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Benson C. Hazelton

Lifespan: 1823 - 1892

Hometown: Boston, MA

Studio: 140 Washington Street Boston, MA

Benson C. Hazelton was a spirit photographer who operated out of Boston. He was born in 1823 and died in 1892. He was regarded as a medium sized man with a quick nervous temperament and a very business-like manner.

Hazelton began his career practicing portrait photography and he also operated a gallery. His studio was originally located at 140 Washington Street on the third floor and later at 294 Washington Street.

He began producing spirit photographs in 1873 and claimed to be perplexed by the manifestations as to anyone else. He stated he offered a fair opportunity to investigators but “nothing would satisfy except the rising of the dead, and then they would have to rise everyday, for a long while”.[1] He operated in Boston until the 1880s.

Many customers wrote letters of their appreciation, a sample of which is below:

Mr. Hazelton. Dear Sir – those pictures you took for me, also for my husband, are regonized. It is my darling child. With my husband, he knows it is his old grandfather that passed away, in Germany some 40 years ago; never had a picture taken.

Fraternally thine,
S. A. Rodgers Heyder

The Kingdom of Heaven – May, 1874

[1] The Kingdom of Heaven – May, 1874

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