ALBERT S. SOUTHWORTH
ca. 1845-1850. George Eastman House.
Albert S. Southworth was born in 1811 in West Farliegh
Vermont. He attended Phillips
Academy in Andover and established himself in the pharmacy
trade in Cabotville, now
Chicopee, Massachusetts. He learned of the daguerreotype
at the age of twenty-eight in
1839 through a former classmate, Joseph Pennell, who invited
him to New York to learn the
process from Samuel F.B. Morse. By May of 1840 he had entered
into partnership with
Pennel and reported,”I can now make perfect pictures
in one hours time…that would take a
painter weeks to draw”.
Through vigorous experimentation, he and Pennel worked
to perfect the daguerreotype process for portraiture.
In the spring of 1841 they moved from Cabotville to establish
a studio in Boston in Scollay Square with
intentions of becoming society portraitists. Success led
Southworth to move into larger loft rooms in the nearby,
newly built Tremont Row in 1843. Pennel left the partnership
at that time and was replaced by Josiah Hawes.
They worked together in the rooms at 5-1/2 Tremont Row for
twenty years, with the exception of two years from
1849 to 51, during which Southworth participated in the
California Gold Rush.
Southworth left the partnership in 1863 and became a specialist
in graphology employing photography in
forensics. He remained an active figure in the photographic
community and gave a number of talks in the
1870s at the National Photographic Association.
He died in 1894.
JOSIAH JOHNSON HAWES
Johnson Hawes, as an Old Man], ca. 1890. George Eastman House.
Josiah Johnson Hawes was born on a farm in East Sudbury,
now Wayland, Massachusetts in 1808. At seventeen he
was apprenticed to a carpenter and practiced the trade
for six years, which he gave up to be an artist. “I
purchased books, colors and brushes and commenced
the study of art…I practiced miniature painting
on ivory, likewise portraits in oil, landscapes, etc.
with no teacher but my books.” In 1841, after
seeing a daguerreotype for the first time, he reported
that it “…changed my course entirely… I
gave up painting and commenced daguerreotyping.”
He studied the process with Daguerre’s student
and agent, Francis Fauvel Gouraud in Boston.
In 1843 he joined in partnership with Albert Southworth in
the newly established Boston studio. In 1849, he married Nancy Niles Southworth, Albert’s sister, who worked in the studio. During Southworth’s time in California, he maintained the studio with the help of Nancy and her brother, Asa Southworth.
After the dissolution of the partnership in 1863, he remained in business in the old rooms, making portraits and views of Boston and vicinity until his death in 1901.