Boy Street Buskers Across the Centuries
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Written by SeacoastNH Archive

429_busker00SeacoastNH.com Presents
Historic Portsmouth #429

Rich Beauchesne’s photo of 10-year old Albion Jasper in the Portsmouth Herald knocked me into a time machine last week, but I didn’t know why. Then I remembered this photo of a gypsy busker playing in a nearby spot about 130 years earlier. Albion was pictured playing his violin in front of the Friendly Toast on Congress Street.  (Continued below with photos)

 

This Victorian image shows two boys playing violins in Market Square while their father leans on a harp and a crowd watches. It seems likely that Portsmouth photographer Lafayette Newell heard the violin music from his Congress Street studio and poked his camera out the upper story window to capture the moment. If so, then the photograph was likely taken between 1882 and 1886 when Newell had his studio there. These rare “then and now” moments are a powerful reminder that we live in a historic city where time loops back around on itself again and again. (Courtesy of Strawbery Banke Museum Collection and Portsmouth Herald)

Street busker in Portsmouth, NH

Street busker in Portsmouth, NH

Street busker in Portsmouth, NH

Street busker in Portsmouth, NH

Street busker in Portsmouth, NH