Sixth plate daguerreotype of a seated man. Glenalvin J. Goodridge: York, Pennsylvania, n.d., ca 1850. An unidentified older, white gentleman is seated with his elbow resting on two books stacked on a table. In original pressed paper case with geometric designs and "G.J. Goodridge" imprint embossed on the velvet pad. Reglassed but with original preserver and mat with Goodridge's imprint. Taken during the nascent career of the eldest Goodridge brother, Glenalvin while still in York, Pennsylvania.
Wallace L, William O., and Glenalvin J. - collectively known as the Goodridge Brothers - were some of the first African American photographers and were also highly successful. Renowned for their artistic ability and technological prowess and adaptability, their studio in East Saginaw, Michigan was open from 1866 until 1922. Their father, born a slave, had gained his freedom and had become a successful businessman in York, Pennsylvania. At five stories, his office building was the tallest structure in York. Glenalvin, the oldest of the brothers began operating a photography studio here in the late 1840s. It was here that this remarkably focused image was captured.
The family were stationmasters in the Underground Railroad with hiding places in both their office building and their home. When the Civil War came close to home with the Battle of Gettysburg, just thirty miles southwest of York, the Goodridges feared retribution and fled north. The three Goodridge brothers settled in the booming lumber area of East Saginaw in 1863, and re-founded their studio. Glenalvin died in 1866, passing the business along to Wallace and William. They would operate the studio, experimenting and continually adopting new technologies. They took portraits but also expanded their business to produce stereoviews and scenic imagery. They came to be internationally recognized with their photos included in the 1889 Universal Exposition in Paris and the 1893 Columbian Exposition.
Image appears to have been reglassed and resealed. Small areas of tarnish in upper right and lower edge visible. Original mat shows tarnishing, case hinge split, chipping to pressed paper. Image clear and fine.
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