In an 1898 letter to Frances Benjamin Johnston, Mary sought advice on a variety of matters concerning the business of photography. She inquired about where she should have their photographs copyrighted, explaining that “We have usually sold our pictures outright and the publishers have copyrighted them, but I should sometimes like to keep the right myself.”19 Then, after completing close to fifty photographs to illustrate Alice Morse Earle’s book Home Life in Colonial Days, and another set of clay stones pictures for a scientific article by Jennie Arms Sheldon, Mary asked Johnston for her opinion on what she should charge for this “fussy tiresome… hack work,” particularly as “there are so many camera’s afield, ordinary pictures are cheap.”20

Photographs courtesy of Memorial Hall Museum, Deerfield, MA.