Family tradition has it that William Cassidy came to America when he was 14 (1861) from Tralee(?) Mayo(?). Unable to find work he volunteered to serve with the Union Army in a New York outfit. (There were about 30 New York outfits that had a William Cassidy in the ranks. If I ever got to see the records of those outfits, how would I know which William Cassidy was our William Cassidy?) A Civil War sword was, lamentably, thrown out when the Barbieris moved out of the Lenox Road house in the 50's.

The pictures below are scans of tintypes which were given to Kathleen by her Aunt Evelyn Corbi Kelliher. Tintypes are early photographs which have the image developed on a thin sheet of tin. "The tintype was a uniquely American form of photography that reached the height of its popularity between 1861 and 1863. Also known as the melainotype and the ferrotype, the tintype was developed in Gambier and Lancaster, Ohio."

The following is from: (The American Tintype. Floyd Rinhart, Marion Rinhart, and Robert W. Wagner.) "TINTYPE; also FERROTYPE, MELAINOTYPE A direct-positive (negativeless) photograph on a thin iron sheet developed by a French process of 1853. Introduced to America beginning in 1860, its excellent tonal range, durability, and low cost made it a popular process into the 1930s." Here is a Wikipedia article on tintype.

"The print would come out laterally reversed (as one sees oneself in a mirror); either people did not worry about this, or just possibly they did not discover it until after the photographer had disappeared! Tintypes eventually were superseded by gelatin emulsion dry plates in the 1880s, though street photographers in various parts of the world continued with this process until the 1950s; the writer well remembers being photographed by one of these street photographers in Argentina, when he was a boy. Eventually, of course, 35mm and Polaroid photography were to replace these entirely." The TINTYPE Process.

The tintypes were not labelled, but we believe the first shows William Cassidy, who appears to be in a Fire Department uniform. The badge appears to have the initials "M S," for, perhaps "Municipal Service" Some research into NYFD archives could substantiate that theory. On the other hand, if the image is laterally reversed, the characters would then be "2M," meaning...."Second Marine?"...Second Municipal?" Compare the two images of the badge. There were marine firefighting units at that time but "Second Municipal" seems more probable.

This is an unlabelled and undated tintype of someone in the Cassidy or Kelliher family. Who?

Here are two unlabelled and undated tintypes of Cassidys.

Here is John Edward Cassidy in his police uniform, 17th Precinct. He served from 2/1/1907 to 8/31/1946. He died 11/5/1949. (Click on picture for enlarged view.)