Leonard - see the text under Belle
in this online picture album for an explanation
of how this identification was arrived at, as
well as a fact or two about the Leonard family -
would be somewhat difficult to date from his clothing alone, as mens
clothing in the 1840s,1850s, and 1860s was
subject to considerable variety, and even
extravagance, in the choice of collars and
neckties; in this photograph, Father Leonard
wears a snappy window-pane necktie. Fortunately,
there is a stamp on the back, dated 6 September
Leonard also sports a fine-looking watch chain.
While it is practical to wear a watch chain -
attached to a pocket watch, of course - it is
also a way of advertising ones economic
status in an era before designer labels.
and Son Leonard (his picture follows) are all
photographed in the studio of of the Beardsley
Brothers of Ithaca, New York. The fringed chair
is identical in all three pictures.
photographers, Beardsley Brothers of Ithaca, New
York: according to John Craigs
Daguerreian Registry, the Beardsley Brothers were A
J[ulius?] and Jefferson Beardsley of Ithaca, NY.
From 1856 to 1857, A J is listed as working in
Dixon, Illinois; Jefferson can be found in an
Ithaca, NY, business directory dated 1859. Thanks
to the imprint on the back of the Leonard family
photographs, it is clear that the Beardsley
brothers opened a studio together by 1865, when
the Leonard Family photographs were taken.
An Ithaca, NY, business
directory for 1868 - 1869 lists a Jeff Beardsley as
a landscape and portrait painter. Might this be
our Jefferson Beardsley, photographer? Did he
give up photography for landscape painting?
The stamp on the
backs of these pictures was part of
Congresss effort to raise money for the
Civil War. According to Dave
Rozzanas Tips for Dating Old
[A]mong a number of taxes levied was an
1864 Act which provided that sellers of
photographs affix stamps at the time of sale to
photographs, ambrotypes, daguerreotypes, or
any sun pictures, according to the
following schedule, exempting photographs too
small for the stamp to be affixed:
than 25 cents: 2 cents stamps (blue/orange).
25 to 50 cents: 3 cents stamps (green).
50 cents to $1: 5 cents stamps (red).
More than $1: 5 cents for each additional dollar
or fraction thereof.
applied from 1 Aug. 1864 to 1 Aug. 1866. Blue
playing card stamps are known to have been used
in the summer of 1866 as other stamps were
unavailable as the levy came to an end. The stamp
was to be canceled by requiring that the seller
cancel the stamp by initializing [initialing] and
dating it in ink.