[PW] question about Thoreau's first photograph

Allen Koenigsberg allenamet at aol.com
Sat Jul 4 12:20:02 PDT 2020


Hello,
  I am trying to determine when H. D. Thoreau was first photographed. All sources seem agreed that he was daguerreotyped by B. D. Maxham in Worcester, Mass. (The 3 images were then fifty centa each)
 Supposedly, even according to his own correspondence with Calvin Greene (the friend who made the request), the 3 images were made on the same day in the week just prior to HDT's confirming letter of June 21, 1856.
  Yet all modern sources are very specific the there was a precise date, i.e. June 18, 1856 (Wed).
 The three daguerreotypes all survived and can be found online (the 2 others from his friends Blake and Brown). One is now owned by The Thoreau Society in Mass; one is in the Berg Collection of the NY Public Library; and one is in the National Portrait Gallery (Smithsonian). All give the same date - June 18, 1856 - but none give a reason why they have selected that date of the 18th. Each is very similar to the other.
  When one looks at Wikipedia, and clicks on the famous image at the right, the description states that they were made at 16 Huntington Street in Worcester, but of course the photographer (Maxham) was located at 16 Harrington Corner, so that's a typo of sorts.
  There is no such dated entry in Thoreau's own Journals for 1856 that I know of....
  I'm probably overlooking something...
 Thanks in advance!
Allen
Allen Koenigsberg
allenamet at aol.com



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