M. H. Bullard was a traveling Daguerrean Artist from Massachusetts who visited the village of Delhi in the years 1850 and 1851. His first visit appears to have been in January through February in 1850. During this stay he operated his gallery over the store of James Elwood. Bullard placed the following advertisements in the Delaware Gazette, the local newspaper.
January to February 1850
“Mr. M. H. Bullard, Daguerrean Artist from Massachusetts, would announce to the citizens of Delhi and vicinity, that he has fitted up a Daguerrean Gallery, for two or three weeks only, over the store of James Elwood, where he is prepared, in clear or cloudy weather, to take likenesses that are un-surpassed for richness, beauty of tone and strength of expression.
Having availed himself of the late London Process, he is enabled to ensure a likeness not to be surpassed by any of the most celebrated Galleries in the U.S. – Likenesses taken by this late improvement are perfectly life-like and are rendered never-fading.
Lockets, Velvet Book Cases of the richest quality, always on hand. All are invited to call and examine specimens, whether they intend sitting for pictures or not.”
(Delaware Gazette. January 16, 1850.)
“Photographic Likenesses. M. H. Bullard would respectfully inform the citizens of Delhi and the surrounding country, that owing to the unprecedented success that has attended him since his arrival in this place, and the numerous applications he is daily receiving from the inhabitants, he has determined to remain a few days longer.
Having associated with him in the Daguerrean business, Mr. F. L HILLER, they are now able to execute business with the greatest dispatch, and in a style that cannot but please the most fastidious. They will constantly be in attendance at their Daguerrean Gallery over Elwood’s Store, to wait upon any who may favor them with a call, and give them such a likeness, that they may
“ * * * see themselves
As others see them.
All are invited to call and examine their specimen.– They will there see pictures of those with whom they are well acquainted, and hence be enabled to judge understandingly of their skill in the Daguerrean Art.
Remember that their stay will be limited to a few days.”
(Delaware Gazette. February 20, 1850.)
In May of 1851 M. H. Bullard returned to the village of Delhi. During this stay Bullard operated at rooms at the office of Dr. J. I. Merwin, the village dentist. He later moved locations to the building at the corner of Main Street and Meredith Street, opposite Judson’s Hotel. The stay seems to have been somewhat lengthy for a traveling Daguerrean, with Bullard remaining at Delhi through September 1851. His last advertisements at Delhi announced his intentions to “go West.”
“Daguerreotypes. The undersigned will again visit Delhi in the course of a few days, to remain for a short time, when he will be happy to wait upon all who my feel disposed to give him a call.” (Delaware Gazette. May 14, 1851.)
June to July 1851
“Daguerreotypes. Mr. M. H. Bullard would respectfully inform his former friends and the public generally, that he has again visited Delhi, and opened a Daguerrean Gallery in the office with Dr. J. I. Merwin, nearly opposite the Bank, where he will be happy to see all those who may favor him with a call, whether they wish pictures or not.
Gold lockets of the richest quality constantly on hand, and will be sold, including miniatures, as cheap if not cheaper than the Lockets can be bought elsewhere. All those wishing first class picture of themselves or friends, will do well to improve the present opportunity, and that without delay, for his stay is limited to a few weeks.
Think not these portraits by the sun light made,
Shades though they are, will like a shadow fade.
No! when the lop of flesh in dust shall lie –
When Death’s grey film o’er spreads the beaming eye –
These life-like pictures mocking at decay,
Will still be fresh and vivid as to-day.”
(Delaware Gazette, June 11, 1851.)
July to September 1851
“Improve the Opportunity. The subscriber is returning thanks to the people of this vicinity for their extensive patronage, would say that he has made arrangements to go West, and will have but a few days more to remain in Delhi.
Those wishing Likenesses taken by him will do well to avail themselves of this opportunity, and that WITH OUT DELAY, as it is hardly possible he will again be able to stop in this place.
(Delaware Gazette. July 30, 1851.)
After leaving the village of Delhi in September 1851 it’s unclear as to his next destination. In October 1852 he opened “Bullard’s Daguerrean Gallery” at Cooperstown, New York. He placed the following advertisement in the local newspaper.
“BULLARD’S DAGUERREAN GALLERY, Just opened in Dr. Peak’s building, Opposite Comstock & Co.’s Drug Store, where he will take Likeness of individuals and Family Groups, which are not surpassed for depth of tone, clear and life-like expression, and beautiful finish of both plate and picture.
Having a large size apparatus of the very best manufacture he is enabled to take pictures equally well in clear or cloudy weather, of any size or in any style required.
For children, a clear day, between 10 and 2 is preferable.
All are invited to call and examine specimens, whether they wish pictures or not.”
(The Otsego Democrat. Cooperstown, New York. October 23, 1852.)
In March 1853, he was likely at the town of Frankfort in Herkimer County, New York. He placed the following advertisement in the local newspaper. “IN CASE OF DEATH those person who are so unfortunate as not to possess a semblance of the loved and lost, can be waited on by the subscriber at their residences and have likenesses of the deceased taken in all possible perfection. “M. H. BULLARD.” (Herkimer County Democrat. Frankfort, New York. March 16, 1853.)
If you should have any additional information, comments or corrections about the photographer M. H. Bullard please add a comment to this page, or send me an email using the contact page. Where possible, please include any available references. Thank you.