Francis Forshew Photography Studio
Francis “Frank” Forshew (March 1, 1827-August 4, 1895), a pioneering and prolific American photographer, was born in Hudson NY. His father, a schoolteacher and former sea captain, married Mary J. Hildreth in 1850, and the couple had six children. “Craig’s Daguerrian Registry, The Acknowledged Resource on American Photographers 1839-1860,” lists Forshew as a Daguerrian in Hudson, NY and New York City, NY.
An identified daguerreotype dated 1850 indicates that Forshew was in New York City at that time. From 1851-1859 he worked in Hudson NY; in 1851-1853 at 237 (now 439, after the street renumbering of 1888) Warren Street, in partnership with J. Turck. At that time, he advertised “Daguerrian Rooms,” and was making daguerreotypes; his residence was at 9 Front Street. In 1856-1857 he was listed alone at both 237 Warren Street and 305-1/2 (now 537) Warren Street, with his residence at 237 Warren. In 1859 he was listed at 237 Warren Street only.
In addition to making daguerreotypes, Forshew also made tintypes, creating cartes de visite, featuring an image of the client. He also made cabinet cards and stereoviews. During the Civil War, Forshew’s customers included many transient soldiers who sent their images to loved ones on the home front, as well as soldiers’ relatives who sent their images to those on the battlefront. In the early 1890s, Forshew’s business was taken over by his then-partner, Captain Volkert Whitbeck, who was discharged from a Union regiment in 1863.
Francis Forshew died in August 1895, in Brooklyn, NY and is buried in the Hudson City Cemetery.