The Daguerreian Society


On this day (June 12) in the year 1852, the following article appeared 
in "Gleason's Pictorial" (vol 2, No. 24, pg377): 
 
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The following text accompanied a wood-engraving portrait of "The Brothers
Meade, daguerreotypists, New York,":

                      THE BROTHERS MEADE.
   The Brothers Meade have been too long well known and appreciated both 
in this and foreign countries to require any very extended eulogium upon 
their character and merits.  Their works speak for themselves.  
Commencing, as most of our operators have done, in an humble way, they 
occupied a small room in Down's Buildings, in the city of Albany, in the 
year 1842.  In 1843 they removed into the Albany Exchange.  Their 
exertions were crowned with success, and upon their arrival in New York, 
they established one of the most agreeable resorts to which the lovers 
of art could wish to retire.  The brothers, ambitious to excel in the 
art to which they had devoted themselves, spared no pains or expense in 
rendering their collection of pictures equal to any others taken; and 
with the name and fame of Daguerre fresh and warm in each heart, they 
went forward with untiring energy in the glorious work.  They not only 
imitated the improvements of others, but they succeeded in making other 
improvements themselves, which have become very popular.  The first was 
a great improvement in the chemically colored background patented by 
Chapman, for which they were awarded a medal by the American Institute.  
From 1842 to 1843, The Meade Brothers practised with eminent success in 
different towns and cities of the United States, and had permanent 
establishments in Buffalo and Saratoga Springs, all of which they have 
since sold out, together with their Albany establishment, and are now 
permanently located at 233 Broadway, New York, where they have been 
nearly two years practising with their usual success.  We cannot better 
give an idea of the extent of their reputation, than by quoting the 
following from the Albany Express: "Their reputation extended, and now 
their name is heard in every place in the Union, and in many places in 
the Old World, where they have visited, or where the art is known."  In 
1847 and 1848, Henry Meade went to Europe, and travelled through all the 
principal cities of England, France and Germany.  Few will believe that 
this art, of only a few years existence, has grown to be of so much 
importance.  In 1848, after the return of Henry, Charles R. Meade 
visited Europe for the same purpose as his brother.  The most important 
business accomplished by Charles, was his taking the portrait of 
Daguerre, the inventor, which was obtained with the greatest difficulty.  
He visited him at his chateau, Brie Surmarne, and it was through the 
influence of Madame Daguerre that he was at last successful.  They now 
possess the only daguerreotypes of Daguerre in this country; as he has 
always objected to sitting, and until this time, had steadily refused.  
There is a fine lithograph of him published by d'Avignon, New York.  Mr. 
Meade also took some fine views in Europe.  In 1846 they sent views of 
Niagara Falls in elegant frames to the king of the French and the 
emperor of Russia, for which they received presents and complimentary 
letters.  These letters were published at the time all over the United 
States.  There are many plans, we are told, which they have in 
operation, that will tend to elevate them still higher.  In fact they 
are constantly doing, and a great portion of their success may be 
attributed to original ideas, and an enterprising liberal spirit.  They 
forwarded by the St. Lawrence, twenty-four splendid daguerreotypes, 
elegantly framed, for exhibition at the World's Fair, London, which were 
among the most splendid and perfect daguerreotypes ever exhibited.  Four 
of the pictures were peculiarly appropriate for the fair of all nation.  
They represented the four quarters of the world, Europe, Asia, Africa 
and America.  The first represented by a beautiful group, surrounded by 
the arts, the second by an Asiatic in costume, on a divan, cross-legged, 
with pipe, etc., the third by two negroes naked, excepting a tunic from 
the waist to the knees, the fourth by a group of Indians.  They have 
been much admired, and have attracted the attention of all true lovers 
of art.  The brothers employ in their establishment ten assistants, and 
have a collection of nearly one thousand pictures, to which they are 
constantly making additions.  It may be truly said that they occupy an 
enviable position.  Young, and of pleasing and agreeable manners, they 
have many friends, and few enemies, and their talent as artists in their 
profession has won for them a very high character and standing. 
 
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Posted for your enjoyment.      Gary W. Ewer       
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06-12-95


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