Central Viaduct, Cleveland, O. 1886., by James F. Ryder Studio


James Fitzallen Ryder was born in April 1826 and he grew up in Tompkins County, near Ithaca, New York. He worked for three years as a printer’s apprentice, but met a “Professor” Brightly in 1847 and learned the most rudimentary introduction to daguerreotypy from him. Ryder then worked as an itinerant photographer throughout southwestern New York State, through Pennsylvania, and into Ohio, learning his trade. In the early 1850s Ryder then moved to Elyria, Ohio, and opened a studio there before moving to Cleveland, Ohio in 1852, where he managed Charles E. Johnson’s studio; whom he had met passing through Ithaca years before. Ryder settled in Cleveland, Ohio; and opened his own studio by 1856. Ryder kept up-to-date by bringing innovations such as the ambrotype, stereo views, the hallotype, and hand-colored portraits to Cleveland. Ryder claimed to have introduced negative retouching to America in 1868 by importing a skilled retoucher from Germany. By the end of the decade Ryder was one of the leading photographers in Ohio, the owner of a studio employing a dozen assistants, eight camera outfits and two rolling presses; which studio produced, in 1870, up to 75,000 photographs. After a fire damaged his old studio, Ryder built an elaborate new studio in Cleveland in 1872 with an innovative large plate-glass display window and an art gallery that displayed and sold art and framing supplies, paintings and prints. This latter led him to add a sideline as a publisher of chromolithographs of genre scenes, which became very successful. The most famous of these chromolithographs was Archibald Willard’s “The Spirit of 76,” which reached an international audience and lingered on in popular iconography well into the 20th century. Ryder was extremely active during the last quarter of the 19th century promoting and establishing a sense of professionalism in the American commercial photographic community. He did this by advocating causes important to that community, (Such as the fight against Cutting’s bromide patent in the 1860s.) and assisting the formation of the first two national professional organizations, the National Photographers’ Association (He helped plan and host their second, very successful, national convention and exhibition, held in Cleveland in 1870.) and its successor, the Photographers’ Association of America, and also by participating on many of the committees, the boards, and as one of the officers of these organizations. Ryder began to lecture and he also wrote many small essays and articles of an “uplifting” nature to encourage the community to develop and maintain certain standards of professional practice. As a very successful practitioner Ryder was broadly considered to be one of the top twenty photographic leaders of the period, and after the N. P. A. disbanded in factionalism and discord, Ryder had the credibility to be elected the first President of the Photographers Association of America in 1880. He held this position several times and tried to use it to advance good works, as when he persuaded the photographic community to erect a statue of Daguerre in Washington, DC or when he attempted to create a relief fund for the old photographer Jex Bardwell. In 1892 Ryder took the somewhat uncommon step of incorporating his gallery into a company, thus allowing his employees to have a greater share of the responsibilities and in the profits; then Ryder retired in 1894, successful and wealthy. He continued to be active in the photographic community, participating in the Photographers’ Association of America meetings each year until 1903, the year before he died. After retirement he began writing an autobiography, mostly consisting of anecdotes from his early years, and filled with his very real appreciation of the great growth that his country and his profession had undergone during his forty-plus years of activity. Ryder shared excerpts from these writings at P. A. A. meetings or in the journals and, incidentally, thus established himself as one of the “grand old men” of the profession. The completed autobiography was published in 1902, again, to much acclaim. He died in Cleveland on June 2, 1904.

These carte-de-visites are typical examples of the daily production of James F. Ryder’s Studio during the 1860s through the 1870s.

This cabinet photograph is again typical of the Ryder Studio’s daily work. Cabinet photographs replaced the carte-de-visite in public popularity in the 1870s and flourished through the 1890s, and some were produced well into the 20th century before other styles of marketing commercial portraiture replaced them.

View down the track, Atlantic & Great Western Railway. 1863. 7 3/8″ x 9 1/4″, on 10″x 13″ board with embossed texts

In 1862 Ryder received a major commission from the Atlantic and Great Western Railway to photograph recent construction and completed sections of its Meadville, Pennsylvania, line. This work, one of the earliest rail surveys in the United States, was intended to satisfy stockholders and inspire future investors in the enterprise by supplying the speculators with a two-volume album of 129 photographs of the landscape, towns, stations and sheds, bridges, cuts, and tracks associated with the venture. Ryder published a brief article about this project in 1904. (See bibliography.) Other photographic pages from this album are in the collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Swing bridge, Central Viaduct, Cleveland, Ohio. 1886. 19 1/2″ x 23 1/2″on 24″ x 28″ board with embossed texts

By 1886, when the photograph of the swing bridge titled “Central Viaduct, Cleveland, Ohio,” was made, James Ryder was an established owner of a large and prosperous gallery employing several “operators” (photographers) as well as about a dozen other employees in his gallery. While he may have taken this photograph himself, the odds are that it was taken by one of his employees. Fortunately, we might know who this was. In 1885 P. R. Bellsmith wrote to the Photographic Times and American Photographer to clarify a point. “I wish to correct a statement… W. J. White has charge of Mr. Ryder’s out-door work, and is not the portraitist, while I have full and sole charge of the operating room, and do all portrait work.” Very little is known about W. J. White – a condition, unfortunately, not rare in an era when, if attributions were given at all to a photograph’s maker, they were often given to the gallery rather than to the photographic employee working in that gallery. William J. White was a photographer, crayon artist and designer active in Cleveland from the mid-1880s to at least 1900. He was a member of the Cleveland Camera Club, the Art Club and the Brush and Palette Club. Known to be “…skillful in arranging artistic effects even in the most unpromising places…” (Dec. 9, 1900 Cleveland Plain Dealer.) Cited in the Cleveland Plain Dealer Apr. 30, Sept. 28, 1890; Sept. 29, 1891; Oct. 3, 1892; Dec. 29, 1895; Jan. 12, 1896; May 16, 1897; Dec. 9, Dec. 10, 1900. Cleveland Town Topics Apr. 21, 1888. (Artists in Ohio, 1787-1900: a biographical dictionary, by Mary Sayre Haverstock, Jeannette Mahoney Vance, Brian L. Meggitt, Jeffrey Weidman, Oberlin College. Library. Kent State University Press, 2000.) It is possible that he kept a studio at 8 Euclid St from 1888 to 1894, then at 73 City Hall from 1898 to 1899. (Ohio photographers: 1839-1900, by Diane Van Skiver Gagel. Carl Mautz Publishing, 1998.)

[Ryder is frequently mentioned in the photographic literature of the time in many of the detailed reports written about the activities of the various photographic organizations that were rapidly expanding during this period. There were probably about a dozen or so American photographic journals in publication during that period; and the photographic community, it might be argued, was better served then than it is now. Ryder was also often held up as an example or a role model of good practice in various articles and essays. I have not included citations to all of these articles in this bibliography, but I wish the reader to know that they do exist.]

Ryder, James F. Voightlander and I In Pursuit of Shadow Catching. A Story of Fifty-Two Years Companionship with a Camera. Cleveland: Cleveland Printing and Publishing Co., 1902. 251 pp. 116 iIIus. [(Reprinted (1973), Arno Press.) [This autobiography is unusual for several reasons. First, autobiographies were rare at the time. And this autobiography is actually a collection of “remembrances” of events occurring during his career, and these reminiscences are strongly focused on the early years and the narrative is comparatively much weaker about later events. Ryder also displays a becoming (and irritating) modesty, and in consequence, the book is rather weak on facts and large areas of his own chronology and professional accomplishments are left out. The presence of the 116 illustrations, most of them by other photographers or artists, is bewildering – as there doesn’t seem to be much relationship between these images and the texts, and they don’t do much to display the range and depth of Ryder’s own work. However, seen in the context of the style of the page layouts of Wilson’s Photographic Magazine and several of the other major photographic journals of the time, which tended to drop in scattered images by various photographers throughout their pages at random, with little context, then this book makes a bit more sense. Ryder had previously published many of his remembrances in these journals and its possible that the book’s design may have been created by one these publishers, then turned over to the Cleveland press for printing and distribution. The book was published only two years before his death, and he was reported to be gravely ill at times for several years before 1904, so it may be that he had intended to write about more recent events and was never able to do so.]

[Arranged in chronological order.]
”Daguerreotype Movements.” HUMPHREY’S JOURNAL OF PHOTOGRAPHY, AND THE ALLIED ARTS AND SCIENCES 5:15 (Nov. 15, 1853): 238-239. [Richards (Philadelphia, PA); G. W. Squires partnering with Thompson’s Gallery, NYC); F. A. Brown (Manchester, NH); L. Buel (OH); O. W. Horton (OH); A. R. Cole (Zanesville, OH); J. F. Ryder (OH); E. Long (St. Louis, MO); Mayall; Barnes (Mobile, AL); Webster & Brother (NYC); Gibbs (Lynchburg, VA); McClees & Germon (Philadelphia, PA) producing paper prints; O. R. Benton (Buffalo, NY); White (Atlanta, GA) shot dead.]

”Daguerreotype Movements.” HUMPHREY’S JOURNAL OF PHOTOGRAPHY, AND THE ALLIED ARTS AND SCIENCES 5:24 (Apr. 1, 1854): 384. [Fellows & Ryder (Cleveland, OH); Richards (Philadelphia, PA); Whipple (Boston, MA).]

“Personal and Art Intelligence.” PHOTOGRAPHIC AND FINE ART JOURNAL 9:1 (Jan. 1856): 30-32. [“Long description of the problems faced by the editor in obtaining the photographic illustrations for the P & FAJ. John F. Mascher; Webster & Brother; J. F. Ryder; J. Vannerson; Willard & Depew (Columbus, GA); R. A. Vance (San Francisco, CA); A. Hesler; Mechanic’s Institute Fair in Louisville, KY; Troxel; F. Langenheim; M. A. Root; White (Montpelier, VT); A. A. Turner; C. Guillou (amateur from Philadelphia, PA); J. H. Fitzgibbon; Knecht & Thompson (Easton, PA); others mentioned.”]

 “List of Premiums, Awarded at the Seventh Annual Fair of Ohio, held at Cleveland, Sept. 23-30, 1856.” OHIO CULTIVATOR 12:20 (Oct. 15, 1856): 306-309. [Under the category “Paintings, Drawings and Designs – 170 entries.” (p. 308) are listed, among the animal paintings, fruit paintings, water colors, etc., the following photographers: “A. Bisbee, Columbus, daguerreotypes, diploma. A. Bisbee, Columbus, ambrotypes, commendation. J. F. Ryder—Cleveland, photographs, life and small size silver medal or diploma.”]

 “List of Premiums, Awarded at the Seventh Annual Fair of Ohio, held at Cleveland, Sept. 23 – 26th, 1856.” OHIO FARMER 5:40 (Oct. 4, 1856): 158. [“Paintings, Drawings and Designs.—170 Entries…. A. Bisbee, Columbus, daguerreotypes, diploma;… J. F. Ryder, Cleveland, photographs, life and small size, commended;… A. Bisbee, Columbus, ambrotypes, commended;… “]

 “Seventh Annual Fair of Ohio Fine Art Hall.” OHIO FARMER 5:41 (Oct. 11, 1856): 161. [“The display in this hall, was perhaps the best, taken as a whole, that has ever been exhibited at any previous Fair. It would, however, be tedious to specify every specimen presented for exhibition and competition; some of the more prominent features will therefore be presented…. ‘Photographs and Ambrotypes.’ North, of Cleveland, stands without a rival in this department of art. Some of his ambrotypes, are the most exquisitely executed. Ryder, Boisseau, Bisbee, Mrs. Short and Stimpson, were not without merit; some were superior. Some of these Pictures had a peculiar appearance, standing out, as it were, from the glass. ‘Photographs in Oil, (Life Size)’ In this department there were several competitors. Among these, North, Pease, Ryder, Boisseau, and Smith, stand prominent. The rivalship in coloring these photographs in oil, stands chiefly between Smith, Pease, and Boisseau, each of whom has a peculiar style. The general expression seemed to be in favor of those by Smith, though many preferred those by Pease—others, those by Boisseau.”]

 Althea. “Pencilings on the Fair Grounds.” OHIO FARMER 5:41 (Oct. 11, 1856): 162. [“This is the last day of the fair, and to the gratification of thousands, the weather could not be more delightful. The immense crowd is still pressing forward to obtain an entrance to the grounds. I cast a glance over the vast area they embrace; and I find it as difficult to note all that is to be seen within its limits. or that has occurred of interest since the opening of the Fair… find myself in the Hall of Fine Arts… The specimens of Ambrotypes, Daguerreotypes, and Photographs by North and Ryder, colored by Pease, are unsurpassed. The magnet seems to be the manly, handsome face of Fremont, by North, colored by Pease. It is difficult to think it is a picture, it is so life-like in its expression. I have a fancy, perhaps it is a foolish one, that the Swiss hero, William Tell, had just such a face. Free mountaineers they both have been, and I believe would chafe equally under a tyrant’s yoke….”]”

 “Personal & Art Intelligence.” PHOTOGRAPHIC AND FINE ART JOURNAL 9:11 (Nov. 1856): 350-352. [“Commentary on processes selling. American Institute Fair. (Exhibitors V. Prevost; Meade Brothers; G. N. Barnard; N. G. Burgess; A. Judson; A. Hesler; S. Root; Hawkins & Faris; J. Gurney; C. D. Fredricks; J. E. McClees; S. A. Holmes; R. A. Lewis; W. A. Tomlinson; Kertson; Hofrauch & Co., Neff; Loud; J. F. Ryder; Charles Ketchum; Bisbee; Mechanic’s Fair, (Louisville, KY); Webster & Brother; Webster; J. C. Elrod; Fasset & Cook.”]

C. “Ohio State Fair.” PHOTOGRAPHIC AND FINE ART JOURNAL 9:11 (Nov. 1856): 349. [Ryder; North; Boisseau; Stimpson; Messrs. Short; Bisbee; Collins; Whitehurst mentioned in review. Ryder won awards for his photographs. A note that Fontayne, late of the well-known firm of Fontayne & Porter, “has charge of Ryder’s photographic department.”]

“Photographs of the Stone Church.” OHIO FARMER 6:13 (Mar. 28, 1857): 51. [Miss Hopley of Cleveland, has for sale very accurate plain, and colored photographs, of Dr. Aiken’s church, recently burnt in this city. They are taken by Ryder, from a painting made some months ago by Miss Hopley. Price plain $1.50—colored $2.50. Miss Hopley’s residence is at George Kirks, Huron Street, near Erie Street.”]

 “The First Life Size Photograph.” PHOTOGRAPHIC AND FINE ART JOURNAL 10:11 (Nov. 1857): 349. [“Letter, with article from the Cincinnati (OH) Gazette in 1855, by Fontayne claiming that he had made life sized portraits before J. Gurney, as previously stated. Fontayne, probably formerly of Fontayne & Porter (Cincinnati), signed his letter as “Practical Photographer at Ryder’s Gallery, Cleveland, OH.”]

3 b & w (“Steamers at Anchor in Put-In Bay, Lake Erie, on Occasion of the Celebration of Perry’s Victory, Sept. 10, 1858,…”); (Picnic at Put-In Bay…”) on p. 306; (“Picnic at Put-In Bay. …Firing the Salute. – From a Photograph by J. F. Ryder, Cleveland, Ohio) on p. 307 in: “The Celebration of Perry’s Victory at Put-In Bay, Lake Erie, Sept. 10.” FRANK LESLIE’S ILLUSTRATED NEWSPAPER 6:150 (Oct. 16, 1858): 306-307. [(Outdoor crowds, views, etc.) “…The engravings we present to our readers are from views taken by J. F. Ryder, a distinguished photographer of Cleveland, and illustrate various scenes of the celebration…”]

[Advertisement.] “Ryder’s Photographic Gallery of Art.” OHIO FARMER 8:1 (Jan. 1, 1859): 5. [“Corner Superior and Bank Sts, Cleveland, O. At this establishment every style of Photographic Portrait is produced in the highest style of Art and perfection. Persons having old Daguerreotypes of lost or absent friends, which they can wish to put in more permanent and effective shape, can have them copied to the size of life, and painted in Oil, equal to portraits from life. At he late State Fair, the awards on Ryder’s Photographs were Three Silver Medals, Two Diplomas, and Fifteen Dollars. At the Cuyahoga County Fair, the first premium was awarded for the best painted Photographs. Allen Smith, Jr. paints for no other Photographer in this city. There is no more skillful Photographer than Ryder. We ask our country friends to try him—Ohio Farmer.” (Ad repeated throughout month of Jan.)]

1 b & w (“William Walcutt, the sculptor.”) on p. 565, 1 b & w (“Statue of Commodore Oliver H. Perry, to be Inaugurated at Cleveland, Ohio, on September 10, 1860.”), 4 b & w (“Four Survivors of the Battle of Lake Erie.”), 1 b & w (“Public Square at Cleveland Ohio, with the Perry Statue.”) “Photographed by Ryder, of Cleveland, Ohio., 5 illus. (“Portrait of O. H. Perry.”, “Medal Presented to Perry by Congress.”, “Perry’s Residence.”, ”Perry’s Monument.”) on pp. 568-569 in: “The Perry Celebration at Cleveland.” HARPER’S WEEKLY 4:193 (Sept. 8, 1860): 565, 568-570.

 [Advertisement.] “J. F. Ryder’s Photographic Gallery of Art, 171 Superior St. Cor. Bank, Cleveland, O.” HARPER’S WEEKLY: A JOURNAL OF CIVILIZATION 4:193 (Sept. 8, 1860): 576. [“At this establishment every style of portrait is executed in the highest style of art and perfection from the life size, finished in oil, to the smallest miniature or locket picture, the truthfulness of Nature is preserved equally well. Old daguerreotypes copied to the size of life, and finished in oil equal to portraits from Life.”]

 5 b & w  (Portraits of five of six individuals associated with the event “Dr. Usher Parsons, survivor; John Chauman, gunner; William Walcutt, sculptor; Dr. Nathaniel Eastman, surgeon; Capt. Stephen Champlin, Commander.”) on p. 262; 1 b & w (“Statue Erected in Olive Park, In Honor of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, the Hero of Lake Erie,… at Cleveland, Ohio, September 10, 1860. – From a Photograph by J. F. Ryder.”) on p. 263 in: FRANK LESLIE’S ILLUSTRATED NEWSPAPER 10:251 (Sept. 15, 1860): 262-263. [(Six portraits of celebrities associated with the inauguration of the Perry Monument, in Cleveland, Ohio. arranged in medallion fashion around a view of Commodore Perry’s homestead. – 1 portrait by Manchester Brothers, 5 portraits by James Ryder, Cleveland, OH.)]

1 b & w (“S. F. Chase, Sec. of Treasury. – Photographed by J. F. Ryder, Cleveland, Oh.”) in: “The Members of President Lincoln’s Cabinet.” FRANK LESLIE’S ILLUSTRATED NEWSPAPER 11:280 (Apr. 6, 1861): 312. [(Seven portraits, six by Brady, one by Ryder.)]

1 b & w (“Brigadier-General Garfield.”)–From a Photograph by James F. Ryder, of Cleveland.” HARPER’S WEEKLY: A JOURNAL OF CIVILIZATION 6:271 (Mar. 8, 1862): 157.

1 b & w (“Maj.-General J. A. Garfield.”)–From a Photograph by James F. Ryder, of Cleveland.” FRANK LESLIE’S ILLUSTRATED NEWSPAPER 13:329 (Mar. 15, 1862): 268.

“The Photographic Department at the Great Central Fair.” PHILADELPHIA PHOTOGRAPHER 1:7 (July 1864): 106-108. [“When the subject of making a Photographic Department at the “Great Central Fair for the U. S. Sanitary Commission,” now being held in our city, was broached, we feared it would be a meagre one. On a visit specially to that department, however, we find how much a persevering, live committee, and a few liberal loyal photographers may do, and that the collection displayed is truly a splendid and magnificent one, and itself makes a “Fine Art Gallery” well worthy of a visit and of a very special amount of patronage. Though no one party seems to have known what the other would contribute, there appears to have been a generous rivalry for the ascendency. On the walls the life-size portraits, in crayon and India-ink, of Generals McClellan, Grant, Hancock, Meade, and Couch, are worthy of special mention, being the finest we have ever seen on exhibition, and a part of Mr. F. Gutekunst’s very liberal contribution. By the same artist we also notice some very fine Imperial Photographs in India-ink, and some of the same parties on albumen paper. For beauty and brightness the latter are ahead, but for permanency the former will excel. There are a number of other very fine specimens of art by Mr. Gutekunst whose display we must acknowledge to be the finest and the best. His collection of card photographs of celebrities was also very-fine, and attracted much attention. Messrs. Wenderoth & Taylor also make a brilliant contribution. Their “Imperial Illuminated” or Indicated Vignette Photographs were unusually fine. Those of Generals Wistar, Meade, Crawford, and Mayor Henry, we noticed particularly, though there were at least a dozen of them of other parties equal to them. Making these large pictures without the use of the Solar Camera, is becoming a feature in our growing art worthy of attention. The greatest novelty on exhibition was a colossal solar print of Lieutenant-General Grant made from life by James E. McClees. It is a fine specimen of solar printing, and in sundry ways typical of that great commander. We do not think the likeness as good as others we have seen. That view of the face is not the best by far, yet it has many good points that are not found in others. A life-size portrait of Washington in oil by Reimer was the subject of some admiration, but we cannot conceive why a good photograph should be covered with oil colors. Photography steps rather the other way. A life-size crayon of Governor Curtin by Hagaman was also much and worthily admired. Oh! what a grand place this for some less successful photographer to make up a fine collection for his own Gallery. We must not forget the numerous neatly framed and really elegant specimens from Nature by our amateur friends, Messrs. Browne, Fassitt, Graff, Borda, Corlies. Davids, and others, members of the Committee on Photography. They will vie with the productions of our most skilful professional photographers, and being from private negatives, are nowhere else exposed for sale. Some of them made in Pike County, Pa., are really very fine, and would do credit to any one. So much for the walls, and now for the counters and portfolios. Here we find two huge glass cases laden down with cartes-de-visites of celebrities from McClees, Wenderoth & Taylor, Gutekunst, Cremer, Richards, Hagaman, Newell, Germon, McAllister & Bros., and the amateurs mentioned above. In such a promiscuous collection, of course, there must be some very bad as well as some very good ones. On the counters we find a grand collection of Mr. John Moran’s justly celebrated and unapproachable views from Nature, which make decidedly the finest collection of that class on exhibition. We also find here stacks of portraits of various sizes, landscapes, copies of rare and beautiful engravings, &c, by members of the Philadelphia Photographic Society, among whom we notice Messrs. Coleman Sellers, Guillou, C. B. Meyer, Sturgis, Lafitte, Frank Maule, and Alexander Jessup, and by Ryder, of Cleveland, Ohio, Messrs. Nelson Wright, Cyrus J. Field, Edward L. Henry, and Fredericks & Co., of New York, John H. Simmons, Hemple & Co., Glover, and Peterson, of Philadelphia, the late Rev. T. Starr King, of California, Armersly & Ferris, of Washington, D. C, and Thomas H. Johnson, of Scranton, Pa. The portraits of Rear Admiral Dupont, by Mr. Johnson, are very fine and worthy of special remark. A special contribution of beautiful and useful card envelopes was made by the manufacturers, Morgan Bros., of Philadelphia. The portfolios, too, were laden with precious gems of art, but these, as well as the other collections, were rapidly being thinned down by numerous sales made by the obliging lady attendants. We must, in closing, congratulate Mr. Graff and his committee on their success in their peculiar line, and wish them ready sales, and God speed in the merciful object they are so earnestly and so perseveringly seeking to further.”]

1 b & w (Thomas William Kennard.) on p. 129. “T. W. Kennard. Portrait, Character and Biography.” AMERICAN PHRENOLOGICAL JOURNAL AND LIFE ILLUSTRATED: A REPOSITORY OF SCIENCE, LITERATURE AND GENERAL INTELLIGENCE 40:5 (Nov. 1864): 129-130. [Engineer, bridge-builder, railroads. ”Our description is based upon a very excellent photograph, by Ryder, of Cleveland, Ohio, furnished us by Mr. Thomas, editor of Appleton’s Railway Guide, and from which the accompanying portrait was also taken….”]

“Editor’s Table: Burglary.” PHILADELPHIA PHOTOGRAPHER 2:16 (Apr. 1865): 66. [Ryder’s studio burglarized. Additional note on page 121 in July 1865 “Philadelphia Photographer.”]

“Editor’s Table.” PHILADELPHIA PHOTOGRAPHER 2:19 (July 1865): 121. [“Mr. J. F. Ryder, of Cleveland, Ohio, has our sincere thanks for a little parcel of pictures of two little girls he so kindly sent us, and the value of which to us he well knows. They are fine specimens of workmanship, and in every way a success, and satisfactory. Such good work and kindness deserve and will have a large run.”]

Ryder, J. F. “Meinerth’s Patent – How I was Sold.” HUMPHREY’S JOURNAL OF PHOTOGRAPHY, AND THE ALLIED ARTS AND SCIENCES 19:8 (Aug. 15, 1867): 120-121. [Rueful letter from J. F. Ryder, who paid $25.00 for the license to practice Meinerth’s patent, which Ryder found out was something that he himself had tried and discarded eight years earlier as being impracticable. (Ryder would later be vilified by the publisher, Ladd, who supported Meinerth’s patent.)]

“Voices from the Craft.” PHILADELPHIA PHOTOGRAPHER 4:45 (Sept. 1867): 300. [Letter from Ryder.]

Meinerth, C. “Mezzo-Tintos.” HUMPHREY’S JOURNAL OF PHOTOGRAPHY, AND THE ALLIED ARTS AND SCIENCES 19:10 (Sept. 15, 1867): 153-154. [After you have allowed Mr. Ryder’s letter to appear you will not deny me the common privilege of replying in self defense.]

“The `Mezzo-Tintos’ Again – Second Letter from Mr. Ryder.” HUMPHREY’S JOURNAL OF PHOTOGRAPHY, AND THE ALLIED ARTS AND SCIENCES 19:11 (Oct. 1, 1867): 173-174.

Meinerth, Carl. “Mezzo-Tintos Again.” HUMPHREY’S JOURNAL OF PHOTOGRAPHY, AND THE ALLIED ARTS AND SCIENCES 19:12 (Oct. 15, 1867): 184. [Response to Ryder’s second letter. Editor states he would not publish more on this issue.]

“Appalling Tragedy! Murder and Suicide. A Man Shoots a Young Woman and Cuts His Own Throat. The Affair Shrouded In Mystery. Letter Written by the Murderer — Shocking Details of the Crime. The Coroner’s Verdict. The Discovery. Discovery of the Murdered Girl. How the Crime Was Committed. The Suicide. Appearance of the Rooms. Gregory’s Confession. The Inquest.” NATIONAL POLICE GAZETTE 23:1161 (Nov. 30, 1867): 4-5, 8. 2 illus. [(Two dramatic reconstructions of the murder of Isabel Roy and the suicide of James H. Gregory in his photographic studio are on page 8, the story is on page 1.) “The annals of crime have never been stained by a more shocking tragedy than has just transpired in Cleveland, Ohio. The particulars of the sad occurrence, as we learn from the Plain Dealer, were brought to light a few days since, although the precise time of its occurrence will probably never be known. James H. Gregory, Proprietor of the photographic rooms over No. 9, Public Square, and a young woman named Isabella Roy, who was in his employ, were both found dead in the rooms above mentioned, the latter from having been shot, and the former with his throat cut in the most frightful manner…  Mr. Gregory was formerly employed as an assistant in the photographic rooms of Mr. J. Ryder, on Superior street. Nearly a year ago, however, he decided to set up in business for himself, and bought the establishment known as Parker’s Rooms, situated in the third story of De Witt’s store, on the west side of the Public Square. He had a family,…” (Detailed description of a murder suicide follows.)]

“Editor’s Table: Composite Skating Pictures.” PHILADELPHIA PHOTOGRAPHER 5:52 (Apr. 1868): 134.

Ryder, J. F. “The National Photographic Union.” PHILADELPHIA PHOTOGRAPHER 5:56 (Aug. 1868): 250-252. [Letter supporting the organization.]

“The Bromide Patent Case. Our Expose of the Treasurer’s Account – `The Galled Jade Winces’ – Ryder to the Rescue! Who is Ryder?” HUMPHREY’S JOURNAL OF PHOTOGRAPHY, AND THE ALLIED ARTS AND SCIENCES 20:12 (Oct. 15, 1868): 179-181. [Further attack on the Bromide defense fund, which is also an attack on Col. Wilson and the Philadelphia Photographer. Attacks Ryder as well.]

“Meinerth’s Mezzotint.” HUMPHREY’S JOURNAL OF PHOTOGRAPHY, AND THE ALLIED ARTS AND SCIENCES 20:13 (Nov. 1, 1868): 204. [Lists several photographers who purchased at $25.00 each the rights to use the process. Attacks J. Ryder for challenging the process seller previously, etc.]

1 b & w (“Mrs. Schuyler Colfax.”) on p. 183 in: “Mrs. Schuyler Colfax (Nee Nellie Wade).” FRANK LESLIE’S ILLUSTRATED NEWSPAPER 27:688 (Dec. 5, 1868): 183. [“…Our portrait of the bride is from a photograph taken a short time before her marriage, and is pronounced by herself and friends to be an excellent likeness…” (See Dec. 19, 1868, p. 210 for attribution. “In publishing the picture of Mrs. Schuyler Colfax, in a recent number, we neglected to state that the photograph was furnished by Mr. J. F. Ryder, of Cleveland, Ohio.”]]

1 b & w (“Schuyler Colfax.”) and 1 b & w (“Ella M. Wade.”) in “Schuyler Colfax and His Bride Miss Wade.” HARPER’S BAZAAR 1:58 (Dec. 5, 1868): 921-922. 1 illus. [Two separate portrait side by side, with an engraving of some jewelry which was a Bridal gift from Mr. Colfax.“…The excellent photograph of him, by Fredericks, which we reproduce was taken but a few weeks since… …The fact that she has become the wife of one of the chief rulers of the nation, and is therefore a legitimate object of affectionate interest to the people, warrants us, we think, in overstepping the bounds of privacy and laying before our readers the excellent photograph obtained from Mr. Rider, [sic Ryder] of Cleveland, Ohio…”]

1 b & w (“Double self-portrait”) as frontispiece in: “Our Picture.” PHILADELPHIA PHOTOGRAPHER 7:75 (Mar. 1870): frontispiece, 92-93. [Double self-portrait.]

Ryder, J. F. “The Study of Light and Lighting.” PHOTOGRAPHIC MOSAICS: AN ANNUAL RECORD OF PHOTOGRAPHIC PROGRESS, 1871 (1871): 15. [“The study of light and lighting in relation to portrait photography, is one of too much importance to be neglected by the followers of the art. Taking for our standard what we feel to be correct, in rule and application, we may, by observation, comparison, and “trying on ” a la doll’s dressmaker, learn much. So much that we may occasionally push our standard a notch higher, and this without making labor of the study; it becomes habit, and a very pleasant and entertaining one. I speak for myself in the foregoing assertion. For some years it has been a pleasure and a profit to me. I follow it intuitively. I find my models everywhere, in parlors, halls, churches, offices, shops, railway cars; wherever there are windows or gas-jets, and heads for the light to shine upon, there are my studies—sometimes more, sometimes less interesting, but studied all the same. Frequently in common conversation, or in the course of a business transaction, I give as much attention to lighting the head of my model as I do to the drift of his talk, or the character of the business in hand. We may be introduced to a stranger, and while assuring him of the pleasure we have found in his acquaintance, and wondering if it will rain before night, we have discovered that his nose is a little out of true, and that a three-fourths face, away from the light, will suit him best. In this study, or pursuit, much is to be gained. We learn to recognize the true from the false, the good from the bad. An education may so be acquired that would be obtained in no other way. We see and fix in the mind many peculiarities and effects of light that by accumulation become knowledge. There may be a lesson in the shadow thrown from a hitching-post, if we look for it, as much as there are “sermons in stones.” These hints and bits of observation, picked up in promiscuous ways and places, carried into the operating-room, give power to the possessor of them, and make him master of the situation. Much may be gained from studying good paintings, engravings, and photographs, and we should encourage ourselves in the pursuit. When we once get into this way of “trying on,” we are not likely to abandon the habit.

“Another Visit.” PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES 2:19 (July 1872): 103. [“”While at St. Louis we often heard the inquiry made, “Where is our good friend Ryder, of Cleveland? Why is he not here?” The fact is, Mr. Ryder was so absorbed in the erection of a new and handsome gallery, that he could not leave it. A tire partly destroyed it; but he is now nearly ready to open it. He has just been to New York to lay in his supplies, and favored us with a call in person, which we appreciated.”]

“Still another Art Palace.” ANTHONY’S PHOTOGRAPHIC BULLETIN 3:9 (Sept. 1872): 672-673. [Ryder builds a sumptuous new gallery in Cleveland.)

“Editor’s Table – Mr. Ryder’s New Studio.” PHILADELPHIA PHOTOGRAPHER 9:105 (Sept. 1872): 334-335.

“The Chicago Exhibition.” PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES 2:21 (Sept. 1872): 138. [“Last month we spoke of the Convention; we will now say something about the Exhibition. In the stock line the display was full and complete…. In the photographic department there were many evidences of improvement and artistic progress. The “Art Gallery” was especially adapted to a favorable display of the collection of pictures with which it was filled, and all interested had an opportunity to study them to the best advantage. Among the collections which commanded the most attention were those of Bogardus, Barhydt, Brand, Mosher, Rocher, Bradley & Rulofson, and Benerman & Wilson….” “… But one of the most conspicuous features of this Exhibition was the long list of absentees,—those that have always stood foremost in the art, and have heretofore been identified with each exhibition as the leaders in all that was excellent and progressive. We may be pardoned for mentioning the following as being conspicuous for their absence: Kurtz, Sarony, Gurney, Fredericks, Kent, Baker, Ryder, Landy, Van Loo, Gutekunst, and Rhoads. They doubtless all had good reasons for not being represented there, but we allude to it because they were missed; they have come to be representative men in the art, and when so many absent themselves the vacancy is very apparent. It is unquestionably true that the men who attend these Exhibitions, and make the effort to display some of their best work, retain their positions in the front rank, or soon improve sufficiently to be placed there; while those that are never seen at the exhibitions seldom acquire more than a limited reputation, and are usually a little behind in point of artistic attainments….”]

“Mr. Ryder’s New Gallery in Cleveland.” PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES 2:21 (Sept. 1872): 139. [“Mr. J. F. Ryder has just expended about $20,000 in fitting up a magnificent art palace in Cleveland. We shall have to take the National Photographic Association there again to see it. It has a magnificent iron front. Within, the second floor has been torn out for a distance of eighty or ninety feet, so that the main room has a height of twenty-eight or thirty feet. The front has a large vestibule or recess, floored with beautiful tiles, and supported by handsome iron columns. A heavy glass door opens at either side, and the centre is an immense window of plate glass, the largest single light ever brought to this city. The main room in front is hung on one side with superb specimens of photographic art, while the opposite wall is covered with paintings. Beyond the main saloon lies the reception room; beyond that a long room, devoted to the storage of stock and the work of framing. A broad stairway leads from the reception room to the second floor, where are the waiting-room and the operating-gallery, all as elegant and perfect as can be conceived. Nothing that can add to the comfort or enjoyment of his guests has been omitted by Mr. Ryder, who now finds himself master of an establishment that would be an ornament to Broadway or Chestnut Street. The handsome walnut furniture, the beautiful gilt chandeliers, and the carpets, and the whole design, without and within, is a monument to the taste and liberality of Mr. Ryder. His future success is of course secure, for he has already won it. His opening reception, recently, was an ovation which ought to make him proud of his work.”]


“Mr. J. F. Ryder’s New Rooms.” COMMERCIAL PHOTOGRAPHIC NEWS 1:4 (Oct. 1872): 8-9. [“Our good friend Mr. J. F. Ryder has recently fitted up a photographic Palace in his city (Cleveland O.) which is in every way well worthy of the very excellent class of photographic productions, which are known as “Ryder’s”. Good work will pay, and this move of Mr. Ryder’s proves it. It has always been his motto to make first class work and demand good prices, by which means he has elevated the art, and the art has elevated him. Success is sure to such gentlemen always, and of course he will be better patronized than ever, now that he has secured a studio in keeping with the character of his productions. We are pleased to see the Press of Cleveland fully recognize, and appreciate Mr. Ryder’s new quarters. We make a few extracts from Cleveland papers, and regret we have not room for more:
Opening of Ryder’s New Art Emporium— The Handsomest Front in Cleaveland—Another Step Forward.
In a city where business streets suffer so badly in comparison with her broad avenues and beautiful homes, the christening of a superb establishment like that thrown open on Saturday evening by Mr. J. F. Ryder, at 239 Superior street, is an event of no ordinary significance and interest. Though in all essential respects a business establishment, built and fitted up for the purpose of profit to its proprietor, there is something in a beautiful building stored with choice pictures, and wearing within an air of quiet elegance and refinement that in a sense, belongs to the public. We shall all feel from this time forward, that Cleveland has another permanent attraction, another place down town to which a visitor may be taken with a feeling of pride.
The city is indebted for this new ornament to Mr. J. F. Ryder, who for the past twenty years has stood at the very head of his profession in the West. The same liberality and enterprise, which led him four years ago, to bring from Munich the first master of the new art of finishing negatives, and thereby to win the first prize at the great Boston exhibition in 1868, has now led Mr. Ryder to plan and build the finest temple to photographic art in the West, if not in the whole United States.
The Good Taste and Enterprise of Ryder.
The name of Ryder is “as familiar as household words,” to all who know aught of Cleveland, and the prefix of J. F. is about as useless as that of Hon. to the name Henry Clay. For years—twenty we presume—his photographic establishment on the third floor, at the corner of Bank and Superior streets, has been a favorite place of resort, for all who would take advantage in their likenesses, of the finest touches of art, and the latest improvements in photography. These many years of devotion to his profession have brought their appropriate reward, and have permitted him now to carry out a long treasured plan, of relieving himself from cramped quarters, and of displaying his excellent taste.
Last Saturday night, suddenly developed the results to our citizens, and wondering eyes gazed on unexpected objects of delight, for then the uncouth covering of rough boards, that had hid No. 239 Superior street from public gaze was torn away, and in its stead appeared an iron front, the whole height of the building, of graceful design, resplendent in gilt and marble, and huge plates of clearest glass. So beautiful a front is not to be seen in the West, if indeed in the East, and yet the interior is equally splendid. For the space of some eighty feet the old two stories are made into one, and the walls exquisitely frescoed in most choice designs. The walls upon one side are graced with the finest specimens of photographic art in all its varieties and incidents, and upon the other with paintings of the most noted artists, all in frames themselves of wondrous richness. Among the most noticeable paintings is the celebrated White Hills of New Hampshire by A. D. Shattuck, justly celebrated as second to but few as a landscape painter.
Back of this grand salon are the reception parlors, and the rooms for the storage of stock and for framing. From the front room leads a grand staircase, itself noticeable for graceful design and finish to the waiting, and operating rooms.
The whole establishment is complete in all its arrangements and equipments, and the general verdict is, that the public are indebted to the enterprise of Mr. Ryder for his munificent outlay, and his judicious display of taste.”]


“A Lofty One for Mr. Ryder.” ANTHONY’S PHOTOGRAPHIC BULLETIN 4:1 (Jan. 1873): 23. [From the Cleveland (OH) Leader. (Praise for newly refurbished gallery.)]

“Little Grains of Silver.” PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES 4:37 (Jan. 1874): 7. [“Get a pair of Ryder’s chromos, Pluck No. 1 and No. 2. They will do you good, and cheer you up when your bath works badly, or your patience is exhausted over refractory customers. A cheerful heart, with some of the pluck exhibited there, will overcome many difficulties.” (These are the first chromolithographs published by Ryder in his new publishing venture. They consist of two genre paintings by Archibald Willard of two children harnessing a dog to a cart, then crashing as the dog runs away. They were enormously popular and apparently sold very well.)]

“The American Optical Co.’s Boxes.” PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES 5:49 (Jan. 1875): 3. [“J. F. Ryder’s Photographic Art Gallery, 239 Superior St., Cleveland, O., December 23, 1874. Scovill Manufacturing Co.  Dear Sirs: The Camera Boxes (American Optical Co’s,) purchased from you recently, give perfect satisfaction. I am so well pleased, I feel like saying the above unasked. Yours truly, J. F. Ryder. We are pleased, but not surprised, to receive such a letter from our old friend Mr. Ryder, for all who know him and the superior character of his work, know that he will have only the, best of everything.—Ed.”]

“Editor’s Table.” PHILADELPHIA PHOTOGRAPHER 12:136 (Apr. 1875): 128. (Editor received photos, including a view of his gallery, with its windows blown out by an explosion.)

“Editor’s Table.” PHILADELPHIA PHOTOGRAPHER 12:139 (July 1875): 224. [(Description of J. F. Ryder’s (Cleveland, OH) studio.)]

1 b & w (“Rev. Dr. William E. McLaren.”) on p. 169 in: FRANK LESLIE’S ILLUSTRATED NEWSPAPER 41:1051 (Nov. 20, 1875): 169. [“From a Photograph by J. R. Ryder, Cleveland, Ohio.”]

Eyelashes for Cameras.” PHILADELPHIA PHOTOGRAPHER 13:149 (May 1876): 148-149. [(Ryder invented a gadget, functions like a lens hood.)]

“Matters of the Month.” PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES 6:67 (July 1876): 160. [“Mr. J. F. Ryder, the eminent photographer of Cleveland, Ohio, has invented a very useful attachment, which he calls “a new-fangled notion.” Eye-lashes For Cameras. All photographers know that the camera is like the human eye in seeing things photographically. All know the eye sees better when protected from strong light. Many know that too much light enters the eye of the camera, and prevents its seeing and impressing the image clearly; particularly is this the case in making shadow effects, where the camera is more or less pointed toward the light. Again, when the sunlight enters the operating-room and falls directly upon the camera—even through a curtain; and again, in outdoor viewing, all have experienced the bother of the sun in the lens. This new-fangled notion meets the trouble and effects a cure. Its next value is the easy and effective means of opening and closing the camera tube. It is attached to the upper front end of the tube, and when open forms a canopy or awning, projecting sufficiently to cover the mouth of the tube when closed. The framework is of metal, and it is opened or closed by means of a spring-hinge. It is covered with black velvet, which is extended beyond the frame, and forms side-curtains to more effectually screen the lens. A touch of the hand immediately opens or closes the camera. It is always in its place, and always ready. The operator who spleens against running across the room, chasing the cap as it falls from the camera, or who finds the cloth on the floor instead of covering the lens, will take kindly to this sensible improvement. The proprietor who likes to keep his lens clean from dust and dirt, and the strong light shut out, to prevent the gradual yellow tint that strong light surely brings, and makes the lens work slower and more slow, year by year, will welcome it. Directions for Adjusting.—Slip the clasp upon-the tube and mark the width of it, at the extreme end of the tube; remove the clasp and file a gap the width and depth.”]

[Advertisement.] “Ryder’s Patent,…” PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES 6:67 (July 1876): 167. [“…One Of The Most Valuable Modern Inventions For Facilitating The Work Of The Photographer Is The “Eye Lash” or “Cut Off” For Lenses. Price, $4.00. Send For Descriptive Circular. For Sale By Scovill Manufacturing Co., New York.”]

1 b & w (Unidentified studio portrait.) on p. 29 in: FRANK LESLIE’S ILLUSTRATED NEWSPAPER 45:1146 (Sept. 15, 1877): 29. [Woodcut engraving, credited “From a Photograph by Ryder, Cleveland, Ohio.”]

1 b & w (“Col. John Hay, Asst.-Sec. of State.”) on p. 273 in: FRANK LESLIE’S ILLUSTRATED NEWSPAPER 49:1264 (Dec. 20, 1879): 273. [“From a Photograph by J. F. Ryder.”]

Ryder, J. F. “A Call from President Ryder.” PHILADELPHIA PHOTOGRAPHER 17:198 (June 1880): 186-187. [Announcement of the forthcoming Chicago, IL, convention by its first President, first meeting of Photographers’ Association of America.)

“Matters of the Month.” PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES 10:116 (Aug. 1880): 179. [Visit to the magazine from Ryder, reporting that his portraits of General Garfield were selling well, his Presidency of the P. A. of A. mentioned.)

Ryder, James F. “Where Do You Stand?” PHOTOGRAPHIC MOSAICS 1881 (1881): 25. [“Glancing back across the front row of photographic lights, it is possible to see some flickering. For a period longer or shorter, some one figure shows unusual brilliancy, but in time is dimmed by the growing brightness of another. A few steady burners maintain their glow, and represent the exception to fickleness. The middle ranks come jogging along, some looking to the front with eager and determined eye, but the greater part content and indifferent. It behooves all having an ambition to shine to keep a sharp eye upon themselves as well as upon their neighbors. The ambitious and successful are studious, patient, and observing. Everything of value pertaining to their work must have its place and time; the greater care to simple»details, the greater success in results. The painstaking man finds his reward. He who too much depends upon the retoucher to make good the shortcomings of his negative is losing his grip. Here is our lesson. If a man is not advancing, he is receding. It is hardly possible to remain at a standstill as to excellence or quality in our productions. It is dangerous to be satisfied with what we do, or persuade ourselves we are “letting well enough alone.” Good teaching is before us all. We may learn something every day, and often from those who know less than ourselves. The good points in another man’s work is a challenge for us. We can strive to surpass or equal it. The bad points we may also take as lessons, as warnings, as things to be avoided in our own practice. Head photographic books and journals; buy the best photographs you can find, and study them; exchange work with your friends; exchange ideas with them. Often you will get the best bargain. If it chance that you become so well satisfied with your productions that they look better to you than any and all others you see, just step aside. There is a fellow at your heels ready to pass; his light is dimming yours. Eternal vigilance is the price of success.  Where do you stand?”]

“Correspondence. From The West.” PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES AND AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHER 11:125 (May 1881): 202-204. [“Dear Sir: About all you hear now, as you pass from studio to studio—from the most elegant to the obscure—is dry plates. The craze is upon the fraternity, and all are anxious to learn of them and to test their merits. With its usual enterprise, the Chicago Photographic Association took hold of the subject and devoted its last regular meeting to the discussion of the gelatine dry plate. The notice sent out by its able secretary drew a large attendance. I reached the rooms of the Association at an early hour, desiring to chat with the members before the call to order, and was well paid for my early visit. The meetings of this Association are now held in the spacious warerooms of Messrs. Douglass, Thompson & Co., who have always felt a warm interest in the welfare of this society. They are generous in providing all the necessaries for comfort and ample accommodations for exhibits and demonstrations at the meetings. I found a large wall surface entirely covered with samples of photography, plainly labeled so the observer knew all about each particular exhibit; and right here I will say a word about the method proposed for the placing ‘pictures for exhibition at the coming convention in August—the putting them up on the screens with what are known as artists or thumb tacks. Quickly put up, as quickly taken down when the exhibit is done, and they serve the purpose of study much better than by elaborate covering of mat and frame. I trust it will be adopted. Before the meeting is called to order, let us examine the work from the gelatine plates which is on exhibition. First, we have four cabinets from Ferranti, Liverpool, England; no information as to time of exposure or whose make of plates. They are fine examples of this photographer’s work, and fully equal to any done with the wet plate. Carbutt, of Philadelphia, has a fine display— that is, prints made from his plates by members of the society, interiors, outdoor views, and a few portraits. Two large interiors, contributed by Mr. Carbutt himself, are worth a large amount of study, and arc receiving a great deal of attention —one, an interior of a church, with exposure of three days; one, the parlor of a palatial residence, five hours’ exposure. Another church interior, made by Clifford, of St. Johnsbury, Vt., on the Carbutt plate, with one and three-quarter hours’ exposure. The Carbutt plate is a great favorite, I find, and for reliability stands first. The Des Moines Dry Plate Co. have a very attractive exhibit, some eighteen cabinet and card portraits and one stereo view. Time of exposure from one quarter to eight seconds. The portrait work is from the studio of Boyd, of Davenport, and the display does great credit to his skill as a photographer. W. J. Baker, of Buffalo, N. Y., had thirteen portraits from boudoir to cabinets, made on his own plates, and to say they were up to the usual standard of this photographer’s wet plate work will determine their excellence. G. W. Taylor, Sycamore, Ill., has a large head of lady made on plate of his own manufacture. Exposure, twenty seconds, with as fine results as forty with wet plate. Rocher, of our city, has cabinets made on the Cramer & Norden plates; exposures from one-quarter second to five seconds. A cabinet of a dozen one-half second exposure shows what the gelatine plate is capable of doing. This photographer is using plates as large as 17×20, and more than two-thirds of his settings are with the dry plate. Meyer, of Chicago, exhibits portraits, interiors, and outdoor views from gelatine plates of his own make — very good. Joshua Smith, the famous photographer of babies, and who is making his own plates and using them exclusively, has an exhibit that does him credit. The Howe plate, now out of the market, has some nice examples of interior, exterior, and portrait work exhibited by Messrs. Greene, Edgeworth & Gentile. The Eureka Dry Plate Co., of St. Louis, shows portrait and view work equal to any in the collection. The Eastman Dry Plate Co., Rochester, N. Y., display a large number of prints from 11×14 to cabinet size, mostly portraits from the studios of Ryder, of Cleveland, Rockwood, New York, Rocher, Beebe, and Rider, of our city. Mr. Beebe, who has followed the example of other eminent photographers and abandoned the wet process, exhibited a number of large panels made from gelatine negatives, which were noticeable for excellence in both white and dark draperies. The Cramer & Norden Plates were represented by portrait work from the studios of Scholten and Cramer, St. Louis; machinery by Bencke, St. Louis; and instantaneous stereo snow views by Elmer & Tenney, Winona, Minn. These plates also had a fine representation in the contribution made by J. F. Edgeworth, of Chicago, who had fine examples of outdoor work and machinery. This special work was also exhibited in a large collection made by P. B. Greene, of our city, on the Carbutt and Howe plates, and demonstrated the great value of gelatine dry plates for landscape and machinery work. A description of the exhibit cannot convey to your readers the value it has to those who were fortunate enough to be present, to study the examples offered. It demonstrated that even now, with the gelatine plate so little understood, it was a new power in the hands of photographers and would find its way into every studio; some to use successfully, others to reject it as a failure. The fine display was supported by an exhibition of negatives of a large number of the prints shown….”]

“Correspondence.” PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES AND AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHER 11:125 (May 1881): 204. [“A Pretty “Partial Catalogue” of artists materials, to be found at the art gallery of Mr. J. F. Ryder, 239 Superior Street, Cleveland, Ohio, has been sent the Times by that gentleman. It is a model of neatness and conciseness — convenience as well — and covered with delicate pink bristol board. On the front is one of the Kendall Banknote Co.’s superb engravings on steel, which is a real work of art. It may be called “a scene above the clouds,” since a lovely combination of light and shade is given by the cloud display, through which a young moon is piercing its way. The whole get-up of this catalogue is extremely pretty and tasteful.”]

“The Second Annual Convention of the Photographers Association of America.” PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES AND AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHER 11:128 (Aug. 1881): 288-289. [“The second annual convention and exhibition of the Photographers’ Association of America was opened this forenoon in the Exhibition Hall of the American Institute, Sixty-third Street and Third Avenue, there being a good attendance….” “…Mr. J. F. Ryder, of the Executive Committee, who accompanied a party of sixty-five from Cleveland, Ohio, has also informed us in what manner he and his friends enjoyed themselves. He says: “In behalf of the sixty-live photographers of northern Ohio and adjacent Pennsylvania, who comprised the convention excursion from Cleveland to New York and return, I desire to express our appreciation of the liberal and courteous treatment extended us by General Passenger Agent W. B. Shattuc, of the N. Y., P. & O. R. R., for giving us advantages that enabled many to attend the convention who otherwise could not. In this kindly act we recognize the liberal policy which characterizes the man, and the company he so ably represents. Our trip down was a most delightful one. The glimpses of Lake Chautauqua as we touched its shores in passing were charming. The beauty of scenery along the Alleghany, the Canisteo, the Chemung, the Susquehanna, and the Delaware, along whose banks the Erie Railway takes its course, is unsurpassed, and gave us continual pleasure. We shall not soon forget the enjoyment of the trip, or our gratitude to General Shattuc.” The Meeting. Shortly before 11 o’clock the President, John Carbutt, of Philadelphia, took the I chair and called the convention to order….”]

“The Second Annual Convention of the Photographers’ Association of America.” PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES AND AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHER 11:128 (Aug. 1881): 319-322. [(This is the first year that the Photographic Times provided an extensive report on the PAA annual conference. It continued to devote the bulk of each August issue to the same subject for many following years.) “The President called the convention to order at 10.30 A. M., and introduced J. F. Ryder, of Cleveland, Ohio, who addressed the convention as follows: Mr. Ryder’s Address. It is well, in an assemblage of this kind, where hundreds of interested men have met to exchange kindly greeting—to be teacher and pupil to each other, to gain light from the accumulation of a ray each from a hundred or a thousand minds— that our thoughts turn in grateful remembrance to the memory of the practical discoverer, Daguerre—that we recognize in him a benefactor to the human race in having given the means of securing and preserving the most truthful shadow image known, and in which the world finds great pleasure and satisfaction. Every photographer should carry in his heart of hearts the image of the father, and should honor him as the parent of his art. There are, no doubt, a goodly number present who practiced the art as he gave it, making the image upon the polished silver surface plate. All such feel nearer to, and better acquainted with him, than those who have practiced only the more recent methods. Without attempting to follow the step by step advance from infancy to the giant proportions of to-day, we may recognize the strength and value of our art’s position, and give attention to its continued healthy growth. What we believe necessary to that end, is a watchful care of its morals as a condition essential to progress. Every man engaged in this business owes to it, to himself, and to his neighbor certain duties in contributing to its welfare and elevation by keeping it respectable. Respectability is the cornerstone of all substantial structures of a business character, and particularly applies to ours. Its first element is knowledge. To possess a good practical knowledge of one’s business inspires confidence in the patron, who likes to be handled and managed intelligently. Most people are quick to detect an indecision or hesitation on the part of the operator that would imply a lack of skill. “Knowledge is power,” and makes a man master of the situation, even in a photographic operating room. The means of acquiring this valuable aid is within easy reach. Every intelligent and progressive photographer has his library, he reads the journals, takes a little study of art principles even outside his wants for daily practice. Most valuable of all, he studies the human face and learns much of character; he adapts what he finds of interest to the camera, and adds to his knowledge of individual character, which stands him in daily stead in managing the model to intelligent purpose. If any man within reach of my voice fails to notice the lighting and shading of the faces he looks into, day by day, wherever seen, and note mentally its peculiarities; fails to take the teachings freely given by accident or natural chance; if he does not sometimes carry in his mind the remembrance of a fine head, well poised and lighted, which may have been caught at a glimpse, or viewed at leisure; if he does not carry that image for weeks and months, sometimes for years, I must tell that man he is in the wrong business. The study of human faces becomes a habit and a pleasure to the student in portraiture, and the measure of his success depends much upon this self-imposed training. The eye becomes quick to see and recognize the correct and the beautiful; the camera, under intelligent guidance, is quick to secure it. “Love thy neighbor as thyself” is a pretty strong way to put it among photographers, and there is a chance of its being evaded. What the revision may have done with that command I have not learned. My interpretation of it as adapted to our profession is, that if we desire the respect of good people; if we would command uniform good prices for our work; if we prefer accumulating a little money for ourselves to spoiling the chance of our competitor acquiring any, it would be well that we have peace and good understanding with one another. If we would be good to ourselves, we must be good to our neighbors. That is a rendering that should be acceptable. The unprofitable jealousies that mark the craft may be likened to thistles among the wheat—they rankle and destroy. The strongest condemnation I can give of the almost universal unsocial condition among photographers is that it costs too much to keep it up, and is a bad investment. “Next to Godliness is cleanliness.” If photographers would embellish their walls with a neatly framed copy of that text; if they would read it daily, giving it the attention it deserves, and follow faithfully the golden hint, there would be thousands of men who from that commencement would improve the quality of their work, make themselves and their establishments more popular, and gain a better patronage. A carelessly kept photograph gallery is about as uninteresting a place as a tidy person could desire to find. I have seen such places, and it would seem as though a breath of pure air would be a surprise to it. The stale odors of chemicals reinforced by a musty, dusty, indescribable smell, faded, stained, and much worn furniture, crippled head rests worth a cent a pound for old iron, dingy walls which suggest a possible blue or leaden tint, and a whitewash brush years ago is about the thing. This is a fine place for a bride, with silken train and falling veil, or for any well dressed lady or child. When you see the proprietor of such an establishment, you recognize the eternal fitness of things—the natural law of harmony is declared; the man is suited to the place, and the place to the man. I need not undertake a description of him—you have all seen him, but I think not in this place: his education is finished. That sort of fellow is too numerous, however, for the credit of photography. A clean shirt is a voucher of respectability, and commands recognition from all well bred people; a polished boot and a well brushed coat is not overlooked or undervalued by the great majority. It makes a man look better in his patrons’ eyes, and makes him better satisfied with himself. I once had a customer to sit for a locket picture. He brought a hand trunk, and bolted the door of the dressing room, where he polished his boots, put on a clean shirt, and declared himself ready to be taken. On being told it was unnecessary to shine his boots, as only the head and shoulders would be taken, he replied that he felt more “dressed up” with them blackened, and he preferred to look and feel well when he had his picture taken. I have believed in that man since then, more than I did before. A man handling sitters should cultivate a tidy and polished appearance, both in manners and dress. I have a spleen against seeing a man work among ladies, as photographer, shabbily dressed, or in his shirt sleeves. I object to the practice of photographers calling themselves artists with the freedom many do; I cannot think it modest. The title means a good deal more than belongs to the practice of photography. I know a few artists who are photographers, and a very few photographers who have artistic tendencies. The man who may have been driving pegs into the bottom of a boot, or collecting fares on a horse car last year, is not competent to take the title of artist this year because he has engaged in the photograph business. As a rule, I cannot believe a justice of the peace to be a statesman. Occasionally we see a man who looks beyond the idea of a photograph representing a dollar, or five, as the case may be. Then the work ceases to be drudgery, and a pleasurable ambition enters into it. He may really feel something like inspiration, and the result of his efforts give him a satisfying sense of something beyond a mere likeness. That man has artistic feeling. He sees glory in the rising sun, and grandeur in his going down! Masses and waves of children’s hair are a pleasure to him; the bent figure of age may describe to him a line of beauty of peculiar tenderness, while to another it seems a mere deformity. Unconscious pictures and beautiful creations live in his mind. There is a chance—almost a danger of that photographer becoming an artist. I must tell you how I got one of the most valuable lessons, as bearing upon our business, I ever had. It came from a man who knew nothing of the peculiar perplexities of our business, in fact knew too little of human nature to succeed in business himself; but he taught me well by impressing upon my mind a fact I knew as well as he did. He came into my rooms one day for a friendly call, and inquired how I was progressing. Although young in the mysteries of daguerreotype-making, I was doing quite well, and with natural pride told him so. He said it was easily accounted for; said I had learned the valuable fact that molasses caught more flies than vinegar, and that molasses was my best capital; he referred to my competitor up the street as “Old Vinegar,” said he was driving customers away by his sour manners, and I was catching them. I was amused at this way of putting it, but I had got my lesson, and shall thank him all my life. Hundreds of times in the years after that when sorely tried by capricious and over exacting customers, and upon the point of giving way to anger and disgust, have I recalled the lesson, and by continued patience and indulgence succeeded in pleasing, and sent them away satisfied and happy, instead of angry, and as sure workers against my business. We all know how difficult it is to bear the caprices and whims of the unreasonable. We know what comfortable satisfaction it is to sometimes resent imposition, as we feel it to be at the moment; but in the serious and candid afterthought we must confess to ourselves it is damaging to have differences with our customers. We may wisely take to ourselves the fact that in all departments of business there is a certain amount of imposition to be recognized and carried. Retire, if necessary, to your dark rooms, gentlemen, and commune with yourselves; smite your brow with your clenched hands, swallow the rankle if it takes two gulps, and be sure you come out smiling. If it be clearly impossible to avoid misunderstanding, bow the party out with a smile, and put molasses in it, let them go with the conviction at heart that they have been the aggressor. They are liable to come back wiser and more amiable. A word about prices: Let an earnest, determined man fix a good, respectable, or even a high price upon his work; then let him show by painstaking tare that he makes the work worth the price, and the public will soon learn to understand and appreciate him. People, many people, prefer to have the very best, and will pay the price. We see men in the learned professions, in the higher branches of art, and mechanics whose services cost high, and we see people who will have them from preference, because they have confidence in their ability, and in the belief that they are being served in the very best manner. The man not only inspires confidence in his customers, but in himself, and aims to deserve his position of a high priced, painstaking man. I remember seeing, in a neighboring city, a little placard in the room of the hotel at which I was stopping, which read as follows: “Randall’s photographs command a higher price than any others in the city—Why?” I recognized the value of the query in the double sense that it challenged attention and sent the reader’s thoughts off upon an inquiry, the answer to which was favorable to the advertiser. If the work commanded a higher price the natural inference was that it was superior. In another city, conspicuous for the excellence of its photographic work and the very low prices that prevail, a photographer has posted at the entrance door, “No cheap photographs taken here.” Surely values determine the standard. Not only the work the man does, but the man himself is regarded in a higher sense. In elevating his art he elevates himself. How is it with the man that starts out to scoop his neighbors by degrading his prices? I care not what may be the skill and the good intentions of the man; he may claim that five, four, or three dollars per dozen for cabinets, is enough; that it gives a good profit, and he chooses to give his customers the benefit of low prices. That man will not take the pains to do good, careful work, and he will soon begin to justify himself that his work is as good as the price he gets for it. Besides degrading his own practice, he is injuring an honorable calling, and stands as a reproach to it. The man who exhibits the work of others in his show cases, thereby allowing the public to believe it to be the product of his own skill, and deceiving people by representations of the human figure, or such parts of it as are of value to medicine and surgery, with propriety. He may also, with propriety, indulge the fond parent in portraying the cherub figure of the babe, but he must beware of prostituting an innocent camera and a respectable profession to the production of lewd or improper subjects. Probably the greatest blemish to our young art is in the unfair and disreputable uses it has been put to by unprincipled practitioners. I do not revert to these subjects with pleasure, but from conviction of the duty of their emphatic condemnation. Whether on the Sabbath morning you take your prayer book for attendance to church, or saunter toward the pleasant stream, be sure the key of the gallery door is in your own pocket, and the doors locked against the boys and their friends, for little do you know what may be doing there to the injury of its good name. Prolonged applause followed the delivery of Mr. Ryder’s address.”]

“The Second Annual Convention of the Photographers’ Association of America. Exhibits-Third Notice.” PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES AND AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHER 11:128 (Aug. 1881): 332-333. [“We really beg pardon of Mr. J. F. Ryder of Cleveland, for somehow or other some of the work having so thoroughly associated him with the practice of portraiture as to not having been aware that he had even half an eye for the beautiful in external scenery—always from the camera point of view, of course. But from a number of most charming little pictures, entitled “Artists’ Studies,” we most gladly recognize in him a landscape artist of a very high type indeed. We have seldom seen any pictures that surpass in softness and delicacy a small collection by Mr. Ryder. There are also several portrait studies by this artist, which demonstrate that he occupies a foremost position among the many able artists of America….” p. 332. (Ryder was quoted, discussed or mentioned about a dozen additional times in this volume in respect to the PAA conference.)]

Muller, J. “What I Gathered at the Convention.” PHOTOGRAPHIC MOSAICS 1882 (1882): 112-117. [“I am one of those humble members of the craft who has learned to thankfully understand and appreciate the little bits of this life, without grumbling continually about what I am not permitted to have. Our lives are not made up of great grand wholes, but of little bits,—atoms of happiness and molecules of pleasure. If we measured almost anything as a whole, we would, as a rule, meet disappointment; but analyze and look into things, and you will find much good to comfort and help in them. I was very much impressed with this thought several times when quietly sitting in the late Convention, day by day. As a whole, I came to the conclusion that some might look upon it as a grand failure. It was not nearly so full of food for thought as some previous Conventions have been, but I heard a great deal that was helpful for me, and which will continue to help me for a long time to come. And knowing full well how much more we all enjoy a dish of salad which has been prepared for us, rather than one managed by our own hands, I have gathered a few leaves from the excellent report of the proceedings of the last Convention given in the Philadelphia Photographer for September and October, such as impressed me as being the most crisp and fresh, and have dressed them into shape for the readers of Mosaics to enjoy and profit by…” (This is followed by quotes and comments by a large number of individuals, including Ryder.) “…The address that did me the most good, so full of manly, fatherly words of experience, came from my old friend Mr. J. P. Ryder. I quote some of his best thoughts in one direction only: “Every man engaged in this business owes to it, to himself, and to his neighbor certain duties in contributing to its welfare and elevation by keeping it respectable. Respectability is the corner-stone of all substantial structures of a business character, and particularly applies to ours. Its first element is knowledge. To possess a good practical knowledge of one’s business inspires confidence in the patron, who likes to be handled and managed intelligently. Most people are quick to detect an indecision or hesitation on the part of the operator that would imply a lack of skill. ‘Knowledge is power,’ and makes a man master of the situation, even in a photographic operating-room. The means of acquiring this valuable aid is within easy reach. Every intelligent and progressive photographer has his library, he reads the journals, takes a little study of art principles even outside his wants for daily practice. Most valuable of all, he studies the human face and learns much of character; he adapts what he finds of interest to the camera, and adds to his knowledge of individual character, which stands him in daily stead in managing the model to intelligent purpose. If any man within reach of my voice fails to notice the lighting and shading of the faces he looks into, day by day, wherever seen, and note mentally their peculiarities, fails to take the teachings freely given by accident or natural chance, if he does not sometimes carry in his mind the remembrance of a fine head, well posed and lighted, which may have been caught at a glimpse, or viewed at leisure, if he does not carry that image for weeks and months, sometimes for years, I must tell that man he is in the wrong business. The study of human faces becomes a habit and a pleasure to the student in portraiture, and the measure of his success depends much upon this self-imposed training. The eye becomes quick to see and recognize the correct and the beautiful; the camera, under intelligent guidance, is quick to secure it. Here are words which come from experience, and which tell of success. They also show that the gentlemen who utter them have obtained their knowledge from actual hand-to-hand contests with work, and that the bruising, and rubbing, and polishing they have had from trial and failure, have burnished and brightened them, and made them perfect and able in their work. Moreover, the hard times they have had has made them liberal in giving of their knowledge to others, which is one of the best things of all.” p. 116.]

“Third Annual Convention of the Photographers’ Association of America. The Exhibits at the Convention.” PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES AND AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHER 12:140 (Aug. 1882): 329-333. [“…A large portion of the work exhibited seemed to have been contributed by manufacturers of dry plates, to show in this manner the excellence of their manufactures. Among these Cramer & Norden exhibited a large and, in every instance, fine collection. These were by various artists, among whom we may name Mr. J. F. Ryder, whose landscapes were charming. There was a singularly fine and large-sized group picture among the Cramer & Norden exhibits. It contained a dozen figures, all engaged in the avocations peculiar to the various departments in a photographic establishment, and bore the inscription that it was presented to G. Cramer by his artists and workpeople, of whose portraits the picture consisted….” p. 332.

(This August issue is devoted primarily to a detailed report of the Photographers’ Association of America annual convention. To indicate the degree of involvement that Ryder had in the functioning of the PAA at this time, he is mentioned or his work with the PAA is mentioned or discussed seven times in this volume.)]

“Matters of the Month.” PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES AND AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHER 12:140 (Aug. 1882): 341. [“Mr. J. F. Ryder and family, en route for the White Mountains to escape the sweltering summer heat and to recreate, tarried for a brief while in New York, and Mr. Ryder came to see us. In the city of Cleveland, Ohio, where he is proud to make his home, and which fully reciprocates that feeling, he reports the number of amateur photographers as being on the increase. Like any other great artist, Mr. Ryder has no feeling of jealousy for those who are taking their first instruction in the art beautiful. Not only so, but he himself takes pride in teaching those who care to secure outfits through him from reliable makers.”]

Ryder, J. F. “Stand by the Price.” PHOTOGRAPHIC MOSAICS 1883 (1883): 83. [“Stand firm! Make the highest figure possible, and stand by it squarely. Let it be a matter between your judgment and your conscience. Make your work so carefully and of such excellence that you know you are entitled to a good price. If you are honest with yourself and your customers, your high figure must be a constant incentive to keep the quality up to your price. You can feel more respect for yourself, and will challenge the respect of your patrons. Teach the public to understand there is a value in your productions; that skill and painstaking care must be paid for. It is too much a fact that many people think photographs cost nothing worth mentioning, and are regarded as common as toothpicks upon a bar counter. If you have a few overprints in filling an order better throw them into the waste-basket than toss them carelessly to the customer to make “good measure.” You are cheapening your production, and teaching the recipient to put a low estimate upon them. The road to a better condition in our pursuit will be found in increased and firmly held prices. Take it!”]

“Fourth Annual Convention of the Photographers’ Association of America. The Exhibits at the Convention. Photographers’ Exhibits.” PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES AND AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHER 13:152 (Aug. 1883): 431-434. [“To do justice to the photographs exhibited in Milwaukee would require a more generous allowance of space than has yet been made by the publishers of this journal….” “…J. F. Ryder, Cleveland, Ohio.—The work of Mr. Ryder needs no note or comment from us. It is always of the first order. The special size of landscape views displayed by Mr. Ryder, about 10 x 18 we should judge, are exceedingly attractive. Those of the old mill wheel, and some of glens and caverns were without a superior in the vast array….” p. 433. (This August issue is devoted primarily to a detailed report of the Photographers’ Association of America annual convention. To indicate the degree of involvement that Ryder had in the functioning of the PAA at this time, he is mentioned or discussed thirteen times in this volume: praised for organizing efforts on pp. 183, 199, 233, reports as member of the Executive Committee, pp. 378, 379, 405, elected Treasurer, on p. 407, mentioned on pp. 426, 428, 433, 560, 587 and 657.Thisis usual for the number of mentions Ryder was receiving in the photographic literature during this period of his active participation in professional organizations.”]

Ryder, J. F. “How D’ye Like the Building.” PHOTOGRAPHIC MOSAICS 1884 (1884): 95. [A young man from a country town called upon me one day to throw in my way the opportunity to secure his services as negative retoucher. He had mastered the business in three months, and informed me he was first-class. To remove any lingering doubt in my mind, he invited my attention to a package of specimens of his work. I looked them over, one after another, without comment, when, impatient at my lack of enthusiasm, he asked, “How d’ye like the building?” Thinking I had passed unseen a view of the court house, or other prominent structure in the village where he had become ” an artist,” I ran through the package again, and finally confessed I could not find it. The young “artist” then informed me, gently, kindly, and with a dash of pity in his manner at my ignorance, that he had reference to the manner in which he built up the negatives with lead. While that “pileron” of galena may not have gotten over thinking what a blasted fool I was, I, too, am thinking of the base practices that are permitted and employed in the name of fine finishing of the most delicate structure of film, bearing the finest gradation of light and shadow possible. A shadow image of man, in all the perfection and truth camera and chemicals can give, is turned over as a foundation for that sort of “first-class” (heaven save the mark) retoucher to build upon. He will annihilate every little value to the character of a strong head; he will exterminate the fine points of likeness; he will sheet-lead the entire flesh surface, giving a result in the print that will look something like the man who sat, and a good deal like an inflated bladder. There is enough of that kind of work turned upon the public to make progressive men regret that negative retouching was ever introduced. I beg pardon of about one in a hundred negative retouchers, assuring him he is not the man I refer to. This one might draw a head, or hand, showing some knowledge of anatomy and modelling, and do it with a clean intelligent touch. He is artist enough to retouch a negative with some judgment and skill. I am glad he exists occasionally. To all who may take exceptions to my talk, I refer them to a photograph in Dr. Vogel’s admirable book, Progress in Photography. It is a head made by electric light, unretouched, and printed upon plate paper with ink. The negative was made by Wm. Kurtz, and the printing by Bierstadt. It is delicately and beautifully rounded, details full and perfect, hair and beard silky fine, and is altogether a marvellous example of plain photography. It is worth the price of the book, and to a man sick of the abuses of lead building, it is a relief and a comfort to look at.”]

 Ryder, James F. “On the Business Management of Photography.” PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES AND AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHER 14:164 (Aug. 1884): 407-410. [“[A Paper read before the P. A. of A.] Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen: As a rule men think well of themselves and don’t care to be told what they already know. There is probably not a man here who doubts his ability to run the photograph business. You will please understand, therefore, that I feel embarrassed in so delicate a matter as undertaking to tell you that you don’t understand your business. I do not take such a liberty, but if you will tolerate me a few minutes I will give you my convictions on the subject. The first necessary requirement—the foundation stone—is a thorough knowledge of every department of the work. An intelligent understanding of one’s business is solid capital. The more of that element a man carries the greater is his strength. As we have no established system of apprenticeship, no regular course of study or practice for the acquirement of our young art, the learner is dependent upon a hap-hazard chance, his aptness at catching an idea, a natural handiness in taking to new work, a taste for art even in a small way, prove his good friends in grasping photography. Considering the many intricate points in chemical requirements, the judgment necessary to be exercised at every stage of the work, the many handlings and processes which depend upon one another, and all necessary to the proper production of a finished photograph, it is really a matter of surprise how successfully it is accomplished with the small chances the workman has had for acquiring knowledge. I say this believing the instances where photographers are really educated in the art science of the profession they claim to be masters of, are very few. I hope the time is near when regular schools of photography will be established and sustained in this country, where the learner may have the benefit of good teaching under competent professors, where study shall be necessary, and he should be compelled to pass a rigid examination in chemistry, optics, physics, light lighting, composition and drawing, before he be entitled to a diploma which shall be his voucher for competency. Then we could expect intelligent skill in our employees, and the public feel assured that they were being served in a proper manner. Truly knowledge is power. It is recognized and respected by the learned and ignorant alike. The colored servant of a surgeon, explaining why his master charged twenty-five dollars for the performance of an operation in surgery which took but ten minutes to do, said he charged five dollars for the work and twenty dollars for the “know how.” In all departments of the arts, the sciences, or in mechanics, a man of recognized high attainments commands the confidence of his patrons and the right to be well paid for his services. To fit ourselves in the best way for the pursuit of our art—which is becoming yearly more of an art and more closely allied to science—buy books, subscribe for journals, magazines and papers treating upon the subject; make your collection of photographic literature a special library, then make its acquaintance, the more intimate the belter. In this way you become master of the requirements of your business, which is a rock bottom foundation upon which you may build with all confidence and security. Educate your help, teach them in the little points and in the greater ones, train them to your ways, give them your ideas and listen fairly to theirs—you may sometimes get the best end of the bargain in such exchange. Make a collection of studies and encourage yourself and your operator to frequent examination of them. I have large specimen books, the leaves of which are of tarboard 22 by 28 inches. To these tarboards, on both sides, I glue mounted photographs, the best examples of work I can find. I purchase and I exchange, I have the work of friends and of strangers. It is a valuable collection for reference. They are kept where my operator has constant access to them, from them he can find almost every style of lighting and posing as well as the peculiarities of many noted operators. A man who takes interest and pride in his work likes to know how he stands as compared with others; it is a spur to him and keeps him on the alert. Next in value to superior quality in your productions is a safe and careful system in all the various departments— from writing an order for a sitting to delivering the finished picture into the hands of your customer. System should be observed and the soul of that system be order and cleanliness. There may be to some an affectionate interest in collections of antiquated relics of good old days, whose dust-coated and deep-stained fronts attest to long years of service. Many a well-meant operating room harbors in its corners and along its side walls collections of crippled headrests, rickety camera stands, faded chairs with long fringed upholstery, broken balustrades, old cameras, etc., which are in no sense ornamental or advantageous. It is a mistake to make a museum or a junk shop of the operating room. Remove the old trash, give the scrub brush, the paint pot and the white-wash tub a chance. If there be a worse smell than the atmosphere of a justice’s office, it is the musty odor sometimes encountered in a slovenly photograph gallery. The man who satisfies his conscience that he cannot afford to spend money in thoroughly renovating as often as once a year, and refurnishing when needed, is a poor manager, and works against his own interest. Nothing commands more prompt respect than tidiness. A seeming (t prosperity soon brings the reality; people like to patronize a prosperous man, and naturally avoid a poor or an unfortunate one; all which show that an air of thrift and systematic order should be practised and enforced. Keep your show of specimen pictures fresh by frequent changes. Your customers will visit you oftener if you have new attractions. They will take pride in you and make your establishment one of the places to be visited by strangers and their visiting friends, among whom you will often find good customers. How to treat with Customers: Here comes the place for the exercise of judgment, for real generalship. To be polite, attentive, genial, and at the same time firm in adhering to safe rules for your own protection, is a difficult thing, yet it can be done. A correct start often saves misunderstandings, which are to be avoided by all means. It is a great mistake to have serious differences with your patrons; you must remember that great consideration is due your sitter. Perhaps you sometimes sit yourself and find you are whimsical and exacting; you like to try again for some reason you can’t quite explain. Perhaps when you go to your tailor you are not at once suited with the fit or hang of your coat; his telling you it is all right does not quite convince. Remember these things and be patient, you can make another sitting as quickly as make an argument. The sitting would perhaps convince and satisfy, your argument would not. Make your prices sufficiently high to justify the use of a number of plates and a half-hour’s time if necessary. You can afford this occasionally. If the exactions of your sitter be too great you are entitled to charge for extra service; state it pleasantly but firmly; sugar-coat your words where the subject is disagreeable. In bargaining or arranging the details for a sitting have everything clear and distinctly understood. If additional styles beyond what is described in your order are asked for, then is the lime to mention the additional price, and to stand by it. It is the good-natured fellows who can’t say no, and who in their anxiety to please the dear ladies, get most imposed upon. It is not an uncommon thing for a lady to have a dozen dresses and as many toilets photographed before an order is given to finish. She gratifies her curiosity as to how they will take, and the more sittings she has the more undecided she is which to order. Is the lady to blame? By no means; the man has helped her to impose upon him and is helping to establish the custom of having his neighbors imposed upon also. I believe it entirely fair to make for all sitters two good negatives differing in position, that they may have a choice. If they desire more plates used it is very proper they be required to pay extra for them, particularly should sitters be made to understand a change of dress or toilet means an extra charge for new sittings. Don’t be obsequious to your aristocratic customers and domineering with those of modest means, who are generally sensitive. Be polite to all. Remember where you get one dollar from the capitalist you get ten from the middle class—the working people. Be prompt as possible in finishing and delivering your work; make no promises on that point except you are sure of keeping them. Impress your customers with the fact that your word is to be relied upon. Never put off the securing of an order for another time; clinch it on the spot. It is never too late in the day to make a sitting—that is to take a man’s order for a sitting. Many a time have I written orders for sittings by gas-light and given my client into the hands of the operator. With his money in the till he is sure to come for his proof in the morning, and well satisfied to try again on learning last night’s effort was not entirely a success. Had I told him it was too late in the day and advised his coming again, I should probably not have seen him more. With a desire for sitting while his mind was upon the subject he would possibly try my next neighbor, who with more enterprise than I had shown would secure his patronage. The time to take money is before the sitter goes into the operating room, particularly should this apply to strangers and parties regarded as doubtful. AH photographers who fail in this important rule are practicing an injustice upon themselves. Prices for photographs have become greatly demoralized. Many of our prominent and good men have been led or driven, I might say “clubbed,” into this great wrong. I will venture to assert that four in every five who have fallen into low prices are ashamed of it, and would be glad to get back to more respectable figures and a more respectable standing among their fellows. Low prices are in every way degrading, the work is carelessly made, the standard of excellence is lowered, in fact is lost, ambition sinks to indifference, enthusiasm is killed. The work becomes drudgery, devoid of interest or pleasure. It is an injury and an insult upon our young art. It is a shame to the men who have helped to bring it about. Is there a remedy? Let us see. In all places where photography is practiced, are men and women who want the best that can be made and will pay good prices for what they believe to be superior work. It is possible for photographers to invest their business with a tone and dignity that will be recognized by the people. There are many prominent instances to prove my assertion. This good city of Cincinnati stands at the front as an example to all other cities and photographers of this country. The gentlemen who practice photography here are not devising schemes for decorating the fences with the skins of their neighbors; they are so wise as to be upon the best terms with each other, both in a business and a social sense; they are quite willing each other should live and thrive. They are prosperous; they are honored. What is possible to Cincinnati is possible to all other cities. I think it a fitting time and place to bring this fact to your attention. The curse of our business is this curse of low prices. There is no good reason for it. There is no wisdom or advantage in it. It is a wrong to yourself, your neighbor, and to the art you should be proud of and which you should feel bound to protect. Year by year this blotch is growing blacker and deeper. In many instances photographs are sold at prices which show that it is not possible for the proprietor to pay his help or his stock bills and make a profit on his work. This means folly, ruin and death to photography as a means of securing a livelihood. Reform must come. I heard, when a child, that the city of Rotterdam, in Holland, was the cleanest city in the world, and the way it came about was from every one scrubbing their own door step. I have always remembered it. My friends, the way to bring about reform in the abuse we are talking of is not to wait for your neighbor, but to commence scrubbing your own door stone. If you are a skilled and competent photographer, straighten up and assert yourself! Put your establishment in proper train for an advance to a higher grade of work and a higher scale of prices. The public, recognizing your progress, will follow you; if your neighbor will follow also so much the better for you both. If he will not, you have, by your act, proved yourself his superior, and will hold the advance ground you have taken. Elevate your art and it will elevate you. Make your prices high and make your work worth all you charge for it. This, gentlemen, is the road to success. Look about you and prove its truthfulness. The men who have been fortunate in our business have been faithful to the course I have here laid down.” (Ryder is mentioned thirteen more times in this volume, in relation to the PAA annual conference.)]

Ryder, J. F. “How to See.” PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES AND AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHER 15:201 (July 24, 1885): 416-417.

Bellsmith, P. R. “Correspondence: A Correction – Mr. Ryder’s Photographs.” PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES AND AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHER 15:208 (Sept. 11, 1885): 526. [‘I wish to correct a statement… W. J. White has charge of Mr. Ryder’s out-door work, and is not the portraitist, while I have full and sole charge of the operating room, and do all portrait work.’]

“Commercial Intelligence: The Drummer’s Latest Yarn.” PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES AND AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHER 15:209 (Sept. 18, 1885): 541. [Advertisement for an oleograph reproduction of a genre painting with the same name by the artist A. M. Willard, the print apparently manufactured and sold by J. F; Ryder.]

“General Notes.” PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES AND AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHER 16:240 (Apr. 23, 1886): 215. [Excerpts reprinted from a biography of J. F. Ryder published in the April issue of the inaugural issue of Journal of Science and Art. Anecdote about Ryder introducing negative retouching in USA in 1869.]

 “The Prizes Awarded at the St. Louis Convention.” ANTHONY’S PHOTOGRAPHIC BULLETIN 17:13 (July 10, 1886.): 391. [“Association Prizes for American Exhibits. Gold Medals (for portraits).—Decker & Wilbur, Cleveland; B. J. Falk, New York; J. W. Gehrig, Chicago; J. Landy, Cincinnati; J. A. H. Parsons, Wheeling, W. Va,; J. F. Ryder, Cleveland….”]

 “The Photographers’ Association of America.” ANTHONY’S PHOTOGRAPHIC BULLETIN 17:13 (July 10, 1886.): 406-415. [“First Day. St. Louis, June 22, 1886. The President—The Convention will please come to order….” p. 406. “…The President—The next in order is unfinished business, the discussion on “Printing and Toning.” Is any one prepared to open the discussion on printing and toning? I see Mr. Ryder present, and I will call upon him to start the discussion. Mr. Ryder—Mr. Clemmons is the old standby on that subject. The President—I think he is not here yet, and we would be glad to hear from Mr. Ryder. Mr. Ryder—I should be very happy to say something on this subject of printing and toning, but I am not a practical worker, not having done any of that work in my life. Years ago I used to make sittings, but I am getting to be an old man, and all I do now is to look after the boys. Whilst you have my assurance that I would be glad to talk to you on this subject, I consider myself incompetent, and ask to be excused. Mr. Motes, of Georgia, and Mr. Long were then called for, but they did not respond. Mr. Belesmith—How about printing without toning. The President—They have got that over in England. We will get it after a while. Now, gentlemen, there is an opportunity for the young men. The young man is generally the printer. I give you five minutes. Mr. Ryder—Our President has published a little treatise or essay on printing. Pie did it very nicely, and I do not see what better we could have at this time than to have him start the ball on the printing question. The President—The difficulty is that in my little pamphlet I embodied all I know on the subject, and it is in a great deal better shape than I could present it before you extemporaneously. What I want is to start the discussion going on some point. We can start the blister question….” p. 409. “…“…Mr. Bellsmith—The Committee on Investigation appointed at Buffalo are ready to report. The President—The report will now be taken up and read. [The following extracts from this report are all that we think will interest our readers.— Eds. Of Bulletin.] * * * Regarding the alleged overcharging on tickets, your committee are unable to obtain any evidence to substantiate such charges. Owing to the lack of keeping proper accounts, this committee has found no means of ascertaining the correctness of said charges, and that Mr. Weingartner states upon his honor that all moneys received by him, except as stated in this report, were turned over by him to the Treasurer. Mr. Armstrong, in a communication to this committee, ignores your committee, and refuses to be investigated or hold any communication on the subject, In view of the unsatisfactory state of the present constitution, your committee respectfully recommend a revision of the same, and the insertion of a clause regulating the payment ol the expenses and the emolument of the officers of this association. They would also recommend that the word “Treasurer” be submitted for the word “Secretary” in Article 2, Section 2, of the Constitution; and that all moneys be paid to the Treasurer only. Joshua Smith, Chairman. H. S. Bellsmith. H. Mcmichael. On motion the report was received and the committee discharged. Mr. J. F. Ryder was exonerated by the committee. Mr. Ryder—As a member of that Executive Committee I desire to make a few remarks. I have in a manner been on trial, or suspected of something I had no right to do. I think it is proper that this convention should understand this matter, as to what are the duties and the rights of the Executive Committee. The constitution says the Executive Committee shall have charge of the general business of the association—it does not say that it shall not be paid or that it shall be paid for its services. The duties are not very light ones. They have to be done; and in my own experience I have been the servant of this association for four years, and I have never asked for or desired a place, but filled it at the solicitation of friends, and have done my work in what was supposed to be an acceptable manner; in that time of four years I gave 43 days to the work of the association in absence from home. The time that I devoted to it at home I never can be able to tell, but I have felt that it was an unfairness and an injustice to me to be suspected or to be charged with anything like an irregularity. It has pleased some people to have put me under a little stigma, or they have attempted to do it, and I have felt a little restive under it, but the report of this committee which is now received gives me vindication, and rebukes those who have sought to blacken my character, and I am content. (Applause.) The President—While this probably is a little irregular, I suppose you will all agree to it. Of course the motion before the house was on accepting the report of the committee and discharging it. Therefore all the discussions should be on that point, and after that we shall be ready to do something with the report, and then Mr. Ryder’s remarks can come in and be substituted under that head. What shall we do with the report? You have agreed to accept it and discharge the committee. Shall we adopt its provisions or let it drop? There seems to be a recommendation, quite a number of things are to be disposed of. Mr. Ranger—I move that the report be placed on file. Mr. Bellsmith—I move as an amendment that it be laid on the table. This motion was seconded. The President—The motion before the house is that the matter lay on the table. Mr. Gentile—I rise to oppose that, Mr. President. I think it ought not to be done when so much has been said about this matter. A great many members of this association are not present here who were present and heard the discussion last year. I think that that ought to be published. The President—We can lay it on the table and bring it up at any time, and then approve it if we want to. We have accepted the report and discharged the committee, but we have not done anything with it. A motion to adopt it would be in order. Does anybody desire to speak on the question before the house, which is to lay the whole matter on the table? Mr. Ryder—I understand, Mr. President, that the motion which was before the house disposes of the matter, and I do not see for what reason you want to lay this matter on the table when you have accepted it and discharged your Committee of Investigation. They have furnished you all the material that you want. I cannot see why that is necessary. I supposed that the matter was disposed of. The President—We have not taken any action beyond that. Mr. Ryder—You have received the report. I don’t see what good can be done by laying it on the table if it is disposed of, if there is nothing further to be done with it. I think it is a very proper time now to take it up if there is. Mr. Bellsmith—I withdraw my motion to lay the matter on the table. Mr. Ranger—I think the proper thing is to place the report on file, as it has been accepted and the committee has been discharged. If it is placed on file any member of this association who wishes to see what action was taken can have access to the report, and it is there before them. The report is there in the place where it belongs and it leaves the record of the gentleman who has spoken here clear, and every man knows it. We do not want this matter to be brought up or laid on the table, where it can be called up at any time. The President—I just wanted merely to see if the association understood by its voting that it accepts and discharges the committee and approves of the course of its action. If this is thoroughly understood then the thing is through with. I understand that that is the general sentiment, so we will consider the thing approved. Mr. Ryder’s character, which I never suspected in regard to anything, is perfectly clear. The question was then called for. The President—There is no motion before the house, that has been withdrawn…” p. 413-414.]

 “The Exhibition of Pictures at St. Louis.” ANTHONY’S PHOTOGRAPHIC BULLETIN 17:14 (July 24, 1886.): 418-419. “…J. F. Ryder, of Cleveland, also gold medalist for portraits, as usual showed a fine collection of truly artistic work. A profile head of a lady on a white background was very beautiful. Another picture of a lady upon a large plate, three-quarter face, with a half-tone background, was also very handsome. The pictures of large heads from plates not retouched were very interesting, and showed what fine work and soft effects can be obtained without the labored finish usually put upon photographs. Another interesting feature of this exhibit was a number of pictures of scenes from “A Pantomime Rehearsal ” by the Rosina Vokes Comedy Company. These were pictures on plates about 10 x 16, of figures in all kinds of difficult positions (one foot raised horizontally, for example) and taken without rests of any kind. The figures were remarkably sharp, and gave a life-like aspect to the pictures that was really wonderful….” p. 419.

 “The Photographers’ Association of America.” ANTHONY’S PHOTOGRAPHIC BULLETIN 17:14 (July 24, 1886.): 436-447. [“Second Day—Continued….” “…The President—I will appoint the following Committee on Constitution and By-Laws: Messrs. J. F. Ryder, James Landy, H. F. Bellsmith…” p. 437. “…The President—The next in order is new business. I have the following resolution to read. Resolved, By the Photographers’ Association of America, that the action of our good friends and brother photographers, J.F. Ryder and J. H. Kent, while acting in the capacity of members of the Executive Committee of the association, be heartily indorsed by the association as being for the best interests and good of the association. This resolution was signed by L. C. Overpeck. On motion the resolution was adopted. The President—Are there any remarks to be made on this motion? Mr. Overpeck—The reason I offered that resolution was in order to make this matter more clearly on the minutes; I think that the mere receiving of the report yesterday does not make it clear enough about these two good gentlemen, members of the association; it may be clear enough to all present, but for the future I think it necessary that some action should be taken. The President—The first motion was to receive the report and it was considered as adopting the report, or accepting the report, but by holding out that that was not done the report is just exactly in the same condition as laying the matter on the table, and it can be taken up at any time. The mere receiving of the report is not accepting it and adopting it, but we carried the point so far that it was adopted. I have no objection to it whatever and I will put it. The question being on the motion to adopt the resolution, it was agreed to unanimously….” p. 439.]

 “Views Caught with the Drop Shutter.” ANTHONY’S PHOTOGRAPHIC BULLETIN 17:15 (Aug. 14, 1886.): 480. [“J. F. Ryder, of Cleveland, was the winner of a gold medal at St. Louis. He has had a fac-simile of the medal made, 24 inches in diameter, and its handsome face adorns the window of his studio. The whole affair is very unique; and when the question was asked, “Is it gold?” the reply received was, “Gold! It ought to be; it took three men to hang it.”]

 “The Photographers’ Association of America.” ANTHONY’S PHOTOGRAPHIC BULLETIN 17:16 (Aug. 28, 1886.): 504-511. [“…Fourth Day—Continued….” “…The President—Discussion is now in order on practical manipulation under the sky-light and in the dark room. Before we open that subject, Mr. Ryder is present and as he was appointed on the committee to report on some changes and additions to the constitution, he will now make his report. Mr. Ryder—I will say now, Mr. President, that the first information I got of my appointment upon it was upon reading it in the papers at night, as I was not in the room when I was appointed. Mr. Landy and Mr. Bellsmith, my colleagues on the committee, were absent also, and I could not get them together. It would be impossible to get anything done at this convention, so I would ask to be excused. I thought it would be a better thing, instead of appointing a committee on the revision of the constitution, to turn the matter over to your Executive Committee and your Board of Corporators, who would have ample time to work the thing up, and let it be presented at the next convention. It would be quite impossible to do anything now, so I will ask to be excused. The President—What will you do with this committee? We want to get it out of the road. Will somebody make a motion. Mr. Gentile—I move that Mr. Ryder’s report be accepted and the committee discharged. This motion was seconded. The President—It is moved that Mr. Ryder’s report be accepted, or rather his remarks or explanation as to why the committee have not made a report on the subject. The motion was then agreed to. The President—I will now make an explanation about this matter. Mr. Ryder and myself had a long conversation on the boat yesterday, and he was explaining to me the inability of the committee to make any report or to do anything in regard to this matter, so the final conclusion of the conversation was that we would get this committee out of the road and then some one would make a motion for the committee to report at the next convention—that is, appointing a new committee on the revision of the whole Constitution and By-Laws to report at that time. As this committee was appointed for just the specific purpose, and the parties came very near being all from the same State, it is well to get rid of the committee. The Committee on the Constitution should represent the country, that is the reason we want to get rid of these gentlemen. Mr. Cooper—I move that a Committee on Constitution and By-Laws be appointed, to report at the next convention, to revise the Constitution and By-Laws. Agreed to. The President—The committee should be the newly-elected executive officers and the Committee on Incorporation. The Committee on Incorporation are Mr. Brand, Mr. Douglass and Mr. Gentile\ The newly-elected officers represent the country pretty well, and these other gentlemen, all living in Chicago, will make it inexpensive to the association. These gentlemen will have to meet in executive session, that is the understanding, in January, and then probably fix the matter for the next convention. This matter of the revision of the Constitution and By-Laws is a pretty big job, but they can have it all ready for you at the next convention—the incorporation and the revised constitution…. p. 508. (Ryder is mentioned or quoted about ten more times in the report of this conference, at one point expressing his disfavor about giving awards and medals to participants of the event, or commenting on other Association matters.)]

 “General Notes.” PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES AND AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHER 16:272 (Dec. 3, 1886): 625. [Note that Ryder one of three Americans to receive an award at an exhibition from the Convention of German Photographers at Braunschweig.]

 “Editorial Notes.” ANTHONY’S PHOTOGRAPHIC BULLETIN 17:23 (Dec. 11, 1886.): 707. [“Mr. J. F. Ryder, of Cleveland, has kindly favored us with a photograph of the handsome cup which he received as a prize for the pictures that he sent to Braunschweig, Germany. It is certainly a most beautiful object and well bestowed upon its possessor. With true German instinct as to the fitness of things, the design is a very artistic one. The base of the cup is in the form of a tripod, fashioned after vine tendrils and leaves, with nuts (apparently filberts) set between each of the feet; above this is a leafy circle, part of the leaves turned downward and part upward, supporting a beaded ring of more jointed vine tendrils and leaves, above which comes another circle of leaves, which supports the cup. The cup itself is in the form of an ostrich egg, surrounded a little above the upper half with a finely-wrought circle of chain-work design, from which hangs three handsome inscribed medallions. The cup is surmounted with a crown of leaves, in the midst of which is a nut of the same design as those set around the tripod base. Altogether this is a most beautiful trophy, and we must congratulate Mr. Ryder upon his well-earned success. It appears to us that something of this kind—a beautiful cup—would be a capital thing to be awarded as a grand prize by the Photographers’ Association of America to the best set of pictures by the member who already holds a gold medal of the association.”]

Ryder, James. F. “Reminiscence.” AMERICAN ANNUAL OF PHOTOGRAPHY AND PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES ALMANAC FOR 1887 (1887): 144-146. [“Away back in ’48 I found myself in a little village in Central New York, where a camera had never been seen or used before, and to the citizens of that quiet place it was as good as a brass band. The prominent lady of the place, whose husband was merchant and post-master, welcomed me to her house, gave me her parlor (the finest in the village), for operating room, rent free, and glad to have me at that—board, two dollars per week, payable in daguerreotypes, My little frame of specimens was hung upon the picket fence beside the gate, my clip headrest screwed to the back of a common chair, and the business of “securing the shadow ere the substance fade” (see handbills), was declared opened. The people came in throngs, the dollars rolled in right merrily; no business in town equaled mine. The good lady of the house was the possessor of a large cluster breastpin, which was kindly loaned to every female sitter that came, to the mutual satisfaction of lady owner and lady sitter; a great help to me as well, proving a capital point for aiming my focus. After the day’s work was done a saunter across the bridge and through the narrow path of the meadow, where was the pleasant odor of clover and the glad ripple of the brook, was my pleasure and my habit. The home-coming farmer gave me friendly greeting. The boy with torn hat and trousers rolled half way to the knee, as he fetches the cows from pasture, hails me with: “Take my likeness, mister?” The country lasses, shy and sweet, give a modest bow as they meet the “likeness man.” I was regarded with respect and supposed to be a prosperous young fellow. All were friendly and genial—save one. The blacksmith, a heavy, burly man, the muscular terror of the village, disapproved of me….” (Anecdote goes on to state that the blacksmith’s son drowns and he comes begging Ryder to take a post-mortem photograph of the child.) “…To describe his gratitude and kindness to me after that is beyond my ability to do.”]

 Ryder, James F. “How Shall We Aim?” PHOTOGRAPHIC MOSAICS: AN ANNUAL RECORD OF PHOTOGRAPHIC PROGRESS, 1887 (1887): 107-108. [“Nearly two score years intimacy with photography, together with the affection it begets by association and the pride it engenders from success (if the follower be true to himself and his calling),’should be sufficient to hold him from hesitation; but, Ike Marvel like, a man may sometimes muse through the clouds from his good pipe, or the haze which rises from the road that stretches into the past over which he has toted his burden. He may look aloft and alow, he may “cast about” and wipe his specs before pointing his camera. The grand aim shows him the best achievements of photography, wherein enter painstaking care, honest and faithful work, whose careful study proclaims a dash of art such as the maker may contemplate with satisfaction, such as the connoisseur may behold with pleasure and the patron may cheerfully pay for without haggling. That is conscientious photography. Ideal photography, perhaps, and possibly the fact of it—in the hands of some. The veteran may look back upon what seems to him, in his light, the best days of photography. The future he must regard with suspicion, and he hesitates to point his camera into it. The live photographer, the “hustler,” the young man of “marked enterprise” have done much toward killing good honest photography. They have cheapened it in a double sense; they have robbed it of its former status of respectability. The converting of quiet studios into manufactories, rushing sitters through by the score or hundred, grinding cabinets out by the thousand daily, at prices so shamefully low that quantity of production must represent profit, may be enterprise, but it is fatal to excellence. Few men pursue photography for pleasure alone. The money consideration, which until the past very few years has been fair, becomes now the problem. Shall the earnest, conscientious photographer throw himself in the midst of the struggling rabble with a dozen cabinets in one hand and the other outreached for a dollar? Let each man answer for himself. How shall we aim?”]

 Ryder, J. F. “Correspondence: Plush and Gold.” PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES AND AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHER 17:278 (Jan. 14, 1887): 21-22. [Ryder defends his practice of elegant frames for his prints in the annual P.P.A. convention exhibition, apparently in response to what he felt was criticisms directed towards him for the practice.]

 “Convention Notes.” PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES AND AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHER 17:310 (Aug. 26, 1887): 428. [“…There were forty-two entries for the Eastman cash prizes and 343 bromide prints exhibited in the competition. The awards are as follows: Plain Enlargements.  Class A.—$150 for the best collection of unfinished enlargements—J. F. Ryder, Cleveland; $75 for the second best collection of unfinished enlargements—Kuhn Bros., St. Louis. Class B.—$50 for the best unfinished portrait enlargement—J. F. Ryder, Cleveland; $25 for the second best unfinished portrait enlargement—Hulbert Bros. Class C.—$25 for the best unfinished enlargement from landscape or marine view negative—W. S. Bell, Pittsburgh. Contact Prints. Class D.—$50 for the best collection of contact prints— W. H. Walmsley. Finished Enlargements. Class E.—$100 for the best enlarged portrait finished in black and white—J. Weber, New York; $50 for the second best enlarged portrait finished in black and white—J. F. Ryder, Cleveland; $25 for the third best enlarged portrait finished in black and white—J. C. Strauss, St. Louis. Class F.—$100 for the best enlarged portrait finished in color—J. C. Strauss, St. Louis. The Morrison prize of a set of wide-angle lenses to the best collection of work other than portraits, made with the Morrison lens, was awarded to C. D. Arnold, of Brooklyn, N. Y., for the excellent collection of architectural photographs made with the Morrison instantaneous wide-angle lens….”]

 “Eighth Annual Convention of the Photographers’ Association of America.” ANTHONY’S PHOTOGRAPHIC BULLETIN 18:16 (Aug. 27, 1887): 500-510. [“Held In The Exposition Building, Chicago, Ill., August 9-12, 1887. First Day….” p. 500. “…The following rules were laid down by the donors of the prizes, and were published in the German and American photographic journals, with the request that the exhibitors should adhere to them as far as it lay in their power. German Photographers’ Association. The Einlenderand Mueller endowment to the Photographers’ Association to be held at Braunschweig, August, 1886, offer two awards for best portraiture, viz., a bronze clock and a gilt cup. 1. All American photographers, members of the Photographers’ Association of America, are admitted to competition. 2. Photographs entered must have been made in the year 1886…. (etc.) …Messrs. Decker & Wilbur, Cleveland, Ohio, were awarded the first prize, and Mr. Ryder, of Cleveland, second prize. The work of Mr. Barker, of Niagara, N. Y., was considered of such excellence by the judges, that upon their recommendation the society decided to add an additional prize, and a handsome silver medal was awarded to Mr. Barker….” p. 509.

 Ryder, James F. “Killed by Overdose.” PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES AND AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHER 17:311 (Sept. 2, 1887): 445-446. [Negatives, prints, etc., are destroyed by chemicals mixed too strongly. See Sept. 10, 1887 ANTHONY’S PHOTOGRAPHIC BULLETIN for texts.]

 “The Pictures at Chicago.” ANTHONY’S PHOTOGRAPHIC BULLETIN 18:17 (Sept. 10, 1887): 513-515. [“J. F. Ryder of course had a very handsome collection. These were large pictures and filled with fine artistic feeling, in addition to being examples of the highest photographic skill. The large heads were exceedingly fine pieces of portraiture, with the finest effects in posing and modeling. It is impossible to give an idea of the work of this experienced and talented artist. His work must be seen to be appreciated. The picture of a lady, called “Her Portrait,” was an exceedingly fine production, full of life, fine artistic posing, and with a beauty in the subject that captivated all who saw it. Another fine picture was a large head, with a skull-cap on and a strongly marked profile, having a pen behind the ear, entitled “The Scribe.” It was a truly handsome piece of photographic work….” p. 515. (Ryder was mentioned at least thirteen more times in the reports of this annual convention, including the statement on p. 548 that the exhibition judges would have awarded his entries the gold prize if he had not been disqualified because he won it last year.)]

 Ryder, J. F. “Killed by Over-Dosing.” ANTHONY’S PHOTOGRAPHIC BULLETIN 18:17 (Sept. 10, 1887): 519-520. [“[Read before the Chicago Convention.] The uses and abuses of developing methods in general practice is my subject. I give my impression and my opinion more as an observer than as a handler. I do not expect to tell you anything new, but may attract your attention to my impressions in a manner to get some value if any be in them. The formation of the image on the negative plate and the positive paper are operations of such importance that we can hardly learn too much about them. First let us consider the negative. You all know that pyro is the developing agent (I say pyro, because it is almost universal in this country), and that the accelerator, whether it be ammonia, soda, or potash, is the power that sets the pyro at work. You understand that the pyro produces the intensity in lights, or the white parts of your image, and that the accelerator takes care of the dark parts by working up the lower shadows and giving detail and modeling through the lesser ones. You all have your formulas, which you believe in. It is not my purpose to disapprove of any one, but to caution you to a careful use of all. The exposed plate has an image on it. Possibly the image is a landscape, some parts of which lie in full light while another part falls in deep shadow; or a clump of heavy dark foliage occupies the foreground. Perhaps it is a room interior, which was dimly lighted; or the portrait of a person taken much in shadow. We are about to call that image into a palpable existence, to make a visible fact of it. In case of either of the above described exposures shall we take the usual formula of proportion, so much No. 1, so much No. 2, to so much water, as printed directions to be found in every package of plates says is proper? Dare we do it? I say do, if we care to find the best results. Now is just the time to go slow; the image can be better coaxed than driven. Take time, be patient, and get your reward. Understand you cannot get your density first and your details afterwards, but can first get your details and afterwards your density. It is always best to first lay the foundation and then erect the structure. Any builder will tell you that. One of the most valuable elements of a developer is water, and it is too little used; or, in other words, too little of it is used. Particularly for all plates of suspected under-exposure or of doubtful time, as well as for all large heads, a weak developer is required to start, and if found to want more strength it is easily changed by addition of pyro. Looking to the pyro for density and the accelerator for details, it is easy to understand by varying the proportions of these two elements almost any desired effect can be secured. The strong developer gives dense harsh results, while a weak developer gives soft and delicate effects, hence the value of more water. Remember the mild power is most effective for perfect results in developing. Don’t give heroic treatment at the start in any case. It often happens at the close of a day’s work with a big crop of negatives to develop, that the operator, anxious for supper, pushes the work too rapidly for safety. The next morning they are found coarse, harsh and muddy. They were killed from an over-dose. If the proprietor cares for the good name of his work, \he sitters must be recalled and retaken. Too much haste often spoils what a little patience would have saved. What I believe to be the best and safest method is to commence with the developer weak, and with the accelerator in excess of the pyro. As the development progresses and a want of more strength or density is discovered, pyro should be added to give it. To wear the same weight of clothing throughout the year, in cold and in hot weather alike, in a climate like ours would be reckless and inhuman, but no more absurd than to give all plates the same strength of developer. No man can give a formula for all plates and all conditions, but by care and observation all men who develop plates may learn to adapt proportion and strength of solution to the plate’s requirement. Now a word about making the image on the albumen paper. All printers know that silver makes the print; too many of them think the more silver used the better the print. As a rule, when anything is found to be wrong more silver is doused as a remedy. Where 40 grains of silver to the ounce of water is recommended by the albumenizer of the paper, who knows the proportion of salt used, and bases the requirements of silver upon that knowledge, the usual printer requires 60 grains. Just enough chemicals for plate or paper is better than too much. The tendency to over-dose is prevalent, and the results are similar upon plate and paper alike. In both cases the over-dose gives harsh effects; forms a crust upon the surface, preventing the gradual and perfect conversion through the film; clogs the shadows and flattens the lights. It is not unusual to see prints with the shadows and dark spots loaded with a bronzed mass and sometimes even a green fog from over-dose. Gold is also subject to the same abuse, being sometimes used so strong as to destroy rather than produce good tones. A little more knowledge among operators and printers of paper, and necessary conditions for successful work in their departments of photography, and a careful observance of the requirements, would greatly lessen the mortality list in plates and paper.”]

 “W. H. Walmsley & Co.’s Prizes.” ANTHONY’S PHOTOGRAPHIC BULLETIN 18:17 (Sept. 10, 1887): 525. [(Several prizes were awarded by manufacturers at the Chicago exhibition of the Photographers’ Association of America. Ryder won one of these prizes.) “First prize, consisting of a No. 2 Beck Lens, with the new Iris Diaphragm, awarded to J. F. Ryder, Cleveland, Ohio. Second prize, consisting of a $60 Beck Lens fitted with new Iris Diaphragm, awarded to H. B. Warner, Holyoke, Mass.”]

 Ryder, J. F. “An Argument in Favor of Association.” ANTHONY’S PHOTOGRAPHIC BULLETIN 18:19 (Oct. 8, 1887): 588. [“It is natural to look to the metropolis for the highest achievements of excellence in photography. For many years past I have freshened myself with pleasure and new resolutions upon the occasions of my visits to the entrance-way exhibits and the studios of the famous photographers of New York, It has been a help and a profit to me, as it has been to thousands of others who have taken the same free school lessons at the doorway. My last visit to New York was direct from the Chicago Convention exhibition, where what would be called Western work was greatly in excess. With that work fresh in mind I looked at the productions of men at the mention of whose names I have mentally taken off my hat. I looked this time without the enthusiasm of former visits. I speak without prejudice, without a hint of discourtesy, and with sincere regret. In my mind the standard of excellence has declined, and I believe it would profit the New Yorkers to attend the exhibitions of the Photographers’ Association. I do not mean this assertion to apply to all, but it will fairly include a number of the most prominent names in photography, men who look upon association conventions as hardly worth their while. What strikes me in this significant fact is the practical value of association; the advantage in progress of our art growing out of free interchange of ideas and friendly strife for superiority in exhibition. It has been subject of comment that many photographers from comparatively obscure localities have suddenly stepped into prominence from the excellence of their work. We will find, if we choose to look into the possible cause of such progress, that those men have attended the conventions with eyes and ears open, and their growth in skill is a natural consequence. We may all attend school to advantage in our art, not yet half a century old.”]

Ryder, J. F. “Old Friend, Keep Young.” AMERICAN ANNUAL OF PHOTOGRAPHY & PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES ALMANAC FOR 1888 (1888): 234-235. [“It is perhaps pardonable of the men who have been in photography so many years as to be known as veterans that they take pride in the distinction. It is natural that as pioneers they feel from long acquaintance with the familiar path a sense of superiority, and regard the younger class of photographers with indulgence, sometimes pity, sometimes contempt, for what he, the veteran, considers upstartism. That a young fellow should talk learnedly and flippantly in the presence of the old stager, lauding his own methods and the merits of his works quite unconcernedly of the O. S. and his early achievements, is liable to awaken indignation in the breast of the latter. That a comparative boy who was taking baby naps in his cradle while the other’s name was a household word as a prominent photographer should set up to teach things which had been practiced and forgotten years ago by the veteran seems like an impertinency. Why, this youngling had never buffed a plate, wouldn’t know a coating box if he were to stumble over it, yet his self-confidence upholds him in the idea of being a conspicuous figure in the profession. Thus museth the veteran and he waxeth wroth at the gall of the youngster. Come, old man, old friend, let us talk it over. Yes, I remember your portrait of David Wilmot, “old proviso.” I remember the three-quarter standing of Henry Ward Beecher, the full figure of Julia Dean, as Lady Gay Spanker, and the game of chess between a gentleman and his wife with the daughter looking on. They were truly fine pictures for early times. I know they were exhibited to admiring thousands and the papers were full of them, but that is a good while back. A man’s fame can not live upon daguerreotypes made thirty years ago. I don’t wish to call you an old fogy, or in any way brush you against the grain, but you can let old friendship stand as a guarantee that we may be plain without being offensive. The world moves and the man who lingers over works of the past, content with admiring what to him is perfection, and which in his mind will stand unequaled for an indefinite period is losing time, and while he halts some other fellow skips ahead. It is a great mistake to be content, or to grow old in whims or fogyism. To be progressive, to keep on your feet, and to keep your place at the front, there must be no waiting for others to beat what you have done; go ahead and beat it yourself. Don’t allow yourself to under-estimate the young man new to the work. Don’t hesitate to recognize a talent, a knack, an idea, or a method he may possess. Don’t lose a chance of learning a lesson from any source. Don’t fancy your education to be complete and your progress ended. Keep your mind young; be quick to adopt new methods. Bait your hook often. J. F. Ryder. Cleveland, O.”]

 “Notes and News. J. F. Ryder.” PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES AND AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHER 18:339 (Mar. 16, 1888): 129-130. 1 illus. [(The illustration is a woodcut portrait of J. F. Ryder.) “It is almost forty years since he entered the Western wilderness, and steadily and surely he has kept in the van of every improvement elevating the art. When he came to Cleveland in 1850 the only method of likeness-taking was Daguerre’s primitive process, known as the daguerreotype. Mr. J. F. Ryder made as excellent daguerreotypes as mortal man could make, and he prospered and advanced step by step during the score of years his gallery was located in the old Merchants’ Bank building, upon the site of which now stands the magnificent Mercantile Bank. Thousands upon thousands of treasured portraits taken during these twenty years, and stamped with the name of “J. F. Ryder,” arc cherished in countless homes. They show the ever-rising excellence of the art, and each represents the finest type of finish possible at the time it was taken. For twenty years Mr. J. F. Ryder toiled in the humble gallery in the old Bank, daily making the name of Ryder better known to his townspeople, and gradually preparing for flight to more pretentious quarters. The appointed time came in 1872, and he removed to the finest establishment of its kind in America, and the art pivot of Cleveland. As is well known, it is situated at No. 239 Superior Street, and in no respect could it be improved upon for its particular purposes. Each of its departments is arranged as a separate division of the establishment, and altogether they form an art bazaar that has no equal. Here can be found art merchandise of all descriptions; furnishings for artists, supplies for students, choicest works of arts for private collections and household decorations. In the galleries have been exhibited from time to time the finest amateur and professional art collections ever shown in this country. The great show window of the establishment is a constant thing of beauty to all Cleveland. It has probably done more in a quiet way to arouse an interest in art than any other object in our city. Mr. Ryder has, however, always made it his particular aim to advance and perfect photography. He has personally introduced many improvements into the work, and has surrounded himself by artists of the highest skill. Naturally his work has become famous for excellence at home and abroad. Many times it has been accorded the highest honors, as shown by certificates and prizes, in our own country and in Europe. Mr. J. F. Ryder has made the name of “Ryder” synonymous with integrity and professional courtesy. The people realize that when the highest grade of photography is desired they can always depend upon finding Mr. J. F. Ryder the truest apostle of the art.—Cleveland Sun.”]

 “Exhibition of Photographs at the Minneapolis Convention.” PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES AND AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHER 18:358 (July 27, 1888): 349-351. [“As we have already stated, the exhibition of photographs at the Minneapolis Convention, while by no means as large as many similar collections of photographic work at these conventions in years previous, contained, nevertheless, a number of notable examples of the photographic art which well repaid the careful examination of the visitor. The work of many of the older members of the P. A. of A., such as Ryder, Scholten, and other familiar ones to the photographic fraternity, were sadly missed, and, for some unaccountable reason, the officers this year were conspicuous in the art halls from the absence of their photographic work. It was quite proper that they should not compete for prizes which their own association offered, but why they should not exhibit their work without competing was a question often asked, but unanswered, at the convention….” p. 349. (Ryder apparently missed the P. A. A. annual convention held in Minneapolis in 1888.)]

 Ryder, J. F. “Correspondence: Some ‘Business Methods.'” PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES AND AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHER 18:361 (Aug. 17, 1888): 394. [J. F. Ryder sends in two letters addressed to him from professional photographers asking him to make prints of his portraits so that they may display them as their own work.]

 “Our Editorial Table.” PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES AND AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHER 18:378 (Dec. 14, 1888): 599-600. [Review. “Twelve Photographic Studies” is the simple title of a collection of exquisite photogravures from photographic negatives. As is said in the advertisement, the collection includes two of H. P. Robinson’s best products, and a picture by John E. Dumont, which, perhaps, more than any other, won for him the recognition so an artist, which he now enjoys. Geo. Barker’s “Horse Race” is in a somewhat different line from what we are accustomed to see from this well-known photographic artist, but certainly is up to the best that Mr. Barker has done in any other direction. The “Child Portrait,” by President-elect McMichael, surely could not be surpassed; while J. F. Ryder’s “As Age Steals On,” and Falk’s “Portrait Study” make a couple that is all the stronger and more interesting by the contrast and relation which the subjects bring out. The “No Barrier” of Mr. F. A. Jackson is familiar to many who frequent exhibitions of amateur work. Its soft atmospheric effect, and the feeling of an early June morning which it conveys, makes it a very refreshing landscape to look at. All who attended the late Minneapolis Convention are familiar with W. H. Jackson’s magnificent “El Capitan.” Mr. Cowee’s “Surf” picture is also known as the winner of a prize in an exhibition of amateur work in New York. The collection is completed with the landscape of M r. J. J. Montgomery (so many years operator for the world-famous Mora), and a characteristic picture of boys by Geo. B. Wood, of Philadelphia. For particulars of binding, price, etc., we direct the interested reader to the advertisement in another column.”]

Conly, Mrs. “A Cook-Book, a Famous Photographer, and a Boston Housewife.” ANTHONY’S PHOTOGRAPHIC BULLETIN 20:3 (Feb. 9, 1889): 94. [“Some time ago our good friend, Mr. J. F. Ryder, of Cleveland, sent us a little cookbook, which was partly an advertising device and partly a very useful little compendium of receipts for the housewife. Mr. Ryder also sent a copy of the same volume to Mrs. Conly, the good wife of the well-known Boston photographer. The extracts from her letters which we give below are such thoroughly enjoyable bits of household philosophy that we thought they would interest those of our readers who are fortunate enough to be acquainted with the lady who penned them, she having kindly given her consent to their publication. To understand the situation it must be noted that Mr. Conly was assistant to Mr. Ryder many years ago and the friendship then formed is still strong between the families. In her letter acknowledging the receipt of the cook-book, Mrs. Conly says: “Mr. Ryder, you are the biggest friend in the West. I have an only brother in the West, but he never sent me a cook-book. He might send me ducks or grouse or some kind of wild hens, but it remains for you to fill my heart with gratitude by this gift of a book. I have a drawer full of cuttings from papers, all cooking formulas, and the moment I get an hour off or a Sunday at home, I cook and have a picnic. I ought to be a regular kitchen girl, but I have to drop my lofty ambition and stand behind a counter and say $8 a dozen like a parrot, instead of cooking up good things. Well, Mr. Ryder, I must be excused, for I want to read my new book. There isn’t any use; I’m going to cook something on Sunday or die in the attempt. The last at tack I had I made thirty-nine tumblers of jelly, and have sent it to the sick people. They say it is good, but sick people are often weak mentally. I am going to make a Christmas pudding, and I am crazy to get about it right away.” Mrs. Conly made some Christmas puddings and sent one to Mr. Ryder, with the advice: “If there isn’t a competent doctor within easy running distance, you might have your regular medical adviser to dinner with you. I made one for my family, and if the journals come out with obituaries next month I will be the cause of it” Mr. Ryder says that he received the pudding and that it was “delicious to a dangerous degree.” When a lady as busy as Mrs. Conly can sit down and write so cheerfully about her household affairs, we think it should be an example to many others in a similar position. Lately she has been taking the place of the forewoman in Mr. Conly’s studio, this latter lady having been sick for many weeks with typhoid fever. In this connection, Mrs. Conly complains that she cannot get a good girl to help her and remarks: “They don’t seem to know that nice people need nice treatment.” The lady whose letters we have quoted from has always taken an active part in Mr. Conly’s work, as can witness many letters we have received from her pen ; and the success of Boston’s well-known artist-photographer is probably due to the fact that he has such a good and happy helpmate. A man with a wife that is interested in his pursuits, and that can at the same time turn her attention to the cooking of a good dinner when necessary, is to be envied. For it is too true that the way to a busy man’s heart is by a good dinner. Slippers and smoking caps are pretty in their way, but a dinner well cooked, and the cook at the other end of the table, makes a man feel supremely happy.”]

 “Correspondence. Extracts from a Letter from H. P. Robinson Concerning “Twelve Photographic Studies.” PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES 19:385 (Feb. 1, 1889): 72-73. [“‘Ophelia’ is a splendid rendering of what I feared would be a difficult negative to deal with. It is better than the original. Mr. Woods’ ‘boys’ are capital, and so is Mr. Ryder’s ‘As Age Steals On.’ This I consider the best plate in the collection….”]

 “American Institute – Photographic Section.” ANTHONY’S PHOTOGRAPHIC BULLETIN 20:12 (June 22, 1889): 376. [“Clinton Hall, 19 Astor Place, N. Y. Regular Meeting, June 4, 1889. President Newton in the chair. Communications being first in order, Secretary Mason read the following: New York, May 20, 1889. Photo Section American Institute, O. G. Mason, Secretary.  Dear Sir:—We send herewith a photograph of Miss Ellen Russell, negative made by Mr. J. F. Ryder, Cleveland, O., on our plate. Please accept it, with our compliments. Yours truly, M. A. Seed Dry Plate Co. The Secretary also read the titles of the photo journals and papers received since the last meeting, all of which were duly acknowledged by a vote of thanks. A special vote of thanks was tendered to Mr. M. A. Seed for his valuable contribution, and the Executive Committee was requested to give it a prominent place among other choice examples of photographic art that already adorned the walls of the Institute….”]

 “The Daguerre Monument Fund.” PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES 19:413 (Aug. 16, 1889): 415. [“In this column we shall be glad to announce from time to time the names of those who have contributed one dollar to the fund. Every one is invited to contribute one dollar. All contributions sent to The Photographic Times will be acknowledged in this column, and the money sent on to the committee having the matter in charge. We start the list by printing the names of some of the first who contributed at the Convention. The Photographers’ Association of America, $500. J. F. Ryder, E. Long, H. McMichael, Mrs. Fitzgibbon Clark, …”]

 “The Exhibition of Photographs at the Boston Convention.” PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES 19:414 (Aug. 23, 1889): 419-423. [“First of all, it may be interesting to know who were the lucky winners of the Association medals, grand prize and special prizes. The grand prize— the bronze group of “Roman Wrestlers,” valued at two hundred dollars—for the best collection of three photographs illustrating Longfellow’s “Evangeline,” was awarded to J. E. and O. J. Rosch, of St. Louis. In class A, four gold medals for the four best exhibits in genre photography were awarded to O. P. Scott, Chicago; G. M. Elton, Palmyra, N. Y.; S. L. Stein, Milwaukee; and J. E. & O. J. Rosch, St. Louis. In class B, a gold medal was awarded to L. M. Baker & Co. of Columbus, O.; silver medals to J. H. Doerr, S. J. Dixon, W. Stuber & Bro., of Louisville; and bronze medals to D. R. Coover of Iowa City, Iowa, E. F. Hall, and A. N. Hardy, of Boston, for collections of portrait photography. In class C a gold medal was awarded to George Barker, of Niagara Falls, a silver medal to W. H. Jackson, of Denver, Col., and a bronze medal to Wilfred A. French. A silver medal was awarded to Henry G. Peabody, of 53 Boylston street, Boston, for the best collection of marine views. A silver medal was awarded to A. L. Bowersox for the best collection of architectural views. In class D a silver medal was awarded the Eastman Dry Plate and Film Company. In class E a silver medal was awarded the Eastman Company for the best six plain enlargements. In class F a silver medal was awarded the same company for the best substitute for ground glass…”p. 419. “…A. Hall, of Buffalo—one of the younger photographers—made his first exhibit this year, and shows signs of great promise. His large portraits were all good, and the best of taste was shown in mounting. J. H. Ryder, of Cleveland, showed six figure pictures of the highest order, and G. M. Elton certainly deserved the gold medal which he received for his exhibit. His “Devotion” was especially fine. Henry G. Peabody made an excellent exhibit of marines, and Anschutz, of Pozen, showed some of his remarkable instantaneous effects of animals. There was a large display of bromide enlargements in competition for the Eastman prize, considerable improvement, as a rule, being shown in this class of work. Air-brush work was exhibited, and specimens of photo-gravure.” p. 421. (Additional photographs by Ryder were displayed in a conjoint “Photographic Merchants’ and Manufacturers’ Exhibition at the Boston Convention.” and Ryder was mentioned five additional times in matters relating to the convention, to which he gave the opening address.)]

 “Mr. J. F. Ryder’s Address of Welcome at Boston.” ANTHONY’S PHOTOGRAPHIC BULLETIN 20:16 (Aug. 24, 1889): 490-491. [President Ryder’s opening speech at the annual P. A. of A. convention]

 “Photography at the American Institute Fair.” PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES 19:426 (Nov. 15, 1889): 564-566. [“We regret once more to report that photography has not the representation at the American Institute Fair which it should have. In fact, there is no improvement in this particular over the several years preceding. About the same photographers exhibit from year to year, and reap all the benefit of the exhibition. Many prominent and excellent photographers seem to lack the enterprise necessary to place the best specimens of their work where they may be seen and admired by the general public. The Fair authorities offer them every facility and excellent quarters, but still they continue to remain out. Those who do exhibit, however, make displays that are well worth seeing….” “…Gustav Cramer of St. Louis, the well-known manufacturer of dry plates, shows, by the very beautiful collection of photographs which he makes, what can be accomplished on the Cramer plate. The best photographers of the United States are here represented. There are a number of life-size heads, especially, of unusual excellence. Unfortunately, however, no names are attached to these pictures, so that we do not know to whom praise is due. There are Rocky Mountain pictures, by Jackson of Denver, in this exhibit; also genres, by McMichael. The large heads of Ryder of Cleveland and by Decker of the same city, as well as the collection of boudoirs by Stein of Milwaukee, combine to make this exhibit a notable one….” p. 565.]

Ryder, J. F. “Correspondence: The Daguerre Memorial Design: A Criticism.” PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES AND AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHER 20:439 (Feb. 14, 1890): 79. [Ryder, who originated the movement in the USA to build a Daguerre monument, criticizes the design. (I believe the monument is outside the Library of Congress in Washington, DC.)]

 1 b & w (“The Garfield Memorial.”) and 3 b & w (Views of crowds at unveiling ceremony) on p. 396 in: FRANK LESLIE’S ILLUSTRATED NEWSPAPER 70:1813 (June 14, 1890): 396, 398, 402. 1 b & w. 3 iIIus. [Statue of General Garfield in Cleveland, crowds at ceremony. “Photos by J, F. Ryder.”]

 “Notes and News: A Photographer of National Fame.” PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES AND AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHER 20:458 (June 27, 1890): 312. [From Frank Leslie’s Weekly. Brief biography, etc.] .

“Editors Table. The J. F. Ryder Co.” WILSON’S PHOTOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE 28:392 (Apr. 18, 1891): 254-255. [“Mr. J. F. Ryder, the well-known photographer of Cleveland, Ohio, has united with the material comprising the working force which he has had for some years past in forming the above-named company. Mr. Ryder is President; Mr. John F. Jennings, Vice-President; Mr. Thomas Natt, Treasurer, and Mr. Thomas Hughes, Secretary. Mr. Ryder says: “My object was to make these gentlemen feel more personal interest, and to secure better service and economy.” Men will always work better with the feeling that something of the profits it theirs. We trust that another result of this combination will be that our old friend will not hereafter be tied so closely to business to the injury of his health.”]

 “Editors Table.” WILSON’S PHOTOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE 28:394 (May 16, 1891): 320. [“Consolidation and incorporation seem to be the order of the day. Only a few weeks ago we announced that Mr. J. F. Ryder, of Cleveland, Ohio, had incorporated a company to carry on his business under the title of the J. F. Ryder Art Co., and now we hear that a similar change has been made in the business of Mr. W. H. Jackson, of Denver, Colorado, which will hereafter be styled The W. H. Jackson Photograph and Publishing Co. The new corporation has our best wishes.”]

 “On the Increase.” ANTHONY’S PHOTOGRAPHIC BULLETIN 22:10 (May 23, 1891): 316. [“In the World’s Fair City new galleries have sprung up so rapidly of late that one can hardly keep track of them. And in every instance the last one seems to spare no expense to outdo all former efforts. The other day a gentleman who has visited nearly all the first class galleries in the country, said to me, “Have you seen W. G. Root’s new gallery?” I replied, “No, I did not know that it was completed.” He said, “Yes it is, and open for business, and it is a beauty too, one of the finest in the country.” On visiting the place I found the gentleman’s statement to be correct. Mr. Root commenced business eighteen years ago, under the guidance of J. F. Ryder, of Cleveland, in whose employ he was for four years, which probably accounts for his systematic business methods. Since he left Mr. Ryder he has had the honor of being with Pool, of Nashville, for six years and Brand, of Chicago, for four years. His new gallery is located on the seventh and eighth floors of the Kimball Hall building, 243 Wabash avenue,…”]

 “Photographers’ Association of America, 12th Annual Convention, Buffalo, N. Y., 1891. First Day—Tuesday Morning, July 14, 1891.” ANTHONY’S PHOTOGRAPHIC BULLETIN 22:14 (July 25, 1891): 440-448. [(Essentially the same statement is reported on p. 450 in the August 1, 1891 issue of Wilson’s Photographic Magazine.]

 “Pertaining to the Twelfth Annual Convention of the P. A. of A., Park Association Buildings, Buffalo, N. Y., July 14 to 17, 1891.” WILSON’S PHOTOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE 28:399 (Aug. 1, 1891): 449-466. [“At 9 a.m., more than a quorum being present, the Convention was called to order by President Hastings, who in opening the proceedings said:…” “…At the Boston meeting, Mr. Ryder, of Cleveland, proposed that we erect a memorial to Daguerre. A resolution was passed at that time, and the Executive Committee of that year was appointed to erect a memorial, with the instruction that they should have it completed, and ready to unveil at the Washington Convention. It was a very short time to erect a suitable memorial to such a man as Daguerre, but, the Committee did the very best they could, and just at the time that the meeting was held in Washington the memorial was put up in time to be unveiled at that Convention. The memorial was unveiled and accepted by the Association with a vote of thanks; and it seemed to satisfy everybody as to its being the finest work of art that there was in Washington. We had some difficulty in raising funds, and at that time there was about $2,000 raised. There has been, up to this time about $3,300 paid on the memorial, leaving about $2,700 due. The Committee have done all that they possibly could to raise the money, but as it is, in all cases of that kind, it has been very hard work to raise money to erect a memorial to a man that is dead and gone. Mr. McMichael then presented the following report:…” p. 450.

 “The Display of Apparatus at the Buffalo Convention. Second Paper.” ANTHONY’S PHOTOGRAPHIC BULLETIN 22:17 (Sept.12, 1891): 536-538. [“We were agreeably surprised in looking over the various exhibits at the fine display of the Cramer Dry Plate Works; Decker, Cleveland; Kuebler, Philadelphia; Jackson, Denver; Dana, New York; Stuber, Louisville; Rose, Providence; Endean, Cleveland; Curtis, Niagara Falls; Straus-, St. Louis; Arthur & Philbric, Detroit; Ranger & Cornell, Rochester; Havens, Jacksonville; Werner, Buffalo; Eppert, Terre Haute; Langill, New York; Samborsky, St. Louis; Bain, St. Louis; Brainerd, Rome; Armstrong, Milwaukee; Pach Bros., New York; Elton, Palmyra; Ely, Oshkosh; Miller, Columbus; McMichael, Buffalo; Pifer & Becker, Cleveland; Appleton, Dayton; Randall, Ann Arbor; Stein, Milwaukee; Rosch, St. Louis; Llemment, Brooklyn; Bolles, Brooklyn; Hetherington, Chicago; Courtney, Canton; McMichael, Detroit; Darling, New York; Root, Chicago; and in fact all the leading artists of this country being included. The prints by John C. Hemment, of Brooklyn,…” “… The landscape exhibits were very fine, and among the most prominent was that of Jackson, of Denver, who captured the prize for the best landscapes on Cramer plates. The prominent feature was a view S feet long, printed on one piece of albumen paper, which was so perfectly printed that no line or indication is given where the separate negatives are joined. The portrait exhibit was certainly the finest ever shown at any convention, and the three prizes were awarded to Dana, New York; Rose, Providence; Stein, Milwaukee. The prize for showing the advantages of isochromatic over ordinary plates was awarded to G. M. Elton, of Palmyra, N. Y….” “…The M. A. Seed Dry Plate Company were represented by Mr. A. J. Casseday, and made, as they always do, a very imposing show. They exhibited work from the studios of J. F. Ryder, J. S. Cummins, L. M. Baker, M. J. Steffins Max Platz, Gilbert & Bacon, F. Gutekunst, and others, which, together with the fine light and attractive way in which the exhibit was arranged, made their quarters very popular….” p. 537.]

 “The N. P. A. and the P. A. of A.” WILSON’S PHOTOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE 28:404 (Oct. 17, 1891): 637. [“The following letter, referring to a paper which appeared in our issue of September 5th, is reprinted from the Photographic Times of September 25th: Editors of The Photographic Times. “Dear Sirs: I read with considerable interest the article by John A. Tennant, in Wilson’s Photographic Magazine for September 5th, on ‘Similarities and Contrasts—a Retrospect,’ for he seems to be in possession of certain facts that are not generally known, or, at least, are not spoken of in these days. Mr. Tennant must have had facilities for going even deeper into the facts of the old N. P. A. had he felt inclined to avail himself of them. He might have compared, for instance, the expenses of running the old N. P. of A. with those of the P. A. of A. “The P. A. of A. was undoubtedly upset by a ring of stock-dealers, as has been claimed. The old N. P. A. was accused of being run by the photographic merchants, but, as a matter of fact, was managed entirely by photographers and in the interest of photography. The exhibition managed by Ryder, of Cleveland, which netted the Association between $2000 and $3000, is a model which any new association may well work under. “The P. A. of A. has certainly had some very enthusiastic, hard-working officers, and they should be chosen to manage the new association….”]

[Advertisement.] “Twelve Photographic Studies. No. 1.-A Collection of Photogravures from the Best Representative Photographic Negatives of Leading Photographic Artists.” AMERICAN ANNUAL OF PHOTOGRAPHY AND PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES ALMANAC FOR 1892 (1892): x. [“The Collection includes: “Dawn and Sunset.” H. P. Robinson. “Childhood.” H. McMichael. “As Age Steals On.” J. F. Ryder. “A Portrait Study.” B. J. Falk. “Solid Comfort.” John E. Dumont. “Ophelia.” H. P. Robinson. “No Barrier.” F. A. Jackson. ”El Capitan.” W. H. Jackson. “Still Waters.” J. J. Montgomery. “Surf.” James F. Cowee. “A Horse Race.” George Barker. “Hi, Mister, may we have some Apples?” Geo. B. Wood. Printed on Japan Paper, mounted on boards. Size 11×14, in ornamental port-folio envelope. Price, $3.00. Sent post-paid on receipt of price. The Scovill & Adams Company, Publishers.”]

 Ryder, James F. “On Negative Retouching.” AMERICAN ANNUAL OF PHOTOGRAPHY AND PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES ALMANAC FOR 1892 (1892): 101-102. [“How well I remember the pleasure I found in the first photographs I saw from retouched negatives, and how eager I was to secure all I could find. They were from Loescher and Petsch, of Berlin, and imported by Wilson Hood & Co., of Philadelphia, from whom I got them. I expected the enterprising photographers of New York would soon introduce this remarkable improvement in their own practice, but they did not. I became impatient at the delay, and wondered if it would possibly do for Cleveland to precede the American metropolis in the introduction of an improvement in photographic finish. I finally “took steps” by writing an artist friend in Munich to find me the best talent in that department of work that he could, and secure it for me. He found and sent me an excellent man in the fall of 1868. So great was the success of the venture that I soon imported two more artists for that work. A t the first Convention Exhibition of the N. P. A., held in Boston, in 1869, I exhibited photographs from retouched negatives, and quite a furor was created. The retouch craze started from that. I was quite proud of having introduced it. Now, after a lapse of twenty-three years, and in the light of what we are getting in the name of negative retouching, I feel like apologizing to the fraternity and to an over-retouched people for having brought upon them an affliction I can never atone for. I maintain that retouching of negatives—skillfully, intelligently and judiciously done—is a desired improvement, but the great army of exterminators of lines, wrinkles, dimples, freckles, etc., now devastating the values of photographic faces, whose assumed skill is measured by their thoroughness in wiping out, marbleizing, and bladderizing faces should be turned upon and routed. It has become an outrage upon photography and its patrons. I never feel this more keenly than when is brought to me for a portrait to the size of life one of these photographs with all the strong lines which indicate character, and all the more delicate markings of time’s fingers entirely swept away. To ask an artist of ability to take that meaningless thing and from it make a portrait of a man who had something in his face is an absurdity, an impossibility. The man is dead, the photographer discontinued business (no wonder), and that is the only thing from which to work. Yes, I know our clients dislike to look old, and object to such evidences of age as are shown in the rough proof. I know, too, the operator depends upon the retoucher to make a doubtful negative pass. While I am amply conversant with these facts, I know that lines may be softened without being lost, and the proprietor of a photographic business should have stamina sufficient to judge a bit for himself as well as for his customer, and not permit a daily wrong little by little to degrade him through his work.”]



Ryder, J. F., Cleveland, Ohio “Business Methods.” PHOTOGRAPHIC MOSAICS: AN ANNUAL RECORD OF PHOTOGRAPHIC PROGRESS, 1892 (1892): 207-208. [“Written for Photographic Mosaics.” “Upon a prominent thoroughfare of our city of Cleveland, stand side by side two drinking-saloons, over the doors of which are carried the following legends:
“A fried oyster with every drink.”
“A fried egg and a slice of bread with each and every drink.”
These remind me of a species of photographer found occasionally who give for two dollars a dozen of their “first class ” cabinets and a large “beautifully” colored panel. Also, of the next fellow, who gives a dozen “magnificent” cabinets and a life-size crayon portrait for five dollars. An enterprise based upon the production of earnest, honest work, at fair prices, is always commendable and must always challenge respect. Another kind of so-called enterprise, that which is sensational from promises to give for one dollar what is represented to be worth five, is always to be suspected. There is a false bottom or a rotten interior—sure. Very low prices mean inferior material, careless handling, and poor work. It means the crushing out of any enthusiasm the operator may have had.
I know men who, a very few years back, were prominent for the excellence of their work; whose names were among the few and foremost; who, from adopting cheap methods, have become degraded and can never again stand in the front row. Even the men employed by them become ashamed of the work and seek places with proprietors noted for high-grade quality. The history of these shoddy, shyster “hustlers” may be likened unto the rocket, which goes up with a blaze and a flourish, then falls to the ground an empty stick. The public is getting tired of cheap work and avoids it. The earnest, careful worker is being employed and encouraged. A man, to prosper, must every day do something to mark upon the minds of the public a new impression or keep good the one he made the day before. He must keep his business clean and respectable. He cannot do it with low prices or forcing what are known as “new rackets.” Nothing is better than the steady pace of careful work.”]





 1 b & w (‘Little Sweetheart’). PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES AND AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHER 22:544 (Feb. 19, 1892): frontispiece, 89.

 “James F. Ryder.” PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES AND AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHER 22:544 (Feb. 19, 1892): 89-90. 1 iIIus. [Born Ithaca, NY, Apr. 25, 1826. Apprenticed to Robert Watson in 1847-48. Worked as itinerant daguerreotypist several years. Opened gallery in Elyria, Ohio. Then to Cleveland, worked for Charles E. Johnson, daguerreotypist. Later took over the gallery, owned Cleveland Studio for 40 years.]

 “Views Caught with the Drop Shutter.” ANTHONY’S PHOTOGRAPHIC BULLETIN 23:8 (Apr. 23, 1892): 256. [“Wimmer & Co., of New York, were recently victimized by a swindler who represented himself as James F. Ryder, Jr., son of James F. Ryder, photographer and art dealer, of Cleveland, Ohio. He entered their store and selected two paintings valued at $750, offering in payment a check on the First National Bank of Cleveland for $800. Upon receiving the $50 change he departed, and has not since been seen or heard of.”]

 Robinson, H. P. “The Application of Art to Photography.—No. 3.” ANTHONY’S PHOTOGRAPHIC BULLETIN 23:12 (June 25, 1892): 368-371. [“In my last I gave an illustration of how a very quiet bit of sky could greatly increase the pictorial effect, if judiciously used. I now propose to go further into the subject of the sky, and I do so the more readily as, if I may judge from the many photographs I see, it is a part of the art you very seriously neglect. Is it neglect, or is it the fault of the climate? If the evidence of photographs, which are put forward as your best work, may be taken, and that is all I have to do with at present, you must have a horrible climate in America! Bright, clear, distinct and cruel, everything is disclosed when it is not underexposed—but this later defect is not the fault of the atmosphere. Yet these skyless photographs seem to find acceptance. I have lately seen one of them criticised as having “quite a Corot-like effect in the distance,” but what is the use of a fine distance if it is backed up by a blank white sky such as Corot never painted. Now, I don’t want, in my enthusiasm, to think only of art, and forget the proprieties to the extent of offending anybody; but I want to make this article fairly strong, so as to induce you to do better work, and I have been to some trouble about it. I have always been puzzled to know why no good landscape work was done in America. Of course, I know the photographs of the Yosemite Valley, done many years ago; they were big and bold and beautiful, but without feeling. They were what they ought to have been—splendid local views, and would have been just as useful if they had been much smaller. They were wonderfully bright, clean, clear and full of detail. Quite the thing for a local view, from which you ask nothing but facts; but a picture should not tell you everything. Just as a man who insists on telling you minutely all he knows (the more learned so much the worse) is a bore, so is a picture that tells you all and leaves nothing to the imagination. It is not enough to describe all the facts—a picture is not a police court witness. Besides these views, I have received from Mr. Ryder, of Cleveland, a snow scene, which really did express snow with most artistic truth. I have seen nothing else that was above the ordinary level, although I have seen all the illustrated photographic journals and a quantity of pretentious views of Niagara. These, curiously enough, possessed added skies, but so badly done as to serve more as a warning than as an example. Pondering over this, I wrote to a friend to try to discover why better landscape photography was not done in America….” p. 368.]

Ryder, J. F. “Conscientious Photography.” AMERICAN ANNUAL OF PHOTOGRAPHY AND PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES ALMANAC FOR 1893 (1893): 111-112.

 “Notes and News.” PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES AND AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHER 23:590 (Jan. 6, 1893): 9. [Brief note: “Mrs. Susie Ryder Brennan, the only child of Mr. James F. Ryder, of Cleveland, recently died in that city.”]

 “What Our Friends would like to Know.” ANTHONY’S PHOTOGRAPHIC BULLETIN 24:2 (Jan. 28, 1893): 65. [“James F. Ryder, of Cleveland, Ohio, has recently suffered a heavy loss in the death of his only child, Mrs. Susie Ryder Brennan. While, at times like these, condolences seem like idle mockery, the sorrow which lies so heavily upon the hearts of the family will find an echo in the bosoms of her many friends, and to Mr. Ryder we would extend our heartfelt sympathy in this, in his time of bereavement.”]

 1 b & w (Portrait of a child) as frontispiece in: “Our Illustration.” ANTHONY’S PHOTOGRAPHIC BULLETIN 24:2 (Jan. 28, 1893): 687. [(Photograph is missing from this volume.) “Child life is always charming when well portrayed, and in the example by J. H. Ryder, of Cleveland, O., which we present in this issue, there is much that is noteworthy in this respect. The lighting is especially soft and harmonious, and the pose is marked by an absence of constraint, often difficult to obtain. A reputation once made for taking successful children’s pictures is a most valuable acquisition to any photographer. For this reason we have frequently reproduced pictures of this kind in these pages, deeming them well worthy of study by our many readers, and thus making the Bulletin what it is intended to be—a real help to all.”]

Ryder, J. F. “’Hands Off.'” AMERICAN ANNUAL OF PHOTOGRAPHY AND PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES ALMANAC FOR 1894 (1894): 222-223. [Ryder’s suggestions on how to deal with nervous sitters.]

 “Our Illustration. Studio Work by Meacham & Sabine.” ANTHONY’S PHOTOGRAPHIC BULLETIN 25:2 (Feb. 1, 1894): 68-69. [“The Bulletin this month is fortunate in having for its illustrators Messrs. Meacham & Sabine, of Youngstown, O. Both appear to be young men, yet they have the advantage of many years’ experience. Mr. C. T. Meacham has been in business for fifteen years with such men as J. C. Horring, of Masselon; B. F. Battle, of Akron, and J. F. Ryder, of Cleveland, and, while being a good operator, takes entire charge of the finishing department. W. G. Sabine, his partner, has seven years of hard work and study in photography behind him, and has worked in large galleries in Canada and Buffalo. Mr. Sabine does the operating and supervises the darkroom work….”]

Ryder, J. F., Cleveland. “The Present is Here.” PHOTOGRAPHIC MOSAICS: AN ANNUAL RECORD OF PHOTOGRAPHIC PROGRESS, 1894 (1894): 237-238. [“Written for Photographic Mosaics.” “Not by what a man has done, what he can do, but by what he is doing, is the proper estimate to put upon his professional standing for skill. The word reputation tastes very good in the mouths of those who pronounce it as applied to themselves, especially those of the old-school type, or more properly the old fogy species. It is a comfort and a pride to them, as well as a damage. A man may not lean back in his easy chair with thumbs in the armholes of his vest and invite the “younger fry to contemplate him as a conspicuous figure of the past.”
It is dangerous to be satisfied. The past is not good capital to do business upon. We cannot live upon the dinners we ate years ago. “The mill will not grind with the water that has passed.” The present is here; it is our opportunity and our friend if we choose to make it so.
The man who sees in the near future, just before him, something better than he is doing to-day, and resolves to accomplish it, has the progressive spirit of the time. To him we look for advancement, and from him we get it.”]

Ryder, James F. “Scheme for Lighting.” AMERICAN ANNUAL OF PHOTOGRAPHY AND PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES ALMANAC FOR 1895 (1895): 196-197. 1 illus.

 1 b & w (“Charles Couldock.”) as frontispiece in: “Our Pictures.” WILSON’S PHOTOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE 32:462 (June 1895): frontispiece, 280. [Photo is a portrait of an actor by J. F. Ryder, Cleveland, OH.]

1 b & w (“Child Study.”) on p. xv; 1 b & w (“Child Study.”) on p. 193 in: AMERICAN ANNUAL OF PHOTOGRAPHY & PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES ALMANAC FOR 1896 (1896)

Ryder, J. F., Cleveland, O. “Photographing an Autographic Skin.” PHOTOGRAPHIC MOSAICS: AN ANNUAL RECORD OF PHOTOGRAPHIC PROGRESS, 1896 (1896): 267. [“By way of variety for our valuable annual, I send you herewith a photograph of a young man possessing an autographic skin. Something very rare in nature and of much interest to ‘medical science. The young man is in the enjoyment of perfect health, and twenty-four years of age. Dr. J. C. Aldrich, of our city (Cleveland), found the case and reported it at a meeting of the Medical Society, bringing the subject with him to the Society, where much interest was manifested. The doctors say the phenomenon is of a nervous character. An undue excitement occurring in the tiny nerves which control the capillary supply of blood to the skin is developed by rubbing the surface with almost any point. In this case, the plain end of a match was used as a pencil, and not heavily laid on. In a few minutes after the tracing was made a distinct swelling was noticed, and soon turned red with a white welt appearing where the match was traced, and the red holding on either side of the ridge. In about ten minutes after the tracing was done the photograph was made, and it soon began to subside and fade away. In a couple of hours it had quite disappeared.”]

 “Obituary—W. Irving Adams.” WILSON’S PHOTOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE 33:470 (Feb. 1896): 63-72. [(Ryder’s letter is one of dozens printed in tribute to W. Irving Adams.) “Cleveland, O., January 7, 1896. My Dear Friend, Dr. Wilson: l am shocked to hear of the death of our esteemed friend, W. Irving Adams. I have not met him since his health failed, and remember him only as the man in full health; the man of genial manners and kindly voice, whose welcome to me was always marked and wholesome. To know him was to admire and honor him. That I can never again come within the sunshine of his friendly presence is a hardship. “To his bereaved family and friends I tender my sympathy. “Yours truly, J. F. Ryder.” p. 68.”]

 “Editor’s Table.” WILSON’S PHOTOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE 33:470 (Feb. 1896): 95. [“Mr. James F. Ryder sends us a particularly attractive leaflet which he uses as an advertisement for his new studio in the Garfield Block at 121 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, O. A new picture introduced by Mr. Ryder is called the “Pompeiian.” It is finished after the manner of the cartoons of the old masters. The illustrations of the leaflet are in black. We suggest that the next edition be printed in the Pompeiian color. All success to the new studio.”]

 “In Memoriam. Allan J. Skutt.” WILSON’S PHOTOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE 33:471 (Mar. 1896): 124-125. [“Died of paralysis in Jamestown, N. Y., December 17, 1895, Mr. Allan K. Skutt, in the sixty-first year of his age. From his old friend and co-worker, Mr. A. N. Camp, of Jamestown, we have been favored with the following particulars: “Mr. Skutt began his photographic career about thirty-five years ago in Hudson, Mich. After serving his apprenticeship there and working in different places for some time, he entered the employment of James F. Ryder, of Cleveland, O., as a negative retoucher; this places him on record as one of the very first who operated this improvement in photography. The attendants of our earlier conventions will readily remember what an excitement was caused by the exhibition of Mr. Skutt’s work, exhibited at the Second Annual Convention, held in Cleveland, work which had grown out of the introduction of the then famous ‘Berlin cartes des visite,’ imported by the editor of this Magazine, as studies for the instruction and help of his patrons….”]

 “Editor’s Table: Warning to the Craft.” WILSON’S PHOTOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE 33:472 (Apr. 1896): 192. [In the “Situation Wanted” column of our last number an advertiser seeking an engagement as an operator .over the address “C.,” care of the Scranton Photo Supply Co., stated as his chief qualification that he had been “head operator for J. H. Ryder, of Cleveland, O., for the past year.” Mr. Ryder asks us to state that this statement is untrue and fraudulent. During the twelve years Mr. Ryder has been in business he has had four operators, and the fourth has been in his employ, eleven years, having filled the post of head operator for the past six years. The advertiser complained of is a retoucher who was employed by Mr. Ryder about three weeks and discharged because his work was not satisfactory.”]

 “Editor’s Table: The Immortal Six.” WILSON’S PHOTOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE 33:477 (Sept. 1896): 432. ”The Immortal Six” is the name of a social club formed in Cleveland, Ohio, about forty years ago. In 1858 “The Immortal Six” resolved that the club (restricted in membership to six young men) should be photographed. Accordingly they proceeded in a body, with solemnity befitting the occasion, to the studio of our old friend, J. F. Ryder, then situated at the corner of Superior and Bank Streets. The young photographer did his best and produced an image. A few days ago the club had its fortieth anniversary and the occasion was celebrated by returning to Ryder’s studio, and the making of another group picture of “The Immortal Six.” The two groups of 1858 and 1896, showing the same “boys,” and taken by the same photographer, were reproduced in the Cleveland (Ohio) Leader a few days ago.”]

 16 b & w on one panel (‘A Variety of Studies”) on unnumbered leaf following p. 496 in: WILSON’S PHOTOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE 33:479 (Nov. 1896): unnumbered leaf following p. 496, 519-520. [4 portraits by W. M. Morrison (Chicago, IL); 4 by B. J. Falk (New York, NY); 1 by R. H. Furman (San Diego, CA); 2 by S. L. Stein (Milwaukee, WI); 3 by J. F. Ryder (Cleveland, OH). Brief note on pp. 519-520.]

 “A West Virginia Studio and Its Operator, Otto Doehn.” WILSON’S PHOTOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE 33:480 (Dec. 1896): 554-555. 4 b & w. [“One of the sincerest pleasures which fall to the lot of the editor of a technical magazine who has been many years at his post comes from watching the course of those who are growing up in his art to continue the work he is trying to uphold and elevate. Another pleasure comes from aiding, advising, and abetting the younger workers….” “…As to the career, photographically, of Mr. Doehn, it is not a long one, this being his tenth year of service in photography. He was born in Cleveland, June 5, 1868, and at the age of eighteen years began photography in the establishment of Mr. J. F. Ryder. The first few months were spent in the printing department; there he learned the art of manipulating albumen paper. Then he was promoted to the operating-room, and under the Ryder skylight he spent seven years. An offer to go to South America then enticed our young artist, and he accepted a position as operator in Montevideo. In 1895 he returned to “God’s country,” and was married to Mr. Doehn’s first engagement after his return to the United States was at the Kirk studio, where he yet presides at the camera….”]

 1 b & w (An unnamed individual studio portrait) on unnumbered leaf, before p. 529 in: WILSON’S PHOTOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE 33:480 (Dec. 1896): unnumbered leaf, before p. 529, 564. [Note on p. 564.]

1 b & w (“A Portrait Study.”) on p. 107; 1 b & w (“A Portrait.”) on p. 181 in: AMERICAN ANNUAL OF PHOTOGRAPHY & PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES ALMANAC FOR 1897 (1897)

 1 b & w (“Easter Thoughts. “) on p. 157 in: Ryder, James F. “As I Focused Along.” PHOTOGRAPHIC MOSAICS: AN ANNUAL RECORD OF PHOTOGRAPHIC PROGRESS, 1897 (1897): 157-162. 1 b & w. [(Includes genre portrait “Easter Thoughts” on p. 159.) “A Long time ago I found out some things which impress me with their truth, more and more as I grow older, and I propose to weave a few of them together for the readers of Mosaics. I was more impressed with the thought when I started focussing, that I was a genius, than I am now. I have learned that genius alone will not open up all the mysteries of art, nor alone discover her secrets. One must not look upon the necessity of mechanical labor and scientific pursuit together with training in art principles as altogether discouraging elements. Close application in each progressive step will afford satisfactory amends for all exertion in surmounting difficulties. The difficulties are never so formidable as they look when one first tackles them. Keep on tackling. “Nothing is denied to well-directed labor; nothing is to be obtained without it.” Don’t make the cowardly excuse that talent and taste are things which were overlooked when you were made up. If unremitting diligence backs up even the lowest ability, wonderful results may be achieved. Assiduous, ardent devotion, with a firm purpose (attend to getting this well wrought in first), will push you ahead and leave your competitor behind. Those who work the hardest absorb the most, show forth the best genius, and gain the finest rewards in our art. Application, although more gentle and more modest than genius, is immeasurably more valuable and unfailing. Many geniuses go wrong because they will not admit that it costs years of laborious study to attain eminence. The mind should be enriched with ideas of truth and beauty. These can only be obtained by a good long time of gleaning, raking, and sorting out of stubble. Neither improvement nor attainment is limited. Genius is never satisfied, but perpetually conceives ideas of perfection while endeavoring to realize them. “Attempt great things, expect great things,” said the philosopher. And another one declares that “thoughts are things.” Did you ever try to catch the flies which have been annoying you while both hands were occupied? Do you remember how often when, with mighty murder in your mind, you whacked at them and saw your blow fall where the pests were—not? It is so sometimes with the efforts of the earnest worker—even with the genius. But do not mind that; “Yet know, these noblest honors of the mind On rigid terms descend.” “Attempt great things, expect great things.” It is true (and this is a veteran who says it to you) that “he who aims at excellence will be above mediocrity; he who aims at mediocrity will fall short of it.” Those who will not be convinced by the evolution of the experiences of others have their own history to go over—” the glorious privilege of youth.” Try it and see how you like it. Manliness and sincerity and patience all work well with modesty and make a mighty combination.”]

 “A Trade Printing-House.” WILSON’S PHOTOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE 34:487 (July 1897): 295-300. [“The article under this heading, by Mr. George B. Sperry, which appeared at page 185 of the April number of this Magazine, has attracted wide attention among the fraternity….” (Opinions by more than a dozen photographers follow,) “…The veteran, J. F. Ryder, of Cleveland, says: “In my opinion, such an establishment may be created and run to the advantage of its proprietor and its patrons, in a commercial sense, as a factory. It might cheapen the cost of photographic printing, and it would also cheapen the quality. For samples of manufactures,^ where photographic reproductions of manufactured articles of merchandise are desired; for views of natural scenery; for reproductions of works of art; in fact, for all cheap uses in photography, the trade printing-house would have a place. As applied to portraiture, it might do for very low grades of work, where the customer is made to understand that what is offered him must be taken without question or criticism. But for honest, painstaking work it could not be successfully offered, for the public has grown exacting and whimsical. It is not unusual for customers to condemn work—sometimes with good cause, sometimes without—and we must reprint or have uncomfortable words with our overwise or critical patrons, which is always a mistake. We could not require our trade printing-house to reprint by way of catering to the whims of our private customers. We could do it, we must do it ourselves. In all things this fact is the same: very low prices and honest quality do not go together. A merchant tailor will give a good business suit for thirty to forty dollars. A ready-made clothing house will give a business suit for ten to fifteen dollars. In both cases it is something to wear—’ you pays your money and you takes your choice.'”…” pp. 296-297.]

 “The Pictures at Celoron.” WILSON’S PHOTOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE 34:488 (Aug. 1897): 380-384. [“Nothing could be more inspiring to the photographic mind than the sight presented during a rapid survey of the 2000 pictures displayed on the walls of the Auditorium annex at Celoron as part of the “Red Letter” Convention. The Hanging Committee had accomplished wonders in its department, and the new arrangement of electric lighting enabled one to study the pictures under the most favorable conditions. To put down the impressions received, in cold type, is, however, a very difficult undertaking. At first glance the preponderance of pictures in carbon and platinotype was surprising. Almost all the best pictures were prints of one or the other of these kinds. By and by, however, it was apparent that many of the “carbons” were on print-out papers of the matt variety, skilfully finished to resemble the real thing….” “…And so one might go on describing the exhibits seen at Celoron until the reader would be thoroughly wearied. We desist. It was unquestionably the grandest display of photographic work ever made in this country. The posing, lighting, and general composition of the pictures showed undeniable progress when compared with the exhibits of 1896. There were blunders, of course, and many good pictures were ruined by lack of attention to the little points; but, taken as a whole, the exhibits made one proud of photography and of its development. With the Trade. Manufacturers and Dealers at Celoron. The trade department of the Convention was larger than usual this year, the whole of the Auditorium being given up to the exhibits. As a rule, the booths were decorated, and the sight as one entered was tastefully effective. The American Aristotype Co.’s display was, perhaps, the most extensive and attractive. It comprised pictures on aristo-platino and other of this company’s print-out papers from almost all the galleries of repute in the country….” “…The Hammer Dry Plate Co., represented by Mr. Hammer, Sr., and his popular son, showed a collection of wonderful work as testifying to the quality of the Hammer plate. The Climax plate, represented by Mr. C. O. Lovell and his aids, had a grand exhibit of work by J. F. Ryder, C. W. Hearn, I. De Vos, and other prominent photographers. Messrs. E & H. T. Anthony & Co., had a very extensive display, especially strong in cameras of all sizes and studio apparatus, with a full line of the thousand and one specialties for which this house is famous….”]

 Ryder, James F. “The Jex Bardwell Home. To be built in Detroit, Mich.” WILSON’S PHOTOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE 34:490 (Oct. 1897): 435-436. [“To the few photographers in this country who do not know Jex Bardwell, what he is to photographers and to photography. I would say that he is an old man, quite unable to take care of himself and his aged wife; he is poor and without a home to shelter his gray head. He is an honorable, upright, modest and deserving man. In the past a scientific photographer; a walking encyclopaedia of photographic chemistry and formulae pertaining to our art; and through his expert knowledge became the valuable friend to all photographers. And this was the way of it: The Cutting Bromide Patent, which had to do with the ambrotype, and pertained to the preparation of collodion, was regarded with suspicion by many photographers. It was a burden and an injustice to all men using collodion in photograph processes. In 1867 the first convention of photographers called in America had for its object to consider a united action to resist the operation of that patent and defeat it. This convention was held at the Cooper Institute in New York City, and out of it grew the National Photographers’ Association. After a running fight of two or three years, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington all taking a hand, without any decisive result, up rose, at Detroit, Mich., that hero of the patent defeat, Jex Bardwell, who carried in the “inside pocket” of his memory the documents which overthrew the alleged validity of that patent, thereby saving thousands and thousands of dollars to photographers. He was never paid even the usual witness fees. “That’s what old Jex Bardwell did for photographers”; and now, photographers, ever appreciative and ready to acknowledge a plucky and unselfish act in their interest, have made a start to pool in their mite to build a home for him. This Magazine will be a receiver of contributions for the fund, and will turn over to the committee every basketful as fast as accumulates. Let every photographers count himself “a pebble upon the beach” in this matter, and send his mite in a sealed envelope, bearing his own name and address, written in ink, and the legend “For the Jex Bardwell Home.” If he can put a bank note in, and feel right about it, let him do it. If he thinks he can’t quite afford it let him put in a few postage stamps, what he would pay for a cigar, a concert ticket, or a game of billiards, and do it at once before there is a chance to forget about it. Enclose this envelope in another and direct to this Magazine. Let us make this old man and his good wife happy. It will cost us nothing to speak of, and it will warm his old heart to feel that thousands of friends from every end of the country have thought of his comfort and ‘seen to it.” There is a church at Wethersfield, Conn., built of onions—that is, contributions of onions. I read about it when a boy, and it lived in my mind until I was a grown man, and when I came see it I was almost disappointed that onions, built up in mortar, did not form its walls. A house built, at least in part, with postage stamps would be quite a novelty, and the photograph boys of this country are the lads to do it. Now, speaking direct to the boys, after you have mailed your “stamps” a sense of quiet happiness will pervade your heart, and you will find that a good-natured act is its own reward. I have sent in my own little budget and feel reasonably content with myself. That little parcel wants company; don’t let it get lonesome, boys. Just notice how much better you will sleep after it. When you can feel that in that house your contribution paid for a shelf in the pantry, a shingle in the roof, a glass in a window, or some nails to hold parts together, you may pat yourself upon the back and call yourself a good fellow. The envelopes you send your offerings in will all be carefully kept and turned over to Jex, and the photograph boys of Detroit will club together and help him paper his best room with them. To all my friends who are in sympathy with me, and all those with whom I am not acquainted, but would be glad to be, let this letter be my introduction, and believe me. James F. Ryder. [editorial Note.—Subscriptions will be gratefully received and acknowledged by this Magazine or by C. M. Hayes, Woodward Avenue, Detroit; Gustave Cramer, St. Louis; W. H. Allen, 247 Jefferson Avenue, Detroit; J. Ed. Rosch, Olive Street, St. Louis; Geo. Steckel, Los Angeles, or the Editor of Photo Beacon, Chicago.]

 “Jex Bardwell Fund.” ANYHONY’S PHOTOGRAPHIC BULLETIN 28:11 (Nov. 1897): 348-349. [“By request of the Committee appointed at the recent Convention of the Photographers’ Association of America, to take in hand the matter of the Jex Bard well fund, we publish the following circular and letter from Mr. James F. Ryder, which speak eloquently for the cause at stake. The Committee having charge of this fund will be glad to receive contributions directly, or they may be sent to the Treasurer direct, whose address appears in connection with the circular: “Detroit, September 25, 1897. At the recent Photographers’ Association of America Convention, the matter of recognizing the valuable services of old Mr. Jex Bardwell, years ago, in supplying the evidence necessary to defeat the bromide patents, was brought up, a collection was taken, and a subscription started for amounts from $1 to $10, to secure him and his invalid wife a home in some institution for the remainder of their lives. As is generally known, Mr. Bardwell gave the desired evidence in his possession without charge, at considerable cost of money and time to himself, thereby saving to the photographic fraternity and their descendants thousands of dollars. For those who have not yet subscribed, the opportunity is now presented of contributing towards the discharge of an obligation beyond computation, as a matter of justice to one who is entitled to more than he can ever hope to realize. G. Cramer, Orville C. Allen, George Steckel, J. Edward Roesch, Edward L. Wilson, C. M. Hayes, J. F. Ryder, William H. Allen, Committee. Please help us in this noble cause by sending any amount you desire to give to William H. Allen, Treasurer, 247 Jefferson Avenue, Detroit, Mich. (Letter by Ryder follows. See pp. 435-436 in the Oct. 1897 Wilson’s Photographic Magazine for text.)]

 Ryder, James F. “An Interior View. By A Dream Camera.” WILSON’S PHOTOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE 34:491 (Nov. 1897): 518. [“Just a comfortably furnished room, neat, in good taste, without a hint of extravagance. At a table near the centre of the room sits an aged woman, bent and thoughtful, as though she were thinking of something else than the stocking she was darning. She had been a pretty girl once; had passed through the routine of wife, mother, and grandmother; little children had gathered about her knee and been taken up into her lap, and cuddled. Her face was like a benediction. Outside her home she had been a comfort to many; a good friend and a good neighbor. She had been a faithful wife for fifty years, and her husband was the gray- haired man sitting opposite in his comfortable chair enjoying his friendly pipe. The old man watched the darning-needle as it passed over and under the threads of yarn which formed the warp, and the long pull which drew it into place. He saw a glistening something crawl down over her cheek and fall upon her work, and he said: “Why, mother, what’s the matter that you should shed tears? Surely you are not unhappy. ” “No, Jex, tears may express joy sometimes; my gratitude to your friends who are showing us kindness in our time of need fills my heart with a gladness I can’t describe. The Lord has put it in the hearts of these good friends to come to our rescue in good time. Your help to them years ago has proved as ‘bread upon the waters,’ which comes back to us in our old age and saves us from — from —.” “Come! Wake up, Ryder! The breakfast is getting cold, it is almost time for church. (I do believe that man would sleep all day).” “Oh! Man, you spoiled the most delightful dream. I thought it was Christmas morning, and all the photographers in the country had put a house in Jex Bardwell’s stocking.” J. F. Ryder, Cleveland, O.”]

 Ryder, James F. “The Jex Bardwell Home.” WILSON’S PHOTOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE 34:492 (Dec. 1897): 564-565. [Note.—Will the fraternity please note that Christmas is almost here and the Bardwell Home Fund lacks fully one thousand dollars! Surely American photographers will not fail the Fund Committee in this matter? Yet the St. Louis Photographer, and the Beacon, and the American Amateur all printed Mr. Ryder’s appeal for the fund, and the total sum received and acknowledged by the three journals amounts to twenty-five cents. We are all agreed that Mr. Bardwell has given valuable service to the fraternity; that his good wife and he deserve our help….” (This is followed by yet another letter from Ryder soliciting funds for this charitable work.)]

Ryder, James F. “The Jex Bardwell Home to be built in Detroit, Mich.” PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES AND AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHER 30:1 (Jan. 1898): 38. [(This same letter was also published in the Oct. 1897 Wilson’s Photographic Magazine.)

 “Obituary.” ANTHONY’S PHOTOGRAPHIC BULLETIN 29:3 (Mar. 1898): 73. [“We note with regret the death of Mr. John H. Ryder, one of Cleveland’s veteran photographers, which took place on the last of January, after a short illness. Mr. Ryder was a brother of James F. Ryder, so well known to the profession, and was only sixty-four years old at the time of his death.”]

 “Photographers’ Association of Pennsylvania.” ANTHONY’S PHOTOGRAPHIC BULLETIN 29:4 (Apr. 1898): 125. [“The Second Annual Convention of the Photographers’ Association of Pennsylvania, held in Bellefonte, Pa., on the 23d, 24th and 25th of February, was a notable success. Enthusiasm was the order of the day and no end of good things were said and done. Before adjournment, Wilkesbarre, Pa., was selected as the next place of meeting, and the following officers elected for the ensuing year: President, E. E. Seavy, New Castle, Pa.; First Vice-President, J. B. Schreiver, Emporium, Pa.; Second Vice-President, T. B. Clark, Indiana, Pa.; Secretary. Charles L. Griffin, Scranton, Pa.; and Treasurer, W. I. Goldman, of Reading, Pa. The Grand Prize, a bronze figure, was awarded to David Rosser, of Pittsburg. In the Special Class, the first prize, a gold medal, was awarded to J. F. Ryder, Cleveland, O.: and the second prize, a silver medal, to J. E. Mock, Rochester, N. Y. First and second prizes were awarded in the regular classes as follows:…”]

 “The Pennsylvania Convention.” WILSON’S PHOTOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE 35:496 (Apr. 1898): 152-157.[“The second annual convention of the Photographers’ Association of Pennsylvania met at Bellefonte, Pa., February 23d, 24th, and 25th, under the presidency of G. Taylor Griffin, of Wilkesbarre. The attendance of photographers was somewhat smaller than at the 1897 convention, but the meeting was generally regarded as successful, and the exhibition offered much good work in various branches of photography….” “…Third Day, February 25th. The convention opened for business at 10.30 A M., and votes of thanks were passed to all who had helped to make the convention a success….” p. 152. “… The prize list was then read as follows: Grand Prize. Bronze figure, David Rosser, Pittsburg, Pa. Special Class. First, gold medal, J. F. Ryder, Cleveland, O ; second, silver medal, J. E. Mock, Rochester, N. Y. …etc. p. 156.]

 “Editor’s Table. Mr. James F. Ryder.” WILSON’S PHOTOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE 35:497 (May 1898): 240. [“We are glad to learn that the veteran James F. Ryder, of Cleveland, Ohio, who has been seriously ill, is now almost completely recovered. We note with regret the death of Mr. John H. Ryder, who was well known in the fraternity. According to our information, Mr. Ryder died during the latter part of January, after a short illness, at the age of sixty-four years. From another source we hear that Mr. P. S. Ryder, of Syracuse, N. Y., another brother of Mr. James F. Ryder, has been seriously ill. It would seem that misfortune has followed the brothers Ryder thick and fast of late. We are sure that photographers everywhere unite their sympathies with ours.”]

 “Editor’s Table. A Notable Exhibition.” WILSON’S PHOTOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE 35:499 (July 1898): 335. [“Mr. F. M. Somers, successor to the late Jas. Landy, Cincinnati, recently celebrated the reopening of this famous gallery by an Art Loan Exhibit of unusual interest. This included a collection of selected examples of portraiture by Mac Donald (Albany), Strauss (St. Louis), Stein (Milwaukee), Falk (New York), Pierce (Providence), Hollinger (New York), Hayes (Detroit), Ryder (Cleveland), Sperry (Toledo), Dabbs (Pittsburg), Baker’s Art Gallery (Columbus) ; water colors and ivory miniatures by G. Hamner Croughton (Rochester, N. Y.) and James Inglis (Chicago), and a dozen of Mr. Landy’s choicest pictures. The exhibition attracted considerable notice from the Cincinnati press, and the pictures were admired by thousands of the best people of the city. We congratulate Mr. Somers upon his enterprise in this matter, which deserves emulation. The pictures (with the exception of the Landy Salon) were Contributed by their makers as an evidence of goodwill and friendly interest in Mr. Somers’ new undertaking. Such displays do honor to portraiture as a profession as well as aid the public to appreciate artistic work at its proper value.”]

 “Editor’s Table: Character Pictures.” WILSON’S PHOTOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE 35:503 (Nov. 1898): 528. [Editor received several costume portraits, genre studies from Ryder. Additional note on same page mentions a portrait of Admiral Sampson, complimented by the sitter in a letter, which was run in a recent issue of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.”]

 [Advertisement.] “Photographic Mosaics, 1899.” WILSON’S PHOTOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE 35:504 (Dec. 1898): 579-582. [Wilson, the publisher of both journals, reprinted excerpts of articles by a dozen or so photographers from his annual Photographic Mosaics, including this excerpt from Ryder: “The “New” School. What about the so-called new school? We hear somewhat of it, and in connection therewith such phrases as “broad effects,” “on new lines,” “impressionistic,” etc. I have seen in studios of photographers who do high-class, common-sense work, examples of the extreme advance style shown for my admiration and opinion, where I dared not express my judgment, fearing I should be stepping upon a cherished idol. I have seen published in high-class journals instances of these remarkable effects. I read the praises without always seeing what should justify them. The model for this work looks as though he might have been posed down a cellar and, before being made to face the camera, had been rolled and dragged over the floor to better secure the smudgy effect of the dark parts of the portrait so desirable with impressionists as a means of concealing the bloom of cloth texture. The shirt-bosom is seen quite distinctly, the face also with reasonable distinctness, while the beard and hair must partake of the black surroundings. If the imagination desires a bit of exercise, it can be had in determining where the outlines of the man may be located. And this, with some of our foremost practitioners, is sought for. The incipient Whistlers, Chavannes, Morots, etc., of the camera—and rather crazy imitators some of them are— are they attempting to revolutionize portrait photography? or are they just running something into the ground ?—-J. F. Ryder, in Mosaics, 1899.” p. 581.]

 “Editors Table. Pictorial Advertisements.” WILSON’S PHOTOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE 35:504 (Dec. 1898): 583. [“Mr. J. F. Ryder, Cleveland, Ohio, sends us his new business card, on the back of which is a delightful little picture of a child ” at the ‘phone,” and the following monologue: “Hello, Mr. Ryder! I like my picture real much. Thank you for taking me so nice.”

1 b & w (“Ryder’s Telephone Girl.”) on p. in: Ryder’s Telephone Girl.” WILSON’S PHOTOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE 36:506 (Feb. 1899): 80. [(Caption is “Hello, Mr. Ryder? I like my picture real much. Thank you for taking me so nice.”) “In our last issue we spoke appreciatively of a little business card issued by Mr. J. F. Ryder, of Cleveland, Ohio, showing a little girl at the ‘phone, and used as an advertisement of the studio. The card has attracted so much favorable comment from all who have seen it that, by Mr. Ryder’s permission, we reproduce it here as a suggestion toward the preparation of similar business persuaders. The little model is the daughter of General Manager McKinstry, of the telephone company in Toledo, and she has played her part uncommonly well.”]

1 b & w (Genre portrait, “Girl on a Telephone.”) on p. 202 in: “Notes and News: A Card.” PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES AND AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHER 31:4 (Apr. 1899): 202. [‘ … a catchy little business card devised by Mr. Ryder, the well-known Cleveland photographer.’ Genre of little girl calling on the telephone.]

 “Items of Interest. Another Veteran Retires.” WILSON’S PHOTOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE 36:508 (Apr. 1899): 175-176. [“Last month we chronicled the retirement, after long years of honorable service in the craft, of Mr. C. W. Motes, of Atlanta, Ga. Now, with unmingled pleasure and regret, we record the fact that our old and trusty friend, J. F. Ryder, of Cleveland, has given up the cares of business life after more than half a century behind the camera. His retirement is enforced by an illness which has prevented active participation in business for a year past, and takes from the photographic ranks one of the noblest and most enthusiastic workers in the profession. Mr. Ryder went to Cleveland in 1850 from Ithaca, N. Y., and speedily made a name for himself by enterprise and skilful work. He was a pioneer in entertaining the public with exhibitions of art-work at his gallery, a feature which now forms an essential part of the life of most of the leading studios. For over twenty-one years Mr. Ryder’s gallery, on Superior Street, was one of the attractions of the city of Cleveland; a few years ago, however, he moved to much larger and more handsomely equipped rooms on Euclid Avenue. We voice the feelings of the whole fraternity in wishing Mr. Ryder a speedy recovery of his health and many years wherein to enjoy the rest he has so richly earned.”]

 Ryder, James F. “Business Management in Photography.” WILSON’S PHOTOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE 36:511 (July 1899): 293-296. [“ [Among the many things of passing interest which are spoken or written by photographers, there is occasionally to be found a statement of far more than ephemeral value. Our veteran friend, Mr. J. F. Ryder, made such a statement before the members of the P. A. of A. when that body was young. Spoken fifteen years ago, the words and advice are alike true and as necessary to-day as then, and the sound advice and sage counsel from a master in the craft are repeated here as being invaluable to those who are following in his steps:—Ed.”] “As a rule, men think well of themselves, and do not care to be told what they already know….” (See “On the Business Management of Photography.” PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES AND AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHER 14:164 (Aug. 1884): 407-410, for the text of this article.]

 Wilson, Edward L. “Greeting.” WILSON’S PHOTOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE 36:516 (Dec. 1899): 529. [“To all our readers and co-workers, old friends and new, over seas and here at home, health and greeting as the old year passes to make place for the new! When the last page of this number of the Magazine is read and passed, the reader will turn over the last page of a record of thirty-six honorable years wholly spent in the service of American photography. The record is one which we enjoy alone in photographic journalism. The turning over of that last page is worth a thought. What changes have come and gone since we began our work together—the Magazine and I—in 1864! How many remarkable men and women have put their hands to the photographic plough; have labored to make the inheritance which is ours to day, and now rest from their labors forevermore. To the glorious dead, peace. They live in their works. Of those who remain— who began with us—we recall our first master in photography, Gutekunst; the genial Nicol; the old warhorse Bogardus; Motes, of Atlanta; Kent, of Rochester; Bardwell, of Detroit, Potter, of Indianapolis; Ryder, of Cleveland; Cramer, of St. Louis; Taber, of San Francisco; Lovell, of Amherst; and Anderson, of New York. More power to them and to the younger men, too numerous for individual mention, but all included in this greeting of good-will. The photographic field—how it is changed also. Photography has enlarged its boundaries. It is the world’s helper and the world’s hobby. It has been our life’s work and happiness to watch and record its growth; to keep American photographers abreast of its progress. And so, as another said, may we also truly say: The world is our parish! For, in the lapse of years, this Magazine has made its way about the world, and is seen and read in every civilized country. Its growth and its renewal year by year have kept its editor young. Allah be praised. And to-day, turning the last page of our thirty-sixth year, our thought is of the year to come. Photography goes forward by leaps and bounds….”]


Ryder, James F. “Palette vs. Camera.” PHOTOGRAPHIC MOSAICS: AN ANNUAL RECORD OF PHOTOGRAPHIC PROGRESS, 1900 (1900): 261-264. [“So much unfair jealousy among artists has been shown against the camera that I feel like saying a word in defence of my old friend.
For more than twenty years I was a dealer in art goods, artists’ materials, etc., and had a fine exhibition-room and good show windows for exhibition of paintings. My establishment was a headquarters for the artists of my city, and a fine friendliness existed between them and myself. My walls and windows were always at their service.
An addition to the art department of my business was portrait and landscape photography. The artists were interested in the landscape views, and wanted prints of such subjects as appealed to their fancy. Some of them had cameras of their own; some liked to borrow to go out for certain fine studies, which were frequently reproduced in paintings.
It happened one fine day that charges were preferred against a prominent teacher in one of our art schools for using a camera. So grave was considered this offence or crime that the board of trustees were drawn into it, and a good bit of feeling was manifested, It was made the subject of newspaper discussion.
Whether the defendant was proved guilty as charged I know not; but that he handed in his resignation and left the city much in disgust was generally understood to be a fact. Proper indignation was expressed by a deceived people—real art lovers; art without adulteration ; without any camera in it.
Had I been subpoenaed as a witness in this grave trial I could have truthfully testified that all the artists so far as I knew used the camera or its products in their work.
Now came a season of apparent virtue among the artists, and the rascally camera, with its tail between its legs, hid under the table.
In the city of my residence we have millionaires by the wagon-load. Millionaires don’t like to be considered cheap people; they must have the best that goes. Two of our prominent ones, to secure fine family portraits, invited each an artist from Europe to come to America to paint them. One of these great artists was brought to my establishment by his patron to examine a vacant studio-room to see if it would do for his august use. The wife of the patron, whose portrait was to be painted, sent to me for a photograph. She was a beautiful woman. I considered my photograph of her fine, and was rather proud to show it, which I did. The artist took the photograph in his hand, and in a tone and air of indulgent patronage to so small a figure as myself, said: ” How is it, Mr. Ryder, that a photograph never looks like the person of whom it is taken ? This is not at all like Mrs. ____.”
Well, this great man was under my roof, temporarily my guest or business visitor. I thought best to show him a politeness he had not shown me, so passed his remark unnoticed. The studio I had tendered him “would hardly do,” so he found another place—a vacant room in a business block.
Some weeks after an acquaintance of mine, an admirer of the noted artist, was given permission by the artist—who was looking out for more commissions— to invite such friends of his in as would be likely to do him good to see the portraits. The admirer came to me, advised me that the artist had the portraits completed, and “Wouldn’t I like a private view?” “Call any time,” he said.
I called the same day; the door of the room was standing open, and I walked in. The artist was not there; I was alone with three portraits, each having a photograph hanging from a string from the top of each stretcher as guides to the artist in his work. I was surprised to find him using photographs—which in his own words never looked like the person of whom they were taken. Just here the artist came in. I explained that his friend had invited me to call and see the portraits; that I had found his door standing open, and had entered; was sorry if my visit had been ill timed. He hurried to explain that it had not been convenient for the family to sit, so he had painted from photographs. This artist had been brought from Munich, Bavaria, to paint those portraits.
The other instance was a famous artist from Paris, whose name on a picture is a voucher for high art. He was taken to the mansion of his millionaire patron; his presence carefully guarded against publicity. His canvases were taken home to Paris for the finishing touches.
Later, I was called to the residence of the patron to photograph his wife and daughter in the same light and positions in which they had been painted.   The canvases and photographs were sent back to Paris that the paintings might be made likenesses.
In the ” much ado” of artists against the camera the fact still holds that they all use it, or are glad to avail themselves of its help, even though they do it secretly.
The camera does its work with accuracy. The artist, with brush in hand, measuring his model by his eye, secures the nearest he can to accuracy.—From Voigtlander and I, a work in preparation.”]

“An Interview with James F. Ryder.” WILSON’S PHOTOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE 37:519 (Mar. 1900): 103-104.  [“The Cleveland Leader in a recent issue devotes nearly a page to an interview with “Cleveland’s distinguished veteran of the camera, James F. Ryder, Esq., who made daguerreotypes in Cleveland when that city was a small town; who was the first American photographer to retouch negatives; who has photographed many famous people and aided several now famous artists. It is accompanied by a large portrait of Mr. Ryder, and supplies some very interesting reading, and gives none too much honor to our esteemed veteran friend. Mr. Ryder makes no claim to what is not his own, and always puts honor where honor is due. Among other things, he said to the Leader interviewer: “Sometimes I have been sorry that I taught retouching photographs to America. Still, if I had not done it someone else would, and I would not have had the start of the rest of the country for a year, with all the advantage that meant. But retouching is deceitful, and I do not like it. Left alone, the camera will not misrepresent; but when a skilful retoucher takes the negative of the face of a woman who wants to be more beautiful than the good Lord intended, the result is not always the truth. The instantaneous dry-plate is another left-handed photographic blessing. It has made the whole world photographers and people are content now with snapshots which they and their friends make, and all there is for the photographer to do is to finish the plates for the amateur. If the amateur snapshotter gets a picture that is funny or cute he is satisfied, and photographic art is left out of the question. How different it all is from the old times, when people went to the photographer and had a daguerreotype taken and finished so that they could take it away with them. If they wanted more than one they sat for each picture they wanted and paid $5 or $10 for each one. With a boy to help me, I used to make as much money as the big galleries with a dozen employees do now. The history of retouching? It is very simple. For a long time I had been taken by the beauty of some portraits that had appeared in a Philadelphia publication devoted to photography.* (*That was this Magazine, then published as the Philadelphia Photographer, and our old friend Dr. Vogel was the one who first woke us all up to retouching the negative.—Ed. W. P. M.) I found that they all came from Germany, and that they were made from retouched negatives. A man named Cyranus Hall, who had worked for me until he had made money enough to go to Germany to study what he called nobler art, meaning painting, happened at this time to be in Munich, from where some of the finest of the retouched work came. I wrote him, asking him to send me a retoucher. He did so, and soon after the venture was so successful that I had him send me over two more. I was the first American to use the process, which is simply doctoring the negatives after they are taken, and smoothing over any defects there may be in the faces or in the lighting of the persons who are photographed.”]

 Ryder, James F. “ln Natural Colors.” WILSON’S PHOTOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE 37:524 (Aug. 1900): 358-360. [“In the year 1850 the daguerreotypists of the country heard the announcement of the discovery of taking natural colors on daguerreotypes. The Reverend L. L. Hill, of Westhill, N. Y., was the fortunate discoverer. The color of eyes, hair, cheeks, lips and general complexion, as well as the colors of bright ribbons and gay dresses, were said to be taken in a very perfect manner. The discovery was an astonishment to daguerreotype men and of much interest to the general public. The prominent practitioners of daguerreotype of the principal cities made pilgrimage to Westhill, were much pleased with the “pictures in natural colors,” and made tempting offers for the secret of the method of producing them; but the reverend gentleman would not sell, neither would he allow any practitioner to carry a picture away or take it from under the glass which covered it for examination. He preached upon the Sabbath, and may have held prayer meetings on Friday evenings, but sure it was he gathered in many a dollar through the week for the Hillotype Miniature, that being the name of the new picture. Every likeness leaving his hands was carefully sealed from observation of picture men. And all purchasers were cautioned against allowing any commonplace picturetaker to examine them. He just about paralyzed the business for others. People were waiting for the pictures in natural colors. Hard criticisms were issued by the sinful daguerreotype man of small respect for “the cloth.” “That fellow had better keep to his preaching,” they said, “and let picture taking alone.” The practice with men of the camera in those days was, when the picture was finished and ready for the case, to apply prepared dry color with a camel’s hair pencil to the surface of the plate, to such parts as cheeks, lips, etc., where color was required, but the highly polished surface of the plate did not satisfactorily receive it, and it could not forcibly be made to adhere. The anticipated coming of the Hillotype was much desired by picture men. Now the craft throughout the country received circulars announcing the publication of a book by the Reverend L. L. Hill, giving the history and practice of the daguerreotype, valuable formulae and methods to be given complete. The most startling feature of the coming work was that full and complete instructions were to be given for the production of the Hillotype. The price of the book was five dollars by mail, postpaid. No book would be mailed until the entire edition was subscribed for. The money to accompany the order, of course. Those who ordered first would receive the book first, as all would be mailed in regular list order, “first come, first served.” Well! We all tumbled over each other at the doors of the post offices to get our money in first. I got my book in due time and rushed for the chapter on Hillotype the first thing, holding my breath the while. I learned on reading that after our daguerreotype was finished and ready for the case we should flow it with a thin wash of fine transparent glue dissolved in distilled water. This, on drying, would give the surface “a tooth” or slightly sticky quality to which the dry color, applied as usual, with a camel’s hair pencil, would adhere, as it would not to the highly polished surface of the plate. Well! I was the owner of the Hillotype process. I felt that the reverend proprietor had given me as smooth a sell as I could have received from an accomplished horse jockey in a “swap.” I don’t remember ever announcing, by advertisement or otherwise, the Hillotype as one of my possessions. I do not recall an instance of any daguerreotype man making a claim to ownership of that wonderful improvement to our young art. I fancy they felt it “was one on them” and they did not care to parade the fact. If the reverend gentleman be still on earth he doubtless takes an occasional laugh up his sanctimonious sleeve in recalling the “easy scoop he took on the boys.” He surely is entitled to credit of establishing the habit of discovering natural colors in photographs. As often as every two or three years since we have had new announcements of this discovery, which, as a matter of fact, is yet to be perfected. The usual new discoverer is a Parisian scientist—and the discovery made after patient research, or accidentally stumbled upon, though it happens occasionally that a discoverer crops up at Oshkosh or otherwise. These discovery announcements are doubtless gratifying to the persons whose names are associated with them, but they are misleading, because not true. Methods have been discovered by which from repeated printings from different plates—a means partly photographic and partly mechanical—color is given, and some subjects, like fruits and flowers, are made to look very natural, but are not absolutely correct. Color may be given by reflection and transmission of light through colored media, the results of which are in some cases beautiful and are a delight to the eye. These methods are ingenious, and while by their means a photograph may seem to be in natural colors, it is not. The foundation is a plain gray photograph of light and shade, or black and white, invested with color by an ingenious device. A person is not red, green or blue because seen through glasses of those colors. The desire to attain wonderful results stimulates effort at invention and discovery. When the real cannot be compassed, a semblance must be accepted. The Indian whose ambition was to walk over the rainbow had to be content with walking under it. Birds of the air navigate space above the earth—they rest at anchor in the blue, they sail lazily about, they take a sudden lurch and dive, they tack, they make into the wind, they run before it, out to sea they go, and are lost to view. It seems quite simple. The Creator of all made it possible. -The ingenuity of man has not yet devised or built a machine which has successfully rivaled the bird—though flying machines have become as plentiful as color methods in photography. What I understand as Natural Colors in photographs, the actuality of which would be a blessing to photography and photographers, would be that the colors be born with and in the image as it comes into existence from the camera or as it is lifted by the developer from seeming nothingness to a reality. An artificial pretence is not the real thing. A negro is in natural color from birth. A white man blackened up for a cake walk or a banjo solo is an imitation, a deception, a parallel instance to alleged natural colors in photographs, yet color discovery in photographs will doubtless go right on. Thankful and appreciative for what has been given in devices for imparting color to monochromatic camera products, natural color in photographs is, I regret to say, Not Yet. It was at Elyria that I received my book on how to make Hillotypes. That was before the advent of the gold brick.—From Voigtlander and I, a work in preparation.”]

 Ryder, James F. “Jex Bardwell’s Lantern Show.” WILSON’S PHOTOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE 37:525 (Sept. 1900): 430-431. [“I have been seeing lantern exhibitions for many years, and I have been much pleased with the realism of the best. The exhibition of a few slides by the veteran Jex Bardwell, of Detroit, at the convention of the Ohio-Michigan Association at Putin-Bay has put all former exhibitions quite out of sight. I seem never to have seen anything before worth remembering. How he produces the wonderful effects is quite beyond me to understand. The screen is not as large as is usually employed, but it glows with pictures startlingly rich in color and forceful naturalness. He showed a steamer at sea, with heavy cloud effect above and surrounding it. After a while the clouds change form and density; they dissipate and disappear. Hello! Here is a smaller vessel astern. No one saw it come. By and by it is gone. No one saw it go; but go it did. It was not by the old dissolving method that this was done; it is as far removed as a fortieth cousin. Now come grand views of mountain and glacier, so realistic you hold your breath in wonder. You cannot take your eyes from the view; yet while you are looking it is changed; not quickly, but so gradually that you wonder when and how it was done. What was a few minutes ago the rugged mountain side is now a rushing stream, foaming and dashing, and now there is a great arched bridge of solid masonry spanning the stream. We watch for “what next?” Without a signal or intimation of change we look intently, bound to see when, how, and where the old wizard is going to “do us,” and without knowing “where we are at” it is done. The great river which was dashing down the mountain side is gone. The bridge and all the surroundings are there, looking as natural as though nothing had happened. During the exhibition, to an audience of photographers more or less conversant with lantern exhibitions, and not easily taken by surprise, the applause was most enthusiastic. No person could see the superb work of Jex Bardwell and his lantern unmoved. Surely he has devised or discovered methods hitherto unemployed. He has made lantern work a new art, giving it an interest never before attending it.”]

 1 b & w (“Little Bess,”) on p. 539 in: Ryder, James F. “My First Pupil.” WILSON’S PHOTOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE 37:527 (Dec. 1900): 539-540. [“Fifty years ago I stopped at Elyria, Ohio, for the winter, having my little studio in a hotel, the Beebe House. One evening a young man came to the hotel, inquiring for me, told me his name was Wykes, and that he came up from Black River, a small village and port on Lake Erie. He had purchased a camera and outfit from Lew Higgins, who was to teach him to make daguerreotypes, from which he could make lots of money. “Lew” gave him a half day’s instructions and deserted him. Wykes desired instructions from me, and could come for them only in the evening, as he was busy through the day. He was obliged to come nine miles, over a poor road and in winter weather. All day long he wrestled with his customers and the rather dark problem of daguerreotype-making without knowing how. I was sorry for the good, honest fellow, and agreed to take him. The instructions commenced that evening, and, as through the entire course, were orally given. I could not teach by demonstration in the evening, and as he fancied he could not stop through the day, and I knew I could not leave my own business and go to him, it was determined we would impart and receive by “talking it over.” The question of compensation was agreed at the beginning to be a gratuitous matter. It cost him something to drive each night, it cost me nothing, and so it was my time against his horse. I taught him first, as well as I could, what was the requirement for quality in a daguerreotype by showing my own sample pictures. Each evening of his coming he would bring with him plates which he had made trials upon since his last visit. We would compare them with my own work, and I would point out and explain where there was a lack or fault in his work, and direct him how to change or avoid a repetition of it. He was a good student, a careful observer, and eager to learn. He did learn, and, to my pleasure and his own, was in a few weeks able to go alone. I was quite proud of both him and myself for having accomplished quite a feat of education under such conditions and in comparatively a short period of time. I drove down with a friend one day to fish from the dock in the lake, and called upon my pupil, Mr. Wykes. I found Black River a very small place, inhabited mostly by sailors and farmers. I could not well see how he could find enough to justify his remaining. He claimed to have sufficient to support him, between his farm and his little picture trade. Later he became quite prominent in his work, and removed to a city that was able to give him a fine patronage. At the Convention exhibition of the Ohio-Michigan Association at Put-in-Bay, Ohio, August last, I met among other friends J. B. Hoff, of Lorain, Ohio, and by him was invited to come and be his guest for a few days. The Black River village of years ago, with a population of possibly 100 souls, is now the Lorain of 17,000 prosperous people, with a big steel plant and a ship building company, where are built the largest vessels floated upon fresh water. It was much like a dream to come back to this smart city, with its several railways and its great tonnage. Mr. Hoff has a snug business, and takes good care of it. He permitted me to assist him in handling the camera and sitters, which seemed like going back to school after some year’s vacation. I send you a photograph of his little daughter “Bess,” the last sitting I have attempted; and what wouldn’t I give for the first one I ever made?”]

Ryder, James F. “The Advent of Negative Retouching in America. How to do It.” WILSON’S PHOTOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE 38:532 (Apr. 1901): 134-136. 1 b & w. [(Illustration is a portrait of a woman by Fritz Luckhardt, Vienna. “A print from the collection referred to in Mr. Ryder’s paper on “Retouching.”) “The most important and first real improvement to the portrait photographer after the advent of collodion was retouching of negatives, which method of finish came to this country from Germany in 1868. Dr. H. Vogel sent examples of this work to Edward L. Wilson, editor of the Philadelphia Photographer, and from him I secured a small collection. The pleasure I found in these little portraits which got their smooth, soft, and delicate finish from the retouched plate was most gratifying. The coarse skin texture, the pimple and freckle blemishes were converted into fine, soft complexions, most gratifying to the eye, and especially to the eye of the person represented in the picture. This was a phase of art wrought out by the patient German and but recently introduced by him, while in America it was unknown. I expected it would be captured and introduced by some prominent New York photographer, as we look to that city to take the first bite at every pie coming from abroad. I was anxious it should so happen that I could take a later chance at securing it for my own practice. The metropolis was tardy; I was impatient. I concluded to take the liberty of giving Cleveland a chance, and set about it. Mr. Cyrenius Hall, an artist skilled in water-colors and India-ink work, who had been some years in my employ as a finisher of photographs, had gone to Germany to study more serious art. To him I wrote, telling him of my want, describing what I had seen, and asking him to secure for me a skilled artist in retouching. He was successful in finding an excellent man—Herr Karl Leutgib, of the Munich Academy, who was desirous of coming to America. Mr. Hall soon closed a contract with and secured passage for him on the steamer Schmidt, for New York. I had a friend to meet him at the steamer’s dock, with photograph in hand, held aloft, standing by the bridge as he came ashore and see him safely on board the train for Cleveland. For reasons, I did not want him to loiter about New York or visit any photographic establishment in that city. On his arrival in Cleveland we made him very welcome and comfortable, sounding no trumpets in his honor or in our exaltation. Very quietly we prepared a creditable display of the new work, selecting well-known citizens, among which were beautiful young ladies and children. These we exhibited with pride. A decided impetus was given our business from the introduction of the new finish, and I soon imported two more artists. In the spring of 1869 was to be held in Boston the first convention exhibition of retouching and retouchers. Great was the demand and meagre the supply. The soft and delicate effect it gave appealed to all and pleased all. A method which made a person look finer and handsomer was welcome—a much desired and valuable improvement. I had applications galore for instructions. I had come into a valuable adjunct to photography. I had secured it for myself. Good business policy did not suggest that I immediately open my hand and give to my neighbors and friends what they surely would not have given me. So for a time I took no pupils. When I did it was as a courtesy, and never for pay. In an amiable way I tried to be helpful to friends, but never pledged myself to give complete, full instructions. It was surprising to learn how many of my applicants could master the art in a week. Some were so confident of their ability they would only ask for an hour’s teaching. How true— “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.” The facts are that the student for negative retouching needs some capital, to wit: A knowledge of art sufficient to enable him to draw a head from life, and do it well; a knowledge of photography sufficient to judge of the quality of the negative he is about to retouch. A person possessing the above qualifications may, with patience, judgment, and care, learn to become expert in this delicate work. It is, indeed, a rare and delicate work. The lightest hand and a light touch arc required to give a soft effect. Where not to touch the plate is fine judgment; how to touch it is the best art. To so retouch the plate as to make the print from it look as though a pencil had not touched it, but that it was a very perfect ////retouched plate, is, to my idea, the acme of skill. In most faces is a surface texture which is precious. Let us look into the face of an elderly woman. There are lines made sacred by the drift of years, by sleepless nights over restless, tossing children, by anxieties of family cares, by the happenings of what makes up life, her thoughts, perhaps, following a son in the army of his country, upholding the dear old flag. In this motherly face these lines have been honestly earned: they are the heritage of an honorable life; they are records of unblemished, kindly character. Shall they be wiped out with a ruthless pencil in the hand of a $6 per week botch, self-styled “first-class artist?” No. Get thee back to the farm and behind a hoe; don’t desecrate that dear old face. Let a man who has a mother, who has consideration, who has skill, retouch that plate. He will soften and not exterminate the lines; he will soften and gently smooth the roughness so carefully as to make it seem a very sweet roughness. The “mechanic” retoucher I am not in sympathy with. He will “sheet-lead” a face, covering the whole surface as unsympathetic as he would paint a floor, commencing in one corner of the room and spreading the entire surface. If he could retouch with a jack-plane he would do it. Some examples of his work look like a picked chicken before the pin-feathers were scorched off. Again his “real fine” efforts frequently make a face look like a distended bladder, or as though stung by a bumblebee after the swelling had taken effect, showing about as much expression as a hen’s egg—I beg pardon of the conscientious, painstaking hen; I was thinking of the porcelain egg, without the pebbled surface grain which proclaims genuineness that characterizes real motherhood of an honest product. So much have I seen in the past thirty years of the faults and abuses of negative retouching that I have condemned myself to shame for what I was formerly proud of. Evolution brings us around face to face with what we have thought good and have been sure was bad, that we have a chance to find pleasure or discomfort and take our choice. I am glad to see that the extreme of bad retouch is hidden under something else.”]

 “What Constitutes a Photographic Portrait?” ANTHONY’S PHOTOGRAPHIC BULLETIN 32:5 (May 1901): 148-151. [“A letter, similar to the one printed below, has been sent to several of our best-known portrait photographers and their answers will be published, as received, in subsequent issues of the Bulletin. We believe the question raised is a live one and one that is not as easily answered as may at first seem to be the case. The Bulletin will welcome the opinions of its readers on this subject and any other, and hopes that the points brought out in answer to this question may result in good. The letter is as follows: My Dear Sir: The question often arises, in examination of photographs in which one or more figures or parts of figures form a more or less prominent feature of the composition, as to whether or not such pictures may be properly called portraits, and in view of this question the Bulletin is desirous of publishing the opinions of a few American portrait photographers as to what, in their belief and practice, constitutes a portrait, pure and simple. May we have for publication in the Bulletin your views on this subject as briefly as you please, indicating where, in your judgment the dividing line should be drawn between a pure photographic portrait, and the several other classes such as genre photography, landscapes with figures, etc. We believe that your interpretation of this matter will be of wide interest to the profession, and will do much to render easier the work of exhibitors and judges in photographic exhibitions. Very truly yours, Anthony’s Photographic Bulletin. (Replies from E. B. Core, Pres. P. A. A.; George G. Rockwood; C. M. Hayes; C. H. Zimmerman; F. M. Somers and James F. Ryder.) “Dear Sir,—In reply to your question of 15th inst. as to what may properly be called portraits in photography—” What Constitutes a Portrait, Pure and Simple?” To my mind this: So long as the image is a fair representation—a likeness giving characteristic points of resemblance and expression, it is a portrait. When a number of persons are grouped together, all answering to the above description, they are portraits. When, from posing a head, or heads, as in genre work, the aim is to disregard likeness, but to secure object, comes the place where portrait is obscure and lost in object. I confess my inability to draw a line that would stand. Circumstances must determine. A spade is a spade until we can no longer recognize it as a spade. Yours respectfully, James F. Ryder.” p. 151.]

 “The National Convention—A Retrospect.” ANTHONY’S PHOTOGRAPHIC BULLETIN 32:9 (Sept. 1901): 281-328. [“In accordance with the custom of the Bulletin and as a part of the agreement under which the photographic journals are provided with a complete stenographic report of the Convention from year to year, the Bulletin takes pleasure in presenting to its readers in the present number a complete report of the Convention as recorded by the official stenographer, with the exception of four addresses, which will follow in the October number….” p. 281. “…Third Day—Morning Session. The Convention was called to order at 10.30 o’clock, President Core in the Chair. Immediately after the President had rapped to order there was a round of applause in consequence of the arrival of Mr. J. F. Ryder, who came in response to the invitation officially sent to him yesterday upon the motion of Papa Cramer. Mr. Ryder came forward to the platform, when; he was received by the President and given a seat beside ex-President Potter and Mr. Jex Bardwell. Mr. Ryder said: “Ladies and gentlemen and old friends, I feel peculiarly happy to meet you to-day. I was honored yesterday by a call from you to come, and as a big Indian would say, ‘ You sent for me and I am here.’ I am very glad to see you all, and to see the Association prospering, and I hope I will have the pleasure of meeting you on many future occasions….” p. 314. “…President Core: “This is the closing day of the Convention, and as the Chair would like all the support he can have up to the last hour, I would ask that all exPresidents in the audience take seats upon the platform. It will add to the dignity of the occasion, and you know the invitation is heartfelt.” (Applause.) In response to this invitation, Ex-Presidents Ryder, Cramer and Bellsmith came forward and were seated upon the platform….” p. 324. “…Mr. G. Cramer: “Our old friend, Mr. J. F. Ryder, has come here from Cleveland by special invitation from us. He is ‘all right,’ as you say. I hope that next year, when we meet in Buffalo, he will be all righter. (Oh!) I hear that he is writing a book entitled, ‘ My Experiences in Photography.’ I, for my part, am very anxious to receive that book, relating to fifty-two years’ experience in photography. Certainly that would cover a great many interesting items that concern our craft. I hope when that book comes out that every one of you will want one of them. I want several. I desire to move a vote of thanks to Mr. Ryder for so promptly responding to our call.” Carried, by special request of “Papa Cramer,” by a rising unanimous vote. Mr. Ryder: “I thank you, gentlemen, for the kind attention shown me, both in sending me a telegram and in following it up by all these pleasant things. I am enjoying the meeting with you, gentlemen, with whom I have been in the habit of meeting for forty years; although I feel that I cannot talk very much, like the other gentleman here on the platform, who could not say much a while ago.” (Applause.)…”]

 “Echoes from the Detroit Convention. Opinions of Prominent Photographers concerning the Work.” WILSON’S PHOTOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE 38:538 (Oct. 1901): 401-403. [“…Mr. J. F. Ryder, Cleveland, Ohio, one of the pioneers in Convention work, came to the Convention in response to a special invitation by telegraph, and enjoyed his holiday exceedingly….” p. 401. (On p. 358 in the “Official Report” of this year’s P. A. A. convention, there is a note that the ex-Presidents Ryder, Cramer and Bellsmith were called from the audience to sit on the platform during the ceremonies.)]

Ryder, James. F. “Comments on the Portraits by Rocher.” WILSON’S PHOTOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE 39:547 (July 1902): 279-280. [“We present herewith two letters, concluding the series of comments on the portraits by Henry Rocher, given in the March number of this Magazine. Several other communications dealing with Mr. Rocher’s work were received, but they were not considered as adapted for publication. The pictures seem to have awakened many pleasant memories in the craft, and have drawn general attention to the splendid results achieved in portraiture a quarter of a century ago. The award of $10 offered for the best letter on the pictures has been given to Mr. Gordon Hatfield, of Tusket, Nova Scotia, whose contribution was published in our last issue. A check for the amount has already gone forward to Mr. Hatfield. We desire to explain, in justice to Mr. J. F. Ryder, of Cleveland, whose letter appears herewith, that this gentleman’s critique was unfortunately mislaid, and the letter now published is a later substitute. “It was written,” says Mr. Ryder, “not in competition for the award, but as an affectionate tribute to an old master in photography.”—Ed. W. P. M.] III. Dear Mr. Wilson: For the pleasure you have given your readers in reproducing the Henry Rocher photographs of twenty-five years ago, as a showing of American photography at that period, I give you herewith my hearty thanks, as doubtless many others have done. These pictures carry me back to the days of twenty-five to thirty years past, and open the doors to his fine studio, where I passed some profitable hours in studying his work, and listening to his talk. He was always inspiring and instructive. I felt honored by his kindly attentions and realized that I was in the presence of a master. The sincere worker of the present day may look at the work of Mr. Rocher and ask who surpassed it twenty-five years ago? He may be asked how many surpass it to-day? Henry Rocher was certainly in advance of his time. There was no sham or pretence in him, nor in anything that entered into his work—it was genuine. The furnishings and fittings; his furniture, his draperies, hangings, rugs, etc., were real. His lenses were the best that could be bought; he called them “his children” and cared for them tenderly, keeping them in a safe which was lowered each night into the basement of the building. Even in collodion days he used for his portrait work rectilinear lenses, which were considered too slow by other photographers. We have only to examine the examples reproduced in the March Magazine to notice the delicate detail in the white draperies, the gentle rounding of shadows in faces and arms, the depth of effect in the pictures throughout, to recognize the wisdom of his selection. The “chewing of the string as a test of the pudding” is well exemplified here. I was present one day when a messenger presented a note to Mr. Rocher, who seemed embarrassed in the reading. He scowled for a few seconds, then the usual kindly look came back into his face as he turned to the boy and said, ”Tell my neighbor I cannot lend my children. I am sorry he asked me.” He explained to me after the boy had gone that the messenger was sent to borrow one of his lenses. The whims and fadisms of to-day had not entered into photography in Rocher’s time. He followed no man’s fancies but his own. Common-sense, conscientious photography, without frills, as he saw it in his day, was his aim. He was exacting with his help, and did not always find the sympathy from them he expected. He knew what he wanted and how he wanted it done. He would spend an hour with the man who cleaned his negative glass to train him to do it properly. In all his work, at every step, must be the integrity of Henry Rocher. Failing in any point to do things just right was by him construed as an injustice to him, and through him to his patron. Telling me one day of his trials with his employees who thought they knew better than he what were best methods, and where they were right and he wrong, he said he had suffered most from men who had written books of instruction. He said he would sooner take a farmer boy and train him his way than have a writer of books upon the subject of photography. Years may pass and new men replace the old ones; we may have “impressionism,” new schools, advance styles, “smudge ” and “hazy ” instances of the “utterly utter.” The admirers of this style of work may say, ”how perfectly dear” and give utterance to silly expressions concerning it. And perchance they may occasionally stumble against a really good portrait by Rocher, made a quarter of a century ago, and wonder “where they are at.” Respectfully, James F. Ryder. Cleveland, O.”]

 “The National Convention,..” WILSON’S PHOTOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE 39:549 (Sept. 1902): 329-361. [“…Buffalo, August 5 to 8, inclusive, 1902. (Officially Reported By Douglas A. Brown.) The Twenty-second Annual Convention of the Photographers’ Association of America was held at the City Convention Hall, Buffalo, N. Y., August 5th to 8th, inclusive, its deliberations being presided over by Mr. George M. Edmondson, of Cleveland, Ohio. The following is the official stenographic report of the proceedings, complete in every detail:…” p. 329. “…President Edmondson: Under the head of new business, which is next in order, I have asked Mr. H. A. Collings to say a few words about Mr. J. F. Ryder’s new book, which is now in course of publication, a book that will be of interest to the fraternity at large. I ask Mr. Collings to kindly come forward and tell the members about it. Mr. H. A. Collings: Brothers—I can truly call you brothers because in this Convention as well as in the conventions we have had in the past there is a fraternal feeling existing. And it is a feeling that we can well be proud of. It is a feeling that makes all members of the Association feel at horne. The object and purpose of coming to the Association to look at a few pictures, even without any enjoyment connected with it is money well spent. Yet, money that the majority of us cannot afford to spend for that purpose alone; but, when we take into consideration the fact that we are having an enjoyable time, a pleasant vacation, seeing sights, and meeting people, and which we will look back to in the future, we feel well repaid for the effort and money expended. I will speak to you for just one moment in connection with this work. I am doing this with the kindest feelings to a member of this Association; perhaps one of the oldest members that we have. Twenty-one years ago I went to the city of New York, and I remember putting up at the Sturtevant House, and calling the proprietor down—the clerk would not do —to see what time they locked up, because 1 wanted to go out aud see the electric lights, and did not want to get locked out! (Laughter.) At that time I met tbe Past President of the Association, Mr. J. F. Ryder, of Cleveland, one who has stuck close to the Association and who has done as much, if not more, for the photographic profession in the last twenty years than any other one man. To-day he is publishing a book that is worthy of publication in my friend Mr. Todd’s magazine, The Photo Beacon. Remember that I am not hero to advance my own interests, but to speak for this book, because if you have it once in your home you will never regret it. It is my wish—not only my wish, but the wish of the Executive Board—that all members of the Association present subscribe for this book, because It is well worth the $2.50 that is asked for it, and I would request that each one of you make yourselves a special committee to see not only your friends that are here, and other members of the Association that are not in the room now, but also to see your competitors at your homes. It sounds funny to speak of competitors, but it is getting so that we do not shoot our competitors in the back as much as we used to, and I am glad of it. So I ask you to see your competitors in your own towns and tell them about this book of Mr. Ryder’s, who was the first President of the Association, and who Is now here within hearing of my voice. He has attended all the meetings in the last twenty years, and his book should have a boom and sell everywhere. I hope he will have your consideration, and that you will purchase the book. (Applause.)…” p. 337.]

 “Voigtlander and I. Mr. Ryder’s New Book.” WILSON’S PHOTOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE 39:551 (Nov. 1902): 425-427. 1 b & w. [(The illustration is a portrait of Ryder.) Book review. Voigtlander and I. A story of Fifty-two Years in Photography. By James F. Ryder. Pp. 115, 6×9; 120 illustrations; cloth bound, S2.50 postpaid. Edward L. Wilson, New York. “On page 261 of Photographic Mosaics, 1900, appeared an article by Mr. J. F. Ryder, entitled “Palette vs. Camera,” which he said was “from a forthcoming work,” supposed to be by himself, and which he meant to be Voigtlander and I. Ever since then the fraternity has been on the lookout for this “work,” and with no little patience waited for its finish, because the sample alluded to above made them eager for more. We are glad to announce that the “work” is ready now, and that an advance copy lies at our pen-hand as we write. It is a good book—one that will interest every votary of the camera, be he amateur or adept—and be profitable to every man in photography, and everyone of the contrary sex. (No offence intended.) When the author’s mind was convinced that he was called upon to write this book he began the labor. After a few sheets were written he stumbled. He did not know what title to give his effort, and making a bluff at it gave it a name almost as long as one of the chapters of the book. Then he sent the few sheets to us for advice and help. We at once gave it as our opinion that no dealer would ever keep or sell a book with such a long title; no photographer would ever write or ask for it, because that would absorb too much valuable time. So, as the matter of the book so far was so good, we suggested a title with more brevity in it. Finally, Voigtlander and I was the title chosen, and the good work went on. This explanation is publicly given in the preface: “I may as well tell you at once, Voigtlander was my camera, and I am “Yours truly, J. F. Ryder.” Now, friendly reader, you know a good deal about the book already, for the majority of you know Mr. Ryder, and you all know Voigtlander, a name that was engraved upon about every lens in the junior days of photography. In Voigtlander and I we find an account of the doings and misdoings of a typical, enterprising, practical, popular photographer, whose course in the art ran on from 1847 to 1902; from the days of “quick stuff” to those of collodion and gelatine; from the time when the fumes of iodine flashed a picture into existence to the use of emulsions and dry plates; from the days of a sixty-second exposure to the snapshot; from the time when our art had ”no primer” or other literature to these days of books, magazines, societies, and conventions; from the days when to get a new item of practice was to pay great, good money for it, to these days of “give all— take all;” from the time when hours were spent with a “dry buff” to do what the burnisher does in a second now—metal was used then—we use paper now; from those dear times when “bad indigo put into a shirt by a careless laundryman caused solarization” to these, when backing of the plates is adopted to prevent a similar “stick.” Then of his own more personal experience Mr. Ryder makes confession in detail. He is at his best now; he tells that his “first skylight was an open door;” how he made his “first gold;” when he carried his traps or outfit to farmhouses, and made “likenesses;” thence into the home of the village merchant and postmaster; from there to a hotel in North Pennsylvania, where the ball-room was placed at his service for studio use, and the “quilting bee” all upset by his appearance; then by mountain stage-coach (his outfit always along) to the home of a rich friend, where the neighbors flocked to him for sittings, and, finally, he reached Ohio. Full of incident and accident, now, this strange career goes on until our enthusiastic young artist holds up at the first Mormon Temple at Kirkland, O. There, the saints all gone, he turns out the ”images” of all who apply to him. At one time he heard of the existence of a fine daguerreotype in a distant place, and ” travelled through three States to see it,” showing the same spirit that some of our modern workers do in visiting our conventions. From “labor to refreshment,” then; after a day of exciting labor, the “marvel ” sauntered across the bridge through the paths of the meadows, where—see p. 30. Wherever he went he “was always finding models “—wherever there was light and people—a good habit. Eventually arriving at Cleveland, he had experiences both rich and rare. We are given anecdotes of great people who there faced Voigtlander in the studio of I, and are treated to revelations of his business ventures and interviews with President Garfield, Artemus Ward, Bret Harte, Josh Billings, the “Sweet Singer of Michigan,” Willard, the painter of “Yankee Doodle,” and to accounts of the compliments and comfortings which came to our artist from such noted patrons. Altogether, we are treated to pages of photographic lore, anecdotes, stories, etc., that are as funny and as enjoyable as the stories of Uncle Remus. Nothing seems to have been forgotten. Mr. Ryder passed through it all, and has produced a most entertaining work. More than this, such chapters as XII. (part of which we are permitted to give on another page) are well worthy of the thoughtful attention of our modern workers, old and young. The engravings from all sorts of photographic subjects are fine, were selected from all over the country, and count up one hundred or more. A fine portrait of Mr. Ryder and an introduction by Professor Griffith add greatly to the interest of the book and enhance its value. The camera-worker who does not quickly obtain Voigtldnder and I, read and study it well, soon misses a great advantage to himself, and promptly falls out of date. Then read it, get your patrons to read it, and secure it for a Christmas present to all you can. Mr. Ryder tells some things that are not of his business and none of ours. As Artemus Ward would say, that, perhaps, “is why he tells them.” Permit us to commend Chapter XXVI., “Luck and Work,” also for an early reading. We expect to return to this subject again and again, and so for the present desist. We wish and predict great success for Voigtlander and I. The “likenesses” of this congenial twain are given above— taken for our own especial use since the book went to press.”]

 Ryder, James F. “Incidental Lighting. An Extract from ‘Voigtlander and I.’” WILSON’S PHOTOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE 39:551 (Nov. 1902): 427-429. [“As the dawn comes out of darkness to awaken the day, so comes the faculty of observation and noting. What had been a blank takes form and definiteness. I began to see faces of men, women, and children differently than I had done. I began to observe. It did not occur to me that I should do it, but gradually it came to be a habit, and was resolved into a study. What one sees that may be helpful in his business or profession to adopt and store away for future needs are really additions to his capital. My study was to note how light fell upon the face and how the shadows were made. I quickly recognized and accepted what seemed correct and desirable, at the same time rejecting the incorrect. I was always seeking and adapting good lighting for portraits. That portion of the human world one sees is an open school—every face is a lesson offered gratuitously. The study is never a task, but always a pleasure, pursued without effort and unconsciously—an unceasing habit. Where could be found a study of such interest as the human face and head? Of the millions who people the earth, no two are exactly alike, a distinctive character to each. A man does not necessarily wear a wart upon his nose to distinguish him from other men. The wonder of God’s creation could hardly be more significant than in this particular. Nature has stamped its trademark on every human face. Students in physiognomy, who study deeply and sincerely, scrutinize faces more thoroughly than do other men. The evil passions of brutal, hardened hearts, the vengeful spirit, the treacherous, vindictive spite, the flashing eyes, the corrugated brow, the compressed lip, the expanding nostril, the clenched jaw, the murderous thought, are indexed in the faces of some; as also the generous, sympathetic, kindly promptings, the pleasant eye, the beaming smile, the welcoming spirit which springs out to meet and greet, are found in the faces of others. Wonderful study, truly. We find the rascal and hypocrite to be a poor imitation of a true and manly man. I found my models in men at their desks, behind counters, in cars, in church, at the work-bench—wherever there was light and people, there was my school. In the office of the business man at his desk, while discussing a trivial or important matter, I note how the light falls upon his face. I note from whence it comes, how it is distributed. I adapt the lighting for a portrait. If, unconsciously, he turns his head toward or from the source, he gives me a more or less desirable change in the distribution and blending of shadows. He is my model and my study. He is posing to me without knowing it. The child with whom I am making friends, whether he be shy or fearless, in the innocence of his little heart as he looks up, down, or askance, has given me a pose and expression which delight me, and which in my mind are transferred to the camera. The stranger I meet upon the street who inquires for the City Hall has given me a hasty sitting. I quite liked his face—while asking me a common question he was doing me a great service. Like Dickens’ “little Jennie Wren,” I was always “trying on,” and have a collection of mind images too great to be catalogued, and yet the work goes steadily on. It gives the student valuable training. This study has led me to observation beyond the camera or its application to photography, and is in line of interest to the ladies. Nature says they are of the gentler and softer sex; endowed with finer sensibilities, gentler and sweeter natures, more sympathetic and more refined. Without venturing to dispute so great an authority, we admit the claim and accede to it. We recognize in woman the cream of God’s creation. From the cradle to the grave she is our dearest blessing. The little breathing bud in her cradle holds our hearts in her tiny hands, she is our princess, we her slave. The “wee tot” who runs to meet us with merry heart, and gives us welcome to our home, is the brightest sunshine and our sweetest pleasure—bless her! The maiden sweet and shy, just realizing that she has a heart; trusting, innocent, pure, honors her father and her mother—bless her dear heart. The wife, the mother, the woman, the maker of a happy home, faithful, loyal, unselfish—bless her noble heart. The dear old grandmother in her easy chair, sweet in her lavender and laces; proud of her great brood of three generations; full of stories for the children; loved by all, seeing Heaven plainer as she nears it—bless her dear old heart. To such as these should come only the eider-down of kindness, the soft breath of laden fields—all that contributes to harmony should be theirs. Instead of rough winds, the gentle breeze. Rather than a blaze of light, a soft subdued illumination, a light which is mixed with shadow, a kindly mellow light, ladies, is best for you —the soft light conceals what a harsh or brilliant light discloses. Few people pay attention to or make a study of light and lighting. As ”there are sermons in stones,” there also are lessons in the shadow of a hitching-post. Knowledge and ignorance go hand in hand. Light is both an enemy and a friend, according as it may be used. We know it comes from the heavens rather than out of the ground, yet choose to force it up hill rather than take it first hand from the Creator. The manner of admitting light into buildings and homes is faulty in the sense of giving best effects. Windows should be high in rooms and light admitted through the upper portions, rather than the lower. Rooms should be filled with soft light to give cheer and health. Instead of dark or opaque shades and heavy thick hangings, through which light can hardly struggle, pleasant buff shades which are luminous and convey light, aided by muslin or lace curtains, are best for homes. Shades hung to pull up from the bottom rather than down from above are preferable. As a rule, valuable pictures are given the gloom of hanging space, while the floors are given the light. Dark wall papers are depressing, while lighter tints and colors impart cheer and buoyancy. Ladies may look to advantageous lighting as a means of enhancing beauty. Keep in mind that a strong light produces violent contrast of shadow and illumination, which is trying to a lady’s face. A soft light and soft shadow give gentle rounding and good definition—concealing rather than emphasizing a possible blemish. In sitting at a window the light should pass a little in front of the face and at an angle which would admit of its reaching the shaded side. To sit with a strong light coming squarely in front where both cheeks are equally illuminated is to be positively avoided. It makes the face a blank by robbing it of all shadows. The little depressions and articulations of surface anatomy are lost, while a little turning of the head either way immediately restores the shadows by the changed direction of light, and the lost dimples, the contour of cupid’s bow to the lips, and little “well holes” at corners of the mouth, are all back again. A judicious blending of light with shadow quickly makes or unmakes beauty in a woman’s face. With an understanding of these light and shadow values it is as easy for ladies to look their best as to fail in it. The demonstration of this knowledge is easily acquired. The reward comes quickly and satisfactorily. In choosing a pew in church it should be remembered that a window just opposite and near the sitting is objectionable to good light effect—a seat or two back is more desirable, as it avoids the abrupt shadow. Artificial light, gas or electric, should be shaded with porcelain or ground glass. The most favorable direction for the light to fall upon the person is at the angle of forty-five degrees from above and ten to twenty degrees back of the falling light. Do not try to abolish shadows, but to soften them. Find the soft effects, and wear them if you would be lovely. An instance in illustration of the quality of light and the direction in which it may fall upon a face may be understood by the following description. A lady noted for her beauty—a brunette, with soft dark eyes and clear, fine complexion—spent an evening in my house, to meet some friends whom I had prepared to see a beautiful woman. It so happened that unconsciously she took a seat directly under the chandelier where the force of light struck forehead, nose and cheeks, illuminating them abnormally. The shadows, by violent contrast, quite concealed her eyes, leaving only black patches of shade, with no illumination to give detail or expression. The nose threw a heavy shadow across the upper lip, the mouth, and upon the chin; the lower portion of the cheeks, the throat and neck were in deep shadow. The lines at the corners of the mouth were elongated and inky in shadow. There was a really handsome woman looking absolutely hideous. Every smile she gave was a grimace, a smooth skin was roughened, her hair was like wires. I was greatly embarrassed at the injustice done her by an unscrupulous light; hurriedly called my wife aside; directed her attention to the unfortunate situation, and got her assistance in remedying without exposing it. When on some pretence she got the lady to rise I hastily removed her chair to a position in a good light where justice was done her and my friends were enabled to see her to advantage.”]

“Review of Books, Etc. Received.” PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES BULLETIN 35:1 (Jan. 1903): 44. [Book review. Voigtlander and I. By James F. Ryder. Cleveland, Ohio. “James F. Ryder is so well known to the fraternity that an introduction is superfluous. “Voigtlander and I” is just the sort of a book one would expect from Mr. Ryder. Just enough photography in it to add a spice, the remainder little stories and incidents in the long and happy life of the author, finely illustrated with well selected half-tones.”]

 “Note.” WILSON’S PHOTOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE 40:553 (Jan. 1903): 2. [“Voigtlander and I, by the veteran James F. Ryder, continues to sell rapidly. The present edition will soon be exhausted. Photographers who have not yet enjoyed this delightful volume, with its stories of old days, beautiful illustrations, and hundreds of valuable pointers about studio work, should lose no time in obtaining a copy. It is brimful of useful instruction, and interesting from cover to cover. Price, $2.50, from the office of this Magazine.”]

 “Voigtlander and I.” WILSON’S PHOTOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE 40:553 (Jan. 1903): 43-44. [“Not for years has the American photographer so thoroughly shown his appreciation of a good book as he has in the case of Voigtlander and I. The book was published just before the holidays, and already the large edition printed has dwindled to a few hundred copies. We are proud of the book’s success. It is worthy of all the appreciation given to it. It tells the story of a life which deserves appreciation: the life and adventures of one of America’s foremost photographers, his early struggles, his ideals, and their realization. It abounds in stories which amuse by their revelation of human nature. It has its touches of pathos. Its illustrations cover the whole gamut of life and its incidents and accidents. Mr. James F. Ryder has given to our literature a contribution of permanent value. By the author’s courtesy we give a few excerpts from his mail-bag concerning the book. They will interest our readers and show how the book impresses those who have seen it. First, a word from President Roosevelt: [Copy.] Personal. White House, Washington, Nov. 6, 1902. My Dear Sir: The President is in receipt of the copy of your book which you were good enough to send him recently, and requests me to thank you for your thoughtful courtesy. He wishes me to say that he will be interested in looking through the volume at a leisure moment. Very truly yours, (Signed) Geo. B. Cortelyou, Secretary to the President. Mr. James F. Ryder, Cleveland, Ohio. The following letter comes from the Secretary of State: [Copy.] Department of State, Washington, Nov. 17, 1902. Dear Mr. Ryder:  I have received your kind letter of the 12th of November and the accompanying book, Voigtlander and I. I have had much pleasure in looking at the remarkable photographs it contains, and shall take an early opportunity to enjoy the text. I am, with many thanks, Sincerely yours, (Signed) John Hay. Mr. Morris Burke Parkinson writes from Boston: Nov. 26, 1902. Dear Mr. Ryder: Inclosed find check for $2.75 in payment for your good Voigtlander and I. The extra quarter is to cover cost of cashing check, sending bills, etc., which is no more than right. It has seldom given me more pleasure to pay a bill than I take in drawing this check. I have glanced at the book enough to know that I shall be highly entertained and instructed. It will always be a pleasant memory to me that I had the pleasure of meeting you personally, though I had known you by public repute for years. And your good wife and your brother and his wife—I can see you all now—sitting at the .dinner-table in Buffalo. Perhaps you cannot all sing, but certainly you are a quartette from which -comes the sweet music of domestic peace. If your declining years are as full of honor and comfort as your life has been of merit, it will be no more than is desired by your friend, Morris Burke Parkinson. Here is Mr. Ryder’s characteristic reply to the above: Cleveland, O., Nov. 29, 1902, Morris Burke Parkinson, Boston, Mass. Dear Mr. Parkinson: I have received your letter of the 26th and your check for $2.75, being 25c. above the regular price, showing V. and I. at a premium. I thank you for this, and mark with pleasure that it was you who first declared it above par. Money is a fine thing to receive, but in this case it takes second place to the valued words of your letter. You have made me very happy, and I do sincerely thank you. Very truly yours, James F. Ryder. The Chicago Record-Herald, in a review extending over several columns, says: “The veteran photographer, James F. Ryder, of Cleveland, Ohio, has written a book of reminiscences—an uncommonly interesting book, full of original anecdotes and choice pictures. He calls it Voigtlander and I in Pursuit of Shadow Catching, and in a clever preface it leaks out that his truthful and beloved friend, Voigtlander, is his camera. Well may Mr. Ryder extol the merits of this faithful companion, for his camera has brought him wealth, reputation, and troops of friends. President Garfield once referred to him in a public speech as the most successful photographer in the United States. The volume is well written, and abounds in interest of various kinds. Its author’s very original personality pervades the whole. It is generously illustrated with half-tone reproductions of many of the most curious and superb photographs to be found anywhere.” The ladies, Heaven bless ’em! are unanimous in their opinions for once. For example: A woman in Toledo, in ordering another book to give to a friend for Christmas, says: “I was so much interested in the story I couldn’t stop to comb my hair until it was finished.” A man said to his wife, “I want you to sew on a suspender button for me, Mary.” “Oh! don’t bother me,” she replied; “use a shingle nail; I’ll fix it to-night; I can’t stop reading now. What a funny name for a book, but the book is funnier than the name.” Says Elbert Hubbard, of the Philistine, at East Aurora, New York: “The book you sent us is very charming indeed. It forms a valuable addition to our Roycroft Library.” No photographer can afford to let so interesting a volume pass unread. It should be on every photographer’s book-shelf and on the centre-table of every photographer’s reception-room. Order early to avoid disappointment. Sent post free, carefully packed, on receipt of $2.50 sent to Edward L. Wilson, 287 Fourth Avenue, New York.”]

 “Note.” WILSON’S PHOTOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE 40:554 (Feb. 1903): 77. [“Voigtlander and I continues to delight those who buy it. A busy photographer writes: “I have snatched time to read Mr. Ryder’s book and was surprised by its vivid interest and helpfulness. It has told me many things I wanted to know and, at the same tine, kept me laughing.” Get a copy before the edition is sold out.”]

 Ryder, James F. “Overflow, from Voigtlander and I.” WILSON’S PHOTOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE 40:556 (Apr. 1903): 174-175. [“In the early sixties, when we paid three dollars per ounce for nitrate of silver, I resorted to the following method for saving the waste: I had sawed from a board, a foot square, a circular opening large enough to receive the crown of a soft-felt hat. I nailed four legs—one to each corner of the board, and pushed the hat in with the opening up, and placed it in the developing sink beside a cushion-covered box on which I washed my developed plates, leaving a full stream from the faucet to flow upon it. This was in collodion days. Our developing solution was sulphate of iron and acetic acid held in a wide-mouth bottle at the right hand of the operator. The developing-room, unlike the present for dry plates, was sufficiently lighted to enable the operator to work with perfect freedom from danger of fogging his plates. No developing trays were employed. The plates came wet from the holders, wet from the silver solution which saturated the collodion film. The plate was held in the left hand, the thumb lapping over the lower left-hand corner, and the fingers on the under side of the plate, enabling the operator to hold it level. Now, with the developing bottle held upon the lower end of the plate, it was tilted sufficiently to flow the solution quickly over the surface. The solution of iron coming in contact with the nitrate of silver quickly reduced it to a metallic state. The surface solution upon the plate was drained into the hat, which acting as a filter permitted the water to run through while the particles of silver were caught in the felt. When it happened that from undertiming, overtiming, moving of the sitter, a lack of perfect focus, streaks or spots from imperfect cleaning of the plate, the entire film was scraped off into the hat—a thin slab of hard rubber, such as is used for plate-holder slides, was employed for the purpose. These collodion skins were rich in silver, but to a person not understanding their metallic value presented an uninteresting gray mass. Little did I know in those times what reckless loss I was committing in future photographic productions—what fame I was losing in those scrapings—into the soft-felt hat. As the years passed over my head, changing it from a rugged covering to a bald pate, I have awakened to a realization that a genius of photographic possibilities has taken advantage of my sleep and established an “advanced school,” and I am not in it. I see plainly enough I have not kept up with the times. The examples I have seen of the “new photography” in prominent magazines, in popular exhibitions, send me back to the felt-hat scrapings with a wail at my stupidity in failing to discover or claim a discovery. In the innocence of my heart I admired clean work, distinct, soft, and clear. I even liked rich textures. I thought what seemed to me in the portrait of an old man with a sweeping white beard, with silken hair of flossy softness, where from a shadow of delicious depth a soft light went climbing hand-in-hand with a gentle shadow over cheek, nose, and forehead without a stumble; without flattening; without a loss of detail or losing any part— why, I thought it fine. The new school finds beauty in haze and smudge, in what would have seemed to me before I fell asleep a sloppy, scurvy photography. But perhaps I am prejudiced. This additional chapter to Mr. Ryder’s delightful book of reminiscences affords our readers a glimpse of the pleasures in its pages. The photographer who can enjoy a hearty laugh, as well as the man who feels that he does not know it all, should read Voigtlander and I from cover to cover. Postpaid, $2.50 from the office of this Magazine.”]

 “News and Notes.” WILSON’S PHOTOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE 40:557 (May 1903): 208. [“Voigtlander and I. Now that the busy season is well over and photographers have a little leisure for reading, we are receiving many letters from purchasers of Mr. Ryder’s Voigtlander and /. In almost every instance our correspondents express pleasure and surprise at the wealth of practical information given by Mr. Ryder. Apparently those who bought the book were prepared for entertainment and amusement, but did not look for practical instruction. As we have already pointed out, Voigtlander and I is rich in suggestions and the teaching of experience. It could hardly be otherwise, coming from a veteran with more than half a century of life behind the camera. Post free to any address, $2.50.”]

 Ryder, James F. “Overflow from Voigtlander and I. A Day’s Outing.” WILSON’S PHOTOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE 40:558 (June 1903): 285-286. [“Having repaired my lost fortune, by fire, at Elyria, and accepted a good position at Cleveland, resolved to celebrate the event by a romp in the country. Park and I discussed the matter: he thought he knew just the place. So, quietly we secured team and lumber, and provided ourselves with the requirements for a dinner. A fish dinner—the fish of our own catch, and started down the river for the place he knew of, to the farm of Deacon Jones, upon the river bank toward the lake. We arrived, and Park went in the house to secure permission to fish from his grounds. The deacon was repairing his fence near the house, and Mrs. Jones referred us to him. I followed Park to interview the farmer. We were well received by Mr. Jones, who said “Hello, Charley! How are you? How is the Colonel and your mother?” I was introduced, and Mr. Jones asked if I was the man who took likenesses at Elyria. Said he had heard of me, and, turning, asked if I thought I could take his. I told him I would be pleased to try if he would give me a chance; he replied. “Yes, I suppose so.” Mr. Park now stated our wants. Said a party of a dozen or so wished to fish and picnic on his grounds, that we had brought lumber to build table and seats; if he would like us to leave it as compensation, we would gladly do it. That we would be very glad to have him, Mrs. Jones, and his daughters take dinner with us. “A fish dinner?” he asked. We said -‘ yes” I thought the sly look on his face as he asked the question was significant. He said, “Mother and I are too busy—the girls are free to accept if they like. Don’t chop my fences up to cook your fish, and you are very welcome.” We built table and seats, made a fireplace, and, with some yellow string, tied tightly around some oranges we bought, we tied them up in the trees of a little grove near by with the aid of a stepladder. Quite a tropical appearance was secured. We left at the house our dishes, food, fishing tackle, etc., and drove back home. We had invited a few friends for a fish dinner—the fish of our own catch was to be a conspicuous feature. A basket party with a bit of lunch going out, and possibly some fish to return. A jolly day by all means was to be had. We were to start from the Beebe House at 8 o’clock sharp. The Elyria brass-band wagon, which would easily seat a dozen, was our conveyance, four of Mr. Darling’s smart roadsters, with Dave Houghton holding the reins, presented a fine showing. To my mind we had a delightfully happy party. My young drummer, Charley Northrop, whose efforts had so materially contributed to my mended fortunes, was given the seat of honor beside the driver. Another friend who I thought might enjoy a day in the country, and possibly record some notable incident of the day, “Voigtlander,” with a few plates, was included in the party. The country was delightful in its spring suit of tender green trimmed with blossoms of white and pink Merry voices from happy hearts rippled with wit laughter, and song as we moved along past farms and fields. It was, indeed, a happy party, and was recognized as such by the farm people along the way. When we reached the summit of Reed’s hill we halted to take a look up and down the river. From above, it came down with a sweeping curve, the light gray monotone of the surface broken by the rippling rapids, the sound of which was as soft music on the morning air, the trees were feathering out with a fresh charm and gently swaying in the soft spring breeze. The sky is such a clean, pure blue that thousands upon thousands of pairs of Dutchman’s trousers could be cut from it, and its azure purity stood as a guarantee of a perfect day. The river in its journey toward the lake now takes a rather crooked path, and appears more sluggish and lazy since leaving the rapids. Opposite us a group of cattle, some on the banks and others in the water, make a picture of easy contentment. They have no dishes to wash, no beds to make, no baking to do. They know no scandal against our neighboring farms. They just chew their cuds, swish their tails, and borrow no trouble; whether school kept or not, was quite a matter of indifference to them. Happy Bossys! , Where the river takes its first turn beyond the cattle a tree had been undermined by the rapid current and was leaning over nearly to the surface of the river. Upon this leaning tree are two boys fishing; away down as the eye followed the winding stream we see a boat with men in it, crossing to our side; farther still between the rising banks of the river the green water of Lake Erie forming a terminal to the vista of hazy atmosphere hanging over the valley. A shout from the boys upon the tree announces to us that one of them had pulled out a good-sized fish, and this was a hint to us that our dinner was still in the river and we must be moving to secure it We start again, and away we go at a good pace until we reached the Jones farm. The girls came out to meet and welcome us. Farmer Jones showed us where to stable our horses, and we all walked down the lane to the fishing ground. As a vigorous onslaught was to be made upon the fish an organized system of management was thought advisable. Charley Park was elected general manager without a dissenting voice. Mose Gallup was elected director of weights and measures. In the installation ceremonies he was solemnly charged to be square in the discharge of his duties. If it was the catch by a pretty girl he was not to make it weigh heavier than it really was. If a fish flopped its tail while on the scales and joggled the weighing in favor of the catcher, it should be ruled “no fair.” The girl that caught the very biggest fish should be entitled to first prize. The girl that caught the most fish in the first half hour should be awarded second prize. Our lunch baskets were huddled together upon the table, the fishing tackle was gotten out, and a half dozen eager anglers set to work to secure our banquet. Preparations were now pushed smartly forward by the whole party, the tables set with the dishes, and a good display of flowers adorning the board, some wood gathered for fire to cook our fish, two hammocks slung up, a bar to hang our kettles for heating water for our coffee, baskets placed upon the bank in which to put our fish as they were hauled up out of the water, a spring scale for weighing the largest of the catch, and tape-line for measuring. “Now girls,-‘ said Manager Park,” attend to your fishing—pull ’em out fast and give us a big dinner.” Soon there went up six little screams from six fisher girls, and the exclamation, ” Sue Park has caught a fish l Bring the scales; bring a tape-line.” All this time the fish was floundering in the grass. Weighmaster Gallup was unable to capture it at once. It was suggested that this fish be measured at first and afterward weighed. By and by it wore its energy to a minimum, and was released from the hook; the excitement subsided somewhat. The tape-line was produced and Mr. Gallup proceeded with his official duties. The fish being liberated from the hook, evidently felt a sense of liberty and flopped when the tape-line came in contact with his glistening side. The interested onlookers crowded about the measurer and the fish to the annoyance of Mr. Gallup, who spoke in a loud voice: “Stand back! make room—give a fellow a chance!” When at last he had made the measurement and was writing down in his notebook the dimensions of the bass, with the party looking over his shoulder, the prisoner made his escape by flopping back into the river, at which there was much tumult and consternation. Nan Brown said “the jig is up now; that fish will noise it about among all the other fish, and we will not get another bite.” In the excitement of the measuring, Cassie Wooster had dropped her pole in the river. She hurriedly got a stick, and in reaching for the pole lost her balance and went floundering into the water. All the young men of the party made a rush to rescue her. Some stripping off their raiment, but before they could reach the imperiled girl she walked up out of the water. The young men declared she had not given them half a chance, the opportunities for rescuing young ladies from watery graves were so few it was a blasted shame that she should so inconsiderately spoil one. With downcast eyes she explained she was afraid the fish would bite her, and so hurried out. Now one of the Miss Jones of the farm, the one of the winsome smile, conducted the “drowned rat ” to the house for a change of dry raiment. Here let it be said, by virtue of the general manager’s obligation to furnish us a fish dinner or fish for a dinner, and the situation beginning to look serious, Manager Park shouted: “A horse! My kingdom for a horse, start a messenger in hot haste to the village for a box of herring. A fish dinner we must have.” A general order was now issued. Taking bits out of lunch baskets was strictly prohibited. The only nibbles permissible were by the fish at the hooks. As an extra inducement the girls were required to spit upon the bait, the manager being of the belief that fish knew a thing or two and would be attracted by dew from rosy lips. Weighmaster Gallup was now called upon for an official report as to the true measurement of the fish which got away, that we might know the extent of our loss and how much our dinner had been cut short. Taking from his pocket the book containing the record, he stated, by way of preface, that owing to the restless disposition of the fish, its flopping and wiggling of its tail, the securing of close accuracy had been difficult, but, as definitely as he had been able to determine, the fish measured four and one-half inches. A vote of thanks was given him for the faithfulness with which he had performed his arduous duties. Now, by way of encouragement, Jennie Holmes pulled up a small whale, possibly five or six inches in length, but it fell off the hook about three feet above the water and made a splash. The outlook for a fish fry was growing dismal indeed. The fish didn’t bite and the girls were getting discouraged. It was Hearing noon, the alleged cheerfulness of the jolly party was evidently forced, but no grumbling was heard—to be hungry and jolly was a bit unnatural; but who of our party would be weak enough to whimper? “Say! Who is that coming down the lane in a wagon?” says Charley Northrop; “blamed if it ain’t Bub Frary. What business has he to intrude upon a private party?” “We’ll find out first,” says some one, “better not snub him.” Bub was a big boy, of perhaps nineteen, but a giant. Stood six feet three; weighed two hundred and fifty or thereabouts, face beardless and complexion fresh as a girl’s; just a boy, and very good-natured. Everybody liked Bub, he was principally fisherman and handy at most anything. “Hello, Bub, what you got in your wagon?” I asked. “Fine basket of bass,” he answered, “also some side pork, some potatoes, and knickknacks, you know—things that will help out a square meal. Me and Mark Galpin have been down to the lake pulling out bass. I couldn’t get him to leave while they were biting so fierce, and I’ve got to go back and get him.” “Well, can’t you spend the afternoon with us?” I asked. “Well, yes, I think I can,” said Bub. I then addressed our little party, saying: “Of course, you all know Bub. He don’t go about posing for an angel as a regular thing, but he is ours, sure enough to-day,” says Manager Park; “but how in thunder did you happen to come to-day?” Bub, pointing his thumb at me, said: “Oh, I had to come, he engaged me three days ago.” He now took from his wagon a basket of bass. Beauties, indeed! We admired them much. He set about dressing them, and in a short time had them in his big frying-pan with some slices of pork, just to give them a tinge. The fire was kindled under saucepan for potatoes, frying-pan for fish, and boiler for coffee (seems though I could smell that coffee yet). Everything was moving fine, and Bub was in high spirits as chef. The young ladies, weary with angling, were resting in the hammocks watching Bub and his fragrant bass, others gathering flowers for the return home. Some screams of delight announced the discovery of the orange grove, which was a charming surprise, and the fruit was plucked and put upon the table as an item of dessert. In the absence of special patters the fish were taken direct from pan to plates; the roast potatoes were passed to each upon a fork. There were sandwiches, biscuits, pickles, and coffee. When all were seated at table I brought out “Voigtlander” to give him a look at our party. There were two rows of happy faces down the length of the table. Just outside of each row I stood on one side my “drummer boy.” On the other “the angel of the day,” genial, robust Bub Frary. The reader may take my word for it that it was a very square and enjoyable meal. If any survivor of that event who scans these lines and thinks he or she recalls a more enjoyable outing, please advise by postal.”]

 “In Memoriam. Edward L. Wilson.” WILSON’S PHOTOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE 40:559 (July 1903): 289-304. [“Tributes from His Contemporaries. The announcement of Mr. Wilson’s death brought many letters and sad tributes of affection from friends and coworkers in photography. From among these I gladly select a few, rounding out my poor sketch with views of his personality and work as seen by others, some of whom stood shoulder to shoulder with him in earlier days:…” {Ryder’s note was one of many such published here.) “…I am shocked to learn of the death of Edward L. Wilson. Photography has lost a valuable friend. I give my sympathy to his immediate friends and to his followers at large throughout the country, who recognize the high standard he gave to American photographic journalism. James F. Ryder, Cleveland, O.” p. 296.]

 “The National Convention, Indianapolis, August 4 to 7, inclusive, 1903.” WILSON’S PHOTOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE 40:560 (Aug. 1903): 337-386. [“The Twenty-third Annual Convention of the Photographers’ Association of America was held…” “…First Day—Morning Session.  President Nussbaumer: We will now come to order. I declare the Thirty-third Annual Convention of the Photographers’ Association of America duly open for business. The Past Presidents of the Association are cordially invited to a seat on the platform. [In accordance with this invitation Past Presidents W. H. Potter, Indianapolis; R. P. Bellsmith, Cincinnati, and James F. Ryder, Cleveland, now took seats upon the stage. Their advent was greeted with applause.]…” p. 377. “…I will appoint as Nominating Committee, to nominate officers for the coming year, Messrs. James F. Ryder, Cleveland ; Frank Medlar, Spencer, Iowa; J. M. Bandtel, Milwaukee; H. G. Schwarzer, Brooklyn, N. Y.; William Stephenson, Atlanta, Ga….” p. 339. “…President Nussbaumer: It gives me pleasure to introduce to you, gentlemen and ladies, Mr. James F. Ryder, whom you all know and who is certainly endeared to us all. We are to have a series of five minute talks from men whom you all know, and Mr. Ryder will give us the first of them. (Great applause.) “Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen: I am very glad to be here. It is my first visit to Indianapolis. Among the inducements to bring us here something was said about Hoosier hospitality. I have experienced it. I have been as happy as a man could very well be meeting all my friends. Everything seems to go our way very nicely. I predict that this will be the banner convention of the Association’s history. Even the weather man has shown us some attention and we got an elegant shower last night. He did it all right. Everything so far as I see is all right. We have here a beautiful Soldiers’ Monument, such as I have not seen before. I see much in Indianapolis that has greatly impressed me. Well, as I say, I am happy to be here. I had thought that I was about through attending conventions, but here I am—and I am glad! I like it. I like everything that has gone forward favorably to this convention. The cleverest and most impressive piece of work connected with it that I have seen is the book entitled The Association Review. l like nice books, and I like everything that contributes to our Association. It belonged to the present management to bring that book to the front. It was manufactured in Indianapolis and is as fine a piece of work as I ever saw. I am proud to have been once in the photographic business, if for nothing else because of t hat book. Its illustrations are artistic and beautiful. Everything about it is fine. I would advise everyone here to secure a copy and to carry it home. I have laid aside a few copies which I paid for, in order to give them to my enthusiastic friends at home. The progress of this Association and all that it carries with it—all that it means—is worthy of being perpetuated in the best form, and I consider that little book as being the best thing that has happened here, and I hope that it will have continuance of life. It is really the strongest and best appeal to those people who can appreciate it— and l think mighty well of it. I guess I am done. (Applause.)…” p. 344. “…President Nussbaumer: Mr. Scandlin desires to make some correction in his article in the Association Review. Mr. W. I. Scandlin: My attention has been called to the necessity of the correction of a name and the addition of two or three other names in the historical sketch of this Association which I had the honor of preparing for the souvenir programme, and with your permission, Mr. President, I would request that these corrections be noted upon the minutes of this meeting, as that seems to be the only way in which the matter can be reached. Mr. James F. Ryder calls my attention to the fact that for the first meeting of the Association, which was held in Chicago in 1880, there is named as the list of officers: President, John Carbutt; Secretary, G. A. Douglass; Treasurer, A. Hesler; whereas the correct statement should be: President, J. F. Ryder; Secretary, A. J. Copelin; and Treasurer, A. Hesler. I may say that the reason for the error was that no record was made of the early meeting which elected officers who served until the August meeting, and there being no report of the same in the photographic press, from which my material was collated, I had no means of discovering the omission. The list of officers, however, supplied by Mr. Ryder, as above, should be added to the record. Mr. Ryder informs me that the mention of Mr. O. P. Scott as being elected President at the Boston convention in 1889 is incorrect, as Mr. Scott was defeated and J. M. Appleton was elected at that time…” p. 362. (Ryder comments on policy on p. 362, submits, as Chairman,  “Report of the Nominating Committee.” on p. 368.) “…President Nussbaumer: Mr. Ryder finds that he will have to leave us at this time, and before going he wants to say a few words to you this morning. Mr. Ryder: I said the other day that I was glad to be in Indianapolis. I have been glad every day since, and I am still glad; but I have to leave you, and must now make some little preparations for my leaving. I am very happy to have met so many friends and made so many new ones, many whom I did not know, but who knew me. This has been a constant pleasure to me. I thank everyone who has shown me their courtesy and friendship as you have. Now I will say good-by to you all. (Applause.) At a gesture from President Nussbaumer the audience now rose in respect to Past President Ryder, and the members came forward and pressed around Mr. Ryder and gave him a most flattering ovation and many hearty handclasps. This pleasing incident concluded, the business of the convention was resumed….” p. 375.]

Ryder, James F. “Photographing a Railroad.” AMERICAN ANNUAL OF PHOTOGRAPHY AND PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES-BULLETIN ALMANAC FOR 1904 (1904): 144-146. [(Anecdotes by Ryder describing his photographing on the Atlantic and Great Western Railway in 1862. “Overflow from the book Voightlander and I in Pursuit of Shadow Catching by James F. Ryder.”)
“In the spring of 1862, when the Atlantic and Great Western Railway was in course of construction, tapping the New York and Erie at Salamanca, N. Y., running west through portions of New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio, I was called from Cleveland to meet Mr. T. W. Kennard, chief engineer and builder of the road, at Meadville, Pa., the then headquarters of the company. Mr. Kennard was one of the brightest business men I had ever met, and a fine amateur photographer. He was from London, Eng., and the road was being built mostly on English capital. That purchasers of shares could feel a greater sense of actuality from seeing photographs rather than from drawings upon white paper in big sheets, was so apparent to Mr. Kennard that he engaged me to go over the road from Salamanca to Akron, O., and the Franklin branch from Meadville to Oil City. Having arranged preliminaries and received instructions to photograph all the important points of the work, such as excavations, cuts, bridges, trestles, stations, buildings and general character of the country through which the road ran, the rugged and the picturesque, I was turned over to Mr. H. F. Sweetser, the General Superintendent, who on learning my wants turned me over to the Master Car Builder with instructions to him to fix me up with what was necessary for the work. It was determined a wrecking car would best fill the bill. The wrecking car is a caboose at one end, and platform with a crane for use in hoisting and clearing up wrecks through the other part of the car. As the crane would be more a disadvantage than a help to me, it was taken, off—the car run into the shop and I was invited to say what should be done with it. I had a good dark room built in a corner, strong shelving and even a water tank and developing sink in the dark room. In the center of the caboose I had rather a large table to do our work upon, clearing our plates, making collodion, varnishing negatives, etc. Nothing could be finer or more complete than our outfit. Our train consisted of engine, new and bright from the works at Paterson, N. J., the tender and our wrecking car. Our crew was Zenas Russell, conductor and engineer, a fireman and a brakeman, myself and an assistant from my establishment in Cleveland. We went up or down the road as we chose, in search of good spots for the camera. We had only to keep out of the way of all other trains. The time table, the universal guide to all stations and trains was our guide. Side tracks were our haven when other trains were near. The very newness of our engine was, to Mr. Russell, an objection. He told me one day while lying on a side track waiting for the express that all engines had to be “broke in.” Admitted ours was a beauty, but said she had things to learn. He was displeased that he was obliged to take her. Said they were giving him too many new engines to educate, and when he had “taken the kinks ” out of them they would be given to some less skilled man. He said all new engines must be treated as babes—they had to be petted and nursed; had to be “eased up” or “tightened” until their bearings became worn and easy, and until they knew their master ; said to take an ignoramus machine and train her to a bit of intelligence, a man grew to admire and love her. A good engineer is naturally “proud of his girl,” as he called his engine, and dislikes to have another fellow take her off his hands. It seemed to me there was a sort of running fight between Russell and “his girl” throughout the time we were photographing the road. It seemed to me too if he happened to be out of sorts with me, he
would vent his displeasure upon his engine. We had nearly finished up our work of viewing when one Saturday evening we were at Meadville with the expectation of remaining over Sunday and starting for Akron on the following Monday morning to complete the work. It occurred to me I would like to spend Sunday in Akron with some friends I had there and asked Russell if he would make the run that evening and be on hand to do the work early Monday. No objection being made we started within a half hour. The road being somewhat new was not very smooth. I noticed this fact as we went spinning along more and more rapidly. I remembered at Adamsville seeing a caution posted at either end of a high trestle spanning a deep ravine, for trains to go slow. We must cross that trestle, and at the speed he was going I was very anxious. Bottles, funnels, negative racks and whatever happened to be upon the table were dancing so violently it kept myself and assistant very busy in trying to prevent breakage. During this activity it occurred to me Russell was “taking kinks” out of his girl and a second thought told me he wanted to stay with his family in Meadville over Sunday and I hadn’t thought of it before. It really seemed to me that engine was running on one foot at times. We had that from side to side swing gait that a monster runaway-a-way elephant might have given. We arrived at Akron without mishap. I went to the hotel and to bed without having a conversation with Russell. My hair did not “turn white in a single night,” but I shall never forget the Adamsville trestle. Meek and humble came Russell on Sunday with apology and explanation. He said he felt obliged to put his girl under the lash for her crankiness. He trusted I would forgive him and not report him at headquarters.
The views I made for the company were fine and satisfactory. For months I was kept busy printing from the negatives, and shipping to New York office for London.
Overflow from Voigtlander and I, in pursuit of Shadow Catching, by James F. Ryder.”]

“James F. Ryder.” PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES BULLETIN 36:7 (July 1904): 311. [“In the death of James F. Ryder, of Cleveland, O., the profession has lost one of its ablest and most distinguished members. Mr. Ryder passed away at his home in Cleveland, O., on June the second at the age of seventy-eight years. There is no member of his craft in the United States who has achieved greater distinction than has been accorded him. Many of the best known and most expert photographers in the country learned their trade in his famous old shop at No. 239 Superior Street, where he followed the profession for more than thirty years, and many of the greatest men of the nation in that long period posed before his camera. When little more than a boy James F. Ryder came to Cleveland and opened a little picture shop on Superior Street near the river. At the outbreak of the civil war he was overrun with business, taking the photographs of hundreds of the boys who left for the front. Mr. Ryder thought that every soldier should leave photographs behind for his mother and his sweetheart, and those of the boys who were not able to pay for the work he photographed for nothing. Mr. Ryder had the distinction of being the first photographer in America to introduce the retouching of negatives. About thirty-five years ago he imported an artist from Switzerland who knew this art, the discovery having been made by a Swiss artist. This innovation brought Mr. Ryder’s’ studio into national notice among members of the profession, but it was only a step in the direction of the success which he afterward attained. During his whole career Mr. Ryder stood always to the fore in his line of his work. He was the first to take up new things, to develop embryonic ideas and to improve upon established methods. His gallery commanded the attention of every man in the profession and his utterances in the photographic trade journals were read with avidity by every ambitious photographer. Two years ago when Mr. Ryder was in his seventy-sixth year he published a book, Voigtlander and I, which is an interesting history of his own career that is coincident with the development of the photographic art. Mr. Ryder received every honor within the power of the association of the Photographers of America to bestow. He filled at different times almost every office and served two terms as its president. At the last meeting of the association held at Indianapolis in 1902 a touching tribute was paid to Mr. Ryder by one of the orators of the occasion, who said that as George Washington had been first in war, first in peace and first in the hearts of his countrymen, so James F. Ryder had been first in everything in photography and first in the hearts of all members of the profession.”]

“Obituary—James F. Ryder.” WILSON’S PHOTOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE 41:571 (July 1904): 335. [(There are several factual errors in this obituary. It should be noted that the former editor, Edward L. Wilson, died in 1903. Otherwise there would have been a far more extensive and accurate obituary for Ryder in this journal, as Wilson had been a close friend and an extraordinary historian.) “It is with the profoundest sorrow that we record the death of James F. Ryder, aged seventy-eight years, at his home in Cleveland, on the 2d of June. A pioneer photographer, Mr. Ryder entered the profession as a boy, in the city of Cleveland, where he very soon established himself at the head of the profession in that locality. It is claimed for him that he was the first to introduce the process of retouching negatives, shortly after its application in Switzerland. His fame as a photographer rapidly extended until his reputation became widespread. When, in 1880, the first organized meeting of professional photographers was held, and the National Photographers’ Association was formed, Mr. Ryder was elected its president. Since that time he has been a constant and beloved member of the association, and a strong advocate for all that pertained to the good of his craft. Of a genial, loving disposition, Mr. Ryder made friends everywhere who loved and esteemed him to the last. There is probably no member of the photographic profession whose death will be more sincerely felt than his. With his passing, one of the oldest and strongest links that binds photography of the present with that of the past has been severed. Those who attended the last convention at Indianapolis, and were present in the convention hall when Mr. Ryder was called upon to speak, cannot but remember the almost pathetic nature of his remarks and the air with which they were made. It almost seemed as if he felt a premonition that his appearance upon the convention floor at that time would be his last. In his long and well-rounded life he has done much to elevate the standard of photography, and even more to encourage and strengthen the hands of those who labored with him in its development. Thrown, as he was, into correspondence and personal touch with many of the most prominent men and women of his time, his acquaintance was wide, and few have had the honor of photographing a larger or more illustrious circle of men and women prominent in the affairs of life than he. For the past ten years Mr. Ryder had not been actively engaged in his profession, but during all that time his interest in and love for the work never lagged. His latest work, and one into which he had entered heart and soul, was the preparation and publication of his memoirs, under the title of Voigtlander and I, in which are contained many passages that breathe the spirit of the man. Mr. Ryder leaves a widow, one brother, and a sister. The sympathy of the profession will go out to them in their bereavement. His death will come as a personal loss to many who have found in him a friend and adviser of the highest merit.”]

“The National Convention.” WILSON’S PHOTOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE 41:575 (Nov. 1904): 481-528. [“…Mr. Bellsmith: I think it is only right and proper that we should take notice of the demise of our brethren. Especially of those who have been of great power and usefulness in our Association. Therefore, I move you that a committee be appointed to take suitable action upon the death of our ex-president, Mr. James F. Ryder, of Cleveland, Ohio, and also in that I might include Mr. Inglis, James Inglis, a man who has been a great power and a great help to the profession and to the Association. Therefore, I move you that a committee be appointed to draw up suitable resolutions upon their deaths. Mr. Bandtel seconded the motion….” p. 494. “…The committee appointed to draw up resolutions regarding the death of deceased members made the following report: Whereas, This Association has learned with great regret of the untimely death of our most respected and beloved frater, James Inglis. a man who has been ever a friend of the best in the art of photography, a man with the courage of his convictions, and who ever fearlessly supported them; therefore, Be it Resolved, That we express our heartfelt regret at his death and extend to the family our deep sympathy in their bereavement. And, furthermore, that the same be spread on the minutes and that a copy of this resolution be sent to the family. R. P. Bellsmith, F. Dundas Todd. S. L. Stein. Committee. Whereas, We learn with regret of the death of James F. Ryder, of Cleveland, O., one of the veteran photographers of this country, and former president of the N. P. A.; Be it Resolved, That we, in convention assembled, do hereby express our regrets at his death, and desire to extend to the family our sincere sympathy, and that the Secretary be instructed to forward same to the family of the deceased. R. P. Bellsmith, F. Dundas Todd, S. L. Stein. Committee. Mr. Bandtel moved that the report of the committee be accepted. Mr. Wingus seconded the motion. Mr. Giffin: Mr. President, I regret to say that I feel somewhat disappointed at this report. The death of these two distinguished gentlemen which has come upon us at this time is to me one of the saddest occurrences within this Association. Two men have passed from our midst whose places cannot be replaced. I had expected more from this committee than an ordinary resolution of respect. With reference to Mr. James Inglis I want to say to you that no man has ever been connected with this Association who has done so much for us as that man. Most of you are familiar with the fact that his family (without wanting to make anything personal) are almost destitute to-day. It would be wise, I am sure, that the photographers here assembled contribute something more substantial. I do not want to make a motion as coming from the Association, but I apply to the photographers; and if it be in order, therefore, I move you, Mr. President, that— The President: Your motion is not in order, Mr. Giffin. There is another motion before the house….” pp. 508-509.
(In a way, this cold, abrupt and confused exchange, where Ryder’s condolence letter essentially gets overlooked in the squabble over Inglis at the Photographers’ Association of America, foreshadows the abrupt shift in the public valuation of Ryder. Most of his friends who share his values are dead and a new generation, intent on its own goals and imbued with a newer, leaner, attitude towards its own community, gains ascendency within the field. Ryder’s accomplishments and qualities now seem to feel old-fashioned and out of date. He simply drops out of sight, at least in the literature. Although I haven’t scoured every photographic journal from 1904 to the present for mentions of Ryder, the next time that I know about were Ryder appears in an article occurs in 1976.)]


Waldsmith, John. “James F. Ryder.” NORTHLIGHT: JOURNAL OF THE PHOTOGRAPHIC HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA 3:2 (Spring 1976): 4-7. 4 b & w, 1 illus. [(This is an excellently researched and well-written biographical article on Ryder. Normally I would not reproduce the entire texts of a modern (1970’s) article; but the Northlight magazine, unfortunately, is often now hard to locate, and Mr. Waldsmith’s essay was excellently sourced and thus contains information about many additional newspaper references to Ryder’s work. The photographic illustrations include one daguerreotype portrait and three stereo views. The illustration is of Willard’s painting “Yankee Doodle.”)
“Along in the forties many daguerreotype men styled themselves ‘professor,’ and their titles were seldom questioned. It was but a step from the anvil or the sawmill to the camera. The new business of likeness-taking was admitted to be a genteel calling, enveloped in a haze of mystery and a smattering of science. The darkroom where the plates were prepared was dignified by some of the more pretentious as the laboratory. A ‘No Admittance’ door, always carefully closed by ‘the professor’ on entering or emerging, naturally impressed the stranger as something out of the usual, and when he came out carrying a little holder to his sitter and from it drawing a thin slide, revealing from under it the likeness just taken, it was no unreasonable stretch of credulity to recognize in the man something of a scientist and a professor.”
The above description was written by James F. Ryder as the beginning of his personal reminiscences as a photographer from 1847 to 1900. He titled his autobiography Voigtlander and I because his first camera lens was a Voigtlander which his father had helped him pay for. Ryder’s book is one of our best glimpses at what it was like to be a daguerreotypist in the pioneer years of photography. Voigtlander and I concluded a life-time of photographic achievements. Upon his death on June 2, 1903 at Cleveland Ohio, James F. Ryder was proclaimed by Photo-Miniature as “one of the fathers of American professional photography.”
James F. Ryder grew up in Tompkins County, New York, near the town of Ithaca. He worked three years as a printer’s apprentice and had hopes of becoming another Ben Franklin, when in the fall of 1847 he met Professor Brightly. The “Professor” was a “daguerreotype man,” and young Ryder visited him at his rooms and was convinced he should have instruction in becoming a daguerreotypist. He learned the step by step procedures of making daguerreotypes and Professor Brightly told him it would be more helpful if Ryder worked out the difficulties alone, rather than depend upon him.
Ryder explained what it was like learning and working at the same time. “In the first few years most practitioners were plodding in the dark, something like ‘the blind leading the blind.’ There was no literature bearing upon the subject beyond the mere statement of routine description, no sure road yet opened to successful work. ‘Professors’ were more plentiful than intelligent teachers. In our work repeated trial was the rule—we would try and try again without knowing the cause of failure. Many a day did I work blindly and almost hopelessly, pitying my outraged sitters, and pitying myself in my despair and helplessness. The weak excuses and explanations I made to cover my ignorance were many. The lies I told, if recorded, would make a big book which I would dislike to see opened.
“You moved!” headed the list. “You looked too serious! You did not keep still! You winked too often!”
“These and other fabrications to show the necessity for another sitting were made with great efforts at cheerfulness, but the communings with my inner self in the darkroom while preparing the next plate would hardly bear the light, and were best left in the dark.”
Ryder explained that Professor Brightly had his daguerreotype rooms located above J. M. Heggies” harness store in Ithaca. Beside photography, the Professor also practiced as a phrenologist and biologist. Ryder said, “It was no uncommon thing to find watch repairers, dentists and other styles of business folk to carry daguerreotypy ‘on the side.’ I have known blacksmiths and cobblers to double up with it, so it were possible to have a horse shod, your boots tapped, a tooth pulled or a likeness taken by the same man; verily a man—a daguerreotype man, in his time, played many parts.”
While working in Ithaca, Ryder worked to improve his quality of work. He employed a Mr. Lawyer, formerly an operator at Meade Brothers in New York City, to teach him to “moist buff” plates which gave “a deeper and richer polish than could otherwise be attained.”   Even with this apparent improvement to his work, Ryder soon afterward hired a Professor Powelson to teach him the Powelson Method of polishing a plate. His method was that “the foundation for fine daguerreotype work was a finely polished plate, which could only be secured by a perfectly dry   buff of fine buckskin well rouged, and the finishing touch given with calcined lampblack upon another buff of buckskin thoroughly dry.”
The next photographer to influence Ryder was Charles E. Johnson of Cleveland, Ohio. Johnson had begun his career as a daguerreotypist at one of the John Plumbe Jr. galleries (possibly Cincinnati) and had come to Cleveland in the spring of 1849 where he worked for a short time for Clark S Brothers Daguerrean Establishment in Watson’s New Building, No. 78 Superior Street. A Cleveland newspaper for March 16, 1849 reported, “We saw yesterday a beautiful Lilliputian speciman of the ‘Daguerrean Art,’ taken by Mr. Johnson. It was a likeness of a mother, taken for a son, to be set in a ring. It was admirable in its execution, and creditable in the highest degree to the artist.”
Johnson opened a new gallery at the corner of Superior and Bank Streets on July 9, 1849. Sometime in the early months of 1850, Charles E. Johnson journeyed to New York to buy “new materials and equipment.” Sometime in April, 18S0, on his return trip, he stopped in Ithaca and met James F. Ryder. He showed Ryder his daguerreotypes, which impressed Ryder for their “superior quality of texture, tone, color, coloring and finish.” Ryder paid $15 to have Johnson explain his new modification in chemicals. Johnson explained that he used a “dry quick” instead of the usual “liquid quick” in common use. Ryder could never have imagined that in less than five years he would have his Cleveland studio in the same location as Charles E. Johnson’s of 1850.
In late 1850 or early 1851, Ryder packed his photographic gear in a large trunk and loaded it on a wagon, leaving Professor Brightly and Ithaca to become an itinerant photographer. He travelled from town to town through what is known as the Western Reserve. This is an area from southwestern New York, extending down to Erie, Pennsylvania, and westward to Cleveland, Ohio. Within this area are numerous small rural communities which in the 1840’s and 1850’s were not large or wealthy enough to support a full-time daguerreotypist. Ryder usually stayed at the largest or only lodging house, setting his camera on a porch or in a dining room which afforded a good deal of available light. From available records, he apparently worked this way for about four years.
During his travels he stopped in the little town of Kirtland. In 1831, Joseph Smith, the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons), had arrived in Kirtland to build a center for the church and its missionary work. They built an impressive “temple” plus several other church buildings. But conditions in Kirtland were unsettled. Smith and his followers left Kirtland in 1838. When Ryder arrived in the early 1850’s, he found a small community with a few small homes, many of which were unoccupied and a small tavern. He asked permission to set up his daguerreotype equipment in the tavern but the proprietor suggested he use the Mormon temple which was not in use. Ryder was pleased on entering the building, to find a high ceiling with windows extending around the entire upper level. By placing his camera in the loft, he could obtain excellent light to do his work.
He did a brisk trade with the local people and after a few days packed his trunk, not realizing at the time how he had used a historic landmark. The church building today looks much as it did when Ryder was there. Standing in the loft one can imagine the young photographer positioning his subjects to have their likeness made.
The earliest date that I encounter Ryder in Cleveland is October 5, 1855, when he receives notice in the Cleveland Leader “While strolling through the daguerreotype gallery of Ryder, located on the corner of Superior and Bank Sts., we were surprised to find such a collection of superior pictures as we discovered here. Among his pictures are two of Couldlock, as Luke Fielding, which are exact likenesses…and …are particularly valuable.”
As noted above, James F. Ryder had located his gallery in the same one previously operated by Charles F. Johnson. When he took over the gallery is not known, but probably it occurred in the first months of 1855. There is evidence to indicate that Ryder may have introduced the first ambrotypes to Cleveland. Humphrey’s Journal first mentioned ambrotypes on February 1, 1855. The Leader for October 6, 1855, makes the first mention of them in public print in Cleveland. “Ryder, daguerrean artist at the corner of Superior and Banks Sts, showed us yesterday some pictures on glass that are soft, clear, and pleasing, without the glimmer of silver plate pictures. These pictures do credit to his skill as an artist.” In addition to making ambrotypes, Ryder gave instruction to other Cleveland photographers. An advertisement in the January 3, 1856 issue of the Leader was a testimonial. “Having just completed a course of instruction in ambrotyping process from the unsurpassed operator, J. M. (sic) Ryder, I am now prepared to take pictures on glass. E. B. Hoffman, Hoffman’s Block.”
One of the real mysteries about Ryder is his “stereoscopic cosorama.” A notice in the Leader for August 29, 1856, indicated that “Ryder has something new at his daguerrian rooms. It is called a stereoscopic cosorama, and presents views of scenery taken from nature. This is the most complete and beautiful exhibition of landscapes that we can possibly conceive of on so small a plan.”   What was the “cosorama?” This is the only notice I have located about it. The exciting possibility is that Ryder may have purchased one of Southworth and Hawes’ “Grand Parlor Stereoscopes.” Patented on June 19, 1855, it was a large stereo viewer which looked much like a small piano. It has always been believed that Southworth and Hawes had only one, which was on display in their gallery for patrons to look into. The “Grand Parlor Stereoscope” today is located at the International Museum of Photography, George Eastman House, Rochester, N. Y., one the second floor in the corner of a small room. It resides there, almost unnoticed by visitors who enter the room. Was this Ryder’s “Cosorama?” Southworth and Hawes indicated in advertising that they would sell others. Every time I enter a Cleveland antique shop I have this feeling that I am going to find one of these elegant gems which once resided in Ryder’s rooms.
Ryder must have been one of the leading photographers in Ohio in the late 1850’s. He is mentioned several times in the newspapers with glowing advertisements such as this one in the Leader for December 6, 1856. “Ryder, in the Merchants Bank building, was awarded the highest premium for the best portraits on exhibition at the recent state fair. He reminds the people of the advantages of giving photographs as Christmas and New Year’s presents.”
In September, 1857, Ryder introduced to Cleveland something he called hallotypes. Like the cosorama, this process remains a mystery. Ryder’s ad stated that he “has the pleasure of presenting to the public the new and beautiful wonder art of hallotype. Specimens can be seen at his gallery in the Merchants Bank Building. These pictures are taken at no other establishment in Cleveland.” (Leader, Sept. 22, 1857). Possibly the hallotype was a type of colored photograph. The earliest mention of his color photographs comes in the Leader for December 29, 1858. “Have all of our readers seen that life-sized colored photographs in Sargent’s window? It was taken by Ryder and painted by Smith. It was taken from a small ambrotype and is truly a most magnificent picture.”
In my search for James F. Ryder in newspaper files, I was always pleased when they mention specific images. I hope some of these are now in collections and by showing interest they will eventually be seen. The mention of these views stimulates the imagination. Such as “Mr. Ryder has taken a capitol photograph of Godard and his balloon. Stop and see it.” (Leader, July 12, 1858).
Another interesting subject is “We have been shown an ambrotype of the Harvey children who went up in the balloon from Centralia, Ill. It was procured by a Mr. Ryder, who, ever seeking for some new attraction, keeps his eye open for all such celebrities.” (Leader, October 2, 1858).
In the early 1860’s, professional photography was growing at a tremendous rate. Many of the established photographers, especially in New York and Boston, felt that a national organization was necessary to control and regulate the profession. In November, 1862, the New York Evening Post suggested an exhibition by the photographers of the country. No doubt the Civil War played a part in delaying the organization and an exhibition. At the end of the war, the leading New York photographers, led by Abraham Bogardus, called for a meeting of photographers to be held in New York City on April 7, 1868. On the evening of March 10, 1868, the photographers of Cleveland, Ohio, met at E. Decker’s Gallery “to consider action in co-operating with a national convention.”
The main issues were the opposition to the re-issue of the bromide patent, and to make an effort to modify the revenue tax. The Cleveland photographers appointed James F. Ryder to be their delegate at the convention. From newspaper reports, apparently Ryder was not the only photographer from Cleveland who attended. Unfortunately others are not mentioned by name. At the convention, Ryder was appointed a vice-president and was elected a member of the proposed National Union. On December 1, 1868, the National Union met in Philadelphia, and Ryder was elected to the executive committee.
The first convention was set as June 1, 1869, in Boston. This first convention in Boston was apparently again a formative meeting. Most of the members’ time was spent in arguing about Cutting’s and other photographic patents. Probably because of the high position in the Union, Ryder convinced the members that Cleveland should be the site for the next convention, set for June 7, 1870.
Unlike the earlier conventions, the Cleveland meeting was the first national convention in which photographers came from throughout the United States and Europe. Ryder wanted to have an exhibition of the finest photographic work plus a display of the newest equipment. He was chosen as general chairman in charge as well as local secretary. He made arrangements to have the Cleveland Bank’s Central Rink used for the event. The main floor was set up for displays and at one end a speaker’s platform was set as a small stage. Along the sides of the room was a balcony for visitor’s seating during the speaking sessions. Several dozen American flags were hung from the rafters and a large sign proclaiming “Photography/1870/America-Europe/Elevate Your Art–It Will Elevate You,” hung in the middle. The two leading suppliers of photographic goods, the Scovill Manufacturing Company, and E. & H.T. Anthony, had large displays at opposite ends of the display floor.
The meeting opened on June 7, 1870 with a speech by president of the Union, Abraham Bogardus. He congratulated the association on the large attendance. James F. Ryder then rose to give the opening address. He said, “I take my share of pride as a Clevelander that our city is honored by this meeting. I am proud to see so many in attendance here, most of whom have come hundreds and thousands of miles. I am proud, too, of our magnificent show of photographs. So large and fine a collection has never before been brought together in this or any other country… As a citizen, and in behalf of the photographers of Cleveland, I bid you welcome” (Leader, June 8, 1870).
The morning Meeting for June 8 was called to “take a collection of $700” for defraying the expenses of the association, and to further the interests of the photographic art. The afternoon session was opened with a speech by Dr. Herman Vogel of Berlin, Germany, who had created something of a sensation with his method of retouching photographs. Ryder had contacted Vogel in 1868 after reading about the method in letters from Edward Wilson, editor of The Philadelphia Photographer. Vogel sent Herr Karl Leutgib, one of the leading German professionals, who arrived at Ryder’s gallery in Cleveland some time during the fall of 1868. Therefore Ryder became the first major photographer in the United States to use retouching and had invited Vogel to be a speaker.
After Vogel spoke, Bogardus asked for motions to determine an official trade-mark and name for the Union. A Mr. Youngman “proposed that the association have a badge or trade-mark by which the work of members of the association should be known. This was voted unanimously. It was decided to have the insignia ‘N.P.A.’; National Photographers’ Association.” (Leader, June 9, 1870). That evening the Germania band gave a concert for the visitors.
The morning of June 9, Bogardus “stated that the sum collected for the indebtedness of the association amounted to $53,300. Officers were then elected for the ensuing year: they were: Abraham Bogardus of New York, president; Albert Moore of Pennsylvania, treasurer; Edward L. Wilson of Philadelphia, Pa., secretary. F. W. Hardy of Bangor, Me.; J. F. Ryder of Cleveland, O., and D. K. Cady of Cincinnati, O., were among the 100 elected as vice presidents.” (Leader, June 10, 1870). After voting to hold the next meeting in Philadelphia in June, 1871, the N.P.A. members went over the Monument Park, site of the Perry Monument. Thomas T. Sweeny set up his stereo camera and George G. Johnson (G. E. Johnson’s son, who was mentioned previously) set up his larger format camera. Because of Sweeny’s long exposure, Johnson appears as a blur behind his camera in the stereo view.
Robert Taft reproduced an enlarged half of Sweeny’s stereo view in page 330 of Photography and the American Scene. I have never located the Johnson photograph. From the list on the back of Sweeny’s stereo views, I know that he took two other stereos of the convention. The only stereo views I have found, however, are those published by E. & H. T. Anthony Co. (There are three versions of the interior, all numbered as #6792).
One June 10, the Cleveland meeting closed. Other conventions were to follow in Philadelphia, St. Louis, Buffalo, and Chicago, but the Cleveland convention was one of the largest and most successful, mainly due to the efforts of James F. Ryder. The total receipts of the convention were $1,117.55, which paid all the expenses.
At this time, Ryder was at the summit of his photographic career. He was re-elected vice-president of the N.P.A. at the Philadelphia Convention on June 7, 1871. He returned home determined to expand his gallery into one equal to the finest galleries in New York City. On August 10, 1872 he had his opening of “Ryder’s Photographic and Fine Art Gallery.” The Leader for August 12 stated, “We shall all feel from this time forward that Cleveland has another permanent attraction, another place downtown to which a visitor may be taken with a feeling of pride. The whole design, without and within, is a monument to the taste of architect Myer, and the liberality of Ryder, who expended upwards of $20,000 in realizing his ideal of what a photographic art gallery should be. His future success is of course, secure, for he has already won it with his new art emporium. The opening reception on Saturday evening was an ovation which ought to make him proud of his work.”
In addition to photographic prints, Ryder also displayed chromos, engravings and illustrated mottoes. Sometime in 1874 he added oil paintings. By doing this he became a good friend and agent for a local painter, A. M. Willard. Willard had received some note for his landscape work but really was not recognized as a great painter. Ryder recognized Willard’s talents and convinced him to paint a patriotic painting for the artist competition which was to be held at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia. On March 27, 1876, Ryder put on display in his window, Willard’s “Yankee Doodle.” The newspapers described the painting as illustrating “the spirit of ‘Old 76.” (Leader, March 28, 1876).
Even though called “Yankee Doodle,” Willard’s painting became known by later generations as “The Spirit of 76.” Today we see it reproduced on everything from juice glasses to shopping bags during our bicentennial year. In April, 1876, the Committee on Art at Philadelphia accepted “Yankee Doodle” and it was given a prominent place in Memorial Hall, where it was seen by millions of visitors. On May 16, 1876, Ryder began the same of his chrome lithographs of Willard’s painting. Because of Ryder’s lithograph, the painting became known to Americans throughout the country. It was sold in various sizes, but I am not sure how many survived.
I have a cabinet card in my collection which is a photograph of the painting, and was probably taken before it was shipped to Philadelphia.
Ryder also displayed his photographs in the N.P.A. building at the Centennial. He received an award, along with L. G. Bigelow of Detroit; Sarony and Kurtz of New York; Henry Rocher of Chicago; Gutekunst of Philadelphia; Brady of Washington; Charles Bierstadt of Niagara Falls; and C. E. Watkins of San Francisco. According to Taft the display was the high-water achievement of the American wet-plate photographer (Taft, pp. 362-363).
Toward the end of his career, James F. Ryder felt that photographers should pay honor to Daguerre. He inaugurated a movement for a statue of Daguerre to be erected in Washington, D.C. In 1889, the statue was unveiled.
Why Ryder wrote his memoirs, Voigtlander and I, is not really clear. He may have felt some responsibility to future generations because he was one of the few photographers who had been a daguerreotypist in the 1840’s who was still alive in the 1890’s. Possibly it may have been an old man’s vanity. The book fails to give details of his later life as a photographer and therefore I had to search the newspaper files to find James F. Ryder.

He died on June 2, 1903, and ended an illustrious career of service to his profession. He had seen photography grow up and become a recognized art form. He had been an experimenter and innovator, leader and artist, truly a photographic master.”]

Waldsmith, John. “Ryder Revisited.” NORTHLIGHT: JOURNAL OF THE PHOTOGRAPHIC HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA 3:4 (Fall 1976): 2. [“Sometimes a search for answers may turn up more questions. With the case of James F. Ryder’s “Stereoscopic Cosorama,” that is exactly what happened. My article, “James F. Ryder” in the spring 1976 issue of Northlight resulted in the receipt of several letters from collectors and nearly all commented on the “Stereoscopic Cosorama.” I was not satisfied with my findings and therefore felt a continued search of the newspaper files was in order. First, it must be explained that I relied heavily on a publication called The Annals of Cleveland. This is a multi-volumed index of the major newspapers in Cleveland from the 1830’s to 1876. The project was sponsored by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in the late 1930’s in order to put out of work historians back to work. The researchers began where any project should, at the beginning. The WPA, founded as a New Deal relief program in 1935, was disbanded at the beginning of World War II. The researchers had compiled information into 1876 and unfortunately never completed the other volumes. Each notation from the newspapers was placed in categories and fortunately “Photography” is noted in chronological order from the earliest mention (1841). The researchers compiled news stories or ads into short four or five sentence entries, noting date and page numbers. In my research, I relied on these short entries up to 1876 and made a tedious page by page search from 1877 until 1904.
After receiving much comment on the “Stereoscopic Cosorama,” I went back to the entry for August 29, 1856, and read the news story in its entirety. The WPA researcher had not left out many words but the following opens a whole new area of consideration:
“It (the Cosorama) presents magnificent views of Winter scenes at Niagara Falls, Goat Island, Suspension Bridge, the Mammoth Bridge at the Portage of the Gennessee, on the Buffalo and New York City Railroad, a wild scene in the mountains of Pennsylvania, and a beautiful Swiss mountain landscape. The pictures are ambrotyped from nature, and present a most faithful and accurate show of the places represented.”
Now the questions begin, It is common knowledge that the Southworth and Hawes “Grand Parlour Stereoscope” used whole plate daguerreotypes. Assuming Ryder did purchase his “Cosorama” from Southworth and Hawes, then most likely the images (ambrotypes) in the instrument were of his own making. As noted in the article, Ryder was an early maker of ambrotypes and was skilled enough to be a teacher of the process. I can find no notation of any trip to Switzerland by Ryder. He made several trips back “East” and may have purchased the stereo ambrotypes from another photographer. Are there any PHSA members who have or know of stereo ambrotypes of the above subjects? If not Ryder, then who took these views? And, above all, what was the “Stereoscopic Cosorama?” We may never know but the search continues.

Finally, there was one mystery connected with Ryder which I did not mention in my article. In tracing the life of Cincinnati photographer Charles Fontayne, who became famous for his daguerreotype panorama of Cincinnati with W. S. Porter, I knew he had died in 1858 (Newhall, The History of Photography, p. 213) but knew nothing of his later life after making the panorama. Readers of Northlight may have noted that Fontayne is given no credit in the Cincinnati Times-Star story which appeared on page 15 of the Summer 1976 issue. In my search for Ryder, I had discovered a mention of a Fontayne in Cleveland. Having my hands full with the search of one active photographer, I had promised myself to check this out at a later time. I wish now that I had gone off on that search after discovering the following newspaper story which does not appear in the Annals of Cleveland:

“Prof. Fontayne, late of the well known firm of Fontayne and Porter, Cincinnati, and the pioneer of the photographic art in that city, has charge of the Photographic Department. His portraits are unequalled in this country. Ryder’s Daguerreotype and Photographic Rooms.” (Cleveland Herald, Apr. 30, 1856)”]

 Copyright by William S. Johnson.


Several years ago I ran into these stereo views in a shop near Owego, NY; which is a small village near the Pennsylvania border south of the Finger Lakes region in western New York State. The shop owner said he found the views near Canandaigua, New York. Although quite good as photographs, for some reason I felt that these photographs had not been taken by a professional photographer. These stereos reminded me, for no very clear reason, of other stereos made by members of a group known as the Amateur Photographic Exchange Club, who, from late 1861 to about 1863, made stereographs and exchanged them by mail with others in the small organization. I have tentatively identified the accompanying stereographs to be by Francis T. Fassitt, a member of the Amateur Photographic Exchange Club in the 1860s. I would appreciate anyone who can either confirm or disprove whether this attribution is correct.

Originally, the Amateur Photographic Exchange Club consisted of no more than seventeen individuals mostly from Pennsylvania and New York. The group probably never got much bigger. Membership was purposefully kept small because each member was required to send every other member at least one stereoscopic photographic print several times a year.

Another reason the organization was small was because there were not many amateur photographers in the United States in the 1860s. Before the 1880s the photographic processes and apparatus then available required a hard practical knowledge of chemistry and even some physics, plus a reasonable amount of simple physical endurance to wrestle the clumsy and awkward equipment around. In a world of the six day work week and the twelve hour work day there were few people with the leisure time, money, interest and ability to take up photography as a hobby. Almost all of the amateur photographers during that time were professional men – professors, lawyers, bankers, manufacturers of goods associated with photography. One such individual was Frederick F. Thompson (1836-1899), who was a broker on Wall Street during the 1850s and 1860s. This profession left him with leisure time and money for his interest in photography, which he practiced as an amateur from the early 1860s to the 1880s. In the 1860s Thompson was the Secretary of the American Photographical Society, an organization of the leading professional and amateur photographers of New York, which was the only group in the United States that might be equated to the Photographic Society in London with an institutional focus toward scientific experiment and educational practice. Always active within the small photographic community of that time, Thompson served as a judge for the important Anthony Prize Pitcher awards. He was later a founding and key member in the American Amateur Exchange Club during its brief existence in the 1860s, and he wrote many descriptive articles for the photographic journals, sometimes signed “The Straggling Amateur.” In a literature dominated by endless repetition of now obsolete chemical formulas mixed with rhetorical exposition to “improve the craft” Thompson’s articles, which were often humorous and occasionally wise, provide a breath of fresh air. He practiced a “dry” process –as opposed to the dominant “wet collodion” technique, believing that this allowed him greater flexibility in his landscapes. Thompson served as a captain in the Union Army for several years during the Civil War, and he is otherwise best known, at least locally, as the owner and builder of the Sonnenberg Gardens in Canandaigua, New York – which was a private mansion that has now become a not-for-profit institution and a tourist attraction.

As early as 1855 a group of amateur photographers in Philadelphia had suggested that an exchange club, patterned after one already functioning in England, be formed; and a brief, apparently unsuccessful attempt to organize something had been tried. But it wasn’t until the end of 1861, when Henry T. Anthony, (A partner of the huge photographic supply business “E. & H. T. Anthony & Co.” who was also the publisher of the American Journal of Photography.) along with Frederick Ferris Thompson and Charles Wager Hull announced the formation of the Amateur Photographic Exchange Club in the AJP. Members included Henry T. Anthony (New York, New York), Samuel Fisher Corlies (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), Professor Edwin Emerson (Troy University, Troy, New York), Francis T. Fassitt (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), Constant Guillou (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), Charles Francis Himes (Troy, New York), Charles Wager Hull (New York, New York), James Hunter (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), Dr. William Mead (Newark, New Jersey), Titian Ramsay Peale (U.S. Patent Office, Washington, D.C.), Professor O. N. Rood, Lewis Morris Rutherford (New York, New York), Coleman Sellers (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), Robert Shriver (Cumberland, Maryland), Frederic Ferris Thompson (New York, New York), John Towler, Joseph Miller Wilson and others. Frederick F. Thompson served as club secretary, printing out seven issues of an informal, single sheet, “newsletter” on a hand printing press that he owned. The wide dispersal of the members meant that they never really all met together as a group, although several of the members apparently visited each other or took photographic “excursions” together. The club functioned until 1863, but the increased presence of the war led several of its members, including Anthony and Thompson, to join the Union Army; which seemed to spell the end of this informal group. And the fact that the Photographic Society of Philadelphia was organized in 1862, (The first such amateur organization of its kind in the USA, which had, among its original members, Francis T. Fassitt, Frederic Graff, and Coleman Sellers.) may have drawn energy away from the Exchange Club as well.

In my teaching slide collection I have a slide from an original print showing a different view of the landscape cut by the railroad described as the “Work House Sp.” in these stereos. Unfortunately, this slide is only identified as being taken from a photograph by someone in the Amateur Photographic Exchange Club, without naming the actual maker — and I no longer know the exact source of the slide.

There are several collections of Amateur Photographic Exchange Club photographs held in public institutions. The George Eastman House in Rochester, NY has a number of photographs by members of this group, although the last time I looked through them there several years ago, these photographs had not been fully organized; nor was much research done on them. There is a collection of photographs by Frederick F. Thompson (And perhaps others that he had exchanged photos with.) held at the Sonnenberg Gardens in Canandaigua, New York; but they may not be cataloged and they were not available for research the last time I checked a few years ago. At this time, the best access to work of this group can be found in the “Charles F. Himes collection of stereographs by amateur photographers” held in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress and available on the internet through the Prints and Photographs On-Line Catalog. There are 127 photographic prints on stereo cards which depict “…various subjects primarily at locations in New York and Pennsylvania. Cityscapes, landscapes, waterfronts, educational buildings, houses, historic sites, railroad bridges and facilities, hydraulic facilities, and people are represented. Specific sites depicted include Independence Hall, Philadelphia, Pa.; Washington’s headquarters at Valley Forge, Pa.; views along the Conemaugh and Schuylkill Rivers, Pa.; Fairmount Park, Philadelphia; Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pa.; scenes along the Pennsylvania Railroad; cityscapes of Troy, N.Y.; the Harlem River, N.Y.; the Catskills, N.Y.; some views of Cumberland, Md. People, including a few members of the Amateur Photographic Exchange Club, are shown in portraits or at leisure activities, and eighteen photographs depicting industrial machines manufactured by William Sellers, & Co., and laboratory equipment housed at Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pa. in this collection.”

Checking these images I found several by Francis T. Fassitt, a member from Philadelphia, and although there is no exact match to the specific images on my stereos I was pleased to find that the handwriting on the verso of those stereo cards seems to be a very close match to the handwriting on the verso of my stereo cards.

There doesn’t seem to be a great deal known about Francis T. Fassitt. He died in 1905 and willed $5000 — which was a lot of money in those days– to the Philadelphia Children’s Hospital in the name of his daughter – so he must have been wealthy. He lived in Philadelphia most of his life, was married to Annie R. Evans, daughter of Reese Evans, Esq., of Birdsboro, Berks county, Pa. in 1845. (“Marriages.” Lancaster Examiner & Herald (Wed., Feb. 5, 1845): 3.) He seems to have been civic minded and held positions on various scientific and cultural organizations throughout his lifetime. He was elected a “Lay Deputy” for the annual conventions of the Protestant Episcopal Church from 1850 through 1852, elected a member of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia in 1854, and was re-elected to the Board of Directors of the Zoological Society of Philadelphia, a three year term, continuously from at least 1881 through 1901, where it is known that he made glass lantern slides of zoological specimens and exhibited them at lectures given to that organization. An ardent amateur photographer most of his life, he was a founding member of the Amateur Photographic Exchange Club throughout its short span and a founding member of the Photographic Society of Philadelphia in 1862. He remained active in the Photographic Society of Philadelphia at least through the 1880s. He published at least two articles on photography in the early 1860s: “A Few Words in favor of an Old Friend – the Malt Process.” American Journal of Photography and the Allied Arts & Sciences. n.s. 6:1 (July 1, 1863): 12-16. (This is a description of a photographic excursion to northern Pennsylvania to take landscape views, quite possibly when he was still participating in the Exchange Club.) and “How to make Stereoscopic Positives on Glass in the Camera.” Philadelphia Photographer 1:6 (June 1864): 81.