By Renowned Japanese Photographer with Original Envelopes and Mailing Box Address Panel
1895 - Cabinet Card Photographs by Kozaburo Tamamura
Portraits of Dr. Witter K. Tingley - Notable Connecticut Surgeon On World Voyage
[ 1895 ]
Yokohama, 1895. Seven (7) original cabinet card photographs taken by Japanese Photographer Kozaburo Tamamura, each accompanied by the original envelope. Comprises two unique images and duplicates of them. Front cover of mailing box has also been retained, featuring the photographer's label completed in manuscript, and Japanese postally used stamps, and ink postmarks dated 7 July 1895. The parcel was addressed to Connecticut surgeon Dr. W. K. Tingley, a notable American physician and the sitter in these portraits, on the Steam Yacht Eleanor, as he was making a world voyage with millionaire William A. Slater. Photographer's printed card mounts measure approximately 13 x 18 cm, the photographs measure approximately 9,5 x 14 cm.
Early original cabinet card portrait photographs by renowned Japanese photographer Kozaburo Tamamura (1856 - ca. 1923), who is regarded as one of the originators of "Yokohama Shashin" (tourist photographs). Tamamura opened his first shop in the district of Asakusa in Tokyo, in 1874. In 1883 he moved to Yokohama and opened a studio where he prospered, and where these cabinet cards were produced by him. He was most active in the 1890s, producing albumen photographs as well as collotypes, often hand coloring them. Popular with foreign visitors, he also made pocket-sized photograph albums of local scenes, bound in lacquered wood boards. He continued his photographic work well into the next century, until at least 1909.
It is said that in 1896 Tamamura employed over 100 colorists to produce the hand colored albumen photographs to be tipped into Brinkley's "Japan Described and Illustrated by the Japanese," a multi-volume folio work which was compiled and edited by Captain Francis Brinkley, and published in Boston in 1897-98. He would eventually produce over one million hand-colored albumen prints for the Boston publisher J. B. Millet Company for this title.
The sitter in Tamamura's studio, at No 2, Benten Dori, Yokohama is Dr. Witter Kinney Tingley, a respected American physician whose medical career was mostly served in Norwich, Connecticut, where he was also appointed Health Officer of the City. Little is known of his early life, but he was one of only four graduates of Bellevue Medical College in New York in 1886, and subsequently served at Bellevue Hospital as a House Staff Physician in the 3d Medical Division from 1887 to 1888. Dr. Tingley went on to practice general medicine and surgery in Norwich, Connecticut and served as President of the Norwich Medical Association in 1890. In 1891, the Connecticut Medical Society selected Dr. Tingley as a delegate to the American Medical Association.
Tingley was one of the incorporators of Backus Hospital which was founded in 1893 by William Wolcott Backus and William Albert Slater. By 1894 he was a surgeon and gynecologist at the Backus Hospital in Norwich. Three of his medical reports, describing surgeries performed by him, were published in the 1895 issue of 'Medical Record: A Weekly Journal of Medicine and Surgery' edited by New York surgeon George Shrady, including a leg amputation, the removal of a fibro-cystic ovarian tumor, and the repair of a strangulated inguinal hernia.
A well-connected man, evidently in 1895, Dr. Tingley embarked on the luxurious Pleasure Steam Yacht 'Eleanor' as the hired physician, for the ship's maiden voyage around the world, with plans to visit China, Japan, Hawaii, and so forth, a journey which was to take two years. The $320,000 yacht was owned by his wealthy friend and famous yachtsman William Albert Slater (1857-1919), founder of the Backus Hospital, a textile industrialist, son and heir of the philanthropist John Fox Slater of Rhode Island. When she was launched at Bath, Maine, the yacht received accolades nation-wide. She was a magnificent vessel, described as palatial, and said to be the finest in the country after the 'Vaiant' built for Vanderbilt. [The Lewiston Daily Sun issue of 19 May 1894 features a delightful account of 'Eleanor' and this voyage before its departure. The San Francisco Chronicle, 23 July 1895, also makes an announcement.] It was on this voyage that Dr. Tingley had the present cabinet card photographs taken, to distribute to family and friends upon his return home.
Dr. Tingley was also a health officer appointed by the City of Norwich after the passage of the 1897 Act, his appointment of four years beginning on 2 October 1899. He was a highly respected figure in the community, as such his name appears frequently in the Norwich Bulletin Newspaper. Usually praising him, the issue of 27 April 1912 however reports an incident where he was arrested and charged a fine for not reporting a case of tuberculosis. He was a member of the Norwich Board of Trade in 1909, and still very active in the community in 1914.
From the from San Francisco Chronicle, July 23, 1895:
"The steam yacht Eleanor with a single exception the finest vessel of the sort, owned in the United States gilded smoothly into port last evening and anchored off Clay Street wharf. The yacht is owned by W. A. Slater of Norwich Connecticut, son of the philanthropist who gave $1,000,000 to the negroes of the South, founding the Slater fund. The owner of the Eleanor is aboard with a party of friends who have been with him on an eastward trip around the world. The Eleanor cost $320,000 and is a floating palace in reality".
The cabinet card was a style of photograph which was widely used for photographic portraiture after 1870. It consisted of a thin photograph mounted on a card typically measuring 108 by 165 mm (?4 1/4 by ?6 1/2 inches).
Occasional tears to envelopes at corners, otherwise in Very Good Condition, most cabinet cards having never been removed from envelopes.