Unfortunately this carte de visite has no identifying writing. I often buy unidentified photos in the hopes of being able to date them. Since this cdv has no lines along the border of the photo I suspected it was one of the earliest versions from 1858-1862.
The fashion fit my dating hypothesis, as well as the woman’s hairstyle, with the hair “poofed” out a bit and covering her ears. Next up was researching the photographer for more clues.
R.A. Lord was a photographer in New York City. He started out at 158 Chatham in late 1859 or early 1860, taking over Tredwell Lewis’ daguerreotype and ambrotype studio.
By June 1860 Lord had plans of traveling to Japan and tried selling the business. Those plans never materialized and he remained there until moving to 164 Chatham about 1864.
Thanks to this detailed drawing from 1858 we can view Chatham Street through our sitter’s and photographer’s eyes.
We can even see exactly where 158 Chatham stood. At the time, T. Lewis, was very prominently advertising his photography gallery.
On April 5, 1862 Lord and wife Annie (Hering) welcomed their first child, Frederica. Another daughter, Blanche, arrived about 1865.
Tragically Ralph A. Lord died of pneumonia at the young age of thirty-one years old.