Boone County Public Library

2017•05 - BCPL Newsletter

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The Ohio River served as the highway for commerce of all sorts. The steamboat traffic up and down the Ohio and Missis- sippi rivers brought goods, services and all types of entertaining diversions to the otherwise sleepy river towns. One of the most popular, though lesser-known, forms of river trader regularly seen along the Ohio was the "Daguerreotype Artist." Photography for regular folks was a novelty throughout the second half of the nineteenth century, and enterprising artists took to the rivers to peddle their craft. During this time, three types of processes became well known to the public: daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, and tintypes. Daguerreotypes were developed in the late 1830s and were widely used by the 1850s. Daguerreotypes, certainly a one-of- a-kind experience for the subject, were fairly expensive (a few days to a week's pay, in many cases) but very popular, at first. Ambrotypes and tintypes were in existence by the early 1850s, overtaking their prede - cessor. Both were more quickly developed, and a fraction of the cost, so they may have overtaken their contemporaries, but the 'Daguerreotype" name was regularly used. The mentions in our area were probably more likely to be tintypes, despite the name used to market them. Boone County was a regular stop for the "Daguerre-ing" boats and cars. In 1858 and 1859, there were multiple entries in Lewis Loder's diary with mention of the photographers' visits. In one case, a photo-boat stopped for several days to doc - ument the colorful patrons of Schramm's Tavern, working only for tips. Another visitor on the photographer's boat was referred to as the "Uncle Sam Artist" and stopped in Petersburg twice in two months, but it is unclear if he was the photographer or accompanying him as an iconic human prop. Two different visits by photographers in steam-powered cars "on wheels" also came to town to capture the images of the locals. Considering the timing of the visits, 1858-1859, these marketing geniuses probably got as many customers with their vehicles as they did with their pictures. Not all of the photographers were in it for the money, though. In September, 1858, two men came to Petersburg School to give a free public exhibition of their "panorama show." Though they were not named by Loder, the two men may have been photog - raphers William S. Porter and Charles Fon- tayne, who captured the entire Cincinnati riverfront in a series of panorama shots taken in 1848. As photography evolved and became more available, more and more people were having their images captured for the ages. The mentions in Loder's diary began to change from the artist visiting the subject to the subject visiting the artist at his studio. Many examples of these early images can be found in family photo albums and have held up to time, giving a glimpse of times long past. Main Library Japanese American Artists: Setsuko LeCroix and Frank Satogata (May 5-31) Florence Branch Carnival of Cultures Display by Karen Rich Scheben Branch Maneki Neko – Lucky Cats Walton Branch Little Golden Books -- 75 years of happy reading (featuring books from Pat Yannarella's collection). On display L Boone County Public Library BCP Main Library 1786 Burlington Pike, Burlington, KY 41005 Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday 1 p.m.-5 p.m. Scheben Branch 8899 US 42, Union, KY 41091 Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday 1 p.m.-5 p.m. Florence Branch 7425 US 42, Florence, KY 41042 Mon.-Thurs. 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday 1 p.m.-5 p.m. Walton Branch 21 South Main, Walton, KY 41094 Mon. 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Tues-Fri. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat.-Sun. 1 p.m.-5 p.m. Chapin Memorial Library 6517 Market St., Petersburg, KY 41080 Monday Noon-8 p.m. Tuesday Noon-6 p.m. Wednesday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday Noon-8 p.m. Friday Noon-6 p.m. Visit our Digital Branch www.bcpl.org Five locations to serve you — one phone number: 859-342-BOOK (2665) www.bcpl.org 1786 Burlington Pike Burlington, Kentucky 41005 Floating Photography Studios by Hillary Delaney, Local History Associate Nonprofit U.S. Postage PAID Florence, KY Permit No. 50 Would you like to receive this newsletter via email? Or choose to have it mailed to your home? Visit our website: www.bcpl. org and click on Events. The links to register are at the bottom of the page.

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