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Harvey E. Chase

Lifespan: 1845 - 1915

Hometown: Cleveland, OH

Studio: 2550 Broadway, Cleveland, OH

Harvey E. Chase was an American spirit photographer based in Cleveland, OH, active from the 1880s to 1910s. He was known for his ability to capture multiple spirit faces in a single photograph, as well as his spirit painting and slate writing skills. He was considered the leading spirit photographer in his area and was known for his talkative nature.[1]

Chase operated his spirit photography studio at 2550 Broadway in Cleveland, OH. The studio was shared with his son, who did not share his belief in Spiritualism.[1] Visitors would enter on the first floor and go up a flight of stairs to the reception room of the studio. In addition, Chase would also take spirit photographs at seasonal meetings at Cassadage Lake Camp, where many people were said to have been “made glad through his photographic mediumship”.[2]

One individual who had their photograph taken by Chase expressed their support, saying:

He has produced some of the most satisfactory results in spirit photography and equalling, if not excelling, the best productions of any previous photographic medium before the world. There having been found upon one single picture, as many as sixteen different spirit faces, either partial or entire, grouped around the form of the sitter.

Better Way – Jul. 25, 1891

In 1893, Chase was accused of fraud by Richard Hodgson and S.W. Fallis, who claimed he used “chemical tricks” and that his methods were “crude” and “entirely void of merit”.[3] Despite these accusations, Chase continued to receive a steady demand for spirit photographs and was still taking them up until his death in 1915.[4]

[1] Progressive Thinker – Mar. 25, 1893
[2] Better Way – Jul. 25, 1891
[3] Progressive Thinker – Oct. 14, 1893
[4] Artists in Ohio, 1787-1900 – 2000

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