Tag Archives: Worcester Massachusetts

Joseph G. Warren

1853                227½ Main Street, Worcester, Massachusetts.

Joseph G. Warren was recorded in an advertisements and announcement.  The advertisement ran from June 2 to August 8, 1853 in the Worcester Daily Spy (Worcester, Massachusetts).  J. G. Warren, Has Opened A New Daguerrean Room, No. 227½ Main street, Up one flight of Stairs, where he will be happy to wait upon his friends.  Opposite the Worcester House. Joseph G. Warren

the announcement appeared on September 2, 1853 in the Barre Gazette (Barre, Massachusetts).  J. G. Warren Has Opened new Daguerrean Rooms up one flight of Stairs, He has spared no pains, or expense in fitting them up for the comfort and convenience of those who may favor him with a call.

No. 227½ Main street, Opposite Worcester House, Worcester June 3, 1853.

Joseph G. Warren is not recorded in other photographic directories.

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.

Mr. Vinal

1848                Address Unknown, Worcester, Massachusetts.

Mr. Vinal appeared in one announcement on March 23, 1848 in the Boston Daily Evening Transcript (Boston, Massachusetts).  Elopement.  A Mr. Vinal eloped last week, with a young female from Worcester.  He had only been in town a week, and was engaged as a daguerreotypist.  The parties went to Norwich.  Vinal sent back word to Worcester, for a bundle which he left behind.  This led to his discovery.  On opening the bundle a letter was found from his wife.  Officers went in pursuit of the parties, and they were brought back to Worcester, and Vinal has been put in jail.

Mr. Vinal is not recorded in other photographic directories; it is possible that this is G. Vinall who was active in Salem, Massachusetts with Samuel Masury in 1847.

Van Alstin and Walker

1851                9 Brinley Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts.

Van Alstin and Walker (Andrew Wemple Van Alstin & Samuel Lear Walker) were recorded in one advertisement and three announcements in the Worcester Daily Spy (Worcester, Massachusetts).  The advertisement ran from August 12 to 15, 1851.  Van Alstin and Walker are daguerreotyping almost everything, in doors and out.  They are constantly employed, and are turning out some of the finest pictures that ever was made in Worcester.  Those who would have a fine likeness would do well to call while they are in successful operation.  Their rooms will be found in the first building north of the American Temperance House, where they are making vignettes, and all other styles of pictures in a superior manner.

The first announcement appeared on August 23, 1851.  Dr. Van Alstin’s New daguerrean Rooms, (Up only one flight of stairs,) are the most comfortable and convenient rooms for Daguerreotyping in the city, and we are informed that his place is daily crowded by anxious inquirers after his Premium Pictures.  We also understand that Van Alstin and Walker are making preparations to astonish the natives by an exhibition of some of their handy work at the coming Fair.

The second announcement appeared on August 28, 1851.  Daguerrean Establishment!—Dr. Van Alstin’s (first building North American Temperance House.) Is decidedly the most convenient and comfortable place of the kind in the city.  It has been fitted up expressly for the business, and to meet the wants of the whole community; and all who have visited the Rooms agree in saying, “This is the place to get a likeness;” first, because the Dr. is the Oldest established Daguerrean now in the city.  Second, because he has now associated with him S. L. Walker, who is known throughout the country to be the most scientific and artistic Daguerrean in this country, and who has no equal in sitting his subjects, or securing good likenesses of children of all ages.  Any one who has sat for any other typer, and then sits to Walker, will at once be convinced of his superior skill and taste.  Thirdly, and lastly, because he uses none but the best of plates, the purest of gold to finish, and puts them up in the best of cases, and all, with Preservers, at lower prices than any other establishment in the State.

The third announcement appeared on September 3, 1851, Vol. VII, No. 83, P. 2.

Van Alstin & Walker are the most popular Daguerreans in the city.  They are doing up the pictures by hundreds.  So remember the place where they are all going.—for Walker’s inimitable and spiritual Likenesses.  Rooms first building north of American Temperance House.  Persons living in the city are invited to call in the morning, on cloudy days, as they will be less likely to have to wait for the throngs (who get in about the middle and after part of the day) from the country.  Be it remembered, that they make some of the finest pictures of adults, in cloudy weather.

Both Andrew Wemple Van Alstin & Samuel Lear Walker are recorded in other photographic directories, but not as partners. 

Charles E. Tapley

1856                16 Harrington Corner, opposite the City Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts.

1857-1858       Address Unknown, Worcester, Massachusetts.[1]

1860                American Hotel Block, Worcester, Massachusetts.1

Charles E. Tapley was mentioned in an advertisement that ran from June 14 to September 13, 1856.  B. D. Maxham Would respectfully invite all those wishing superior Daguerreotypes of themselves or friends, to call at his old stand, where they can procure likenesses taken by himself or Mr. Tapley, an old and experienced operator from the City of New York.  No 12½ or 25 cent pictures will be taken by them—their time and talent will be devoted to their profession, which they wish to make honorable, by giving good pictures at reasonable prices to all who may favor them with their patronage.

Ladies and gentlemen, please call at No. 16 Harrington Corner, opposite the City Hall, and examine specimens.  B. D. Maxham, C. E. Tapley.

Charles E. Tapley is recorded in other photographic directories as being active in Worcester from 1857–1860.  It is unknown, but possible, that he is the same C. E. Tapley active in Vermont from 1852-1854.

[1] Craig’s Daguerreian Registry Information from the Worcester City Directory, residence section.

C. E. Tapley

1852-1853       Rooms in Mr. Stewart’s Building, Middlebury, Vermont.

1854                Address Unknown, Brandon, Vermont.

C. E. Tapley was recorded in five advertisements and mentioned in two other advertisements in The Middlebury Register (Middlebury, Vermont). The first advertisement ran from December 22, 1852 to February 23, 1853.  Sky-Light Daguerrean Gallery.  C. E. Tapley would respectfully inform the citizens of Middlebury that he has taken Rooms in Mr. Stewart’s Building, and fitted them up in a respectable manner, with a large Sky-light suitable for securing first class Daguerreotypes.  Mr. T. would therefore solicit the patronage of all who wish to obtain a good likeness of themselves or of friends; and in soliciting this favor he would assure the public that no pains on his part will be spared to afford entire satisfaction.  The demand for first class Daguerreotypes still continues, but it is a demand which can only be satisfied by the life-like, speaking likeness, well secured and well defined—a likeness which will remain fresh and beautiful when the lips of flesh in dust shall rest, and death’s pale film o’erspreads the beaming eye.  People are not satisfied with a mere shadowy representation of their faces—they say, give us a bold, well defined impression, or we want none; and I am glad it is so, for the people have in many cases been villainously imposed upon by men whose ignorance of the principles of this beautiful Art, and imbecility in its execution, are only equaled by their unrivalled impudence and assurance.—Mr. T. boasts not of any particular merit which he may or may not possess in this Art.  He respectfully asks the citizens of this place to call at his rooms and satisfy themselves by sitting for “a picture.”

By the aid of a large Sky-light, pictures can be taken in cloudy as well as fair weather.  Prices, from $1.00 to $5.00.  Sick or deceased persons attended at their residences. 

The second advertisement ran from March 2 to April 20, 1853.  Addison Skylight Daguerrean Gallery, In Mr. Stewart’s Building, A few steps South of the Post Office.  Likenesses taken at this establishment at all hours of the day, and in any kind of weather.

Daguerreotypes of children taken in from four to eight seconds.  The subscriber keeps constantly on hand a neat assortment of the best cases that can be found in the Daguerrean market, and he will put into them pictures which, for faithfulness of outline, depth and brilliancy of tone, and durability, he respectfully asks, not “all creation of operators,” but the operators of this section of the creation, to equal.  C. E. Tapley.              

P. S. Prices from $1.00 to $5.00.  Liberal deductions made to families.

The third advertisement ran from May 25 to July 13, 1853.  Addison Daguerrean Gallery, Stewart’s Building, over R. L. Fuller’s Store!  The citizens of Middlebury are invited to call at the above Establishment, and examine the subscriber’s specimens of the Daguerreotype Art, many of which are faithful likenesses of respectable gentlemen residing in this village.  I would inform the people of M., that I have at considerable expense obtained, and am now using a chemical compound discovered by Mr. Hill, of New York, a man who has probably done more than all others towards bringing this beautiful Art to its present state of perfection.  I have used many compounds for producing the Daguerreotype but have never before used anything that would produce so fine a picture as the above; for proof of its superiority please call and examine some of my late work and if you wish for stronger demonstrations of its virtues just take a seat under my Sky-light, and in a few seconds I will give you an opportunity of convincing yourselves beyond a doubt.  C. E. Tapley.                       

The fourth advertisement ran from July 6 to November 9, 1853.  Addison Daguerrean Gallery, In Stewart’s Building, over R. L. Fuller’s Store!  As good a Daguerreotype Likeness can be obtained at this Establishment as at any other Gallery in Vermont.  C. E. Tapley, Artist.             

The fifth advertisement ran from November 2 to December 7, 1853.  Just Received At C. E. Tapley’s Daguerrean Rooms!  A New And Neat Assortment Of Miniature Cases which will be sold at prices which cannot fail to suit those who are in want of a picture of themselves or their friends.

Mr. T. would respectfully inform the citizens of Middlebury and the surrounding country, that he shall positively close up his business here the 1st of January, 1854.  All therefore who wish for one or more of his faithful Daguerreotype Likenesses, should give him an early call, and he will guarantee to give them as good Pictures, as can be purchased at any Gallery in the State.

Remember The Place Sky Light Daguerrean Gallery Stewart’s Building, Over R. L. Fuller’s Store.  Remember Also, that I leave Middlebury soon, and that now is your only chance of getting your Pictures put up in the best style at prices that cannot fail to give satisfaction.  C. E. Tapley. 

First mention in an advertisement that ran from February 15 to October 25, 1854.  Daguerrean Gallery!  Doct. Brockway, has taken into partnership with him a young man, who will practice this Art and assist in Dentistry.

They have obtained the latest and most expensive and approved instrument and apparatus, and will have both Northern and Sky-Light, (regarded as the most perfect,) as well as a first rate assortment of Cases, both single and groups.  They will be in readiness to wait on Gentlemen and Ladies in this department after the present week.  Having the good will, the influence and instructions, of Mr. Tapley, known as a skillful artist, they expect to please, and of course enjoy the patronage of this community.  Josephus Brockway, Wm. W. Ormsbee.         Middlebury, Feb. 14, 1854.

The second time he was mentioned in an advertisement ran from October 25, 1854 to January 31, 1855.  The Best Daguerreotypes.  At the late Fair at Middlebury, the committee on Paintings, &c., Mr. Battell, chairman, (the celebrated portrait painted, Mr. Mason, by invitation, advising) made the following Awards:

1st best Daguerreotypes, W. W. Ormsbee, $2

2d best (being but two exhibitors) Gillmore, 1.

The pictures exhibited by Ormsbee were his 2d best, as they were duplicates; persons sitting having taken their choice.  Several were likenesses of the last graduating class.  This class were at great pains to obtain the best, as they were to be multiplied and perpetuated by lithograph copies.  The reputation of Tapley attracted them to Brandon; but not quite satisfied, some of them set to Gilmore, but after full trial a majority sent to New York for lithographing were of those taken by Ormsbee, the rest were by Tapley.

Five only of the sixteen exhibited were taken with any reference to the Fair.  To judge of pictures, the difference in the eyes of Ormsbee’s and Gillmore picture could not fail to attract attention.  Ormsbee’s present a clear, well defined eye, Gillmore’s owing probably to his instrument, doubly refractory quality, besides giving an eye imperfectly defined, produces one or more extra white spots apparent in all the pictures on exhibition by Gillmore with one exception.

Ormsbee’s rooms are at the dwelling of Doct. Brockway, Dentist.

N. B.  Ormsbee’s Camera is one of the most modern and perfect furnished by the Present market.

C. E. Tapley is not recorded in other photographic directories.  Charles E. Tapley is recorded in Craig’s Daguerreian Registry as being active in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1857-1860.  See tomorrow’s post.

Henry K. Stratford

1851-1852       16 and 17 Harrington Block, corner of Main and Front Streets, Worcester,                              Massachusetts.

Henry K. Stratford was recorded in one advertisement that ran from September 29, 1851 to February 16, 1852 in the Worcester Daily Spy (Worcester, Massachusetts).  H. K. Stratford would say to all those wishing good Daguerreotypes of themselves or friends, that they can obtain them by calling on him, at the Great Daguerrean Palace, Nos. 16 and 17 Harrington Block, corner of Main and Front sts., where all will be treated with civility and politeness.  Entire satisfaction guaranteed.

Henry K. Stratford is recorded in other photographic directories as being active in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1852.

Charles P. Stevens

1848                15 Central Exchange, Worcester, Massachusetts.

1849                Central Exchange, Worcester, Massachusetts.[1]

Charles P. Stevens was recorded in one advertisement on August 28, 1848 in The Massachusetts Cataract and Temperance Standard And Dew Drop (Worcester, Boston, & Taunton, Massachusetts).  Daguerreotypes For 75 Cents.  Room No. 15 Central Exchange.  The subscriber, having the best instruments and light of any room in Worcester, will take beautiful Daguerreotype Miniatures and put them up in handsome Morocco Cases—(the same as is charged One Dollar for elsewhere) at the same reduced price of Seventy-Five Cents!

His Room is at No. 15, Central Exchange, Worcester.  Chas. P. Stevens.

Charles P. Stevens is recorded in other photographic directories as being active in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1849.

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

Rees, Blodget & Co.

1855                Main Street, Piper Block, Worcester, Massachusetts.

Rees, Blodget & Co. were recorded in two advertisements in the Worcester Daily Spy  (Worcester, Massachusetts).  The first advertisement appeared on October 18, 1855.  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.

The second advertisement appeared on 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.

Rees and Blodget are both unknown and not recorded in other photographic directories as being active in Worcester, Massachusetts.  One could speculate that Rees is Charles R. Rees based on an 1859 advertisement in the Daily Dispatch (Richmond, Virginia) that claimed that he had 17 years experience in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Charleston, New Orleans and Cincinnati.  Rees left New York sometime around September 8, 1854.

Four days later on September 12, 1854 an advertisement appeared in The New York Herald.

Rees & Co., 25 Cent Daguerreotype Company, 385 Broadway.—This company, established under the above name, will be conducted hereafter under the [head] of McClave & Merritt, the original partners from [the commencement.]  The business will be conducted the same as usual, the whole company remaining with the exception of C. Rees, whose interest in this gallery has been purchased by the two remaining partners.  McClave & Merritt.

Where he went is unknown.  No record of his being in Boston is known.  The next advertisements found were from the Worcester, Massachusetts newspaper of October 19 & 20, 1855.  No other advertisements were found in Massachusetts newspaper prior to the above entries.  Over the next twelve day Rees advertised six times by himself.  The last advertisement in the Worcester Newspapers was on November 1, 1855.  At some point after leaving Worcester he probably worked with or for Tyler & Co. in New Orleans, Charleston and in 1858 in Petersburg and Richmond, Virginia.  So far the only mention of Rees being in South Carolina is from Harvey Teal’s Partners with the Sun South Carolina Photographers 1840-1940.  Teal states that Rees’s name appears in George S. Cooks papers in the Library of Congress as having an account with him but no address is attributed to the name.  Likewise there is no mention of in Photography in New Orleans The Early Years, 1840-1865.

Rees is an interesting person his association with Silas A. Holmes in New York and Tyler & Co. in Richmond and possibly other southern states deserves further research and a longer article.


1850-1851       271 Main Street, Waldo Block, Worcester, Massachusetts.

Morse (partnership of Aldrich & Morse) was recorded in an advertisement that ran from January 1 to March 14, 1851 in the Worcester Daily Spy (Worcester, Massachusetts).  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.

Morse is not listed in A Directory of Massachusetts Photographers, 1839-1900.  Craig’s Daguerreian Registry list the partnership as being active in Albany, New York in 1851-1852.