Platt D. Babbitt, 1822-1879

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Platt D. Babbitt, a daguerreotypist who controlled the lucrative pavilion area in front of Point View, later Prospect Point, on the American side of Niagara Falls, was renowned for his tenacious hold on this prime concession. When confronted by a formidable contender, "Mr. Babbitt and his forces would stand between the camera and the falls swinging large-sized umbrellas to and fro thus preventing [the other photographer] from getting a picture," wrote an observer. Another contemporary hailed his images as "some of the most beautiful views of the falls, and points of interest in this vicinity, that we have seen. As he resides here he has been on hand to take winter views never taken by any other artist. Mountains of ice, huge icicles, trees borne down with their icy burden, the foaming torrent, all and much more are presented with the exactness of reality." A colorful figure in the region's history, Babbitt photographed from the 1850s until the early 1870s.