R.A. Lord, Photographer

Unfortunately this carte de visite has no identifying writing. I often buy unidentified photos in the hopes of being able to date them. Since this cdv has no lines along the border of the photo I suspected it was one of the earliest versions from 1858-1862.

The fashion fit my dating hypothesis, as well as the woman’s hairstyle, with the hair “poofed” out a bit and covering her ears. Next up was researching the photographer for more clues.

R.A. Lord was a photographer in New York City. He started out at 158 Chatham in late 1859 or early 1860, taking over Tredwell Lewis’ daguerreotype and ambrotype studio.

June 6, 1859 – New York Daily Herald
June 27, 1860 – New York Daily Herald

By June 1860 Lord had plans of traveling to Japan and tried selling the business. Those plans never materialized and he remained there until moving to 164 Chatham about 1864.

Click image to view full size in the New York Public Library collection

Thanks to this detailed drawing from 1858 we can view Chatham Street through our sitter’s and photographer’s eyes.

We can even see exactly where 158 Chatham stood. At the time, T. Lewis, was very prominently advertising his photography gallery.

On April 5, 1862 Lord and wife Annie (Hering) welcomed their first child, Frederica. Another daughter, Blanche, arrived about 1865.

May 6, 1867 ~ New York Daily Herald

Tragically Ralph A. Lord died of pneumonia at the young age of thirty-one years old.

*19th Century Card Photos Kwik Guide by Gary W. Clark
1861/1862 New York City city directory
1862/1863 New York City city directory
1863/1864 New York City city directory

8 thoughts on “R.A. Lord, Photographer

  1. This is very helpful. I have four R.A. Lord photos of family members, so this post helps date the pics and shows what the scene was like when my ancestors went out to the studio.

    Liked by 1 person

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