Object of the Month: August 2013 – A Day At The Beach

With the hot days of summer upon us, August’s Object of the Month is a tintype taken at Nantasket Beach of an unidentified man and two women from the photograph collection of the Hanson Historical Society.

This tintype unfortunately has no caption identifying the members of the group or providing a date the image was taken. However, the photographer is identified as: “Moloney, Photographer, 22 Hanover Street, Boston, Mass.” with a stamp stating “Nantasket Beach”.

Moloney was J.M. Moloney of South Boston. He posted the following advertisement in Illustrated History of South Boston (South Boston, Mass.: Inquirer Publishing Co., 1900), available at Archive.org, in which he states he has been a photographer for 20 years, since 1880:


Although the photo is undated, this helps at least provides a start date of 1880. But another clue helps pinpoint the date. A tintype listed in the Wikimedia Commons, taken in 1900 at Nantasket Beach by competitor Pease’s Nantasket Tintype Gallery is shown with the same paper wrapper and similar background:

Tintype portrait in a paper mat of a two men and three women taken at Pease’s Nantasket Tintype Gallery, circa 1900. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, digitized by http://gawainweaver.com/

Therefore it is possible that the tintype held by the Hanson Historical Society is also similarly dated close to the year 1900.

Tintypes could be produced several minutes after the image was taken, which made them very popular at fairs, and other public gatherings. Nantasket Beach in Hull, Mass. had been an attractive destination throughout the 19th century, as hotels and restaurants were built up along the beach, and enterprising photographers set up shops along the beach to capture happy visitors out for a day at the beach.

Nantasket Beach, c. 1910. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The area became even more popular after the establishment of  the amusement park Paragon Park, which opened in 1905 and closed in 1985.

Paragon Park, Nantasket Beach, Hull, Mass. c. 1920. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Can you identify any of these Hansonians out for a day at the beach?


[Posted by Mary Blauss Edwards, Hanson Historical Society Curator]


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