WThe New York Public Library  /  Photographers’ Identities Catalog
PIC ID: 4020

William Curtis Taylor

American, 1825-1905

Male

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William Curtis Taylor first appeared as a perfumer in city directories in 1861, but had taken up photography by 1863. He photographed the Centennial Exposition in 1876, and in 1884 was the sole photographer at the Electrical Exhibition. He made use of electric light for the occasion, and made portraits of, among other notables, Thomas Edison. In 1886, he conducted a study of over 40 paintings and prints of George Washington and, by means of composite photography, attempted to create a true likeness of the president. An 1887 photograph, a group portrait, garnered much discussion among photographers by the fact that several of the women appeared transparent. That they were sharply focused ruled out the possibility of their having moved during the exposure. Mentions of the puzzling photograph continued to appear as late as 1890. He retired from his studio in November, 1889, and W. Curtis Taylor & Co. continued under the direction of Edwin L. Fugate and Samuel R. Gray. In 1905, he published an article on his composite image of George Washington, and it was generating much discussion in the press at the time of his death on February 17 in Philadelphia.

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Locations

William Curtis Taylor has 7 locations.

Birth (April 14, 1825)

Philadelphia, PA
USA

Studio or Business (1863-1884)

912 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA
USA

Studio or Business (1863-1884)

914 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA
USA

Studio or Business (1885-1887)

1328 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA
USA

Studio or Business (1888-1889)

101 South 13th Street
Philadelphia, PA
USA

Studio or Business (1893-1898)

1318 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA
USA

Death (February 17, 1905)

Philadelphia, PA
USA