Carte de Visite Photograph of Louise S. Parsons Whiting

Collection ID







United States




Photographic print on cardboard


4.1 × 2.5 × 0.2 in. (10.4 × 6.3 × 0.5 cm)

Exhibit Location

Not on View

Louise S. Parsons Whiting was a missionary to China in the late 1800s. She graduated in 1872 from Elmira College in New York, a woman’s college in the late 1800s. This photograph was taken in the autumn of 1873, when Whiting was nineteen-and-a-half, by Rockwood Photography at 839 Broadway, New York. She sailed from San Francisco in November 1873 to China as a member of The Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society. Throughout their years, they sent women missionaries to Africa, South America, and various other countries, including India, China, Japan, Korea, Italy, Mexico, Bulgaria, and the Philippines.

Created in 1873 by Rockwood Photography, New York City, New York.[1] Acquired by 2010 by Gene Albert (Christian Heritage Museum), Hagerstown, Maryland; Privately purchased in 2010 by Green Collection, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Donated in 2017 to National Christian Foundation (later The Signatry), under the curatorial care of Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC.

Notes: [1] Photographer’s emblem on the back of the card, stating, “Rockwood Photography, 839 Broadway, N. Y.” Rockwood Photography was owned by the brothers George and Elihu Rockwood. George Rockwood picked up photography in 1853 in St. Louis, Missouri, where he produced the first carte de visite in the United States. George moved to New York City in 1857, where he and his brother, Elihu, opened their first photography studio. Multiple inscriptions appear on the back of the card in different hands. One inscription reads, “Louise S. Parsons Whiting; taken in the autumn of 1873. Age of L. 19 ½ years. Sailed from San Francisco early in November 1872, as a missionary to China.” In another hand, in pencil, it reads, “Elmira College.” And in another hand, in blue ink, it reads, “Class of 1872.”

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