The Pach brothers, Gustavus, Gotthelf, and Oscar, operated one of the most successful photographic studios in New York City, with branches throughout the East Coast. Their business included individual and group portraits as well as school photography. By 1878 the university class photographs that had been the specialty of George K. Warren were being made by the Pach Brothers studio.
Perhaps commissioned by Charles S. Symonds, whose signature appears on the album’s title page, these photographs themselves—the first image shows an arriving train, the last the village schoolhouse, implying the end of a summer idyll—suggest that the album was meant as the record of a holiday or as an advertisement to attract tourists. A view of the Eagle Hotel, a scene of a stickball match on Main Street, and a surrounding landscape of shady trees and gracious mansions all suggest the pleasures of vacationing in Charlestown, New Hampshire.
Merry A. Foresta American Photographs: The First Century (Washington, D.C.: National Museum of American Art with the Smithsonian Institution Press, 1996)