March 14, 2014

Horse and Buggy CDV from Gap, Pa

Location: Gap, PA, USA
CDV of Horse and Buggy by W. H. Heiss taken in Gap, Pennsylvania (vws)
CDV Backmark
For the second time in a week, an interesting transportation-related photograph from Lancaster County appeared on Ebay.  First, there was a carte-de-visite of a locomotive built at the Norris Locomotive Works in Lancaster City in 1867, which I wrote about in a post earlier in the week.  Then, an image of a horse and buggy carrying two men in front of a barn appeared.  Fortunately, I was able to purchase both, and I look forward to doing more research about them and using them to tell the story of life in Lancaster County during the 1860s.

The horse and buggy image was taken by an itinerant photograph named W. H. Heiss, who took pictures at of his "Mammoth Photograph Wagon"  in the Lancaster County towns of Strasburg and Gap during the mid-1860s.  Because the photograph does not have a tax stamp, it was almost certainly taken before summer 1864 or after summer 1866.  A couple of his images pop up on Ebay every year.  Several that I have seen are of children with the same hoop rolling toy props as seen in the image below.

The image is also remarkable simple because it was taken outside.  I don't know if I can think of an earlier CDV taken in Lancaster outside of a photography studio, although there were some earlier daguerreotypes of Lancaster and photographer William L. Gill started making stereoviews of outdoor scenes sometime around 1866.

CDV of Two Children
by W. H. Heiss, Strasburg, 1865
(David Claudon Collection)
Unlike the "Bee" locomotive photo, it's difficult to guess what message the photograph is trying to convey.  Is the focus on the horse or the buggy, or both?  Where is the farm?  Are these Quaker farmers making a show of their prosperity?  Where type of buggy is it, and where was it made?  And, of course, who are the men in the photo?

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