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  Samuel Masury

Daguerreotypist and Photographic Artist.

Samuel Masury was born in Salem Massachusetts in the year 1820.

In 1837 upon completion of his education from the public schools of Boston, he began working in a general store, but often neglected his duties due to lack of interest. His true interest was for mechanical applications. After a short time he left the store to pursue the business of carriage-making, where he became proficient in this work.

Upon the news of Daguerre's discovery in 1839, Samuel Masury took a deep interest in the new art.

In 1842 Masury connected himself with Mr. John Plumbe of Boston, Mass., to learn the process and became a professional daguerreotypist and photographer. During this seventeen year relationship he practiced the art in the principle cities in New England.

In 1843 Masury established his business as Masury and Company in Salem, Mass..

Masury moved in 1847 to Essex Street in Salem, noted as being located in the Kinsman's new building. G. Vinall was also listed as a principle photographer.

On June 1 year 1847, the following advertisements
appeared in the "Salem Gazette" (vol. 66, No. 65):

S A M U E L M A S U R Y ,
Has taken Rooms in Kinsman's New Building,
(a few doors below the Post Office, on Essex street,
Salem,) for the purpose of taking

D a g u e r r e o t y p e M i n i a t u r e s

in a NEW and ELEGANT STYLE, and of larger sizes than are generally taken. MINIATURES taken at this Gallery, are warranted to give perfect satisfaction, and not to fade or change appearance in any way, or for any number of years. As many persons suppose that Daguerreotype Miniatures can be taken only in fair weather, I beg leave to say, that, by a recent discovery, I am prepared to take Miniatures in cloudy weather, and will warrant as good Pictures taken in cloudy, as in pleasant weather.
Hours of Operation, for 9 o'clock, A.M. until 4 P.M.
Ladies and Gentlemen are invited to call and examine my specimens.
MINIATURES set in Cases, Lockets and Frames.--
Prices from $2.50 to $10.00.
mch 9--epis S. MASURY

Masury also recorded a daguerreian Gallery in Providence, R.I., from 1845 to 1852.

in November 1848, Masury took a famous portrait of Edgar Allan Poe, less than a year before Poe's death at age 40. Poe portrait was taken in the Providence, Rhode Island, studio of Samuel Masury and S.W. Hartson.

Around 1851-1852 Masury experienced a serious accident, which took Mr. Marury's establishment. The accident nearly took his life, and he never fully recovered from the effects. The accident occurred while Masury was engaged with a chemical experiment with the oxyhydrogen, or Drummond light. A fire was started in some way never satisfactory explained, to a bag which contained sixty to seventy gallons of oxygen gas, causing a terrific explosion, while Mr. Masury was standing on the bag. It was recorded as almost a miracle that every person in the room was not instantly killed. This may be the reason, which prompted his move to Boston.

From 1852 to 1855, Masury opened a daguerreian gallery in Boston, Mass., as a partnership listed as Masury and Silsbee (G.M. Silsbee). A Boston business card indicates various specialties including carte-de-visite, salt prints and other advertisements indicate they also specialized in Hallotypes.

During his years as a renowned photographer, Masury was employed for "Ballou's Pictorial Drawing Room Companion" journal where many wood block journal illustrations were produced from Masury's photographs. This is recorded in Ballou's March 26 1859 issue with the following excerpt from the journal:

"We feel great pleasure in laying before our readers the accompanying portrait of Mr. Samuel Masury, to whose skill we have frequently been indebted for the fine photographic likeness which have served our artists as authority in drawing many of the large heads of public characters published in the Pictorial. The portrait on this page was drawn expressly for us by Mr. (Winslow) Homer, and engraved by Pierce in his best manner."

In 1874 Samuel Masury died leaving behind a historical legacy as one of the premier early pioneers of Photography.

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