Preface

Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, March 1, 2007 | Go to article overview

Preface


No research is an isolated endeavor, and this book is no exception. Although the tintypes themselves were its inspiration, it could not have been written without the assistance of friends and colleagues.

I would like to acknowledge my early readers, Nicholas M. Graver and Philip A. Storey, who made thoughtful additions to my text, and Mark Osterman, Photographic Process Historian, George Eastman House-International Museum of Photography and Film, Rochester, New York, who carefully reviewed my description of the collodion process. I am indebted to Robert S. Cox, Head of Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. DuBois Library, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and Bruce Kuklick, Roy F. and Jeannette P. Nichols Professor of American History, University of Pennsylvania, for their critical suggestions; and Mary C. McDonald, Editor, American Philosophical Society, and Sue Wilson, Production Editor, Bytheway Publishing Services, for their guidance and assistance in the preparation of the manuscript for publication.

Special appreciation must also be given to Wm. B. Becker, Nicholas M. and Marilyn A. Graver, Matthew R. Isenburg, James S. Jensen, Eaton S. Lothrop Jr., Robert McElroy, Cynthia Motzenbecker, William Schaeffer, and Leonard A. Walle for opening their photography collections for my use. Jan Durecki, an undergraduate student, bravely took on the task of scouring Harper's Weekly in search of photographic advertisements. M'Lissa Kesterman, Assistant Reference Librarian at the Cincinnati Historical Society Library, sent me references to the fire that destroyed Peter Neff's melainotype factory. Sabine Ocker kindly researched entrepreneur John Smith, who in 1866 sent card invitations, which included a mounted tintype portrait of himself, to the citizens of Andover, Massachusetts, to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of his arrival in the United States. Jane D. Eberwein, Professor of English, Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan, noted the similarity between Walt Whitman's poetic realism and the direct honesty of the tintype, and thus gave me a nineteenth-century voice by which to understand the post-Romantic American spirit. Finally, my husband, John B. Cameron, provided me with encouragement, enthusiasm, patience, love, and advice.

Without the help of libraries and their staff, this work could not have been completed. Thus I would like to mention the kind assistance of John C. Dann, Director, William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Librarians Carol Marshall and Christopher D. Barth, Greenslade Special Collections and Archives, Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio; Rebecca A. Simmons, Associate Librarian, George Eastman House; Cornelia S. King, Reference Librarian, Library Company of Philadelphia; Lesley Godfrey, an intern at the Photographic History Collection, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; and the staffs of the following institutions: the Boston Public Library; the Great Lakes Patent and Trademark Center, Detroit Public Library; Kresge Library, Oakland University; Russell Library, Middletown, Connecticut; and the Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland, Ohio. …

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