Quote and Credit

Quote and Credit


Canada Carte de Visite Stephen Allen Spencer Finds Gold Taking Pictures

It occurs to me I have never posted a carte de visite photograph, so here is a bunch! CDV photos were an albumen print on small cards, about the size of a small tintype (2.5" x 3.5")

They became the predominant form of photography following the "hard" images of dags, ambros and tintypes and were popular from 1860 to 1900 or so...a few were produced earlier and a few later.

They were common, and they were cute. Many were tinted by hand, and many were popular figures of the day...show folk, authors, politicians...and in this case, Canadians!

S.A. Spencer was born in Connecticut but headed west to find gold. How he happened upon photography is unknown to me, but he was a bit better than most...and being on the West Coast of Canada early means his work is valuable for genealogy and Canadian history. The sitters might not look it, but they were pioneers. They dressed for the camera...but trust British Columbia was frontier when he produced these images.

One is dated on the reverse 1874, I suppose from his peak. Stephen Allen Spencer passed away in 1911.

Group of CDV photographs by S.A. Spencer, circa 1870-1880 Collection Jim Linderman

Dull Tool Dim Bulb Books HERE

1 comment:

  1. if you ever have a chance, check out the book "first son: portraits by c.d. hoy" by faith moosang. absolutely amazing book of photos taken in british columbia's cariboo country, showing a strange hybrid society of natives, whites, and chinese all united in an effort to eke out a living in the gold fields...