Sixth Plate



D12-16    Terms of Sale

DR. CHARLES F. WINSLOW. "C. F. Winslow Taken June 1843" was inscribed on the back of the doctor's archivally taped sixth plate dag that had flat sides and square corners. The surface had been electroplated with a second layer of silver. Curiously, the likeness was rather primitively finished. A myriad of tiny pits covered either by thick syrupy shellac or possibly an experimental form of gold chloride was very evident. The illumination with the main source of light from above on the left with a white reflector opposite Winslow was rather sophisticated. I also own a pair of undated dags taken in front of the same bunched up curtain used behind all three subjects as part of the backdrop. The young teenaged girl and boy (his acorn mat is identical to Winslow's) both sat in a chair that seemed similar to the one in this portrait. The gal's brighter oval mat, also with acorns and oak leaves has "Plumbe's patent Oct. 22 1842" embossed across the bottom of the brass surround. Whether one of Plumbe's galleries was actually responsible for these dags is still unknown. However, Winslow was in Hawaii by 1844. If I can find that he left by ship either from his home in Nantucket or another northeastern port, I would suggest that he had visited the Plumbe establishment at 75 Court St. in Boston. Several operators worked there at the time Winslow would have been taken. I suspect that someone cleaned the silver and lessened what would have been much better facial tinting. The gold applied to the doctor's glasses was probably also diminished. Re-tarnish covers much of the surface. There are very faint marks on his face. Never the less this was an impressive example of daguerreian art in mid-1843.

Below are various bits of information gleaned from several sources on the web. The final link is a MUST READ!

BIOGRAPHY. Dr. Charles Frederick Winslow, scientist was born in Nantucket, Massachusetts in 1811 and graduated with his medical degree from Harvard University in 1834. He practiced medicine in Hawaii and studied various life forms, collecting samples. He also practiced in Nantucket before leaving for Peru as the U.S. Consul in 1862. Eventually he ended up in California, once again as a medical practitioner, as well as collecting samples some of which he donated to the Boston Society of Natural History. He died in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1877 and explicitly asked to be cremated (his request can be seen on-line). His heart was buried in Nantucket, and his cremated remains were buried in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

His books include:
Cosmography, or the Philosophical View of the Universe (1853)
Preparation of the Earth for Intellectual Races (a transcription of a lecture to the California Assembly) (1854)
The Cooling Globe (1865)
Forces of Nature: Attraction and Repulsion (1869)

In an article of the "Polynesian" Nov. 30 1844 Dr. C. F. Winslow was hanging out his "shingle" in Lahaina. The newspaper was first published in 1841 then for 20 consecutive years 1844-1864. Winslow authored a four-page article in "The Friend" a sailor's paper about an account of the sailing ship Manhattan that "brazenly sailed into Edo Bay" in 1845, which was a daring deed for sure since the Japanese were known to have attacked previous vessels.

Mother love is indeed wonderful. Possibly one of the outstanding examples of this affection was found in Phebe Horrox Winslow of Nantucket. On many occasions I have stood at her grave in the South Cemetery on the island, thinking of the strange story connected with this woman who married Benjamin Winslow early in the nineteenth century.

Benjamin was born August 2, 1768. He died December 12, 1839. Phebe Horrox was born July 11, 1767 and died June 10, 1847.—Ed.

The son of this union, Charles E. Winslow, was born June 30, 1811. His mother idolized the lad as he grew into manhood, and Charles was trained by her in such an expert manner that he easily outdistanced every other pupil in the Nantucket school. His mother arranged it so that later he studied at Harvard Medical School, from which institution he graduated in 1834. Some time after this Dr. Winslow attended school in Paris.

His mother kept up her careful guidance of the young man, and eventually he became a doctor, lawyer, and an advanced student of astronomy and the nature of the universe. In 1853 he published a book in which he discussed his theories of atomic reactions. These theories were later expounded in his correspondence with the great English scientist, Michael Faraday.

During his career Dr. Winslow traveled for the State Department. When he visited Europe in this capacity he is said to have astounded the learned men of the continent as well as the English scientists by his advanced, precise theories of the universe and the world.

During this time, however, his thoughts were often of the mother on Nantucket who brought him into the world. After his wife’s death in 1874, Dr. Winslow made his will. It was unique.

Evidently concerned because his mother had been buried at Nantucket and his wife was interred at Mount Auburn in Cambridge, Dr. Winslow thought long and carefully about his own burial plans. He finally decided that he would leave directions in his will that after death his heart would be cut from his body, placed in a glass vessel, enclosed in a double box filled with cork dust and sent across to Nantucket Island, where it was to be buried “in the grave and over the remains of my dear and venerated mother.”

His body was then to be cremated and the ashes to be placed beside the remains of his wife in Mount Auburn Cemetery.

Thus did Dr. Winslow solve one of the problems of his unusual life. In the year 1947, on July 14, a group of relatives and others placed a marker on the grave of Mrs. Phebe Horrox Winslow. The marker reads: The Heart of Dr. Charles F. Winslow Lies Buried Here

This lengthy article about the United States Marine Hospital in Lahaina that opened in the late summer of 1844 paints a rather lurid picture of the “good doctor”. If you would scroll down and begin reading at the top of page 124 some serious accusations of outright fraud and deviousness were revealed. Winslow was both rather nefarious while seemingly being a kind generous soul, depending of course on which accounts you believe.

For Purchase Inquiry Contact:
Dennis A. Waters at