While looking for more information on Churchill & Denison, an early pair of Albany photographers who were in partnership during the Civil War era, we ran across this odd little tidbit – not about photographers, but about printers.
The journal “Western Medical Advance and Progress of Pharmacy,” dated December, 1871, reprinted at the top of its second column, front page, a brief item from “Printer’s Circular,” another trade publication for a very different trade. Sadly, it is unaccompanied by the photograph it references, which we can only hope is preserved somewhere:
Is Printing a Healthy Business?–This is the title of a handsome photograph, 12 x 16, issued by Messrs. Churchill & Denison, Albany, N.Y., containing portraits of six well-known printers of Albany, whose appearance is deemed a sufficient answer to the question–Is Printing a Healthy Business? Upon the picture is printed the following table:If the printers of Albany are fairly represented by the “specimen six,” our readers will join us in congratulating them upon their judicious combination of mind and matter; and will doubtless be tempted to ask,
Upon what meat do these our Caesars feed,
That they have grown so great?
And whether Albany beef, or Albany air, deserves the credit of transforming from lean to fat.–Printer’s Circular.
Simply the oddest bit of 19th century fat-shaming we’ve come across. We can’t help but wonder if this was some kind of fascination of Churchill, as one of the photos he is known to have taken was of C. Adams Stevens, which oddly notes on the front that he weighed 221 lbs.
Avery Herrick, we should note, was recognized by the New York Agricultural Society in 1858, winning for best blackberry wine, best raspberry wine, and best tomato wine [we do not want to know]. He was also given honors for his strawberry wine and “Cherry Bounce.”