The Jeweler

I purchased this Ambrotype on e-Bay in 2012. It is a Sixth Plate in a half case with a late 19th century piece of paper within that reads: “Henry Olmstead” and in a different hand, “George H. Perkins’ Great Uncle.”

Using this limited bit of identified information, I was able to establish that the subject was Henry Olmstead (1823-1892), the son of Nathaniel Olmstead (1785-1860) and Fidelia Burnap (1787-1870). Nathaniel Olmstead was one of the oldest jewelers in New Haven.

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Henry Olmstead established himself in business in New York City initially with the firm Read, Taylor & Co. He eventually became a partner in the firm under the name, Taylor, Olmstead & Taylor (importers of watches & other fancy goods), located at No. 5 Bond Street in New York City. After the dissolution of that firm, Henry became the Secretary of the New York Jewelers Association.

Henry Olmstead was married in 1852 to Catherine Maria Hyde (1833-1904) and they had at least four children, Kate Hyde Olmstead (b. 1853), Clara May Olmstead (1855-1872), Nellie Burnap Olmstead (1860-1915), and Charles Frederick Olmstead (b. 1862). by 1880 the family had relocated to Fairfield, Connecticut.

George Henry Perkins (1844-1933) was Henry’s nephew, the son of Rev. Frederick Trenck Perkins (1811-1893) and Harriet T. Olmstead (1815-1859). George resided in New Haven, Connecticut and later in Chittenden county, Vermont.

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