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E.B. Nock (Photographer) Advertising Model Riverboat Stereoview. 1880s

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    Posted 2 years ago

    rniederman
    (307 items)

    One of the things I enjoy about collecting early cameras is seeing the different ways photographers advertised their services. The earliest photographers - daguerreotypists - typically sent assistants to hang broadsides in the towns they would be visiting. (Early broadsides are great collectibles.) Over the years, I’ve seen and collected an assortment of photographic advertising ephemera including print ads, photo images of businesses (building signage, horse-drawn darkroom wagons, etc.), manufacturers’ sample photo cards, photographers posing with their cameras, calling cards / CdVs, and so forth.

    Then there was E.B. Nock of Cleveland, OH. (USA) and his highly unusual advertising method; floating a small side wheel riverboat model in Cleveland’s Public Square. It was certainly a novel way to get everyone’s attention.

    According to Nock’s great-granddaughter: “The boat was in the pond at Public Square [Cleveland] from about 1875-1900. He had been a cook on a river boat when he was young and entertained passengers in the evening by playing his guitar. A photographer offered to teach him photography if E.B. would show him how to play the guitar. I believe this is why he used the boat for advertising. The man who raised the flag on Public Square would wind the boat mechanism as well so the figure could move around the decks.” (Source: Quote is from an email sent by Nock’s descendant to the image dealer who sold me the stereoview.)

    This stereoview shows the tree stump fountain in what is (or was) known as the “E.B. Nock” quadrant and Nock’s three-foot model boat. Look closely and you can see a seated photographer with a tripod mounted camera on the upper deck. Nock was a well known photographer and his popular advertising riverboat was a curiosity that attracted people from miles around to come see it.

    Anyhow, it would be outstanding to find the actual model boat and add to my collection!

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    Comments

    1. scottvez scottvez, 2 years ago
      Great image-- one I have attempted to acquire several times (always outbid).

      Hard to find image-- congrats. This came in a carte de visite format as well.

      scott
    2. rniederman rniederman, 2 years ago
      Thanks, Scott! I too have been tracking down this image for a while.
    3. SpiritBear, 2 years ago
      Probably the most interesting view I've seen. I'm guessing the boat had rotted away and sunk.
    4. PostCardCollector PostCardCollector, 2 years ago
      Just stunning!! I can get "lost"in time in this one!
    5. rniederman rniederman, 2 years ago
      Thanks, kyratango!
    6. rniederman rniederman, 2 years ago
      Thanks, vetraio50!
    7. rniederman rniederman, 2 years ago
      Thanks!
      Ben
      TassieDevil
    8. rniederman rniederman, 2 years ago
      Thanks!
      SpiritBear ... Glad you like the image and it would be sad
      if the boat rotted and sank, hopefully not!
      roddyq
      aura
    9. rniederman rniederman, 2 years ago
      Thanks, MacDaddyRico!
    10. rniederman rniederman, 2 years ago
      Thanks!
      Hunter
      BB2
    11. SEAN68 SEAN68, 2 years ago
      This is great history photograph!! Love the boat !!
    12. scottvez scottvez, 2 years ago
      Found some interesting information AND BAD NEWS about Nock's advertising boat.

      It is from a Standard Oil Publication from Ohio (SOHIOAN, August 1930). The publication has a column called "Then and Now-- Mostly Then, Being a Glimpse of Cleveland 50 Years ago".

      The article attributes the model to a Nock friend named Captain Kelsey (old mariner) and expert wood carver who made the model as a gift to his friend (Nock).

      Additionally, the article states the model was displayed in the park every summer from 1883 to 1893, when it was removed by Nock (unknown reason) and stored in his barn, "where, unfortunately, IT WAS DESTROYED BY CHILDREN AT PLAY (My caps), much to the regret of all concerned."
    13. rniederman rniederman, 2 years ago
      Thanks Scott ... good sleuthing and info.
    14. scottvez scottvez, 2 years ago
      Thank you-- you got me back on the hunt for one of these and I was able to pick one up at a reasonable price!

      scott
    15. rniederman rniederman, 2 years ago
      Thanks!
      Michael
      usedcarlady
      Oroyoroyisthatyourhorse
    16. rniederman rniederman, 2 years ago
      Thanks!
      PostCardCollector
      ho2cultcha
    17. rniederman rniederman, 2 years ago
      Thanks!
      Caperkid
      Tanni
    18. scottvez scottvez, 2 years ago
      Just got mine today-- it is by Liebich. I have also seen versions by Ryder.

      Odd to see other photographers take and sell the image that clearly advertised another studio.

      Is your image maker marked? Have you seen an example by Nock?

      scott
    19. rniederman rniederman, 2 years ago
      Hi Scott ... I've seen the version you now have; it and another version appear to be slightly cropped versions of mine. I don't think Nock shot the image but you never know. My stereoview has a company stamp on the back by an architecture firm. I was trying to see if that name matched one of the companies appearing in the images but it's difficult to ascertain. My stereoview has lots of good detail and I'm convinced its printed from the original negs. I'm traveling at this time and will look at the name when I return home. Thx!
    20. scottvez scottvez, 2 years ago
      Mine also shows fantastic details and would appear to be from an original negative, but it is cropped at the bottom and shows more of the rooftops and trees at the top.

      I guess the image transcended an advertising piece and was considered more of a "sites of Cleveland" view.

      Let me know on markings when you get a chance to look at your view again.

      scott
    21. rniederman rniederman, 2 years ago
      Thanks!
      Sean
      katherinescollections
    22. rniederman rniederman, 2 years ago
      Thanks, Phonoboy!
    23. rniederman rniederman, 2 years ago
      Thanks, buckethead!
    24. rniederman rniederman, 2 years ago
      Thanks again, Sean!
    25. Caperkid, 2 years ago
      An awesome picture Rniederman was wondering if you got any pictures of old Quebec while visiting ? Would love to see some.
      Roy
    26. rniederman rniederman, 2 years ago
      Thanks, Wandlessfairy!
    27. rniederman rniederman, 2 years ago
      Thanks, Caperkid!
    28. rniederman rniederman, 2 years ago
      Thanks, ho2cultcha!
    29. rniederman rniederman, 2 years ago
      Thanks, betweenthelens!

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