JESSIE TARBOX BEALS

(1870-1942)

Jessie Tarbox Beals was born Jessie Richmond Tarbox on December 23rd, 1870 in Hamilton, Ontario. Beals received her teaching certificate aged seventeen after studying at the Collegiate Institute of Ontario. She taught at a schoolhouse in Williamsburg, Massachusetts, and in 1888 won a subscription prize camera through the Youth’s Companion magazine. Beals used this camera to photograph her students and surroundings, before purchasing a higher quality Kodak camera and set up a photography studio in front of her house, which was Williamsburg’s first. Thereafter she gained fame in the industry with her photojournalism for The Boston Post, The Buffalo Courier, New York Heralds, Leslie’s Weekly and Tribune. Beals opened her own studio on Sixth Avenue in New York City in 1905, photographing notable figures such as Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), Mark Twain (1835-1910) and Emily Post (1872-1960). In 1930 she moved to Greenwich Village and opened a new photography studio and gallery.