Universal York

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York Monument Maker Offers Photo Tombstones

It was the late 1850s and photography was becoming quite popular in the area, so much so that E. A. King was offering monuments adorned with your likeness. If that didn’t interest you, King also advertised that he could give you a good deal on marble stones.
The newspaper ad below first appeared April 7, 1857 and reappeared regularly though the year.

At the Old Stand, No. 41, N. George street, York.

HAVING secured the exclusive right for the Patent Monumental Likenesses, for York county, (they are adapted for Headstones or Monuments) I would invite my friends and the public to call and see them.
I am prepared to sell at greatly reduced prices, having purchased a large lot of Marble for a little over cost, it will enable me to sell twenty per cent cheaper than any other person in the county.
The subscriber has discontinued his Marble Yard in the village of Shrewsbury, his friends and old customers will therefore call on him at York, for all such work that they may desire in his line of business. All orders attended to with promptness and dispatch.
E. A. KING.”
I don’t think daguerreotypes would have been very practical outdoors. They were printed on a silver plate, which often tarnished and discolored when kept in a protective case indoors. I have seen a few old tombstones with photos, but I think they were made of a more durable material. Has anyone else seen them?
Click here to read more about early photography in York County.