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The Louis DuBois Collection
Home Intro Photos Studios People Notes Index
Presented on this 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.
E.W. Merrill of Danvers, Massacusetts
Image © Brett Payne All Rights Reserved
Elbridge Warren Merrill was born on 23 June 1868 at Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts.  Between 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."  He served 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 on the thumbnails below to view a selection of these images.
Tlingit boy wearing a woven hat, Sitka, ca. 1915 Guests from Angoon at 1904 Sitka potlatch Man and woman in formal native dress Boys working in shoe shop, Sitka Industrial Training School Fish camp Log cabin of E.W. Merrill Scenic view of rocky islands Indian Fish Camp

Hickmott, of 356 Central Avenue, Dover, New Hampshire
Image © Brett Payne All Rights Reserved William J. Hickmott (b. Aug 1851) and his younger brother Lincoln S. Hickmott (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 that one of these two brothers produced the image showed here from a studio in Dover, New Hampshire.

Davis Bros., of 15 Pleasant Street, Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Image © Brett Payne All Rights Reserved Image © Brett Payne All Rights Reserved Lewis G. Davis (b. 8 Dec 1833) and his younger brother Charles Davis (b. May 1836) were born in Ripley, Somerset, Maine, sons of a shoemaker Charles Davis (1810-) and his wife Mary F. Folsom (1810-1872).  Commencing in the early 1850s, they were 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 ambrotypes, 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 addresses.
1860 : Davis Bros., Ambrotypists, Exeter, New Hampshire
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)
Stereoview of Faraday, part of the series "Portsmouth and Vicinity" The Oceanic Hotel on Star Island at the Isles of Shoals A vintage (c.1870) stereo card of Buckminster Mansion Snake River Gold Fields, Idaho Lieutenant Charles Thomas Hutchins, USN, c 1870s Isles of Shoals. Appledore House Portsmouth waterfront as it appeared about 1870 Edward Dodge, 1st Company, New Hampshire Heavy Artillery, Jan 15th, 1864 Lot of 2 Carte De Visites from New Hampshire
Click on the thumbnails above to view a selection of imagesby the Davis Bros. on various external sites.

Rosenger & Van Orsdell, of Orangeburg, South Carolina
Image © Brett Payne All Rights Reserved Cornelius Murrett Van Orsdell (Vanarsdall) was born c. 1834 in Frederick County, 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 probably died in the late 1880s or early 1890s.  Ceratinly by June 1900, his wife Ella is shown as a widow in the census.
Clinton M. Van Orsdell - sometimes he was called Cornelius, like his father - and his wife Catherine "Katie" (born March 1862, surname 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 1883), Maud (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 remained in operation until at least 1910.  In 1920, however, he was living with his daughter and son-in-law in Panama City, Florida, and described himself as a "merchant - photographs".
Commander John Newland Maffitt, CSN, (1819-1886) c1864 by H. Cronenburg, operator of Van Orsdell Gallery, Wilmington NC Photograph by CM Van Orsdell, No. 40 1/2 Market St, Wilmington NC CDV of Major General Ambrose R. Wright, CSA, c1864 Advert from Haddock's Wilmington NC Directory & General Advertiser, 1871 from a family album with surnames:BUMPUS,MERRITT,MARTIN,VICK
Click on the thumbnails above to view a selection of images by Van Orsdell on various external sites.

F.P. Wheeler, of Newmarket, New Hampshire
Image © Brett Payne All Rights Reserved Frank P. Wheeler was born c. 1856 in New Hampshire, and was working as a photographer in Boston in 1920.  The photograph shown here suggests that he also operated a studio in Newmarket.

E.W. Smart, of Gill St, Exeter, New Hampshire
Image © Brett Payne All Rights Reserved Image © Brett Payne All Rights Reserved Elijah W. Smart was born in January 1859 in New Hampshire.  Although 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.

Yarmouth Portrait Co., Yarmouth, Nova Scotia
Image © Brett Payne All Rights Reserved Nothing is known about this studio.

St Clair of Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Image © Brett Payne All Rights Reserved 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.
Centennial Celebration house, Eliot, 1910 Leighton Plaque, Eliot ,1910
Click on the thumbnails above to view a selection of images by St Clair on various external sites.

Cunningham, of Exeter, New Hampshire
Image © Brett Payne All Rights Reserved Image © Brett Payne All Rights Reserved Edward (or Edwin) L. Cunningham was born on 15 June 1862 at Surry, Hancock, 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.
Click on the thumbnail at right to visit an external web site with another image by Cunningham.
Edward 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 had at least four children as follows:  Calvin T. (28 Oct 1921 - 17 Jul 2001), Orville and Gwendolyn (b. c.1924) and Allan (b. c.1926).

Whitman Studio, of Malden, Massachusetts
Image © Brett Payne All Rights Reserved Nothing is known about this studio.

Marden, of Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Image © Brett Payne All Rights Reserved Image © Brett Payne All Rights Reserved Nothing is known about this studio.

Sol. Young
Image © Brett Payne All Rights Reserved Sol. Young opened his first photographic studio in Union Square, New York in 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 crayon industry.
Click on the thumbnails below to view a selection of images by Sol. Young on various external sites.
Sol Young Studios, 543 S. Salina St., Syracuse Levi Julian Wing, New York. Taken by Sol Young Studio Brooklyn Ny Woman wearing a feather hat 4"w x 5.5"h sepia toned image by Sol.Young Studios, N.Y. Hortense MicGrery, 4 yrs, 4-1/4"w x 6-1/2"h,Photographer: Sol.Young Blond male studio portrait, by Sol.Young Studios, N.Y Female portrait period dress, in presentation folder by Sol.Young Studios, New York Woman wearing large bow, by Sol.Young Studios N.Y. in presentation folder

 
All images and information on these pages are © 2005 Brett Payne All Rights Reserved