ALBERT S. SOUTHWORTH
ca. 1848. George Eastman
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 Pennel, 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, Southworth 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's 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 51/2 Tremont Row for
twenty years, with the exception of two years from
1849 to 1851, 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
ca. 1850. George Eastman
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.”
Hawes studied the process with Daguerre’s student
and agent Francis Fauvel Gouraud in Boston.
In 1843 he joined partnership with Albert Southworth in
the newly established studio in Boston. He married Nancy
Stiles Southworth, Albert’s sister, who worked in
the studio, in 1849. During Southworth’s time in
California he maintained the studio with the help of Nancy
and Asa Southworth, a brother.
After the dissolution of the partnership in 1863 he remained
in business in the old rooms, making portraits and views
of Boston and the vicinity until his death in 1901. His three
children with Nancy (Alice, Marion and Edward) preserved
the legacy of their father, mother and uncle.