It's 1860, you're a landscape photographer, and the dazzling sunlight is playing havoc with the photo you're trying to take. Without photography accessories shops around, you improvise and use your fashionable parasol as an improvised lens shade. Problem solved. ... It's 1895, you're an itinerant photographer travelling dangerous backroads alone. You're not worried, though: a man's hat hides that you're a woman and besides, you've always got your pistol at the ready. ...Those are but two of the many intrepid women who found success as professional artisan photographers, pursuing careers in photography shortly after it began in 1839. These women were successful entrepreneurs who ran thriving photography businesses and produced high-quality photos with the ever-changing technology, but unfortunately their accomplishments are too often marginalized or left out of the history books altogether. Join host Lee McIntyre twice a month as she introduces you to the captivating stories of talented women who started their professional photography careers between 1840-1930.
Meet Miss C Smith - in print!
Go to Notes| Links | Transcript
Information about our article in The Journal:
L. Lee McIntyre and Chris Culy. 2021. “Miss C. Smith: The long career of an independent photographer from Lowell, Massachusetts” in The Journal: New England Journal of Photographic History. 179:20-39.
Our article is listed at the bottom of the cover:
Visit the the Photographic Historical Society of New England’s website for more information on the group, their publications, etc.
***Update Click here to order copies of this issue of The Journal ***
Also, click here to visit the episode notes for my podcast episode about Miss C Smith. There are sample photos of work from the Miss C Smith Studio on that notes page; you can also as listen to the entire episode again from that page.
You’re listening to Photographs, Pistols & Parasols.
Support for this project is provided by listeners like you. Visit my website at p3photographers “dot” net for ideas on how you, too, can become a supporter of the project.
For more information about any of the women discussed in today’s episode, visit my website at p3photographers.net.
That’s letter “p”, number “3”, photographers “dot” net.
Welcome to Photographs, Pistols & Parasols, the podcast where we celebrate early women artisan photographers.
I’m your host, Lee McIntyre.
Hi everybody and Happy International Women’s Day!
Today I just I have quick announcement to share.
As you know, my husband, Chris, and I have been doing research for this project for the past few years. Along the way, I’ve been sharing the stories we’ve uncovered – about the lives and careers of early women artisan photographers – through both this podcast well as through lectures and talks I’ve given all over the world.
But today I’m delighted to announce that Chris and I now have out first published article about these talented women. It’s an article published in The Journal: New England Journal of Photographic History, which is the annual publication of the Photographic Historical Society of New England.
The title of our article is “Miss C. Smith: The long career of an independent photographer from Lowell, Massachusetts”. Listeners may recall I talked about Miss C Smith several years ago on the podcast. Miss C Smith is the name – i.e. the photographer’s “brand” – on the photographs. “Miss C Smith” herself turned out to be a woman named Costillia Smith. Costillia Smith ran the “Miss C Smith” studio by herself for more than 30 years in the late 19th century
In that podcast episode I talked about how the first thing we had to do with “Miss C Smith” was to track down her first name; finding out a lot more about her was even more of a challenge.
However, Chris and I both love a challenge: we spent a lot of time digging into the records we could get access to online during the pandemic, since the pandemic made it impossible to visit Lowell while we were writing the article. However, we managed to pieced together information about her family as well as more about her career. We share that in the article, along with many some wonderful examples of photographs from Miss C Smith’s studio that we’ve collected. That includes examples of both cabinet cards as well the smaller form-factor carte-de-visites.
I’ll include information in the episode notes for today on how to buy co...
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61 - The Journey of Ollie Monroe (Part 1)
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In today's episode, we meet Miss Salle E. Garrity of Chicago - and beyond.
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Really enjoy the podcast
I love hearing about the lives of these fascinating women.
Photography and Photographers Revealed
L Lee McIntyre’s blog is impeccably researched. She brings these women’s lives to life as she puts facts together. Each women comes alive and their photographic techniques and creativity are introduced to the reader/listener as Mcintyre removes them from obscurity.
McIntyre also explains the subtle and overt difference between the sexes, for example, Miss C. Smith’s pod cast indicates that prior to the 1860’s census, women’s occupations were not recorded.
I recommend this podcast to anyone interested in photography, women’s history and how to research.
Historically accurate and compelling production!
I am the photo archivist for the Special Collections Department of the Pikes Peak Library District in Colorado Springs. I worked with Lee during her visit to our archives. Her research techniques were meticulous, her scope comprehensive, and her documentation thorough. If she says it happened, you can count on it. These podcasts may be the best available source on early women photographers in existence. Highly recommended!!!