Here's my favorite passage from Jay's essay:
“The Ballad of Billy Baker.” In this ballad, sung to the tune “One-horse shay,” William Baker “Carte-de-visite taker,” falls in
love with one of his sitters, Jemima Jenkins. She will have nothing to do with poor Billy Baker, who decides to take cyanide:
To suicide intent,
darkroom then he went;
But instead of cyanide he swallowed th’ hypo.
Although it gave him pain,
He soon got well again,
But never flirted after in his stu-di-o.
The moral was clear: keep bottles properly labelled, otherwise when you want to kill yourself you may drink the wrong solution. When Jemima rejected Billy Baker’s love she said: “Take such black paws as those/with heart that’s quite as black, for anything I know,”
and struck a blow at every
19th century photographer’s weak spot. The reason why Billy had “black paws” was that his hands were stained with silver solutions...
Poor old Billy Baker trying to put the "stud" in studio...