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Itinerant Daguerreotypist

A typographically handsome broadside advertisement for daguerreotypist E. S. Hayden, who states herein that they are "now prepared to take likenesses of all who may favor him with a call. His Miniatures are warranted not to be surpassed by any, for richness of tone and lifelike appearance; standing out in such bold relief, that they can be seen equally well in any light."

The broadside was clearly intended for itinerant use, as there are blank spaces for Hayden to write a town name and his temporary gallery location. The broadside was printed by the American Office, in Waterbury, Connecticut. This example was clearly never used, as the spaces to write in a town and location are blank. Interestingly, Hayden offered the specialized photographic service of copying paintings and engravings.

While other catalogers have suggested that E. S. Hayden may have been Edward Simeon Hayden (1851-1899), a son of Hiram Washington Hayden, of Waterbury, Connecticut, we believe that would be highly unlikely given his birth year. The daguerreian era flourished from 1839 to circa 1860, when it was superceded by less expensive methods of photography such as the ambrotype. Perhaps another Hayden of Waterbury shared Edward Simeon's initials. Hiram Hayden, the father, was a successful businessman and inventor who had founded the firm Holmes, Booth and Haydens in 1853, specializing in brass manufacturing. Hiram may have invented an early paper based photographic printing process. Brass polishing experience would have been useful background to making daguerreotypes as proper polishing and preparation of the silver-plated surface of the plates is critical to making a successful image. 


Original advertisements issued by itinerant American daguerreotypists are generally quite rare. This particular broadside is known in a good number of examples due to a small cache having been discovered some years ago. OCLC locates 12 copies. 

Condition Description
Printed broadside. Ornate printed border. Two small spots on verso (upper corners), remnants of early mounting. Overall clean and very good
John S. Craig, Craig's Daguerreian Registry, Vol. 1, page 172.