19th Century Family Photo Album, recovered during renovation, donated by Lionel Charles.
This photo album, currently on display at the library, was discovered behind a wall during construction at a Prospect Street home. The 36 page album is filled with 47 formal portraits taken during the late 19th Century. With the commercial manufacturing of dry plate negatives in the 1870s and 1880s, photography – especially photo studios – became very popular in America. Although sitting for portraits was typically for the wealthy, if a family could save their hard earned money, they, too, would sit for a photographer, especially for milestones like marriages and births. This Prospect Street family photo album would have been treasured for generations.
If you’ve found anything historic in your Cambridge home, the our archivist can help you determine what it is. Please contact the Cambridge Room for more information.