In February 1853 the company of Holmes, Booth and Haydens, was founded in Waterbury, Conn as a manufacturer of photograph cases, lens, daguerreotype silver plates and other photographic apparatus. The company was named after its original founders except for Hotchkiss. The founders included Israel Holmes, John C. Booth, Hiram Washington Hayden, Henry Hubbard Hayden, and Henry Hotchkiss.
Israel Holmes became the president of the company having extensive experience in the brass industry through many experiences including his time as an employee of the Scovill Manufacturing Co. and president of the Waterbury brass company. Henry Hayden became the vice president and John Booth the first treasurer.
Hiram W. Hayden was the most inventive of the group. He was a Daguerreian photographer and held numerous patents. In 1851 he claimed to be the first to successfully take direct positive photographs on paper. The Waterbury American Newspaper reported the event as "Mr. Hiram Hadyen, ingenious artist of this village, has shown three landscape views taken by the unusual Daguerreian apparatus upon a white paper surface, all at one operation.." Some of his patents included a breech loading rifle, a magazine rifle and a daguerreotype mat,. He is also credited with cutting the dies for the "Calmady Children" plastic daguerreotype case after the the painting by Sir Thomas Lawrence.
Henry Hubbard Hayden opened a sales office for the company in New York City at 37 Maiden Lane.
Shortly after establishing the business, Holmes, Booth and Haydens began producing a key product which secured their success, silver daguerreotype. Henry Hyden was able to bring August Brassart a Frenchmen from Paris to help improve the companies production of silver plates. At the time, the only American company manufacturing a usable daguerreotype plate was the Scovill Manufacturing Company, of Waterbury, Connecticut. They were soon followed by Holmes, Booth & Haydens, and for some time these were the only two American manufacturers of the copper plates.
In February, 1854, it was announced in Humphrey's Journal that Albert Litch, a Daguerreian, in Boston, Mass was "now making cameras". In August, the magazine announced that Holmes, Booth and Haydens had taken over Litch's cameras. The implication is that they would now be called Holmes, Booth & Haydens cameras, but would have Litch's name on them. Two months later, the Journal reported that Litch was no longer with Holmes, Booth and Hayden's, and that his name would no longer appear on their cameras.
In 1857 Holmes, Booth and Haydens began to manufacture thermo-plastic Photograph cases.
In 1869, Israel Holmes left the company to form a new company Holmes, Booth and Atwood and Augustus S. Chase replaced him as president.
In 1871 Henry Hayden retired.
In 1874 Israel Holmes died.
In 1879 Edward Simeon HAYDEN was elected Secretary and Treasurer of the Holmes, Booth & Haydens Company. He was previously a bookkeeper at the Waterbury National Bank.
Holmes, Booth & Haydens operated independently until October 17, 1901, until it became part of a five company consolidation which include the Scoville Manufacturing to form the new American Brass Company that was originally founded in 1893.
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