Thursday, January 30, 2014

A perfect match!

We now have a pretty good idea that many of the glass negatives discovered in Greensburg are from the House & Faries photography studio, which became the Ike House Studio, and they were taken c. 1865-1870. But that leaves a number of negatives that look like they were taken later.

I began separating these photos by background, and then searching for that background in other photos that have been donated and shared with the library. I was so excited when I found what appears to be a perfect match!

I scanned the image on the left last year - it is part of the Decatur County Historical Society's collection of unidentified photos. The background, chair and dress style match the image on the right, which is from the glass negative collection.

Luckily for us, the photo from the Historical Society is mounted on an intact cabinet card, which gives the photographer's name: R. W. Snyder.

The cabinet card also says that Snyder worked on the east side of the square, which is where the negatives were discovered! 

There photos from the glass negative collection all share this same background...

I researched Snyder last September, not realizing that he was one of our glass negative photographers. My research revealed that his studio was active in Greensburg from c. 1879-1890. Snyder left Greensburg around 1890 and began traveling with his son, Frank, to small towns and fairs with a darkroom wagon. He was admitted to the Disabled Volunteer Soldiers’ Home in Dayton, Ohio on 31 August 1891, at age 48. He died on 14 October 1908. At the time of his death, he was working as a clerk at the soldiers’ home. He was buried in Woodland Cemetery in Dayton.

It's possible that House & Faries sold their negatives to Snyder when they left Greensburg, and the images all became part of one large collection. When Snyder moved, he must have left the negatives tucked away in his studio. What luck that they survived all this time for us to re-discover and enjoy over 120 years later!

We will continue searching for more clues about the history of these photos. Stay tuned for more of our discoveries...

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