Joseph Wilson REPLOGLE

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Contributed by garthe on 9/19/09 - Image Year: 1890

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Like his fellow photographer, Joseph Hess, J. W. of Walnut wasn't a resident of Port Royal, but he took many pictures of the residents of Port Royal during 1880's to 1890's

Born in Pennsylvania, USA on 1860 to Samuel Brumbaugh Replogle and Margaret Ann Hanawalt. JOSEPH REPLOGLE began his career in the 1880s and set up a studio in the Mifflintown area. Unlike some photographers of his day, Replogle did not have the luxury of delving into the artistic side of photography. Often during that time period in photography, photographers were stigmatized for earning a living from photography.

Replogle attempted to earn a living from the art in the area, opening a studio in Mifflin and taking pictures of families and various community events, often charging only a dollar per "cabinet card" photograph. Replogle often took odd jobs singing and performing to supplement his income, and like most modern businessmen, would try to take as many group shots as possible to boost the number of potential buyers.

As was common during this time period, many residents looked solemn and dour as they had to wait for several minutes for the photographs to take.

Often people were trained to look as formal as possible, dressing in their finest clothes. Men sometimes wore the only suit they owned, which was pulled out for special occasions, such as church services and weddings, as well as having their picture taken. Sometimes the photographer would place neck clamps on his subjects, ensuring that they would stay put for the duration of the session. Extreme methods were used to keep children in place as well, as many pictures showed children sitting on chairs with sheepskin stuffed around them to keep them from moving, and thus ruining the picture.

Replogle also photographed historical events from his time, such as the Johnstown Flood in 1889, that occurred when sever days of very heavy rainfall caused the failure of the South Fork Dam in Johnstown. It released twenty million gallons of water on Pennsylvania residents, and by the time the flood was over, 2,200 people were killed and $17 millioin in damage was estimated.

Replogle was fortunate to enjoy popularity in the local newspapers at the time, and was given what some think was unpaid advertising.

Several 1888 and 1889 issues of the Port Royal Times and Juniata Democrat and Register praised the work of Replogle, saying that he would come to the homes of area residents and take pictures at low prices. When he married Juniata County resident Mary Imes during this time, the papers praised the match. The couple went on to have three children before her death.

Although Replogle's photography was mainly commercial, he was unafraid of adopting new, innovative and frequently dangerous techniques to improve his work. In order to produce flash photography, the new fad required photographers to burn magnesium powder in a pan, mixed with a compound such as potassium chlorate, which produced a brilliant white light. It became popular for formal events such as weddings; however, it was highly unpredictable. Burning too much of the powder could result in injury to the person using it or damage to the area it was used in, and often photographers only learned the proper amount to burn through trial and error. Only three pictures were taken at weddings because by the time the third picture was taken, the church was saturated with smoke and soot, and windows had to be opened to air out the building.

Although Replogle tried to earn a decent living in the area, he was soon forced to move to a metropolitan area to make a better living. After the death of his wife, Replogle moved to Philadelphia, working as a timekeeper for the government and continuing his photography there. He later remarried and had at least two more children. After his move to Philadelphia, his work became much more scattered.

(Juniata Sentinel - October 4, 2006)

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Contributed by rkohler3 on 3/23/13 - Image Year: 1910
MOVES GALLERY: Blairs Mills and eventually to Port Royal. (Submitted by Wayne Taylor)(Unknown year)
Contributed by yuschakkaren on 4/12/17 - Image Year: 1880
I acquired this photo 40 years ago at an auction near Chambersburg, PA. Back side has "Robert Love" written in pencil and stamped: "J W Replogle, Arthist. Walnut, - - , Pa."
Contributed by yuschakkaren on 4/12/17 - Image Year: 1880
A more detailed view of the locomotive [believe it to be a steam tractor used with a thrashing machine and not a locomotive] and possibly Robert Love standing in the foreground.
Contributed by yuschakkaren on 4/12/17 - Image Year: 1880
Back side of previous photo.

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