Dating tintype photographs
" to 1" wide and 1" high made possible by the use of a multi-lens camera with repeating back which therefore could produce multiple exposures on a single photographic plate.In terms of quantity, the gem was the most prolifically produced form of photograph in the 1860s in America.Aside from the speed of its production, the gem was also inexpensive and its small size made it suitable for mounting in jewellery such as lockets and broaches.Like daguerreotypes and ambrotypes before it, hand colouring was also possible and rouging of the subject's cheeks was the most common form of this.Although the studio traded under the name of Wing & Allen it was apparently run by Otis M.Gove (b.1851 Seabrook, NH) who had come from Boston where he had worked for Simon Wing.Eventually failing to win in a high court case, Wing had to put up with other players entering the field and multiplying cameras comparable to his own were eventually made by the American Optical Company and E. Wing's Photograph & Ferrotype Rooms operated in in Toledo, Ohio from 1869-1882 and a studio in Freemont, Ohio operated in 1883.
The former address was occupied by William Shew from 1879. Allen's death the business was continued by his wife who is listed as the manager of the Wing and Allen studio, again operating from 342 Kearny St from 1884 trading as Allen and Hay, Mrs. Hay but the union was dissolved 28 September 1886 with Mrs. Lalla Allen then formed Allen & Company with Nathaniel Weston in 1887-1888.Many varieties were offered, with at least four different sized oval and also arched openings.They were described in the trade as ferro holders or ferro matts.He changed the operation's name in 1876 to Gove and Allen and in 1878 Gove is listed at the address by himself. Gove, who carried on the business for the well known firm of Wing & Allen, from the time the Gallery started until the present time, and has succeeded them and became proprietor...".It appears Gove also took over Wing's studio at 425 Washington St, Boston.
Simon Wing appears to have created this situation for he only offered to sell his multiplying cameras to those who were willing to purchase the patent right for the town or county they wished to use them in. Wing remained entrepreneurial and extended his gem tintype business to new areas, opening a studio in Detroit in 1865 that ran until 1876.