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Mr Carsoe and his Carsotype portraits : along with two colleagues, I’m researching Somerset photographers 1841-1939. We’ve recently come across five adverts and two brief editorials in the Weston-super-Mare Gazette between 1850-1853 for a Mr Carsoe who, in 1853, was said to be “well known in Bath, Cheltenham, and Torquay” and had visited Weston-super-Mare on at least three occasions.

The first advert (June 1850) describes the “Carsotype, invented by Mr Carsoe” for the Great Exhibition. The advert in September 1852 describes “Carsotype portraits on marble grounds …. general size 17 by 13 inches in the frame”, and also states that the portraits “combine the truth (without the defects) of the daguerreotype with the beauty of the finest ivory miniatures”.

A report – probably an early ‘advertorial’ – of 1850 says “We have seen several beautifully finished and correct likenesses taken by the Carsotype and are pleased to hear that this artist is meeting with much encouragement … ”

However, the trail goes cold after August 1853 and we are left wondering what happened to Mr Carsoe and his Carsotypes. Have any other researchers come across this elusive character?

The 1841 Census shows a William Carsoe, 65, carpenter, boarding at a residence in Broad Street, Lambeth St Mary, London. Could it be the same person, I wonder?

Hi Brett , good to hear from you thank you for your reply , I've just had a quick look before I go out but didn't find him , I'll try again later,,,, Allan

This machine-based drawing on marble appears to have its roots in 1847 in The Magazine of Science with a Mr Kingston involved. The other citations that I found were essentially repeats of this report. Perhaps by expanding your search earlier you will find out what happened later.  Best of luck, Larry

As Larry Schaaf has pointed out, this was a machine-based process/technology.  References to it go back to at least 1847.  I have been completing a study on Photography and the 1851 Great E|xhibition and have not come across Mr. Carsoe at all.  He does not seem - according to the Official Catalogue - to have been an exhibitor. Look forward to the results of your study, particularly what you may dig up regarding Hugh Owen's activities in the 1840s.  Best regards, Anthony

Thank you Larry I'll look your ref up regards Allan

Larry J Schaaf said:

This machine-based drawing on marble appears to have its roots in 1847 in The Magazine of Science with a Mr Kingston involved. The other citations that I found were essentially repeats of this report. Perhaps by expanding your search earlier you will find out what happened later.  Best of luck, Larry

Thank You Anthony you have given me a good lead . regards Allan

Anthony Hamber said:

As Larry Schaaf has pointed out, this was a machine-based process/technology.  References to it go back to at least 1847.  I have been completing a study on Photography and the 1851 Great E|xhibition and have not come across Mr. Carsoe at all.  He does not seem - according to the Official Catalogue - to have been an exhibitor. Look forward to the results of your study, particularly what you may dig up regarding Hugh Owen's activities in the 1840s.  Best regards, Anthony

It seems from Larry's answer that Mr Kingston was the inventor of the carsotype process , did Kingston exhibit in 1851 ? We have very little on Hugh Owen as he was not one of our Somerset Photographers ,,, regards Allan

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