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Sixth Plate


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SKU: D17-317 Category:

?GOV. BROOKS. NO 1.? Without a doubt the wicked handsome chap with those great eyes peeking mischievously out from underneath the brim of his shiny waterproof hat was taken on a resealed sixth plate when he was a fireman in Medford MA. He would have visited an unidentified daguerreotypist in the Boston area circa 1848. Although his maker used a heavy hand when polishing the highly reflective silver the resulting likeness was nothing short of spectacular! Upon completion of the dag, the young smoke eater selected a fine red velvet book style case embossed with golden flowers on the cover and more filigree on the spine, surrounding ?THE TOKEN?. Inside the nearly pristine case was a deep purple pad with a floral arrangement steam pressed in the surface. Here is a bit of information about the engine company gleaned from the World Wide Web:

“The Governor Brooks No. 1 was located where the public pound now is on Back street. The Selectmen appointed a company consisting of twenty-nine members, who on the thirteenth day of November, 1835, met and organized by the choice of the following officers: George L. Stearns, clerk; James T. Floyd, foreman; David Kimball, assistant foreman; and Luther Angier, treasurer. The company continued its organization till July 2, 1839, when there was an insufficient number to work the engine at a fire. They chose a committee to wait on the Selectmen, make a statement of the condition of the company, and request that it be disbanded. It was also voted, ?that the foreman, Mr. John T. White, surrender the engine ?Governor Brooks? and whatever moneys there may be in the hands of the Treasurer to the Selectmen to be disposed of as they may judge expedient.?

On July 3, the next day after disbandment, the Selectmen appointed twenty-nine men to take charge of the engine, and on July 22 they met and chose Mr. John T. White, foreman, Joseph James, assistant foreman, and Daniel H. Forbes, clerk and treasurer. They continued the organization till March 17, 1858, when by order of [p. 15] the engineers they were disbanded for disobeying the order of the engineers at a fire on the plains, Mr. Hugh Nugent’s house on Cherry street.?

Unfortunately, there was no further information about the subject. Casey removed the original paper seals. He notated on the archival seal that there was no hallmark and it was a heavy plate. This is a rare example of exactly how a daguerreotype that was obviously admired by the owners has aged during its unhindered 169 year lifetime. The black spots were original plate faults and the patina, mostly across the bottom, doesn?t affect the young gent.