Prince of Wales, 1860

Prince of Wales, Niagara Falls, Platt Babbitt154 years, 2 weeks and 1 day. On September 17th, 1860 this photograph of the Prince of Wales (and apparently his “Suit”, which receives its own billing in the description of the photograph engraved on the left) was taken during a royal tour to Niagara Falls. The style of photograph is a stereoscopic view. This particular example is on a glass slide, not the more common cardboard/paper stock that was frequently used for these types of pictures. Viewing these photos with a stereoscope allowed for a 3D affect to be experienced by the viewer. On the right is an attribution to Levey Brothers Publications, but this is pasted on top of the slide obscuring what was written underneath. Without doing damage to the integrity of the slide, as it now stands, it is hard to determine who the actual photographer was, but there is reason to believe that it may have been Platt Babbitt. According to biographical information on Babbit available at the Getty Museum here, he “was renowned for his tenacious hold on this prime concession” (of Point View). When confronted by a formidable contender, “Mr. Babbitt and his forces would stand between the camera and the falls swinging large-sized umbrellas to and fro thus preventing [the other photographer] from getting a picture”. This photograph is out of the Sarah Murray collection at Queen’s University Archives.

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Queen's Archives regular column on Kingstonist showcases our city's rich history via assets sourced from their vast collection. Their contributions stimulate dialog regarding the places, people and events that have shaped Kingston. Learn more about Queen's Archives...

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