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A. P. Hart
Date: American, 1816-1894
Biography: Hart, Abraham Parmelee (1816-1893) Elmira, NY. 1846-93 1850-1853? 20 Water Street, Elmira 1859-1961? 83 Main St., Rochester 1861-1867 22 Lake Street, Elmira 1868-1874 137 Water Street 1872 In Directory as Hart and Snook 1874 - 1882 306 E. Water St 1878 306 Water St Listed as Hart and Evans in 1878 1880 306 E. Water St A. P. Hart, Photographer 1882 306 E. Water St A. P. Hart's Art Gallery 1891 306 E. Water St. A. P. Hart, Photographer Abraham P. Hart, who was active as a photographer for over fifty years, was born in Goshen, Conn., on April 23, 1816. He was the eldest son of Betsy (Dutton) and Alpha Hart, a farmer, clock maker, and two-time state legislator. In 1837, young Hart moved to Elmira as an apprentice to John M. Robinson, a cabinetmaker and furniture dealer. Settling in Elmira, Hart married a local woman named Angeline Badger on Sept. 5, 1839; their first child, Harriet, was born on Dec. 20, 1840. Hart later recalled that he learned the daguerreotype business from a "Mr. Johnson of Binghamton," probably the much-traveled Charles E. Johnson, who was briefly located at the Eagle Tavern block in Elmira in 1846. In late 1846 or early 1847, Hart began to work alone as an itinerant daguerreotypist, covering a route in eastern New York state. Hart established his permanent gallery at 20 Water Street in Elmira in March 1850; in addition to daguerreotypes, he offered supplies and instruction. Hart apparently worked as an itinerant again between 1853 and 1855, returning to Elmira in Fall 1855. He may also have operated a gallery in Bath, N.Y., in 1856. He is probably the "A.P. Hart" listed as a daguerrean at 83 and 91 Main Street in Rochester, N. Y., in 1859. In 1861 Hart bought out T. S. Hathaway's gallery at 22 Lake Street, Elmira, and was based there until 1867; he was later located at 137 Water St., Elmira, 1868-74. During the 1860s, a Miss Dunn, a local photographer, and John H. Whitely worked for A. P. Hart; a carte-de-visite from 1860s is also marked "Morehouse & Parsons at A. P. Hart's Gallery, No. 22 Lake St., Elmira, N.Y." In 1872 he formed a partnership with Alanson L. Snook, as Hart & Snook. Hart's wife, Angeline, died on Apr. 20, 1872. By 1874, Hart had removed to 306 Water St., where he remained until 1893. Hart married a second time to the widow Louisa M. Hathorn in 1876. He partnered briefly with Will S. Evans, as Hart & Evans, in 1878; they offered mainly tintypes. Hart continued to operate alone until his gallery burned to the ground on July 4, 1893. A. P. Hart died in Elmira on January 16, 1894; he is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, Elmira. MARK: Pad stamped "Daguerreotype Artist, A. P. Hart, Elmira, N. Y." BIBL: USC 1850 NY; USC 1870 NY; USC 1880; Elmira CD 1857, 1863, 1866, 1868, 1869, 1872, 1874, 1878, 1880, 1882, 1888, 1891, 1892, 1893; Alfred Andrews, Genealogical History of Deacon Stephen Hart and His Descendants, 1632-1875 (New Britain, CT: Austin Andrews, 1875), p. 536; Elmira Daily Gazette and Free Press, Jan. 17, 1894; "Pioneer Photographer" (obit), Elmira Telegram, Jan. 21, 1894; "Passed Away: The Widow of the Late A. P. Hart, Elmira, Finds Repose" (obit), Elmira Telegram, July 13, 1894; "Reproducing Likenesses An Art," The Telegram (Elmira), Feb. 23, 1919; Jacob C. Vetter, "Early Photographer: Their Parlors and Galleries," Chemung Historical Journal (Elmira, N.Y.) 6, no. 4 (June 1961), pp. 854; Sothebys Lon 3/27/81: 322; Sothebys Lon 10/28/81: 268; John S. Craig, ed., Craig's Daguerrean Registry (Torrington, CT: John Craig, 1996), v. 2; Joyce Tice, "Photographers of the Tri-Counties: A. P. Hart of Elmira" (www.joycetice.com/photog/1880hart.htm)