View of Bellows Falls Vt. From Table Rock. June, 1855. daguerreotypist S. W. Hull, after.

View of Bellows Falls Vt. From Table Rock. June, 1855.

Boston: L H. Bradford & Co.’s Lith., 1855. Tinted lithograph with hand-coloring, 16” x 26.75” plus margins.

A lovely lithographic view of Bellows Falls, Vermont based on daguerreotypes by S. W. Hull.

This handsome view shows the town situated on a bend in the Connecticut River, as seen from Table Rock, an elevation in Walpole, New Hampshire on the eastern side of the river. Most of the town’s commercial buildings are concentrated in the east, while its homes and churches are mainly to the west. Various mill buildings are clustered along the river and canal (built to circumvent the falls), including one in a state of ruin. The town’s five covered bridges are shown, four of them serving the various railroad lines that had reached Bellows Falls within the last six years, making it an important transportation hub, including the Sullivan County Railroad, the Cheshire Railroad, the Rutland and Burlington Railroad, and the Vermont Valley Railroad. In the foreground, two figures—possibly photographer Hull’s companions when he made the daguerreotypes—are seated at the edge of Table Rock looking toward the town.

According to Craig’s Daguerrian Register, S. W. Hull was “First listed as a daguerreian in Springfield, Mass. in 1853-54, located in the Goodrich Block, in partnership with J. H. Spear. During the same period, he was also listed in partnership with C. Hull. Probably the same S.W. Hull who advertised daguerreotypes, ambrotypes and chrystalotypes in Bellows Falls…in 1856. Then he advertised the largest and most complete establishment in the state.”

Lodowick Harrington Bradford (1820–1885) was born in Boston and operated an engraving business there from 1845 to 1848, following which he joined engraver Eben Tappan to create the firm Tappan & Bradford, engravers and lithographers. After Tappan's death in 1854, Bradford continued as an engraver and lithographer under the name L. H. Bradford & Co., which existed from 1854 to 1859. While it is unclear if Bradford had any other partners, engraver George Girdler Smith is known to have worked for Bradford in the late 1850s, and was also a partner in various lithography firms associated with printing innovations and producing scientific illustrations. L. H. Bradford & Co. also produced scientific and other book illustrations, as well as views, maps, plans, and sheet music covers. The present lithograph was printed in the same year that Bradford printed two of Fitz Henry Lane's largest and most successful lithographs, View of Gloucester, Mass. (ca. 1855) and Castine, from Hospital Island (1855). In 1856, Bradford began working with the Boston photographer James Ambrose Cutting to create a photolithographic process, concentrating mainly on photolithography for the rest of his career. He died in Gloucester, Mass. in 1885.

REFERENCES: Reps #4031; Pierce, Sally and Catharina Slautterback. Boston Lithography, 1825–1880 (Boston, 1991), pp. 128-130.

Item #5361

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