Tuesday, April 01, 2008

He Was Clearly a Pampered Child

Maureen Taylor has taken up the challenge I posed here.

This kid's an optimist. His diaper is falling down and he's got to be uncomfortable, BUT he's happy. It's great to see a nineteenth century picture with someone with a full grin. Doesn't happen very often.
Maureen's figured out that the photo was taken "as early as the 1890s," but asks for help researching the photographer. Drop a comment on her blog if you can lend a hand.


From the excellent book:
"Biographies of Western Photographers", by Carl Mautz:
Bigelow & Parcell. Operated the Photo and Art Company, Frederick Avenue, St. Joseph, c.1890. Awarded the Medal of Honor at the Paris Academy of Science and Invention 1891.

The Photo Detective

Thank you for the help!

Bob Miller

Cross-posted from Photo Detective:

There was another photographer named Bigelow operating in St. Joseph at the same time: Edwin Bigelow.

Edwin (b 1871) is recorded there in the 1900 Census with his wife and two sons; occupation: photographer. There's no telling when Edwin moved there from Michigan (also Lyman's home state), but the oldest boy, Harold, was born in Missouri in October 1897.

In 1910 Edwin lived alone in St. Joe, and was still a photographer. His wife, Myrtle, and the boys had moved to California.

In 1920 Edwin doesn't show up.

One suspects there's a story there.

I think the photograph was taken by Edwin. If you look closely at the photo card, it appears to say "Central Gallery" and "4th and Edmond Streets". Edwin lived on Edmond Street in 1900. As Nevadagenealogist has said, Lyman did business as "Bigelow & Parcell," and operated the "Photo and Art Company" on Frederick Avenue. Finally, although it's a cute and unusual photograph, I don't think the quality matches what I would expect from someone of Lyman's apparent reputation. I know that's subjective, but there ya go.

What do you think?


Sounds persuasive. He lived only three blocks from the studio in 1900, whereas Lyman lived about 12 blocks away.


Bob Miller made some excellent observations. To expand a bit.
The 1887-1890, St Joseph directories at A.com lists the, Central Photograph Gallery at 323 Edmond (is this the same as the Central Gallery, 4th & Edmond?). The only photographer I can find associated with 323 Edmond then, is John W. Souder. In fact I can't find any Bigelows or Parcells listed as photographers, in the 1887-1890 St. directories. The 1900 census lists John W. Souder living in St Joseph, Buchanan Co., occupation: photographer, living on Buchanan St. So did Souder sell out his studio sometime after 1900 to Bigelow & Parcell? or is this a separate business? A later St Joseph directory might tell the tale?

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