Thursday, November 18, 2010

Edgar Allan Poe, Richmond, Sept. 1849 - Daguerreotype by William Abbot Pratt.

From this site (Columbia University Library) we learn:
"William Pratt opened the Virginia Sky Light Daguerrean Gallery in Richmond in 1846, seven years after the daguerreotype was introduced into the United States. As Pratt related the history of this portrait to the St. Louis writer Thomas Dimmock, [Edgar Allan] Poe had never fulfilled a promise he had once made to pose for Pratt until writer and photographer encountered one another on the street in front of the latter's shop in mid-September 1849. Poe, arguing that he was not suitably dressed, was coaxed upstairs and photographed.
The image shows a man, as disheveled as he claimed to be, with a haggard face which betrays the steep decline in his emotional and physical condition; Poe died in Baltimore three weeks later. The enterprising Pratt held a patent on a daguerreotype coloring process, used to impart the faint flesh tone to Poe's face and hand."
Many know Pratt as the man who lived in Pratt's Castle.
More about that Here.

Another image of the castle - seen in the ruins of Richmond after the war.

- Ray B.


Undine said...

I just discovered your blog by accident. As a Poe fan, I appreciate finding a site that deals with his semi-hometown's history.

Ray Bonis -- Catherine L. Easterling -- T. Tyler Potterfield -- Edward DuBois Ragan -- Selden Richardson. said...

You are welcome.