Resemblance is remarkable between Goodridge image of Charles Billmeyer and photo of his son, George S. Billmeyer
Every Thursday, I post the next part of my RAILCAR GOLD novel; a historically accurate multi-generational fictional tale of hidden treasure primarily set in York County during the later half of the Nineteenth Century. The first generation fictional character that ties a host of historical events together in the 1800s is an orphan named Dan. By happenstance Dan passes through York, is befriended by Charles Billmeyer and decides to stay. Dan spends the greater part of his life associated with the rail car manufacturing business Billmeyer & Small.
Generally every Tuesday I write the next few pages of RAILCAR GOLD; to do so, I dig into my files of historical background that might be associated with that part of the story. Charles Billmeyer’s oldest son George S. Billmeyer is only two years older than Dan, as such, last month my research on George Billmeyer lead me to Princeton University for information during the time George was a student at the college in Princeton, New Jersey.
The Glenalvin Goodridge ambrotype was cataloged as probably Charles Billmeyer at the York County Heritage Trust. With the resemblance so remarkable with that of his son George S. Billmeyer, I think the word probable can me removed.
Related posts include:
- The Quest for Early Billmeyer Photos, with some Success
- Billmeyer & Small image of Charles Billmeyer & David E. Small
- George S. Billmeyer of York enters the 1867 Freshman Class at Princeton; another Capital of the United States
- George S. Billmeyer; All American Football Player in 1869
- George S. Billmeyer (1849-1917); Biography from Pennsylvania A History
- Four Generations of Billmeyer Family History; from the Immigrant Jacob to Andrew to Daniel to Charles
Glenalvin Goodridge was one of the earliest photographers in York, Pennsylvania. Technically he was a daguerreotypist; as the earliest photographers were known, ever since Frenchman Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre created the first practical photographic images in 1839. Daguerreotype images were sold on silver coated copper plate.
Goodridge opened his photo studio in York during 1847. Glenalvin was one of only a handful of African American photo studio owners in the United States prior to 1850. Goodridge had a scattering of competition in York. Nevertheless Glenalvin kept at the forefront of the latest photographic techniques to keep his business ahead of the other York photographers.
In 1855 Glenalvin Goodridge introduced the ambrotype at his studio in York. F. Scott Archer created the glass collodian negative in England during 1851. In the United States, James Cutting patented a variation of Archer’s glass collodian process in 1854. Cutting’s variation was known as the ambrotype. Goodridge purchased exclusive rights to use the ambrotype patent in York County, thus was using leading edge photographic techniques in 1855. Glenalvin Goodridge operated his studio in York, Pennsylvania until 1862.
The thought crossed my mind that these could be younger and older images of the same person. However the following family history details rule out that thought.
Charles Billmeyer was born March 7, 1824. Between 1855 and 1862, when Glenalvin Goodridge would have taken this Ambrotype, Charles Billmeyer was between 31 and 38 years old. Charles’s son George S. Billmeyer was born January 7, 1849. Between 1855 and 1862, George S. Billmeyer was between 6 and 13 years old.
George S. Billmeyer was involved in a sports’ first while attending college in Princeton, New Jersey. George played in what is recognized as the first college football game ever played. I’ll write more on that football game in coming weeks and in the Chapter 11 installments of my historical novel, Railcar Gold.
In a little over a year, this is my 299th YorksPast post. My upcoming 300th YorksPast post will showcase my 10 top posts.Reading the Headlines: A Quick Index to All YorksPast Posts