Josiah Johnson Hawes Photographs
Josiah Johnson Hawes, also know professionally as J. J. Hawes, was a 19th-century photographer based in Boston. Hawes photographic journey began when he attended the 1840 lecture on daguerreotyps given by Daguerre's agent Francois Gouraud. From then on, he was hooked. In 1841, he joined with Albert Sands Southworth to form the innovative firm of Southworth & Hawes.

When negative to positive photography had advanced to the point that it replaced the daguerreotype, Hawes embraced the method. Leaving the portrait studio, Hawes created his trademark rounded-print views of Boston. The usual practice was for the negative in the camera to record only the image projected through the center of the lens, because the image at the edges would be distorted. But Hawes would record the entire image including the distorted area. During printing, a mask would be placed between negative and print to block out the edges and create the rounded effect "as seen by the lens."

The Boston Public Library holds many of the Hawes rounded-print photographs taken in the Boston neighborhoods, as well as a selection of his early daguerreotypes.

For more information please contact:
Print Department
McKim Building, 3rd Floor
Boston Public Library
700 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116
617-859-2280 or 617-536-5400
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