As noted yesterday, there is a photographer's imprint in the lower left-hand side of the case:
A. H. Knapp
123 Wash. St.
There was a daguerreotypist (Sawyer or Knapp or Briggs) at 123 Washington Street in Boston from about 1853 to well past 1860, when I find the following in Boston City Directories at Ancestry.com:
1853: "Daguerreotype Apparatus: Sawyer, John & Co." [p. 78 (image 82)]
1854: "Daguerreotype Apparatus: Sawyer, John & Co." and "Daguerreotype Miniatures: Ellis, Lemuel" [p. 98 (image 97)]
1855: "Daguerreotype Apparatus: Sawyer, John & Co." and "Daguerreotype Miniatures: A. H. Knapp" [p. 76 (image 88)]
1856: "Daguerreo. Miniatures: Briggs & Knapp" [p. 150 (image 158)]; also "Photographs: Briggs & Knapp (ambrotypes)" [p. 194 (image 206)]
1857: "Daguerreo. Apparatus: Sawyer, John & Co." and "Daguerreo. Miniatures: Briggs, Jesse" [p. 112 (image 134)]; also "Photographs: Briggs, Jesse" [p. 153 (image 175)]
1859: "Daguerreo. Apparatus: Sawyer, John & Co." and "Daguerreo. Miniatures: Briggs, Jesse" [p. 120 (image 119)]
1860: "Daguerreo. Apparatus: Sawyer, John & Co." [p. 141 (image 128)] and "Photographs: J. Briggs" [p. 202 (image 189)]
By 1863, Daguerreotype was not a heading in the business directory; in 1864, there is a long list of "Photographists," and none are at 123 Washington Street.
This greatly narrows down the date of the photograph to 1855-1856, when Knapp is listed in the city directory at 123 Washington Street creating daguerreotypes and ambrotypes. This also agrees with my analysis of the woman's hair and clothing.
To narrow down who might be pictured in this daguerreotype (assuming an ancestor), I filtered my Family Tree Maker database to look for women born between 1830 and 1840 who could have been in Boston in the 1850s for a photograph, and the only logical result is my second great-grandmother, Eliza May Wells (20 Aug 1839 - 18 Sep 1880) who would have been 16 years old in 1855.
I blogged about her at Wordless Wednesday ~ Eliza May Wells and Matrilineal Monday ~ Eliza May Wells (which includes a physical description of her from a passport application).
Here is a scan of a print photograph of what must be a daguerreotype or possibly an ambrotype from about 1857. It is labeled on the back.
|Eliza May Greeley|
Wife of Samuel S. Greeley
almost 18 yrs. old
What do my readers think - could these photographs be of the same woman? Let me know in the comments.
UPDATE: See the comments from the previous post, as well as below: I now believe this is Anna Bronson Alcott, a second cousin of Eliza May Wells.