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However, I have noticed that many of the other photographers in Detroit show similarly fluid employment/business histories, so it seems more likely that it was just a rather cut-throat business to be in. Watson, 41 & 43 Monroe Avenue, Detroit Image © and collection of Brett Payne The first portrait was therefore taken at Watson’s Monroe Avenue studio, probably by Ambrose Diehl who was working there as a photographic operator from 1879 to 1880.The great benefit for us is that the names and studio addresses of the card mounts can provide quite specific dates for the portraits. Ella Wheeler née Winnett (1857-1924) married Byron C. 1882-1884 at Bracy, Diehl & Co, 35-39 Monroe Avenue, Detroit Images © and collection of Brett Payne Ella returned to her brother-in-law’s studio, where he was now a partner, with her husband some three or four years later, probably at around the time they moved to New London in Huron County, Ohio. The pose is almost identical, and Ella’s fascination with decorative hats has endured. Wheeler Taken c.1891 at Angell & Diehl, 246 Woodward Avenue, Detroit Image © and collection of Brett Payne Ella returned to Ambrose’s studio in 1891 for portraits of her two surviving boys, Maurice and Winnett.The studio here is that of Bracy & Gibson of 246 Woodward Avenue, and the introduction of the finely scalloped, bevelled and gilded edges to the card mount suggest to me a date of the mid- to late 1880s, or perhaps early 1890s.This vignetted portrait of a rather wistful young woman by Diehl, Ladd & Co.1881– no entries for Bracy or Diehl– Watson Joseph E., photographer, 41 and 43 Monroe ave, bds 264 1st.1882– Bracy Diehl & Co (Frank C Bracy, A J Diehl, A Lapham), Artistic Photographers 35 to 39 Monroe ave– Bracy Frank C (Bracy Diehl & Co), rooms 39 Monroe ave.– Bracy Lemuel, printer Bracy Diehl & Co, rooms 39 Monroe ave– Diehl Ambrose J (Bracy Diehl & Co), h 113 Catherine– Enright Miss Mary E, clk Bracy, Diehl & Co, bds 247 Jefferson ave.– Gardner Eugene, clk Bracy Diehl & Co, bds 113 Catherine– Lapham Abraham (Bracy Diehl & Co), h 67 Montcalm e.1885 – Bracy Frank C, photographer, h 145 Sycamore– Bracy Lemuel A, printer A J Diehl & Co, h 111 Catherine– Colman Miss Anna S, clk A J Diehl & Co, bds 45 Miami ave– Diehl A J & Co (Ambrose J Diehl Abram Lapham), Photographers 35 to 39 Monroe ave– Diehl Ambrose J (A J Diehl & Co), h 109 Catherine– Lapham Abram (A J Diehl & Co), h 74 Montcalm e– Winiker Edward J, printer A J Diehl & Co, bds 120 Hastings 1886 – Bracy Lemuel A, photographer A J Diehl & Co, h 111 Catherine– Colman Miss Anna S, clk A J Diehl & Co, bds 120 Miami ave– Diehl Ambrose J (A J Diehl & Co), h 109 Catherine– Diehl A J & Co (Ambrose J Diehl, Charles Merbach, Abraham Lapham), Photographers 246 Woodward ave– Lapham Abraham (A J Diehl & Co), real est, h 651 Trumbull Ave– Merbach Charles J (A J Diehl & Co), h 269 St Aubin ave– Schmidt John, apprentice A J Diehl & Co, bds 326 Hastings– Tromby Maxim A, retoucher, A J Diehl & Co, h 141 Adams ave e– Winiker Edward J, printer A J Diehl & Co, bds 120 Hastings 1887– Diehl Ambrose J (Diehl & Sharpsteen), h 109 Catherine– Diehl & Sharpsteen, 246 Woodward ave– Sharpsteen Samuel (Diehl & Sharpsteen) bds 250 Woodward ave– Winiker Joseph E photographer Diehl & Sharpsteen, bds 120 Hastings 1888 – Ambrose J. Diehl is the common factor between all of these Detroit photographs, and this was due to the simple fact that he was married to the sister of the owner of the photograph album.Diehl, photographer, Bracy & Gibson, h 109 Catherine– Bracy & Gibson, 246 Woodward av.– Bracy Frank C (Bracy & Gibson), h 145 Sycamore– Bracy & Gibson (Frank C Bracy, Jefferson J Gibson), photographers, 246 Woodward av– Cowen Miss Ina, clk Bracy & Gibson, bds 346 5th.– Winiker Edward J, printer Bracy & Gibson, bds 243 Croghan 1889 – Diehl Ambrose J, photographer J J Gibson, h 109 Catherine– Gibson J J, photographer, 246 Woodward av.– Ladd B W, photographer, 22 Witherell– Bracy Frank C, h 658 Fourteenth av 1890 – Ambrose J. It seems likely that the album owner, her husband and children, as well as her sister and children, were all photographed by Ambrose Diehl at one time or another.

They returned to Detroit around 1905-1906, where Ambrose continued to work as a photographer, but apparently as an employee rather than owner of his own studio.1883 – Anthony Miss Josephine, finisher Bracy, Diehl & Co., bds 121 Porter– Bracy Diehl & Co (Frank C Bracy, A J Diehl, A Lapham), Artistic Photographers 35 to 39 Monroe ave– Diehl Ambrose J (Bracy Diehl & Co), h 200 Locust– Coman Miss Annie S, clk Bracy, Diehl & Co, bds 45 Miami ave– Lapham Abraham (Bracy Diehl & Co), h 73 Montcalm e.1884 – Bracy Diehl & Co (Frank C Bracy, A J Diehl, A Lapham), Artistic Photographers 35, 37 & 39 Monroe ave– Bracy Frank C (Bracy Diehl & Co), bds 79 Miami ave.– Bracy Lemuel, printer Bracy Diehl & Co, h 143 Sycamore ave– Colman Miss Annie S, clk A J Diehl & Co, bds 45 Miami ave– Diehl Ambrose J (Bracy Diehl & Co), h 200 Locust– Johnson Ralph, printer Bracy Diehl & Co, h 302 2d– Lapham Abraham (Bracy Diehl & Co), h 671 Montcalm e. Gibson, 246 Woodward Avenue & 82 Gratiot Avenue, Photographers 1891 – Diehl Ambrose J (Angell, Diehl & Co), h 109 Catherine– Angell, Diehl & Co, photographers, 246 Woodward av 1892– no entries for Bracy, Ladd or Gibson– Angell George R, photographic materials, 216 Woodward av.– Diehl Andrew J [sic], removed to Grand Rapids, Mich.– Earle Photo Co, 246 Woodward av.– Ladd Burrell W, 173 Canfied ave e Although the last Diehl entry in this list is for an “Andrew J,” it seems likely this is a misprint for “Ambrose J.” I discovered recently that Ambrose J.However, has a very useful complete collection of digitised city directories for Detroit , Michigan from 1861 until 1923.Although time consuming to search, with a little patience one can eventually build up a decent time sequence, as I did.