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Elmer Chickering

Born in Vermont in 1857, Elmer Chickering developed an interest in art at an early age. His artistic inclinations quickly expanded to include photography. During the 1880s, he moved to Boston, where he promptly opened a photographic studio that displayed his talents in several types of media, including oils, pastels, and India ink. Soon, the most prominent Boston families became cherished patrons. Mr. Chickering was gifted, personable, and extremely successful, attributes that assured his entrance into the very exclusive Boston society. His lucrative business received a brief mention in an 1893 issue of The Photographic Journal of America:

"Mr. Elmer Chickering, Boston Mass., was never so well prepared to carry on an extensive photographic business as at present. He had added another large and well-fitted operating-room, besides new and attractive reception-rooms, for both ladies and gentlemen. Notwithstanding the fact that now is a dull season, he is doing a very active business. He employs Mr. R. M. Wilson as his chief poser."

During the late nineteenth century, Mr. Chickering achieved name recognition that extended beyond New England when his photographs began appearing in such popular publications as Good Housekeeping. His personal life also generated some attention when he married Mr. Wilson’s wife (it is unknown whether she was a widow or divorcee), who was herself a photographer.


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