon, and flatter a rich and titled man, not because he is a good man, a wise man, or a Christian man; but because he has the luck to be rich or consequential.”

The quote that I mentioned is by John Drydan and holds as true today as the day it was written. “We find but few historians of all ages, who have been diligent enough in their search for truth; it is their common method to take on trust what they distribute to the public, by which means, a falsehood once received from a famed writer becomes traditional to posterity.”  This is the one reason why in my research I document everything and give a source of where the information comes from.

Tyler & Co. Activity dates and addresses.

N.D.                 Address Unknown, New Orleans, Louisiana.[2]

1853-1855       2 Winter Street, Boston, Massachusetts.[3]

1855                 Main & Front Streets, Worcester, Massachusetts.[4]

1854-1856       Address Unknown, Charleston, South Carolina.[5]

1857-1858       139 Main Street, Richmond, Virginia.[6]

1857-1858       39 Sycamore Street, Petersburg, Virginia.[7]

1858                   Canal Street, New Orleans, Louisiana.[8]

1858-1860       219 Main Street, opposite Odd Fellows’ Hall, Memphis, Tennessee.[9]

1860                81 Westminster Street, Providence, Rhode Island.[10]

[1] Their name for Daguerreotypes.

[2] Richmond Daily Dispatch

[3] Directory of Massachusetts Photographers, 1839-1900 and Boston Morning Journal

[4] Worcester Daily Spy

[5] Partners with the Sun South Carolina Photographers 1840-1940.

[6] Richmond Daily Dispatch.

[7] ibid

[8] ibid

[9] Memphis Daily Appeal.

[10] Craig’s Daguerreian Registry.