|Contents||This theme includes example sections and will be revised and added to as we proceed. Suggestions for additions, improvements and the correction of factual errors are always appreciated.|
828.01 Photographic studios > Architectural designs for studios
828.02 Photographic studios > Photographs of the exteriors of nineteenth century photographic shops and studios
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828.03 Photographic studios > Illustrations of the exteriors of nineteenth century photographic shops and studios
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828.04 Photographic studios > Photographs of exteriors of twentieth century photographic shops and studios
828.05 Photographic studios > Ordnance Survey Building, Southampton
The utilization of photography by the military expanded through the nineteenth century and the construction of a photography building for the Ordnance Survey of the British Army in the 1850s at Southampton in England was a physical manifestation of this.
828.06 Photographic studios > Printing and enlarging frames
828.07 Photographic studios > Photographs of the interiors of photographic shops and studios
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828.08 Photographic studios > Cabinet cards: Backs: Photographic studios
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828.09 Photographic studios > Stamps: Studio
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828.10 Photographic studios > Blind stamps
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Visiting photographic studies
828.11 Photographic studios > "Portrait factory" on Broadway, New York
In an 1866 article by J. Werge on "Rambles among the Studios of New York" published in The Photographic News he recalled the production pipeline of the daguerreotype studios of New York in the 1840s and 50s:
In the Daguerreotype days there was a "portrait factory" on Broadway, where likenesses were turned out as fast as coining, for the small charge of twenty-five cents a head. The arrangements for such rapid work were very complete. I had a dollar's worth of these "factory" portraits. At the desk I paid my money, and received four tickets, which entitled me to as many sittings when my turn came. I was shown into a waiting room crowded with people. The customers were seated on forms placed round the room, sidling their way to the entrance of the operating room, and answering the cry of "the next" in much the same manner that people do at our public baths. I being "the next," at last went into the operating room, where I found the operator stationed at the camera which he never left all day long, except occasionally to adjust a stupid sitter. He told the next to "Sit down" and "Look thar," focussed, and, putting his hand into a hole in the wall which communicated with the "coating room," he found a dark slide ready filled with a sensitized plate, and putting it into the camera, "exposed," and saying "that will dew," took the dark slide out of the camera, and shoved it through another hole in the wall communicating with the mercury or developing room. This was repeated as many times as I wanted sittings, which he knew by the number of tickets I had given to a boy in the room, whose duty it was to look out for "the next," and collect the tickets. The operator had nothing to do with the preparation of the plates, developing, fixing, or finishing of the picture. He was responsible only for the "pose" and "time," the "developer" checking and correcting the latter occasionally by crying out "Short" or "Long" as the case might be. Having had my number of "sittings," I was requested to leave the operating room by another door which opened into a passage that led me to the "delivery desk " where, in a few minutes, I got all my four portraits fitted up in "matt, glass, and preserver," the pictures having been passed from the developing room to the "gilding," room thence to the "fitting room" and the "delivery desk," where I received them. Thus they were all finished and carried away without the camera operator ever having seen them. Three of the four portraits were as fine Daguerreotypes as could be produced anywhere. Ambrotypes, or "Daguerreotypes on glass," as some called them, were afterwards produced in much the same manufacturing manner.
828.12 Photographic studios > Visit to Plumbe's Gallery, New York (1846)
On the front page of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle for 2 July 1846 Walt Whitman, the editor of the paper, published an article on a visit to the "Picture Gallery" of John Plumbe in New York City:
Visit to Plumbe's Gallery
Among the "lions" of the great American metropolis, New York City, is the Picture Gallery at the upper corner of Murray street and Broadway, commonly known as Plumbe's Daguerreotype establishment. Puffs, etc., out of the question, this is certainly a great establishment! You will see more life there—more variety, more human nature, more artistic beauty, (for what created thing can surpass that masterpiece of physical perfection, the human face?) than in any spot we know of. The crowds continually coming and going—the fashionable belle, the many distinguished men, the idler, the children—these alone are enough to occupy a curious train of attention. But they are not the first thing. To us, the pictures address themselves before all else.
What a spectacle! In whatever direction you turn your peering gaze, you see naught but human faces! There they stretch, from floor to ceiling—hundreds of them. Ah! what tales might those pictures tell if their mute lips had the power of speech! How romance then, would be infinitely outdone by fact. Here is one now—a handsome female, apparently in a bridal dress. She was then, perhaps, just married. Her husband has brought her to get her likeness; and a fine one he must have had, if this is a correct duplicate of it. Is he yet the same tender husband? Another, near by, is the miniature of an aged matron, on whose head many winters have deposited their snowy semblance. But what a calm serene bearing! How graceful she looks in her old age!
Even as you go in by the door, you see the withered features of a man who has occupied the proudest place on earth: you see the bald head of John Quincy Adams, and those eyes of dimmed but still quenchless fire. There too, is the youngest of the Presidents, Mr. Polk. From the same case looks out the massive face of Senator Benton. Who is one of his nearest neighbors? No one less than the Storm-King of the piano, De Meyer. Likewise Chancellor Kent and Alexander H. Everett.
Persico's statuary of the drooping Indian girl, and the male figure up-bearing a globe, is in an adjoining frame, true as the marble itself. Thence, too, beams down the Napoleon-looking oval face of Ole Bull, with his great dreamy eyes. Among the others in the same connection, (and an odd connection, enough!) are Mrs. Polk, her niece Miss Walker, Marble the comedian, Mayor Mickle, George Vandenhoff, Mrs. Tyler, and Mr. Buen, a most venerable white-haired ancient, (we understand, just dead!) On another part of the wall, you may see Mrs. J. C. Calhoun, the venerable Mesdames Hamilton and Madison, and Miss Alice Tyler. There, also, are Mike Walsh—Robert Owen, with his shrewd Scotch face, but benevolent look—Horace Greeley—the "pirate" Babe—Grant Thorborn—Audubon, the ornithologist, a fiery-eyed old man and Mr. Plumbe himself. Besides these, of course, are hundreds of others. Indeed, it is little else on all sides of you, than a great legion of human faces—human eyes gazing silently but fixedly upon you, and creating the impression of an immense Phantom concourse—speechless and motionless, but yet realities. You are indeed in a new world—a peopled world, though mute as the grave. We don't know how it is with others, but we could spend days in that collection, and find enough enjoyment in the thousand human histories, involved in those daguerreotypes.
There is always, to us, a strange fascination, in portraits. We love to dwell long upon them—to infer many things, from the text they preach—to pursue the current of thoughts running riot about them. It is singular what a peculiar influence is possessed by the eye of a well-painted miniature or portrait.—It has a sort of magnetism. We have miniatures in our possession, which we have often held, and gazed upon the eyes in them for the half-hour! An electric chain seems to vibrate, as it were, between our brain and him or her preserved there so well by the limner's cunning. Time, space, both are annihilated, and we identify the semblance with the reality.—And even more than that. For the strange fascination of looking at the eyes of a portrait, sometimes goes beyond what comes from the real orbs themselves.
Plumbe's beautiful and multifarious pictures all strike you, (whatever their various peculiarities) with their naturalness, and the life-look of the eye—that soul of the face! In all his vast collection, many of them thrown hap-hazard, we notice not one that has a dead eye. Of course this is a surpassing merit. Nor is it unworthy of notice, that the building is fitted up by him in many ranges of rooms, each with a daguerrian operator; and not merely as one single room, with one operator, like other places have. The greatest emulation is excited; and persons or parties having portraits taken, retain exclusive possession of one room, during the time.
Accidents in photographic studios
828.13 Photographic studios > Fires in photographic studios
Fires in photographic studios are recorded in contemporary literature.
The Photographic News, Vol.1, No.2, Sept 17, 1858, p.20,
A Photographic Accident. As M. Courtais, a photographer of Bordeaux, was a few evenings ago engaged in his laboratory, a bottle of sulphuric ether suddenly burst, and igniting at a candle set fire to his clothes. In a short time he was enveloped in flames, and rushed down stairs, where some persons extinguished the fire. He was, however, so horribly burned that he expired the next day.
Anthony's Photographic Bulletin, Volume 18, No. 4, February 26, 1887, p.128.
A Fire on February 6th, in Brydon's drug store, at Danville, West Va., extended to Frazer's photographic studio, which was entirely destroyed.
Fowler, ot Indianapolis, lost $4,000 from a fire in his studio on Washington street on February 6th, which, unfortunately, was not fully insured.
Harry Lay, of Wilkesbarre, Pa., lost his studio from a fire in the building in which he was located on February I3th. Loss about $3,000; insurance small.
We regret to note the loss by fire on February I7th of the Artotype rooms of Mr. Edward Bierstadt, of Reade street, New York. Many valuable pictures were destroyed that were in process of reproduction by photo-mechanical means.
828.14 Photographic studios > Poisonings due to availability of photographic chemicals
Some, but not all, the dangers of handling the chemicals used in photography were known in the nineteenth century and accidents or suicides caused by poisoning with photographic chemicals are recorded in contemporary literature.
Pharmaeutical Journal: A Weekly Record of Pharmacy and Allied Studies, Second Series, Vol.III, No.VI, December 2nd, 1861, p.342.
Poisoning by Cyanide of Potassium. An inquest has been held at the Red Cow, Chapel Street, Stratford, on Henry Giblett, aged two years and six months. The deceased accompanied some other persons into a photographic van in Bridge Road, Stratford, and as they were having their portraits taken he suddenly became alarmingly ill, and by the time Mr. Kennedy, the surgeon, arrived, had expired from the effects of a quantity of cyanide of potassium, which it is supposed he swallowed out of a phial which was in a cupboard. The jury found an open verdict, "That the child died from the effects of the poison, but how administered there was no evidence to show."
Transactions of the American Medical Association, Volume 4, 1851, p.65.
Pathological Anatomy of Bromine-poisoning. Dr. J. N. Snell reports the case of a daguerreotypist, who committed suicide by taking an ounce of bromine, which caused death in seven and a half hours. A dissection, sixteen hours later, showed that the peritoneum was tinged a reddish yellow throughout the upper two-thirds, the parts lining the stomach, duodenum, and liver, having been highly injected. The omenta and transverse mesocolon were deeply tinged with bromine, and injected, as were the anterior surface and the lesser curvature of the stomach. The latter had ecchymosed spots, surrounded by red borders, on the posterior portion; the whole interior surface was covered with a thick black layer, resembling thick tanned leather, which readily peeled off; the lower portion was smooth, hard, and tanned, as were the valvulae conniventes, and the surfaces of the duodenum. The sulci were softened and injected.
Canada Medical Journal (Montreal), Vol.I, No.3, May, 1852,p.131.
"ART. XIII. Fatal Case of Poisoning by Sulphuric Acid, with Observations", by James Sewell, M. D., Physician to the Hotel Dieu, Quebec.
A Sad case, possessing more than usual interest, both from the poison selected, and the quantity swallowed, having recently occurred in my practice, I think it my duty to submit its history to the Profession.
The Musical World (New York), Volume X, No.9, Oct 28, 1854, p.208.
Mrs, E., aged 23, the mother of two children, had about three weeks since suffered a miscarriage, which left her feeble and nervous. In this state, more easily acted upon by depressing causes, she heard a sermon the effects of which on her mind (according to her own statement to me) she could not throw off; she fancied herself without the pale of salvation her soul condemned and lost in fact, she became insane with this predominant idea. In this state she remained, with some shades of variation, until Monday the 16th of February; her husband had been repeatedly warned that she would probably attempt to commit suicide, and he fortunately arrived in time to prevent her committing it by suspension on the Friday previous to the fatal accomplishment of her purpose. Her husband's business led him to the employment of Tincture of Bromine, Iodine, and other poisonous materials; these he had carefully disposed of beyond her reach. A day or two before the sad affair, he bought at a Druggist's one pound by weight of concentrated sulphuric acid, which shews about 5 fluid drachms to the oz.; he poured the whole of this into two large tumblers, dividing the quantity equally to form what these Artists call "a battery," by which they galvanize the silvered plates, previous to submitting them to the vapour of iodine in the production of daguerreotype likenesses; he had placed, as I have said, the Bromine and Iodine, &c, under lock, but, never suspecting the probability of her using this powerful acid for the purpose of self-destruction, he took no precaution with it. She was absent from her usual sitting apartment about 3 o'clock, P. M., of the 16th February, for somewhat less than two minutes, but she had time to effect her purpose, an she told him on returning to the room; on instant examination he found that she had emptied one of the tumblers of its contents, except about 1/2 a fluid oz., and the already excoriated state of her mouth and chin fearfully corroborated her story.
Assistance was quickly sought, and, on my arrival, finding that the stomach-pump had been imperfectly used, I re-introduced it. At this time about 40 minutes had elapsed since the acid had been swallowed. I found her pale and perfectly collapsed, cold skin, no pulse at the wrists, and the action of the heart feeble and indistinct. The first effect of the poison had been to prostrate all the powers of life nearly to extinction. Milk and oil were first injected into the stomach and quickly withdrawn, but the appearance presented, destroyed all hope; it was dark, grumous looking blood, mixed with a shred like filamentous substance. Oil, chalk, and carbonate of magnesia were freely used, with a view to neutralize the acid or blunt its action. Some re-action came on in about an hour, when her sufferings became dreadful to witness; she could scarcely be held in bed, her mind had cleared at once, and "she wondered what could have made her do it," and then "she was burning alive," were expressions incessantly uttered; she could, and did, swallow every thing that was offered to her, till delirium and coma closed the scene.
The body was carefully examined the next day, about 20 hours after death, and it is quite a hopeless task to give an adequate idea, by any description, of what we saw. The whole of the forepart of the stomach, that is, its greater curvature was destroyed, and fluid of the same appearance as that drawn up by the first action of the stomach pump, was on the surface of the intestines, and welled up from amongst their convolutions. The omentum was to a great extent in shreds, the back part of the stomach was likewise injured and look charred, but in a less degree, the food, (and she had dined heartily at noon,) was pushed toward, and lay at and near, the Pylorus. I apprehend, that the mass of food prevented the immediate contact of the acid, and thus accounted for its different state of disorganization; the great arch of the colon, where in contact with the stomach and omentum, was in some trifling degree affected. The stomach was literally dissolved in Sulphuric Acid; one or two drops from the scalpel fell upon some linen, and a hole, through which the finger could be thrust, was quickly made, showing how active this powerful acid still was. Doubtless the acid had continued to destroy the texture of all parts itcame in contact with. Even after death, but much of the disorganization, that we witnessed, had been effected by this destructive agent in the three hours that intervened between the time of her swallowing it, 3 p.m., and 6 p.m. the hour she died.
It is pretty evident, that no plan of treatment could have been adopted in this sad case with any chance of success, either with a view to withdraw the acid before it had time to work irreparable injury, or to neutralize it. There was a well marked excoriation at each angle of the mouth and beneath the chin, much more apparent after death. The inside of the mouth and lips were of a dead white, as if burnt by a hot iron.
It would have been interesting to have examined the fauces oespohagus, &c, but it could not be done. I am indebted to Drs. Boswell and Painchaud for their assistance upon this sad occasion.
In a recent journal we have observed reports of four cases of poisoning in children, by the introduction of visiting cards into the mouth. They all recovered, though the symptoms were of an alarming character. It should be generally known, that in the manufacture of cards, in the enamelling and coloring, various salts of arsenic, copper and lead are used, which are capable of producing very serious sickness and even death. Children should not be allowed to play with them.
Twentieth century studios and shops
828.15 Photographic studios > Photographic studios and shops
- Λ Rachel Hewitt, 2011, Map of a Nation: A Biography of the Ordnance Survey, (Granta Books)
- Λ J. Werge, April 13, 1866, "Rambles among the Studios of New York", The Photographic News, vol. X, no. 397, pp. 171-173
- Λ Walt Whitman (attributed as he was the editor of the paper), Brooklyn Daily Eagle vol. 5, no. 160 (2 July 1846) front page
- Λ Pharmaeutical Journal: A Weekly Record of Pharmacy and Allied Studies, Second Series, vol. III, no. VI, December 2nd, 1861, p. 342.
- Λ Transactions of the American Medical Association, Volume 4, 1851, p. 65. [This event was widely reported in medical literature - see for example Therapeutics and Materia Media by Alfred Stille, M.D. (Philadelphia: Blanchard and Lea, 1864), vol. II, pp. 757-758.
- Λ "ART. XIII. Fatal Case of Poisoning by Sulphuric Acid, with Observations", by James Sewell, M. D., Physician to the Hotel Dieu, Quebec, Canada Medical Journal (Montreal), vol. I, no. 3, May, 1852,p.131.
- Λ The Musical World (New York), Volume X, no. 9, Oct 28, 1854, p. 208.
Cartier-Bresson, Anne & Simier, Amélie, 2012, Dans l'atelier du photographe: La photographie mise en scène (1839-2006), (Petites Capitales, Editions Paris-Musées, les collections de la Ville de Paris) isbn-13: 978-2759601875 [Exhibition catalogue, Paris, Musée Bourdelle, 9 Nov 2012 - 10 Feb 2013] [Δ]
Fanelli, Giovanni, 2001, L’anima dei luoghi. La Toscana nella fotografia stereoscopica, (Firenze: Mandragora) [Δ]
Heathcote, Bernard & Heathcote, Pauline, 2002, A Faithful Likeness: The First Photographic Portrait Studios in the British Isles 1841 to 1855, (Bernard And Pauline Heathcote) isbn-10: 0954193407 isbn-13: 978-0954193409 [Δ]
Henisch, Heinz K & Henisch, Bridget A., 1993, The Photographic Experience, 1839–1914: Images and Attitudes, (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press) [Δ]
Mitter, Partha; Allana, Rehaab & Tankha, Akshaya, 2010, The Artful Pose: Early Studio Photography in Mumbai - 1855-1940, (Mapin Publishing Gp Pty Ltd) isbn-10: 1935677004 isbn-13: 978-1935677000 [Δ]
Pritchard, H. Baden, 1882, The Photographic Studios of Europe, (London: Piper and Carter) [Δ]
Readings on, or by, individual photographers
Norris, Rebecca, 2001, ‘Samuel Broadbent, Daguerreian Artist‘, The Daguerreian Annual, pp. 134-147 [Δ]
John Plumbe Jr.
Norris, Rebecca, 2001, ‘Samuel Broadbent, Daguerreian Artist‘, The Daguerreian Annual, pp. 134-147 [Δ]
Encarnacao, Alexandra et al., 2003, Carlos Relvas e a Casa da Fotografia / Carlos Relvas and the House of Photography, (Lisboa, Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga) isbn-10: 9727761798 [Δ]
Vicente, António Pedro, 1984, Carlos Relvas fotógrafo: contribuição para a história da fotografia em Portugal no século XIX, (Lisboa, Imprensa Nacional-Casa da Moeda) [Δ]
If you feel this list is missing a significant book or article please let me know - Alan - email@example.com
Gregor Baldi (1814-1878) • Richard Beard (1802-1885) • Bourne & Shepherd • Mathew B. Brady (1823-1896) • Samuel Broadbent (1810-1880) • André Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri (1819-1889) • W.P. Floyd • Jeremiah Gurney (1812-1895) • Francis Benjamin Johnston (1864-1952) • Alphonse J. Liébert (check) • Mathew Brady's Studio • Meade Brothers Studio • Nadar (check) • Negretti & Zambra • Joseph Nicéphore Niépce (1765-1833) • Oscar Gustave Rejlander (1813-1875) • Carlos Relvas (check) • Marcus Aurelius Root (1808-1888) • Camille Silvy (1834-1910) • Camille Silvy (1834-1910) • Skeen & Co. • Henry Fox Talbot (1800-1877) • Carleton E. Watkins (1829-1916)
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