Some photographs from:


The Birth of an Industry

The Collection of Matthew R. Isenburg


"Awaiting the Sitter": Basic Studio Set-up

Studio Set-up

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Click on any of the thumbnails below to view in a larger format

1) Quarter-plate Palmer & Longking “Lewis type” camera, ca. 1854

This camera, made in New Windsor, N.Y., has a C. C. Harrison (New York) radial drive lens, which—due to the extra length of the bellows—could be used for close-up and copy work as well as portraiture. It sold for $15.00 in 1854 (equivalent to about $300 today).


2) Iron Center Tripod, ca. 1840s

This tripod was popular throughout the daguerreian era; it was solidly built, yet could be disassembled for easy travel. It sold for $2.50 in 1854 (about $50 today), as itemized in line 3 of the Sisson invoice (on wall).


3) Jenny Lind Posing Table, 1851

This table, manufactured and sold by W. & W.H. Lewis, of New York City, was named after the popular singer brought to America from Sweden by P.T. Barnum.


4) Jenny Lind Headrest, 1851

A companion piece to the Jenny Lind table; the only known example with the patent dates molded in the base casting. As itemized in the Sisson Invoice, line 6, this sold for $3 in 1852 (about $60 today).


5) Cane Seat Chair, ca. 1847

This chair came from the Southworth & Hawes family collection; it was probably used in the dressing room, rather than the "taking room," of this famous Boston daguerreotype studio.


6) Daguerreotype of boy with posing table, ca. 1852

A sixth-plate image of a boy with a table identical to the one displayed here.



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