• Musser

Blame the Surname

I'd lived about half of my life (mostly, the first half) in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania at one time or another. It's where I used my first camera and when my father escorted me into Fine Art Photo on Derry Street to buy me my first 'professional' camera, a 35mm Voightländer. But, long before any of this, there was another Musser well-established in the same town, F. E. Musser. So far as I've been able to determine, we're not connected unless I've simply not looked back far enough. Frank Musser long had a studio at 16 North Third Street, Harrisburg. These days, that'd be about where the side entrance is located for the Whitaker Center. Before the Whitaker, the Harris House Tavern was at this very address (I loved their steaks). Frank opened his first studio there April 3, 1889. Sadly, the place gets burned out on Christmas Day, 1892. But, after about six months at a temporary location, he moved back in to his newly renovated studio. On August 10, 1934, F. E. Musser retires. What a run! He moves to Wilmington, Delaware and passed away there January 9, 1956. He may be forgotten by most, but not by me. I've been collecting his cabinet cards for a few years (when they're affordable). From what I can see, he knew what he was doing and he must've made a lot of folks happy with his artistry. As I've said before, I don't think of myself as a photographer, per se, but I would've loved to have hung out with him in his studio after his last customer of the day and down a few whiskey's with him.

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