Mathew B. Brady (1822 - 1896) was no ordinary photographer. He was one of the earliest photographers in American history, best known for his scenes of the Civil War. He studied under inventor Samuel Morse who pioneered the daguerreotype technique in America. He photographed many VIPs including Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams, and this man...John Shillito.
John Shillito (1809 - 1879) founded John Shillito & Co. (commonly known as Shillito's) which was Cincinnati's first department store. It was founded by Shillito and William McLaughlin in 1830 as McLaughlin & Shillito but their partnership broke up. In 1857, Shillito, operating on his own, built a store on Cincinnati's Fourth Street. In 1878, Shillito's moved to a new landmark building on Race and Seventh streets. The fashionable new store had eight floors, five elevators, over 800,000 square feet of space, and employed over 1000 people. (See store illustration).
At some point circa 1870, Shillito visited Brady's photo studio which ironically was on the same street we had our antique shop from1969 to 1988. We came along 100 years after Brady but the creative skills of Brady remained in the neighborhood's history.
This CDV carte de visite photo has the BRADY NEW YORK stamp on lower front and the fuller stamp on the back...BRADY'S NATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHIC PORTRAIT GALLERIES - BROADWAY & TENTH STREET NEW YORK & 352 PENNSYLVANIA AV. WASHINGTON, D.C.
The name 'John Shillito' is handwritten below. After looking at several samples of Brady's handwriting, we believe Shillito's name was written by Brady himself.
The photo measures 2 1/2 by 4 inches. The corners were clipped to insert the photo into a Cincinnati family album where it's been all these decades. Image is excellent.
More on Brady...When the Civil War started, he used a mobile studio and darkroom that enabled him to take vivid battlefield photographs that brought home the reality of war to the public. Thousands of war scenes were captured, as well as portraits of generals and politicians on both sides of the conflict, though most of these were taken by his assistants, rather than by Brady himself.
After the war, these pictures went out of fashion, and the government did not purchase the master-copies as he had anticipated. Brady’s fortunes declined sharply, and he died in debt.
This is a great piece of original photographic history...both for Brady collectors and Cincinnati historians.
Free domestic shipping.
Click on FAVORITE SHOP and be the first to see our newest listings.
Free domestic shipping
c1870 Mathew Brady CDV Photo John Shillito Dept. Store Owner Cincinnati