Monday, July 25, 2011

Napolean Sarony, b. (Canada) 1821 c. (USA) 1899

Oscar Wilde

Napoleon Sarony was born about 1821 in Quebec, Canada, the same year that his namesake Napoleon I died at St. Helena. Information on Sarony's family and early childhood background is sketchy. Historians have reported that his father, a lithographer, had immigrated to Canada from Birmingham, England. Sarony's mother died when he was about ten years old causing the family, which included eight children, to disperse. Napoleon Sarony arrived in New York state in the 1830s and worked as a lithographer with Henry R. Robinson and Nathaniel Currier (of Currier & Ives fame). Sarony eventually established his own firm in partnership with Henry B. Major and in 1846 he married Ellen Major (b. about 1830, possibly a sister to Henry). The 1850 census for Kings, Williamsburg, New York shows Napoleon and Ellen living in the Henry Major household along with the Sarony children Ida, age two and son Otto, age seven months. In 1857, Joseph F. Knapp joined the partnership to form the Sarony, Major & Knapp lithography company. The partnership became one of the country's most successful in the field and later evolved into American Lithographic Company.

Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain)

The above article was extracted from  the Twainquotes website.  This site has some interesting information on Sarony and it features Sarony vs Oscar Wilde over who could claim copyright protection on a celebrity photograph - the celebrity or the photographer?

To view this article and more, please click here. 

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