Plumbe, John, 1809-1857

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At the time this diary was written John Plumbe was a civil engineer in Sinipee, Wis. and Dubuque, Iowa waiting for a commission from the United States Congress to survey the route for a transcontinental railroad. In 1840 he took up photography as a career after seeing the work of a daguerreotypist in Washington, D.C. The following year he opened a gallery in Boston and eventually maintained galleries in thirteen cities. Plumbe opened the nation's first Washington, D.C. gallery in 1844. By 1848 Plumbe was experiencing financial difficulties and many of his studios had closed. He gave up photography and returned to Dubuque, Iowa after a trip to California during the gold rush. He took his own life in Dubuque in 1857 by cutting his throat.

From the description of John Plumbe diary, 1838 Oct. 17-1839 July 5. (Iowa Sate Historical Society). WorldCat record id: 70659528

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Cased Photograph File, [1840-ongoing] @ 2011 New-York Historical Society
creatorOf Plumbe, John, 1809-1857,. Unidentified man [photograph], [ca. 1845-1847]. Massachusetts Historical Society
referencedIn Peter Palmquist cased photographs collection., circa 1844-1899 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Plumbe, John, 1809-1857,. Unidentified man [photograph], [ca. 1845-1857]. Massachusetts Historical Society
referencedIn American Philosophical Society Archives. Record Group IIe. 1845-1865. American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Plumbe, John, 1809-1857,. George W. Holmes [photograph], [ca. 1850]. Massachusetts Historical Society
creatorOf Plumbe, John, 1809-1857. John Plumbe diary, 1838 Oct. 17-1839 July 5. Iowa State Historical Society
creatorOf Plumbe, John, 1809-1857. Diary, 1838-1839. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith American Philosophical Society. corporateBody
associatedWith Doty, James Duane, 1799-1865. person
associatedWith Forbes family family
associatedWith Forbes family family
associatedWith Holmes, George W. person
associatedWith Jones, George Wallace, 1804-1896. person
associatedWith Kilbourn, Byron, 1828-1870. person
associatedWith Palmquist, Peter E. person
associatedWith Smith, William Rudolph, 1787-1868. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Wisconsin
Wisconsin--Sinipee
Wisconsin--Grant County
Dubuque (Iowa)
Dubuque (Iowa)
Sinipee (Wis.)
Sinipee (Wisconsin)
Subject
Railroads--History
Transportation
Pioneers
Occupation
Photographers
Function

Person

Birth 1809-07-13

Death 1857-05-28

Americans

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