good for what ails you

A few things found at random from "Very Ill!," an online exhibit of medical caricature at the Moore Health Sciences Library, University of Virginia.

From top: "A Cure for a Cold" anon. 1833; "Will I like it?” L. Noël ; "Headache" by George Cruikshank,1819;


Victor Prevost

Originally from France, Prevost (1820-1881) established a photography studio at 627 Broadway in New York around 1854. He worked in the calotype method which produced a waxed paper negative and allowed multiple image copies to be made– as opposed to the popular daguerreotype which created a single unique image. His studio failed rather quickly but he continued to photograph around New York City for years.

These ethereal, ghostly views of New York are, of course, misleading: The city was bustling and experiencing tremendous manufacturing expansion. The camera was fixed on the stable, unmoving buildings as people, carriages, horses and carts moved through the image, the exposure being too long to capture their presence. And now, in most cases, the buildings have moved on as well, their presence proving, essentially, momentary.

The exhibition of these images and other of Prevost's work is at the New-York Historical Society until October 19th.

From top:

Engine room at the Crystal Palace, 1854

Gurney’s Daguerrean Gallery, undated, 349 Broadway corner of Leonard Street
There were more than 100 daguerreotype saloons in New York City in the mid-nineteenth century and Jeremiah Gurney, "photographist," operated one of the most succesful ones. The Illustrated News (12 November 1853) reported that, “Mr. Gurney’s establishment consists of nine spacious rooms, devoted exclusively to his art.”

Old Herring’s Safe Factory, undated, Hudson Street between 12th and 13th Streets
Portions of the building remain today. I love the type on this building.

Ringuet-Leprince, Marcotte & Co. showroom, 1854, 343-347 Fourth Avenue
A favorite of the elite in mid-nineteenth century New York City, eminent French furniture manufacturers Ringuet-Leprince, Marcotte & Co. (1849–60), produced Louis XVI and "Renaissance Revival" style piles of walnut, satin and marquetry. [Note the signs– where did all those beautiful hand-painted wooden signs and letters go...]

Marble Working Establishment of P. Gori, undated, Broadway and 20th Street.
Lord & Taylor would move to this building in 1872.

Clothing Store of Alfred Munroe & Co., 1854, at 441 Broadway between Grand Street and Howard Street, just north of Canal Street.


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