The art and business of photography arrived in Portsmouth in 1840. Beginning with the sale of daguerreotypes and progressing to the creation of studio cards and stereoscopic views, photography studios prospered and grew throughout the latter half of the nineteenth century. Among the most successful of these studios in the Portsmouth area were those operated by the Davis brothers--Lewis and Charles--from 1856 to 1903.
The Davis brothers began by creating and selling portrait photographs, and their business evolved over the years to include the sale of stereoscopic views. The Seacoast's healthy
tourist market demanded stereopticon images of Portsmouth, New Castle, Rye, the Hamptons, Kittery, York, and the Isles of Shoals, and the Davis brothers responded with a large and varied selection of such images.