The invention of photography coincided with a period of great commercial growth and industrialization in the United States. These photographs prove that industry made work for photography, but certainly photography spurred the success of the commerce it documented and advertised.
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Pennsylvania Railroad Locomotive at Altoona Repair Facility
The launching of a new locomotive, and a relatively new industry, is documented in this industrial portrait.
The "Ohio Star" Buggy
The custom design of this newspaper delivery wagon suggests not only the latest in newspaper delivery in Ohio but also implies the commercial success of the publication.
Stadler Photographing Company
Babies' Lawn Caps
Advertising photographs were increasingly used after the 1880s. The photographs were either printed or engraved as illustrations, thereby influencing consumer choice and helping popularize the fashions of the day.
Seneca Falls, New York (upstream), Seneca Falls, New York (downstream)
The sharply focused daguerreotypes of Seneca Falls, New York, portray a new mid-nineteenth-century industry and present a new method of recording such progress: photography.
Blake Block, Brattleboro, Vermont
Caleb Lysander Howe
Blake Block, Brattleboro, Vermont, After the Fire
In the first view of Blake Block, it is obviously a bustling town center. Unfortunately, in October 1869 this area was hit first by flood, then by fire, completely devastating this commercial district.