CDV studio portrait of three young African American chimney sweeps. Jerome Nelson Wilson: Savannah, Georgia, n.d., circa 1866-1876. Broughton & Whitaker Sts. imprint on verso.
Cleaning chimneys was a necessity but a difficult occupation often performed by children as they were better able to navigate cramped chimneys. These three young sweeps, without shoes to better maneuver in the sooty environment, are wearing dark hats and work clothes. Though they are not pictured with their tools of the trade, their outfits are the same as those worn in other views of chimney sweeps captured contemporaneously by Wilson and others.
Wilson (1827-1897) moved to Savannah from New York in 1865 and worked there as a photographer until his death in 1897. This image was taken at the location of his first studio at Broughton & Whitaker, which was in operation from 1866-1876. He is known for capturing vistas around Savannah, as well as occupational portraits and sympathetic portrayals of African Americans during Reconstruction. A stereoview of the same image, also with a J.N. Wilson imprint, was sold in these rooms in 2019.
A few small brown spots.
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