J. P. Ball Portrait of Civil War Staff Officer, Cincinnati, Ohio
Photo Date 1861-65
Dimensions 4 x 2.5 in. (102 x 64 mm)
Photo Country United States (USA)
Photographer Country United States (USA)
Contact Charles Schwartz
About This Image
Ball's name and address embossed in lower left corner of card. "Cincinnati, Ohio" written in pencil on card verso.
James Presley Ball was born in Frederick County, Virginia in 1825 and he was a "freeman of color." Ball learned daguerreotype photography in Boston and opened a small daguerreotype studio in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1845. Ball did not have much success and ended up as a traveling daguerreotypist. He settled in Cincinnati again in 1849 and opened another photo studio, soon partnering with his brother-in-law, Alexander Thomas. They called the business, Ball's Daguerrean Gallery of the West and it became one of the most successful photo galleries/studios in the Midwest. During the 1870s Ball ended his partnership with Thomas and moved to various other cities, continuing to work as a photographer. He moved his family to Honolulu in 1902 and Ball died there in 1904.
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