American Museum of Photography -- View Great Photographs

Faux Snow — An Online Exhibit of Manipulated Victorian Winter Photographs from the American Museum of Photography

Faux Snow — An Online Exhibit of Manipulated Victorian Winter Photographs from the American Museum of Photography

Click on the logo to visit the Museum's Home Page!

An Exhibit of Albumen Prints from Wet Plate Collodion Negatives  made in  studios but showing snow, snowballs, snowfalls and winter sports

Well G. Singhi (Binghamton, New York)

A Winter Scene

Albumen Print, 4 x 6.2 inches, July 1878.


Well G. Singhi worked in Binghamton, New York from 1872 to 1886. This clever photograph seems to have caught an incoming snowball in mid-flight, with the newsboy about to deflect it with his elbow prior to launching a volley of his own. This image was apparently distributed to photographers in the form of mounted prints bound into copies of the St. Louis Practical Photographer for December 1878. Perhaps to allow time to make the prints (each of which required exposure to sunlight), this wintery photograph was made in the sweltering month of July. This feat was not lost on the local newspaper, the Binghamton Daily Republican, which reported that one of its own employees served as Singhi’s model:

His subject is…one of our best carrier boys (he is also a student at Singhi’s), on his route, with the Republican heading in plain sight above the top of his satchel. The boy has stopped for a moment to throw snowballs from a post probably for the sake of acquiring more proficiency in throwing crumpled papers against front doors. …Of course this is a Winter scene, but it was taken in scalding July, with the mercury at the top of the nineties. He has pictured a snow storm to perfection. Singhi’s art in out-of-door views has given him already a national reputation.

–Binghamton Daily Republican, September 14, 1878

Singhi was obviously a man with a sense of humor and a willingness to manipulate the camera’s images for his own purposes — in this case, advertising his services.

This self-portrait shows Singhi as a magician. But what is the significance of the small cartoon figure to the right? The figure is saying, “That is Singhi, Binghamton’s Fotografer! He’s Got Em!”


Albumen print cabinet card, circa 1880

self-portrait advertising cabinet card of photographer Well G. Singhi

Return to “Faux Snow” Gallery

Click on the Logo to Visit the Museum’s Home Page… Or Click on Another Destination

Leave a Comment

Thanks to William Camp for Research Assistance
Copyright © MM. MMIV The American Photography Museum, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
American Museum of Photography and the logo are Service Marks of The American Photography Museum, Inc.
Web Design: Becker Information Group, LLC