page is a selection of photographs from each of the studios
which feature in the Louis DuBois collection, demonstrating the styles
used by each
artist, as well as providing a brief biographic and professional
profile of the photographer.
Warren Merrill was
born on 23 June 1868 at Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts.
1888 and 1894 he operated a studio in Danvers, Massachusetts, living at
3 Oak Street. He was also an engraver and news photographer
in in Boston, before moving to Sitka, Alaska in 1897. After a
brief spell in Klondike, he returned to Sitka in 1899, where he worked
at odd jobs before opening a curio store and photography studio,
located on Jamestown Bay, in
1905. Merrill took a great interest in the Indian River Park
and the Sitka
National Monument, featuring the scenic beauty of the area in his
landscapes, as well as using it as a background for many of his
portraits. In the
words of Sitka historian C.L. Andrews, "Merrill ... caught on the
photograph plate the elusive spirit of the varying
surroundings as only a true artist could."
as the park's first official custodian from 1919 until 1922, and died
in 1944. Examples of Merrill's work may be found on
various sites. Click
the thumbnails below to view a selection of these images.
J. Hickmott (b. Aug 1851) and
his younger brother Lincoln S.
(b. Nov 1865) were born in Hartford, Connecticut, two of eight children
of a mechanic. Although they both worked predominantly as
insurance clerks, they appear to have operated photographic studios
briefly in the late 1880s and early 1890s. It seems likely
one of these two brothers produced the image showed here from a studio
in Dover, New Hampshire.
G. Davis (b. 8 Dec 1833) and
his younger brother Charles Davis
1836) were born in
Ripley, Somerset, Maine, sons of a shoemaker Charles Davis (1810-) and
Mary F. Folsom (1810-1872). Commencing in the early 1850s,
among the first photographers to open a studio in Portsmouth, New
Hampshire, where they took first daguerrotypes, and then
ambrotypes. Apart from taking portraits, including
they took thousands of photos, not only in Portsmouth but in other
states too, published in the form of both cdvs and stereoscopic
cards. A large collection of photos is held at the Portsmouth
Athenaeum, forming an excellent
pictorial historical records of the area.
The Davis Brothers continued
operating a studio in Portsmouth until at least 1903. The
following is a incomplete list of known dates of operation and studio
: Davis Bros.,
1860-1861 : Davis Bros., Daguerrotypists, 8 Daniel Street, Portsmouth
(LGD h. Sumner St.)
1886 & 1888 : Davis Bros., Photographers, 15 Pleasant Street,
Portsmouth (LGD h. Highland St. cnr. Broad)
1890 & 1892 : Davis Bros., Photographers, 15 Pleasant Street
& 5 Congress Street, Portsmouth (LGD h. Highland St. cnr. Broad)
1895 : Davis Bros., Photographers, 5 Congress Street, Portsmouth (LGD
h. 44 Highland St., cnr Broad; CD h. 54 Richards Ave.)
Lewis G. Davis married Cyrena F. Pierce in about 1860 and they had four
children Charles "Charlie" A. (b. c1861), Catherine "Kitty" B. (b. Jan
1864), Bertha "Bertie" M. (b. c1869) and Pierce (3 Nov 1875 - Feb
1965). Charles Davis junior was working as a clerk and
photographer in 1880.
Charles Davis married Martha S. (surname unknown) in the late 1870s,
and they had a daughter Marion T. (b. c1878)
on the thumbnails above to view a selection of imagesby the Davis Bros.
Murrett Van Orsdell
(Vanarsdall) was born c. 1834 in Frederick
Virginia, one of nine children of a farmer Peter Vanarsdall and his
wife Deborah Boxwell. He married his wife Ella E. (surname
unknown) in the mid-1850s, and their first child Clinton M. Van Orsdell
was born in October 1857 in Virginia. Van Orsdell first
became a daguerrotypist in the late 1850s, and moved to Fayetteville,
North Carolina , where he established a studio on Hay Street in 1859
and 1860. Subsequently they moved to Wilmington, North
Carolina, whereVan Orsdell set up premises at 41½ Market
Street by 1866. A year later he moved to a studio at 115
Market Street (upstairs), and by 1869 had moved again to 36-38 Market
Street, where it remained until at least 1886. Cornelius
died in the late 1880s or early 1890s. Ceratinly by June
his wife Ella is shown as a widow in the census.
M. Van Orsdell -
sometimes he was
called Cornelius, like his father - and his wife Catherine "Katie"
unknown) were married c. 1881 and moved to South Carolina at around
that time. They had seven
children: Cornelius (b. Sep 1881), Alfred "Allie" Clinton (b. 4 Jan
(b. Jul 1886), Leroy (b. 5 Dec 1889), Wilson (b. 31 Dec
1891), Thomas P. (b. c.1901) and Catherine (b. c.1906).
By the time of the June 1900 Federal Census, they were living in in
Orangeburg, S.C., and the eldest son was also working as a
photographer. The existence of a cabinet card tentatively dated as from
the mid-1890s (see above) suggests that they were already in Orangeburg
by that time, and that Clinton was in partnership with a photographer
named Rosenger, but no other record has been found for a
photographer with this name. Van Orsdell's Orangeburg studio
operation until at least 1910. In 1920, however, he was
with his daughter and son-in-law in Panama City, Florida, and described
himself as a "merchant - photographs".
on the thumbnails above to view a selection of images by Van Orsdell on
various external sites.
W. Smart was born in January
1859 in New Hampshire.
he originally trained as a brass finisher, he operated a photographic
studio in the 1890s and early 1900s, until at least 1910. The
premises were at 23 Gill Street, and he was once again shown as a brass
finisher in the 1920 Census.
Ira M. St Clair
was born on 25 April 1871 at North Hampton, Rockingham, New Hampshire,
one of six children of a bookkeeper Charles Pickney St Clair
(1823-1890) and his wife Julia Ann Woodman (1836-). He
married his wife Clara B. (b. c.1882, surname unknown) in about 1903,
and they had two children, Roger C. (b. c.1905) and Marion (b. c.1908)
Ira St Clair became a photographer in the early 1900s, and operated a
studio in Portsmouth, Rockingham, New Hampshire until at least
1920. He died prior to the June 1930 Census.
on the thumbnails above to view a selection of images by St Clair on
various external sites.
(or Edwin) L. Cunningham was
born on 15 June 1862 at Surry,
Maine, only son of a sailor Josiah Cunningham and his wife Lydia J.
Curtis. As a teenager, Edward was also a sailor. He
married Ella B. (surname unknown) in about 1885, and they had one
child, a son, Edward Webber Cunningham
on 27 July 1889 at Carline,
Maine. By June 1900, they were living in Boston,
Massachusetts, where Edward senior was working as a
photographer. They moved to Exeter, Rockingham, New Hampshire
a few years later, where they initially (1910) lived at Statham Road.
on the thumbnail at right to visit an external web site with another
image by Cunningham.
Junior was shown as a poultry breeder in
1910, but by 1920 had
joined his father in the business, and remained there until at least
1930. He married Priscilla (surname unknown) in 1921 - they
least four children as follows: Calvin T. (28 Oct 1921 - 17
2001), Orville and Gwendolyn (b. c.1924) and Allan (b. c.1926).
Young opened his first photographic studio in Union Square, New
1893. By the turn of the century he was operating at six
separate premises, starting in Brooklyn, New York and Newark, New
Jersey, and later spreading to Philadelphia and Connecticut.
By the time of his death on 23 September 1921, there were eighteen
studios. He was also one of the pioneers in the pastel and
Click on the
thumbnails below to view a selection of images by Sol. Young
on various external sites.