Huff Photo Studio Research

In my previous post,¬†Mystery Monday: The Baby, I decided to research a little bit about the photo studio that took the photograph. I was hoping by researching the studio, I’d at least have a ball park figure for when the photo could have been taken. Little did I know I’d get immersed in looking up the studio in question!

The journey started when I found another photograph, from the same studio, but it’s name was slightly different and the address had changed. I decided my next plan of attack was going to have to be the Newark City Directory on Footnote.com. I’m posting my results not only because I found it fun and interesting but because I want other researchers to benefit from these dates!

F.L. Huff Advertisement, 1869.

It turns out Ferdinand L Huff was the successor of the Stoutenburgh & Rose Photography Company. He took over their location at 727 & 729 Broad Street around 1868. From the city directories, it looks like he had family members also working with him in the beginning. He stayed in that location from 1868 through 1874. Then something curious happens. It seems he leaves the photography business for the Restaurant/Hotel business (Kingston & Huff). I can’t be sure he left photography completely but there is certainly no Huff Photography Studios listed in the directory until 1881. I find this curious because in the 1880 census he lists himself as a photographer still. Maybe he had already gotten back into the business by then. I can’t be sure unless I dig deeper into newspapers and maybe real estate records.

When he comes back in 1881, his business is now located at 707 Broad Street. This is where I have a dated photograph from the studio. It actually has a dated printed into the logo. The date is 1890 and it specifically lists F.L. Huff as the logo. This is important for later. Even when he was listed in the earlier years, it was by his name. This continues at this location until 1895. It is in 1898 that Huff makes the move to it’s final location at 839 Broad Street.

839 Broad Street is a VERY popular address I found. When I started going through the directories, I wrote down two other studios I wanted to look up. When I say wrote down, I mean I typed it into OneNote. Sorry it’s a bad habit to break. I still reach for pen and paper too, it’s a process. :) Back onto the subject, both of the other studios at one time were located at 839 Broad Street. I ran out of patience after looking in so many years, so I didn’t finishing dating the other studios. I will eventually have to go back to those I guess, but I know the subjects in those photographs so it isn’t as important that I figure them out. 839 Broad Street is the location listed on The Baby photograph. The year after the move, the studio’s name changes to Huff Photo Studio. This is important to me because that is what is listed on The Baby photograph. Llewellyn was born in 1899. So everything fits in for that. It’s not a positive ID but I have found out that it is possible for it to be Llewellyn.

Interestingly enough, in 1902 the studio starts listing F Newburger as proprietor. I decided to do a little census work and I found that Ferdinand Huff is on all censuses until 1900. However, in 1900 there is a 12 year old Ferdinand L Huff living with Ferdinand Newburger. He is listed as step-son. I can’t determine the exact relationships, only that the young Huff lives with Newburger for at least the next 30 years.

To sum up the numbers, here is what I now know about Ferdinand L Huff’s studio.

  1. 1867: Stoutenburgh & Rose – located at 244 Broad Street
  2. 1868: Ferdinand L Huff takes over – located at 244 & 246 Broad Street
  3. 1869-1874: Ferdinand L Huff stays in business – located at 727,729 Broad Street (same place as before, the addresses were changed)
  4. 1875-1879: Kingston & Huff saloons/restaurant/hotel – located at 16 Commerce (there was no listing for Huff as photographer)
  5. 1880: Huff’s Ladies Saloon – located at 16 Commerce (there was no mention of Kingston this year)
  6. 1879-1880: J Rennie Smith Photography – located at 727, 729 Broad Street; Huff’s old location.
  7. 1881-1894: Ferdinand L Huff Photography – located at 707 Broad Street; It is here that my first Huff photograph is taken of Lewis Thorward in 1890.
  8. 1895-1896: Ferdinand L Huff, Chas F Neilding & Co – located at 707 & 839 Broad Street
  9. 1897: Ferdinand L Huff – located at 707 Broad Street
  10. 1898: F L Huff, John Sherman manager – located at 839 Broad Street
  11. 1899-1900: Huff Photo Studio – located at 839 Broad Street
  12. 1901: Not found in the directory, but I might have missed it.
  13. 1902-1908: Huff Photo Studio, F Newburger proprietor – located at 839 Broad Street
  14. 1909: No mention anywhere that I could find, Newburger is listed in an ad for Essex Photo Company.

This was a lot of fun to look up, and it did help me to narrow down the dates my mystery photo could have been taken. All this information was taken from the yearly city directories for Newark on Footnote.com and census records on Ancestry.com.

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