This illustration from Richard Walzl’s journal The Photographer’s Friend, October 1872 depicts Walzl’s establishment at 46 North Charles Street in Baltimore.
Richard Edmund Walzl (1843-1899), a German immigrant, is believed to have opened his first photographic gallery in Baltimore in 1862 and moved to this location in 1872.
Walzl was an energetic entrepreneur. He studied photography under Robert Vinton Lansdale and William H. Weaver. Walzl was not content to sell photographs, however. He sold photographic supplies, published journals and books on photography, and involved himself in Baltimore’s public affairs.
Here is a typical 1890s advertisement for the Julius Hebbel Studio on Gay Street in Baltimore. Ads like these appeared in the SUN jumbled together with ads for clothing, canned goods, plays, patent medicines, etc.
Before electric lighting, photography studios had to have large windows and skylights. Producing good results in a variety of lighting situations required some skill.
A good studio practitioner chose backgrounds and props that suited the client. Children were notoriously difficult to photograph without fuss. Studios that advertised “instantaneous portraits” were aiming for anxious mothers.
These advertisements reflect the heyday of studio card photography in Baltimore. In this ad are a few of the best-known of the city’s late 19th century card photographers: John Weston Perkins,Barnett M. Clinedinst, who also had a studio in Washington, DC, William Getz, Bachrach & Bro., headed by David and Moses Bachrach, Richard Walzl, and William Ashman. The ads here appeared in the Baltimore Sun just before the 1892 Thanksgiving holiday.