Lorenzo Short – Rondout’s “Boss” Photographer (Part 2)

May 08, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

Introduction

 

Lorenzo Short operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York. Short began his career as a farmer, but upon switching careers around 1873, he opened his studio in the Rondout section of the Kingston. He operated the studio until his passing in 1928, and it was afterwards managed by his daughter Belle until she closed the doors in 1952.

 

Continued from last week . . .

 

Lorenzo Short, succeeded by his daughter Belle Short, operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York.Lorenzo Short logo.Lorenzo Short operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York. Short began his career as a farmer, but upon switching careers around 1873, he opened his studio in the Rondout section of the Kingston. He operated the studio until his passing in 1928, and it was afterwards managed by his daughter Belle until she closed the doors in 1952.

Lorenzo Short, succeeded by his daughter Belle Short, operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York.Lorenzo Short logo.Lorenzo Short operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York. Short began his career as a farmer, but upon switching careers around 1873, he opened his studio in the Rondout section of the Kingston. He operated the studio until his passing in 1928, and it was afterwards managed by his daughter Belle until she closed the doors in 1952.

 

Photography

 

By 1873 Lorenzo had switched professions from farming to photography, a career which he would continue for the remainder of his life. That year Lorenzo opened a gallery in the Rondout section of Kingston.

 

Rondout, previously known as the Strand, Kingston Landing and Bolton, is located near the mouth of the Rondout Creek as it completes its journey to the Hudson River. Its prime geographic location helped establish Rondout as a thriving industrial and trading transportation center. With the opening of the Delaware and Hudson Canal Rondout in 1828 Rondout developed as primary shipping point for coal from northeastern Pennsylvania, timber, agricultural products and bluestone from the Catskill Mountains, cement from Rosendale and bricks manufactured at local factories. Rondout quickly gained a reputation as one of the busiest places on the Hudson River between New York and Albany. With its rapid growth Rondout was incorporated as a village in 1849, and for several decades remained distinct for the neighboring village of Kingston. In 1872 the two villages merged to form the city that we know today.

 

Although much of the industry is long gone, Rondout of the 21st century retains a certain charm and is a popular destination for visitors to the city of Kingston. It is home to two popular museums, the Trolley Museum of New York and the Hudson River Maritime Museum. Visitors can take a trolley ride, embark on a Hudson River boat cruise, dock their boats at the riverfront marina, visit the nearby Rondout Lighthouse, stroll along the waterfront park, or stop in any number of restaurants of boutique shops. Maintaining its industrial and architectural legacy The Rondout – West Strand Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

It is possible that in establishing his operation Short had either previously been associated with or acquired the interest of photographer W. T. Ostrander. The Kingston City Directory for 1872-3 listed Ostrander as a photographer working at “Division, opp Mill.” The following year, the Kingston, Ellenville and Saugerties Directory for 1873-74 then listed photographer Lorenzo Short as working at the same “Division, opp Mill” address.

 

In those early years, circa 1873, as a way of introduction, Short placed an advertisement in the Kingston city directory announcing his arrival. “New City Gallery! No. 33 Division Street, opposite Mill, Rondout, N.Y. Lorenzo Short, Photography, in all its branches, From the Bon Ton Tintype to the various sizes of Carte De Visite, the Rembrant Shadow Pictures, & c. Special attention given to out-door work. Views of Buildings, Steamboats, Landscapes, etc. etc.,– size from 8x10 to 18x22. Large assortment of FRAMES in stock. Frames made to order. Photographs colored in Oil, Ink, Crayon or Water Colors.” (Lant, J. H. Kingston, Ellenville and Saugerties Directory for 1873-4. Kingston, N.Y.: J. H. Lant, 1873.)

 

Lorenzo Short, succeeded by his daughter Belle Short, operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York.Advertisement for Lorenzo Short.Kingston, Ellenville and Saugerties Directory for 1873-4.

Lorenzo Short operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York. Short began his career as a farmer, but upon switching careers around 1873, he opened his studio in the Rondout section of the Kingston. He operated the studio until his passing in 1928, and it was afterwards managed by his daughter Belle until she closed the doors in 1952.

Advertisement for Lorenzo Short. Kingston, Ellenville and Saugerties Directory for 1873-4.

 

Lorenzo Short, succeeded by his daughter Belle Short, operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York.Advertisement for L. Short.Kingston City Directory for the Years 1877-8.

Lorenzo Short operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York. Short began his career as a farmer, but upon switching careers around 1873, he opened his studio in the Rondout section of the Kingston. He operated the studio until his passing in 1928, and it was afterwards managed by his daughter Belle until she closed the doors in 1952.

Advertisement for L. Short. Kingston City Directory for the Years 1877-8.

 

In April 1878 Lorenzo Short went to work for another Kingston photographer, D. J. Auchmoody. The reasons are unclear as to why Short would have closed his own studio, only to go to work for a competing photographer. Short must have had a positive reputation however since Auchmoody placed an advertisement in the local newspaper announcing Short’s arrival at the Auchmoody studio. “Notice to the Public. I have secured the services of Mr. Lorenzo Short in my Photographic department. Those wishing Mr. Short or myself to photography them can be served by calling at 29 Union avenue. I would state that I am taking photographs at a low price, and of as good quality, as can be obtained in the city. D. J. AUCHMOODY.” (“Notice to the Public.” The Daily Freeman. April 29, 1878.)

 

David J. Auchmoody was born in New Paltz in 1848. He began his career as a teacher in the town of Esopus before moving into the photographic field. He operated a gallery at Kingston for many years. After leaving the photography business he worked in the insurance busines and became a prominent member of a number of fraternal organizations. He passed away in 1907 at his home in Kingston after a short illness.

 

Lorenzo Short, succeeded by his daughter Belle Short, operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York.Advertisement for D. J. Auchmoody.Kingston and Rondout Village Directory and Ulster County Business Directory for 1869-70.

David J. Auchmoody was born in New Paltz in 1848. He began his career as a teacher in the town of Esopus before moving into the photographic field. He operated a gallery at Kingston for many years. After leaving the photography business he worked in the insurance busines and became a prominent member of a number of fraternal organizations. He passed away in 1907 at his home in Kingston after a short illness.

Advertisement for D. J. Auchmoody. Kingston and Rondout Village Directory and Ulster County Business Directory for 1869-70.

 

By the early 1880s Short had again opened his own studio. In 1881 he placed a number of advertisements in the Kingston Daily Freeman, the local newspaper.

 

June 28, 1881. “The Place to Get Your “Phiz” Indelibly Stamped. The place to get your photographs is at the establishment of L. Short, on The Strand. The building is situated near Crosby, Sahler & Co’s corner and is easy of access. The climbing of one pair of stairs brings the visitor into a neat and cozy parlor or waiting room which is adorned by some of the artist’s best work. Another ascent brings the visitor into a specially appointed operating skylight room where river, lake, ocean, field, landscape or parlor scenes can be supplied. Short is a very gentlemanly operator and thoroughly understands his business, as is attested by the myriad of specimens broadcast about this county.”

 

July 16, 1881. “An Innovation in Photography. L. Short, the photographer on The Strand, has made an innovation in the style of taking photographs, tin types, etc., by introducing the ever-popular hammock into his skylight room. To have pictures taken while sitting in a hammock is a very good mode for lovers, for the reason that being raised at each end, the weight in the center naturally concentrates or draws together, and the subjects can get just as close together as possible.”

 

October 18, 1881. “A Fine Crayon Picture. L. Short, the photographer on The Strand, has on exhibition in the jewelry window of D. A. Ainley, on Union avenue, a well-executed and large crayon picture of Mr. E. B. Newkirk. The portrait reflects credit upon the artist, and is a perfect likeness of its original.”

 

December 22, 1881. “THE HOLIDAY SEASON. Is specially devoted to reunions of families and friends, and what presents can be more appropriate than a good picture? I have a large assortment of frames and cases, and am fully prepared to do the finest work, either singly or in families or groups. Call and examine my work. L. SHORT, Photographer, The Strand.”

 

In 1884 Lorenzo Short was listed as plaintiff in a court case versus the defendant Frank Pidgeon, Jr. Short claimed non-payment for photographic services rendered to Pidgeon.

 

“Friday, Feb. 15. – This morning in court the case of Lorenzo Short vs. Frank Pidgeon, Jr., was moved as a short cause. Affidavits were read regarding the points in the case, G. R. Adams appearing for the plaintiff and John W. Searing for the defendant. As appeared from the affidavits, the action was brought by plaintiff, a photographer in Kingston city, for taking 60 photographic views of the trestle work on the West Shore Railroad, which the defendant Pidgeon as contractor had ordered, and which were worth, as claimed, $120, the defense being that some of the work was unskillfully done. That the whole work was not worth more than $90. The defense objected to 12 views at Blue Point, while the photographer claimed that trestle was a low trestle, and the views therefore could not be taken well without going into the river, which he claimed he was not authorized to do. The defendant also claimed that the plaintiff had agreed to settle for $100, and that he sent him a check for that amount but the plaintiff returned the check. Upon the check being returned Pidgeon wrote a letter to Short which was read in court. The following is the main portion of it:

 

DEAR SIR: I am in receipt of your letter returning my check which in view of your bargain, and the fact that you agreed to take $100 in settlement of your account, on account of the poor quality of a portion of your work, surprised me very much. I do not understand it except on the ground that some shyster lawyer may have gotten your claim on spec. At all events, either settle this tomorrow or you can sue and be damned. I shall have ample time to take care of it this winter, though we prefer to pay you what is reasonable, etc., etc.

 

No settlement was made, the plaintiff claiming he had never agreed to take $100, and that he had already commenced the action when the letter was written by Mr. Pidgeon. The case was set down for next week Friday for trial.” (“Court Proceedings.” Kingston Daily Freeman. February 15, 1884.)

 

Lorenzo Short, succeeded by his daughter Belle Short, operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York.Advertisement for Lorenzo Short.Breed Publishing Co.’s Fourth Annual Directory of the City of Kingston for the Years 1890-91.

Lorenzo Short operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York. Short began his career as a farmer, but upon switching careers around 1873, he opened his studio in the Rondout section of the Kingston. He operated the studio until his passing in 1928, and it was afterwards managed by his daughter Belle until she closed the doors in 1952.

Advertisement for Lorenzo Short. Breed Publishing Co.’s Fourth Annual Directory of the City of Kingston for the Years 1890-91.

 

In 1892 George F. Bacon published the wonderfully detailed Kingston and Rondout: Their Representative Business Men, and Points of Interest. The publication contained a detailed overview of the Lorenzo Short business.

 

“L. SHORT. Instantaneous Photographic Artist. No. 161 Strand, Rondout, N.Y. – Photography is a beautifully simple act in theory, but like many other things that look simple enough “on paper,” as the saying is, its practice calls for long experience and a high degree of expertness, that is if really good work is to be done. There are but few intelligent people who cannot tell a really good photographic portrait when they see it, and therefore when we advise our readers to call at the studio of Mr. L. Short, which is located on the third floor of No. 161 Strand, and inspect the large collection of specimens of his work there exhibited, we feel that those who do so will need no argument to convince them, that the gentleman referred to, is one of the most artistic photographers in this section. He is a native of Woodstock, Ulster County, and is well known throughout this town. The undertaking of which he is the proprietor was established in 1874 by himself, and the rooms occupied by Short cove an area of some 2,000 square feet, and are appropriately fitted up for the particular purpose for which they are intended to be used; the convenience and comfort of patrons, and the production of uniformly first-class work, being the governing consideration. Mr. Short is prepared to furnish instantaneous photographs of all sizes and styles in a faithful and artistic manner. A specialty is made of crayon work. He employs one competent assistant, and uses the most improved apparatus obtainable, leaving nothing to chance but putting himself in a position to guarantee complete satisfaction by neglecting no means to attain results beyond reasonable criticism. His prices are moderate and every caller is assured prompt and courteous attention.” (Bacon, Geo. F. Kingston and Rondout: Their Representative Business Men, and Points of Interest. Newark, N. J.: Mercantile Publishing Company, 1892. p. 69.)

 

In addition to his portrait gallery Short was also manager for the Empire View Company, which took beautiful views from throughout the region. Mr. and Mrs. Jim Snyder were tenants of Belle Short’s home for over 15 years, as well as being close friends. In a 1953 article they offered some details of the Short operation. As part of the business Lorenzo “used to have men completely equipped with photographic equipment, horse and buggy etc., who used to go all over taking pictures for the post card people. At one time they had eight such teams on the road.” (Miller, Sophie. “Do You Remember.” Kingston Daily Freeman. November 4, 1953.)

 

Lorenzo Short, succeeded by his daughter Belle Short, operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York.Country Road.[Country Road]; Empire View Co. (active about 1890); Kingston, New York, United States; about 1860–1870; Albumen silver print; 19 × 24.1 cm (7 1/2 × 9 1/2 in.); 84.XP.715.35; No Copyright - United States (https://rightsstatements.org/vocab/NoC-US/1.0/)

Lorenzo Short operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York. Short began his career as a farmer, but upon switching careers around 1873, he opened his studio in the Rondout section of the Kingston. He operated the studio until his passing in 1928, and it was afterwards managed by his daughter Belle until she closed the doors in 1952.

Country Road. Empire View Company. Kingston, New York. J. Paul Getty Museum.

 

The Empire View Company operated with branches at Rondout and Elmira, New York and at Cochranton, Pennsylvania. Short managed the Rondout branch. Various newspaper articles and sources reported the Empire View Company of Rondout as operating in New York, Connecticut, Vermont, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. Specific locations included Carmel, NY; Shokan, NY; Greendale; NY; Buskirks Bridge, NY; Wilton, CT; Cold River, VT; Bethel, VT; Red Hook, NY; Conway, MA; Honesdale, PA; and Lee, MA, among many other places.

 

Other competing firms of itinerant photographers included the Keystone View Company of Allentown, Pennsylvania and the Northern Survey Company of Albany, New York. Walter Richard Wheeler, architectural historian, wrote about the background and methods of the Northern Survey Company, much of which was likely equally applicable to the Empire View Company.

 

“. . . crews of field technicians transporting equipment and portable laboratories throughout the countryside in search of clients . . . They provided views of buildings – frequently with people assembled in front of them – pasted to cabinet cards . . . Teams of field representatives canvassed targeted regions during the warm weather months. Subjects were selected on specific requests from clients, but a large amount of speculative work was undertaken as well . . . It was the job of salesmen, not necessarily the same individuals who had executed the field photography, to close the deal once prints were made . . . No public advertising, except word of mouth and the distribution of handbills, was undertaken . . . Although the principal subjects were houses, usually with family members posed in front of them, other types of photographs were taken. Public buildings, particularly schools and students and prominent businesses and institutions were also documented . . . Itinerant field photography came to an abrupt end in 190, when introduction of the Brownie camera put photography into the hands of the masses for the first time. Coupled with an economic downturn in the late 1890s, these two factors spelled the end of itinerant view companies.” (Wheeler, Walter Richard. “Itinerant Farm Survey Photographs – The Northern Survey Company.” The Society of Hudson Valley Vernacular Architecture. Vol. 20, No. 4-6. April-June 2017. pp. 9-15.)

 

As part of this operation of the Empire View Company, in 1896, Short placed a help wanted advertisement in The World, a New York City based newspaper. “PHOTOGRAPHER, professional or amateur; single preferred; salary; horses & wagon; references required; one who can ride a bicycle preferred. L. Short. Rondout, N.Y.” (The World. August 9, 1896.) One year later, in 1897, Short was looking for a manager. “WANTED – Immediately, photographic operator; one who can take charge of a gallery; send samples and reference with application. L. Short, Station R, Kingston, N.Y.” (New York Journal and Advertiser. October 10, 1897.) In 1898, Short was continuing to look for help, this time for a “view photographer.” “VIEW PHOTOGRAPHER WANTED: salary, horse & wagon; single preferred; references required. Address L. Short, 9 East Strand, Rondout, N.Y.” (The World. March 20, 1898.)

 

One of the people who responded to Short’s advertisements was R. M. Adkins, a photographer whose “artistic work has placed him in the front rank of photographers in northern New York.” (“Local Notes.” Ticonderoga Sentinel. April 25, 1895.). In 1894 Adkins could be found at Bolton Landing, New York where he had purchased the studio of Julius Thatcher, which was located near the Sagamore bridge. Adkins then worked for several months for Short and the Empire View Company in 1895. After his time on the Rondout Adkins became associated with Gilman’s studio at Ticonderoga. While working for Short he could be found at Red Hook, New York, where his photographic work was described in the local newspaper.

 

“Mr. R. M. Adkins, representing the Empire View Co., of Rondout, returned to this village Wednesday evening after having spent 4 days at the N.Y. M. E. Conference. While there he photographed the Bishop and members of the conference for one of the secretaries for the purpose of making a copyrighted reproduction. While here Mr. Adkins photographed our school and did some other photograph work, samples of which have been delivered and speak for themselves. He left Thursday morning for a trip north, but will return in the near future, notice of which will appear in our columns.” (“Home and Vicinity.” Red Hook Journal. April 12, 1895.)

 

The Snyder’s also recollected that the Short “photo studio was open seven days a week and Sunday was their busiest, for the folks would stop in after church to “have pictures taken in their best ‘bib and tucker.’” (Miller, Sophie. “Do You Remember.” Kingston Daily Freeman. November 4, 1953.)

 

Lorenzo placed an advertisement in the local newspaper in 1897. “Boss Photograph Gallery, Lorenzo Short, photographer. Union avenue. One door above Mansion House, Rondout, N.Y. All kinds of pictures taken in the latest style. Stereopticon views and picture frames.” (Miller, Sophie. “Do You Remember.” Kingston Daily Freeman. November 20, 1952.)

 

Lorenzo Short, succeeded by his daughter Belle Short, operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York.Portrait of young man. Lorenzo Short, photographer.Lorenzo Short operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York. Short began his career as a farmer, but upon switching careers around 1873, he opened his studio in the Rondout section of the Kingston. He operated the studio until his passing in 1928, and it was afterwards managed by his daughter Belle until she closed the doors in 1952.

Portrait of young man. Lorenzo Short, photographer. Author’s collection.

 

On December 16, 1899 Lorenzo Short acquired the uptown gallery of George D. Jopson (1866-1935), “one of the best known photographers in Kingston in the Gay Nineties.” (Van Deusen, H. L. “At Century’s Turn.” Kingston Daily Freeman. November 5, 1943.) The gallery was located on North Front Street in the Stockade District of Kingston. With this acquisition Short was then operating two studios, the other being located in the Rondout section of Kingston. Upon leaving the photography business Jopson returned to “his old business of conducting dramatic biblical cantatas during the winter seasons, and conducting a first-class studio in the Catskills during the summer season.” (The St. Louis & Canadian Photographer. Vol. 24, no. 9. September 1900.) Jopson later worked as a photographer at Saugerties.

 

Alf Evers in his encyclopedic Woodstock: History of an American Town wrote of Short and his work in the hamlet of Wittenberg, near Woodstock. “In Wittenberg in the 1890s Lorenzo Short set up as a photographer. He left town from time to work as in itinerant [photographer] and opened a studio in Rondout. Short took photographs of school children posed against their schoolhouse each June . . . Such photographs by the 1890s were an indispensable part of the annual school ritual. Crayon enlargements of family photographs hung in most Woodstock parlors.” (Evers, Alf. Woodstock: History of an American Town. New York: The Overlook Press, 1987. p. 365.)

 

Lorenzo Short, succeeded by his daughter Belle Short, operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York.Portrait of young man, standing, in suit. Lorenzo Short, photographer.Lorenzo Short operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York. Short began his career as a farmer, but upon switching careers around 1873, he opened his studio in the Rondout section of the Kingston. He operated the studio until his passing in 1928, and it was afterwards managed by his daughter Belle until she closed the doors in 1952.

Portrait of young man, standing, in suit. Lorenzo Short, photographer. Author’s collection.

 

In 1905 Lorenzo was arrested “on the charge of taking photographs on Sunday.” He refused to plead guilty, and instead “demanded a jury trial and the case was set down for trial on Friday, January 5. Andrew Cook represented the defendant.” (“Photographer Short to Have a Jury Trial January 5.” Kingston Daily Freeman. December 2, 1905.)

 

Tragedy struck the Short family in 1906 when the family home was totally destroyed by fire. “About 8 o’clock Saturday night a fire broke out in the house of Lorenzo Short in Sleightsburgh, and the house was totally destroyed, with all its contents, consisting of the furniture of Mrs. M. F. Kenney and library of her husband, supposed to be worth $2,000, and also the furniture of Richard H. Kuehn, who occupied the upper part. The building was a large two-story brick house, with an English basement, on Third avenue. The Port Ewen fire department was notified by telephone, and within fifteen minutes was on the ground with its apparatus. The fire had obtained considerable headway, and the smoke was so dense in the building that it was impossible to check the blaze. An adjoining house belonging to Mrs. George DuBois, and a barn, both within twenty feet of the burning building, were saved by the efforts of the firemen. There was no insurance on Mrs. Kenney’s property. Her loss is about $3,000, including the library. The house was valued at $2,500, on which there was an insurance of $1,500. Mr. Kuehn had a loss of $1,500 and an insurance of $600. The fire originated on the second floor, and is supposed to have started from a stove. The persons who occupied the house were not in the house at the time the fire broke out.” (“House of Lorenzo Short Totally Destroyed.” Kingston Daily Freeman. October 29, 1906.)

 

Lorenzo Short, succeeded by his daughter Belle Short, operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York.Portrait of two women. Lorenzo Short, photographer, 9 East Strand.Lorenzo Short operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York. Short began his career as a farmer, but upon switching careers around 1873, he opened his studio in the Rondout section of the Kingston. He operated the studio until his passing in 1928, and it was afterwards managed by his daughter Belle until she closed the doors in 1952.

Portrait of two women. Lorenzo Short, photographer, 9 East Strand. Author’s collection.

 

For over a decade, so popular was Short, he operated two galleries, one at Rondout and the other in the historic Stockade District of “uptown” Kingston. In 1913 Short sought to exit his Stockade District gallery. “For Sale: Old established business at Kingston, N.Y. Located in the heart of the business section. Very low rent. Write for further particulars. The price will suit. Address L. Short, 329 Wall Street, Kingston, N.Y.” (Snap-Shots. Vol. 24, No. 6. June 1913.) By the next year Short was operating at a single location, his familiar studio at 9 East Strand in the Rondout section of Kingston.

 

Although his studio would continue to be listed in the Kingston city directories until his passing in 1928, the 1920 United States census and the 1925 New York State census both reported Lorenzo’s occupation as “retired.” Beginning in 1900 his daughter Belle’s occupation was listed in various census reports as “photographer.”

 

Upon Lorenzo’s retirement the studio was taken over by Belle Short, his daughter. Belle “had grown up in the business and had worked with her father for some time before his death.” (“One of the Oldest Area Firms To Close Soon; Began 1873.” Kingston Daily Freeman. February 20, 1952.)

 

Lorenzo Short, succeeded by his daughter Belle Short, operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York."Every Member of the Family.” Advertisement for Short’s Studio.Rhinebeck Gazette. July 30, 1921.

Lorenzo Short operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York. Short began his career as a farmer, but upon switching careers around 1873, he opened his studio in the Rondout section of the Kingston. He operated the studio until his passing in 1928, and it was afterwards managed by his daughter Belle until she closed the doors in 1952.

“Every Member of the Family.” Advertisement for Short’s Studio. Rhinebeck Gazette. July 30, 1921.

 

Lorenzo Short, succeeded by his daughter Belle Short, operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York."Have Us Photograph Them.” Advertisement for Short Photographer.Rhinebeck Gazette. April 15, 1922.

Lorenzo Short operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York. Short began his career as a farmer, but upon switching careers around 1873, he opened his studio in the Rondout section of the Kingston. He operated the studio until his passing in 1928, and it was afterwards managed by his daughter Belle until she closed the doors in 1952.

“Have Us Photograph Them.” Advertisement for Short Photographer. Rhinebeck Gazette. April 15, 1922.

 

Lorenzo Short, succeeded by his daughter Belle Short, operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York.“Childish Fancies.” Advertisement for Short Photographer.Rhinebeck Gazette. April 22, 1922.

Lorenzo Short operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York. Short began his career as a farmer, but upon switching careers around 1873, he opened his studio in the Rondout section of the Kingston. He operated the studio until his passing in 1928, and it was afterwards managed by his daughter Belle until she closed the doors in 1952.

“Childish Fancies.” Advertisement for Short Photographer. Rhinebeck Gazette. April 22, 1922.

 

Lorenzo Short, succeeded by his daughter Belle Short, operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York.“Someone, Somewhere, Wants Your Photograph.” Advertisement for Short’s Studio.Kingston Daily Freeman. October 21, 1926.

Lorenzo Short operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York. Short began his career as a farmer, but upon switching careers around 1873, he opened his studio in the Rondout section of the Kingston. He operated the studio until his passing in 1928, and it was afterwards managed by his daughter Belle until she closed the doors in 1952.

“Someone, Somewhere, Wants Your Photograph.” Advertisement for Short’s Studio. Kingston Daily Freeman. October 21, 1926.

 

With her new ownership Belle placed advertisements in the local newspaper stating that “we wish to announce to our many friends and patrons that the business owned for my years by Lorenzo Short and known as Short’s Studio, will be continued under the management of Miss Belle Short.” (“Announcement.” Kingston Daily Freeman. August 16, 1928.) Belle Short proved to be just as popular a photographer as her father.

 

Sophie Miller, of the Kingston Daily Freeman, wrote a long-running popular column titled “Do You Remember” that offered historic, and often personal, memories of the city of Kingston. Reminiscing about Short’s Studio, Miller wrote: “I remember going there often as a little girl. In the later years Belle Short had it on the Strand, on the top floor, over Alcon’s general store. She took pictures by daylight in her sky-light studio. She had good cameras and turned out fine pictures. She had a camera that took “Pin-pons.” They were very small pictures, somewhat larger than the stamp-pictures that are advertised. Miss Short’s little pictures were excellent with each picture posed by daylight. As I remember there were four poses for each set and the set cost less than a $1 or around that. I think one received four or five of each picture. I liked them very much, but of course it was a lot of work for very little money.” (Miller, Sophie. “Do You Remember.” Kingston Daily Freeman. November 20, 1952.)

 

Lorenzo Short, succeeded by his daughter Belle Short, operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York.“We Catch Baby Smiles.” Advertisement for Short’s Studio.Kingston Daily Freeman. November 5, 1931.

Lorenzo Short operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York. Short began his career as a farmer, but upon switching careers around 1873, he opened his studio in the Rondout section of the Kingston. He operated the studio until his passing in 1928, and it was afterwards managed by his daughter Belle until she closed the doors in 1952.

“We Catch Baby Smiles.” Advertisement for Short’s Studio. Kingston Daily Freeman. November 5, 1931.

 

Lorenzo Short, succeeded by his daughter Belle Short, operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York.“Christmas Greeting Cards.” Advertisement for Short’s Studio.Kingston Daily Freeman. October 10, 1939.

Lorenzo Short operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York. Short began his career as a farmer, but upon switching careers around 1873, he opened his studio in the Rondout section of the Kingston. He operated the studio until his passing in 1928, and it was afterwards managed by his daughter Belle until she closed the doors in 1952.

“Christmas Greeting Cards.” Advertisement for Short’s Studio. Kingston Daily Freeman. October 10, 1939.

 

Lorenzo Short, succeeded by his daughter Belle Short, operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York.“Your Photograph!” Advertisement for Short’s Studio.Kingston Daily Freeman. November 20, 1947.

Lorenzo Short operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York. Short began his career as a farmer, but upon switching careers around 1873, he opened his studio in the Rondout section of the Kingston. He operated the studio until his passing in 1928, and it was afterwards managed by his daughter Belle until she closed the doors in 1952.

“Your Photograph!” Advertisement for Short’s Studio. Kingston Daily Freeman. November 20, 1947.

 

In 1953 Sophie Miller again wrote of her memories of Belle Short. “I remember those days, when Miss Short’s front room with all the antique like chairs were filled with waiting customers. She also was noted for her ‘pin-pone’ pictures. You have a choice of four poses, and received some five of each or 20 pictures. They were about twice the size of stamps or perhaps larger, but made professional and cost about $1 a set. I used to go in for those little pictures in a big way. They were made so well by Miss Short that they could be enlarged. Miss Short had a lot of patience with children and her motto for years was “Short’s Studio – We catch Baby’s Smiles”. She had all sorts of toys and fur rabbits to give to the babies to play with when she took their picture. Miss Short’s studio was by daylight, not artificial light and she had the upper floor or skylight apartment in Alcon’s building. She knew just how to handle the various screens to work the daylight for her convenience. Years ago, when Eva Ginsberg and I were little girls we used to come to Miss Short’s studio where she received many ladies’ magazines and in those days each one contained at least one page of cut out dolls and dresses. Miss Short let us have these pages. We looked forward to them each month as the various magazines would come out. I remember Miss Short fondly with pleasant memories and I am sure many folks to likewise now that she has left our city.” (Miller, Sophie. “Do You Remember.” Kingston Daily Freeman. November 4, 1953.)

 

Lorenzo Short, succeeded by his daughter Belle Short, operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York.“When Shopping Downtown.” Advertisement for Short’s Studio.Kingston Daily Freeman. April 8, 1948.

Lorenzo Short operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York. Short began his career as a farmer, but upon switching careers around 1873, he opened his studio in the Rondout section of the Kingston. He operated the studio until his passing in 1928, and it was afterwards managed by his daughter Belle until she closed the doors in 1952.
“When Shopping Downtown.” Advertisement for Short’s Studio. Kingston Daily Freeman. April 8, 1948.

 

Lorenzo Short, succeeded by his daughter Belle Short, operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York.“This Christmas.” Advertisement for Short’s Studio.Kingston Daily Freeman. November 11, 1948.

Lorenzo Short operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York. Short began his career as a farmer, but upon switching careers around 1873, he opened his studio in the Rondout section of the Kingston. He operated the studio until his passing in 1928, and it was afterwards managed by his daughter Belle until she closed the doors in 1952.

“This Christmas.” Advertisement for Short’s Studio. Kingston Daily Freeman. November 11, 1948.
 

Lorenzo Short, succeeded by his daughter Belle Short, operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York.“This Christmas.” Advertisement for Short’s Studio.Kingston Daily Freeman. November 18, 1948.

Lorenzo Short operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York. Short began his career as a farmer, but upon switching careers around 1873, he opened his studio in the Rondout section of the Kingston. He operated the studio until his passing in 1928, and it was afterwards managed by his daughter Belle until she closed the doors in 1952.

“This Christmas.” Advertisement for Short’s Studio. Kingston Daily Freeman. November 18, 1948.
 

In 1966 Sophie Miller yet again wrote of her experiences with Belle Short at the studio. “I remember Miss Bell Short, daughter of photographer Lorenzo Short, when she had a skylight studio on the Strand. Sundays was a busy day for her as often bridal parties came there to have their pictures taken. She also liked to take pictures of small children, all this by daylight, the only photographer, who did it at the time, I understand. She had backdrops, antique pieces of furniture, and even a big toy dog which children like to sit on. She moved everything easily as it was all on wheels. The skylight could be controlled by shades and she also used a soft light, which I think was electric. Her cameras were old, but sharp, and kind to a person’s features. She had a novelty miniature pictures, four different poses, and twenty pictures all for $1. Her pictures never seemed to fade. She retired, went to Detroit and died there many years ago. She also did developing for stores and delivered them. My father’s store was her last stop on the Broadway hill, so here she waited for the bus, as she had no car. She was an independent proud professional woman, and when I was little I loved just to visit with her, because she let me cut out paper dolls from her many magazines. She saved them for me.” (Miller, Sophie. “Do You Remember.” Kingston Daily Freeman. December 3, 1966.)

 

Belle Short operated the Rondout gallery for several decades, eventually shutting the doors in March 1952. At the time of its closing the gallery was one of the oldest businesses in Rondout. She afterwards moved to Detroit, Michigan to live with her sister, Mrs. Richard H. Kuehn. She passed away in Detroit, Michigan at 84 years of age in 1960. Funeral services, officiated by Reverend George P. Werner, were held at the Jenson & Deegan Funeral Home. She was buried at Montrepose Cemetery in Kingston, New York.

 

Lorenzo Short, succeeded by his daughter Belle Short, operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York.“Going Out of Business.” Advertisement for Short’s Studio.Lorenzo Short operated one of the longest running photographic studios in the history of Kingston, New York. Short began his career as a farmer, but upon switching careers around 1873, he opened his studio in the Rondout section of the Kingston. He operated the studio until his passing in 1928, and it was afterwards managed by his daughter Belle until she closed the doors in 1952.

“Going Out of Business.” Advertisement for Short’s Studio. Kingston Daily Freeman. February 20, 1952.

 

The below table summarizes the changing locations of the Lorenzo Short studio. For 58 years, from 1894 to 1952, the studio operated at 9 East Strand in the Rondout section of Kingston. For 13 years, from 1900 to 1913, Short operated at two studio locations, one in the Rondout neighborhood and the other in the uptown Stockade District.

 

City Directory

Studio Location

1873-1874

Division opp Mill

1877-1878

18 Union Avenue

1878-1880

Working for D. J. Auchmoody

1883-1893

161 Strand

1894-1899

9 E Strand

1900-1901

9 East Strand and 31 North Front

1901-1902

329 Wall

1902-1913

9 E. Strand and 329 Wall

1914-1928

9 E Strand

1929

No entry

1930-1952

Short’s Studio, 9 E Strand

 

Legacy

 

Lorenzo Short, succeeded by his daughter Belle, successfully operated their photograph studio at Kingston for 79 years from 1873 to 1952. Lorenzo was “for many years a highly respected citizen of this city . . . Mr. Short was engaged in business in this city for fifty years, conducting a photograph studio. Through his genial disposition and obliging manner he built up a large business.” (“Local Death Record.” Kingston Daily Freeman. July 17, 1928.)

 

Lorenzo Short passed away following a long illness at Kingston, New York on July 17, 1928. Services were held at his home at 7 St. James Court. The funeral, officiated by Reverend A. A. Vradenburg, pastor of the Clinton Avenue M. E. Church, “was largely attended by many relatives and friends. The floral tributes were many and beautiful, testifying to the high esteem in which he was held in the community.” (“Local Death Record.” Kingston Daily Freeman. July 20, 1928.)

 

Lorenzo was survived by his wife, three daughters, Belle Short, at Kingston; Mrs. R. H. Kuehn and Mrs. A. J. Kohler, both of Detroit, Michigan; and three sons, Myron Short, of Kingston; Clyde Short and Philip Short, of Flint, Michigan. Lorenzo Short is buried at the family plot in Montrepose Cemetery at Kingston.

 

Mary E. (Antus) Short, Lorenzo’s wife passed away after a brief illness on February 14, 1936. Upon her passing it was written that “she had been a resident of this city a great many years and by her fine Christian character had endeared herself to a very large circle of friends. She was a loving and devoted wife and mother and was always ready to lend a helping hand to any one in need.” (“Local Death Record.” Kingston Daily Freeman. February 15, 1936.) She is buried at Montrepose Cemetery at Kingston, New York.

 

Additional Information or Comments

 

If you should have any additional information, comments or corrections about the photographer Lorenzo Short 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.

 

Selected Reference and Bibliography

 

“A Fine Crayon Picture.” Kingston Daily Freeman. October 18, 1881.

 

“An Innovation in Photography.” Kingston Daily Freeman. July 16, 1881.

 

“Announcement.” Kingston Daily Freeman. August 16, 1928.

 

Bacon, Geo. F. Kingston and Rondout: Their Representative Business Men, and Points of Interest. Newark, N. J.: Mercantile Publishing Company, 1892.

 

Balderston, Marion. “The Real ‘Welcome’ Passengers.” Huntington Library Quarterly, vol. 26, no. 1, 1962, pp. 31–56. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/3816843. Accessed 12 Mar. 2021.

 

Beers, F. W. County Atlas of Ulster, New York. Map. [ca 1:24000]. New York: Walker & Jewett, 1875.

 

“The Captivity of Short and Miller.” Olde Ulster. Vol. 2, No. 11, November 1906. pp. 339-343.

 

Clearwater, Alphonso T. The History of Ulster County, New York. Kingston, NY: W. J. Van Deusen, 1907.

 

“Court Proceedings.” Kingston Daily Freeman. February 15, 1884.

 

Darrach, Henry. Voyage of William Penn in Ship “Welcome” 1682. Philadelphia, PA: Annual Meeting of the Welcome Society, 1917.

 

“David J. Auchmoody.” Amsterdam Evening Recorder. January 12, 1907.

 

“The Days of Tory Rule.” Kingston Daily Freeman. April 1, 1886.

 

Evers, Alf. Woodstock: History of an American Town. New York: The Overlook Press, 1987.

 

Ferris, Jean Leon Gerome, Artist. The landing of William Penn / J.L.G. Ferris. Cleveland, Ohio: The Foundation Press, Inc., July 28. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2004669764/>.

 

“For Sale.” Kingston Daily Freeman. May 20, 1920.

 

“For Sale.” Kingston Daily Freeman. November 17, 1921.

 

French, J. H, et al. Map of Ulster Co., New York: from actual surveys. Philadelphia: Taintor, Dawson & Co., publishers, 1858. Map. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2013593238/>.

 

“The Holiday Season.” Kingston Daily Freeman. December 22, 1881.

 

“Home and Vicinity.” Red Hook Journal. April 12, 1895.

 

“House of Lorenzo Short Totally Destroyed.” Kingston Daily Freeman. October 29, 1906.

 

Kingston City Directory. Various publishers. 1873-1952.

 

Lant, J. H. Kingston, Ellenville and Saugerties Directory for 1873-4. Kingston, N.Y.: J. H. Lant, 1873.

 

“Local Death Record.” Kingston Daily Freeman. July 17, 1928.

 

“Local Death Record.” Kingston Daily Freeman. July 20, 1928.

 

“Local Death Record.” Kingston Daily Freeman. February 15, 1936.

 

“Local Notes.” Ticonderoga Sentinel. April 25, 1895.

 

Miller, Sophie. “Do You Remember.” Kingston Daily Freeman. November 20, 1952.

 

Miller, Sophie. “Do You Remember.” Kingston Daily Freeman. November 4, 1953.

 

Miller, Sophie. “Do You Remember.” Kingston Daily Freeman. December 3, 1966.

 

New York Journal and Advertiser. October 10, 1897.

 

New York State Census. 1855. 1875. 1905. 1915. 1925.

 

“Notice to the Public.” The Daily Freeman. April 29, 1878.

 

“One of the Oldest Area Firms To Close Soon; Began 1873.” Kingston Daily Freeman. February 20, 1952.

 

“Photographer Short to Have a Jury Trial January 5.” Kingston Daily Freeman. December 2, 1905.

 

Rockwell, Rev. Charles. The Catskill Mountains and the Region Around. New York: Taintor Brothers & Co., 1867.

 

Short, Sharon. Short Families of Clark Co., WI. 1976.

 

Smith, Anita M. “HEARSAY AND HISTORY.” New York History, vol. 17, no. 1, 1936, pp. 59–69. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/23137378. Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

 

Snap-Shots: A Monthly Magazine for Photographers. Vol. 24, No. 6. June 1913.

 

“The Place to Get Your “Phiz” Indelibly Stamped.” Kingston Daily Freeman. June 28, 1881.

 

The St. Louis & Canadian Photographer. Vol. 24, no. 9. September 1900.)

 

Sylvester, Nathaniel Bartlett. History of Ulster County, New York. Philadelphia: Everts & Peck, 1880.

 

United States Census. 1850. 1860. 1870. 1880. 1900. 1910. 1920.

 

United States Geological Survey. Bearsville, NY. Map. [1:24000]. 2019.

 

Van Deusen, H. L. “At Century’s Turn.” Kingston Daily Freeman. November 5, 1943.

 

Vaux, George. “THE EMBARKATION, VOYAGE, AND ARRIVAL OF THE SHIP ‘WELCOME," 1682.” Bulletin of Friends Historical Association, vol. 21, no. 2, 1932, pp. 59–62. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/41943903. Accessed 13 Mar. 2021.

 

Wheeler, Walter Richard. “Itinerant Farm Survey Photographs – The Northern Survey Company.” The Society of Hudson Valley Vernacular Architecture. Vol. 20, No. 4-6. April-June 2017. pp. 9-15.

 

The World. August 9, 1896.

 

The World. March 20, 1898.

 

Websites:

Ancestry. www.ancestry.com.

Family Search. www.familysearch.org.

Find A Grave. www.findagrave.com.

Hathitrust Digital Library. www.hathitrust.org.

HRVH Historical Newspapers. news.hrvh.org.

Internet Archive. www.archive.org.

Newspapers.com. www.newspapers.com.

New York Public Library, Digital Collections. www.digitalcollections.nypl.org.

NYS Historic Newspapers. www.nyshistoricnewspapers.org.

Old Fulton New York Post Cards. www.fultonhistory.com.

 


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