Six young women gathered at the studio belonging to William McComb (1844-?) in order to have their photograph taken. The studio was located in Muskegon, Michigan. What is the connection between these women? The woman seated in the center front row of the photo has an open book on her lap. Perhaps the young ladies are students. More is known about the photographer than about the young women. William McComb grew up on Prince Edward Island, Canada. He was of Irish descent. By the time he was fifteen years old, McComb had developed an interest in photography. In 1859, he volunteered to become the assistant of a visiting photographer in the area. He learned the business and photography skills necessary to pursue the career of being a photographer. His career path took him to jobs in galleries in Ottawa and Montreal. He then moved to the United States where he met Muskegon photographer, J. D. Westervelt. The two men decided to work together, and the partnership lasted for just one year. In 1879, McComb opened his own photo studio. He soon became the most popular photographer in Muskegon. In 1895, a devastating fire destroyed his studio and it’s equipment as well as his collection of 40,000 negatives. McComb opened a new studio and rebuilt his business. Besides photography, he had a strong interest in weather forecasting and in 1893, he joined the US weather bureau. His duties included raising flags to notify mariners of approaching weather conditions. A photo of William McComb can be seen below. This cabinet card has gold beveled edges.   SOLD

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