MERCHANT SHIP CAPTAIN IN NEW BEDFORD, MASSACHUSETTS

SEA CAPTAIN_0003The salty gentleman featured in this cabinet card photograph appears to be a uniformed US merchant ship captain. The seaman is wearing a badge depicting an anchor on his chest. He also has stars on his sleeves and is wearing lapel pins.   H. F. Hatch of  New Bedford, Massachusetts is the photographer. An advertisement on the reverse of the image advertises that the gallery sells one dozen cabinet cards for five dollars. Such a deal!  Henry F. Hatch is listed in the 1880 census. The document reports that he was born in Massachusetts in 1837. He was married to Etta Hatch and they were living together in New Bedford with their daughter Cecila (age 18). Henry was working as a photographer. Business directories from New Bedford indicate that he worked as a photographer from at least 1865 through 1895. Research uncovered an 1880’s advertising trade card for Hatch’s studio. The advertising copy on the card must have put fear in the hearts of the young mothers of New Bedford. The trade card’s copy stated that “Hatch loves to take babies”. It would be amazing if the trade card encouraged any parents to take their babies to the studio. However, it is not amazing that a New Bedford photographic studio produced a portrait of a ship captain. New Bedford is nicknamed “The Whaling City” because in the nineteenth century it was one of the most important whaling and fishing ports in the United States.

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Published in: on January 18, 2013 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  
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HANDSOME FLY FISHERMAN IN BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS

Boston was known for a lot of things at the turn of the century, but fly fishing was probably not one of those things. Fly fishing on the Thames River wasn’t  likely a destination vacation. This photograph features a handsome gentleman who appears dressed for an adventure. He is wearing a hat with fishing lures hooked into it. He is also wearing a tie, tucked into his shirt. The gentleman was photographed by McCormick, who had a studio located in Boston, Massachusetts. The Boston Directory (1873) lists a John L. McCormick who operated as a photographer in Boston. The 1880 United States Census finds McCormick (age 32)living in Boston and married to Elizabeth McCormick (age 26). He is listed as a photographer. The 1900 census does not list his occupation but reports that the couple were living with their five children and an eighteen year-old female servant (nanny?). The 1910 census includes McCormick, but once again, does not list his occupation.

Published in: on February 28, 2012 at 12:01 am  Comments (4)  
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A FAMILY OF FIVE POSES ON THE ISLAND OF FOHR (INDOOR FISHERMEN)

A couple and their three children arrive in Wyk auf Fohr, the only town on the island of Fohr.  Fohr is the second largest of the North Frisian Islands on the German coast of the North Sea. The family is on the island to vacation. They decide to walk around the town and happened upon a photographer’s studio. The photographers name was Wilhelm Muller. The family decides to go into the studio for a portrait, believing that a photograph of them would make a great souvenir of their trip to the seashore. The photographer had a wonderful beach backdrop, as well as props, including fishing nets and an oar. The resulting photograph makes the family look like they are ready for a day of serious fishing. For some unknown reason, it was decided that mom should pose with an open book on her lap. Is she bored, or is she studying a text on fishing? The family likely had fun on their vacation because the area they were visiting, was a noted resort town. Here is a historical tidbit. From 1842 to 1847, Danish King Christian VIII chose Wyk as his summer vacation spot, which attracted even more tourists. In 1844, Hans Christian Andersen followed the King to Wyk and made the following comment about Wyk’s beach: “I bathed every day and I must say it was the most remarkable water I have ever been in”.