Ball, J.P. – African-American photographer

J.P. Ball quarter-plate daguerreotype of three mulatto boys

p4A ItemID D9714152
Post-mortem daguerreotype photograph of a baby by Ball and Thomas of Cincinnati, Ohio

p4A ItemID E8999074
Sixth-plate daguerreotype photograph of a little girl by Ball and Thomas of Cincinnati, Ohio

p4A ItemID E8998901
Two half-plate daguerreotypes [photograph] of U.S. Representative Peter Wilson Strader and his family by J.P. Ball, Cincinnati, Ohio

p4A ItemID E8864811

J.P. Ball, African-American Photographer

J.P. Ball, a noted African American photographer, opened his first studio in Cincinnati, OH in 1845, then became an itinerant photographer, traveling to Pittsburgh, Richmond, and throughout Ohio. He eventually resettled in Cincinnati in 1849 and opened a Daguerrian Gallery downtown, which subsequently became one of the most well known galleries in the U.S. During the early 1850s, when Ball opened an additional gallery in Cincinnati, he hired his future brother-in-law, Alexander Thomas, to work with him, and by 1857, he became a full partner in the business. Ball and Thomas’ gallery was soon known as “the finest photographic gallery west of the Allegheny Mountains.” In March 1860, the partnership between J.P. Ball and Alexander Thomas dissolved, but J.P. Ball’s younger brother, Thomas C. Ball, continued to work as a studio photographer with Alexander Thomas until his death in 1875.

(Information obtained from the Cincinnati Historical Library: J.P. Ball Database, May 4, 2011.)

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