Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Mystery Photo from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia

Dobson & Co. portrait
Several years ago, while visiting a nearby antique shop, I found an old photo (left) that immediately caught my eye -- not so much for the image (though I wouldn't mind knowing who the woman was) but for the photographer's logo and location: Dobson & Co. Portraits, 267 Main St., Yarmouth, N.S.

I've never been able to identify the owner(s) of the business. Although there were Dobson relatives who lived in the Yarmouth area, none were photographers (as far as I've been able to learn).

My best lead so far is Robert Artemas Dobson, born 27 May 1863 in Bayfield, Westmorland, New Brunswick, Canada. He became a U.S. citizen in 1893 and settled in Boston and Marblehead, Massachusetts.

His career evolved slightly through the years -- artist in 1891, photographer in 1900, 1910 and 1920 (also an inventor in the latter), and photo dealer in 1930.

Electro Photo Co. portrait
The Boston City Directory for 1895 indicates he was a partner with G.W. Schumann in Dobson & Schumann, 10 Tremont Row, and ws connect to Electro Photo, Co., 673 Wash. (while maintaining a home in Marblehead). He also conducted business at 122 Boylston (in 1899), 173 Tremont (1910-1912) and 603 Boylston (1914).

I can't connect him with Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, but travel to and from Boston wasn't uncommon in his time. Or perhaps he merely lent his name to the business.

Add this to my list of unsolved mysteries. And my growing list of pleas for help!

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