A TISKET A TASKET: A GIRL AND HER BASKET IN MATANZAS, CUBA

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An adolescent girl, holding a basket of flowers, poses for her portrait at Castro Brothers studio in Matanzas, Cuba. The girl is wearing a bracelet and clutches flowers in her left hand. Interestingly, the Cabinet Card Gallery has a cabinet card in its collection taken by a Matanzas photographer named C. Ruiz de Castro. It is unknown whether C. Ruiz de Castro is one of the Castro brothers who created the cabinet card above. To view other Cuban cabinet cards, click on the category “Cuba”. 

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Published in: on April 20, 2014 at 12:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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PORTRAIT OF A PRETTY YOUNG GIRL IN HER COMMUNION DRESS IN SANTIAGO DE CUBA

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This cabinet card portrait features a pretty young girl celebrating her communion by being photographed by A. Alvarez at his studio in Santiago de Cuba. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city in Cuba and is located in the southeastern part of the island. The Battle of San Juan Hill was fought in this area. The 1898 battle marked the defeat of Spain in the Spanish American War. This photograph was likely taken only a few years after this war ended. To view other vintage Cuban photographs, click on the cabinet card gallery category “Cuba”.

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PORTRAIT OF “LITTLE OLLIE”: A GIRL AND HER MANDOLIN

LITTLE OLLIE_0002This cabinet card portrait features “Little Ollie” and her mandolin. At least I think her instrument is a mandolin. Confirmation from a cabinet card gallery visitor would be appreciated. This little girl performer is adorable. She is wearing a cute hat and her jewelry includes a necklace and bracelet. The reverse of the photograph has an inscription stating “From Little Ollie Herself”. Benjamin J. Falk (1853-1925), a noted celebrity photographer, produced this photograph. His studio was located on Broadway in New York City. The image is numbered on the bottom right hand corner.To view more photographs by this photographer, click on the category “Photographer: Falk”. Research revealed not further information about “Little Ollie”. However, a different photograph of her, also by Falk, is in the collection of the Library of Congress.

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Published in: on April 17, 2014 at 10:22 am  Comments (2)  
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HANDSOME VICTORIAN COUPLE IN GENEVA, NEW YORK

GENEVA COUPLE_0003 A handsome young Victorian couple pose for their portrait at the Wood studio in Geneva, New York. The gentleman in the photograph has a long mustache, a handkerchief rises from his jacket pockent, and he is displaying the chain to his pocket watch. He sits in a interesting chair that seems to be braided and designed with just one arm. The young woman is wearing a lot of jewelry including a ring, pin, and earrings. Her figure appears to be enhanced by a corset. The reverse of the cabinet card reveals some information about the photographer. Theo. H. Wood’s studio was located at 4 & 6 Seneca Street in Geneva.   Theodore Wood was born in England in 1844 and immigrated to the United States in 1850. He is listed as a  photographer in Geneva City directories from 1901 until 1905. The 1907 directory reports his occupation as “retired”. Wood also makes appearances in the 1900 and 1910 US census. In both surveys he is listed as single and as living as a lodger in a boarding house.

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Published in: on April 14, 2014 at 9:41 am  Comments (1)  
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YOUNG WOMAN WEARING UNUSUAL ATTIRE IN MONTPELIER, OHIO

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This cabinet card portrait features a smiling young woman wearing unusual attire. Is she wearing a uniform? If her clothing is a uniform, is she wearing it for work or is she part of a sports team? Note that her cap matches her jacket and that the style of her blouse is atypical for the cabinet card era. Hopefully, some cabinet card gallery’s visitors will leave a comment speculating or informing the rest of us about the fashion worn in this photograph. The Hawkins studio, located in Montpelier, Ohio,  produced this image. Research reveals that there was a photographer in Montpelier named George B. Hawkins. At some point, there was a studio in Montpelier called Hawkins & Marsh. It is likely that George Hawkins once partnered with Mr. Marsh. The reverse of the cabinet card has an inscription which states “Cousin to Marian” and “Kelly-girl”. Clearly, the subject of this portrait is a cousin to Marian and it is likely that the subject’s last name is “Kelly”. The term “Kelly-girl” took a different meaning many years after this photograph was taken. In 1946, Russell Kelly started a business providing temporary employees to local Detroit businesses. His employees called themselves “Kelly Girls” to distinguish themselves from their temporary office coworkers. Russell Kelly’s novel business idea gave birth to the modern staffing business.

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Published in: on April 12, 2014 at 11:15 am  Comments (2)  
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WILLIE BUTLER FINDS RELIGION AT ST. MARY’S CHURCH IN NEW YORK CITY

 

ETTLIN FRONT_0011This cabinet card portrait features a young boy dressed up for his confirmation and holding a religious book. Note his huge bow tie. He is wearing two ribbons pinned to his jacket. One of the ribbons has the printed name “St. Mary’s Church”. The reverse of the photograph has an inscription stating “Willie Butler”. Young Master Butler posed for this image at Ettlin’s Portraits which was located at 17 Chatham Square in New York City. William A. Ettlin is listed in the 1902 and 1905 New York City directory as well as in Trow’s Business Directory of 1898.

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Published in: on April 8, 2014 at 4:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
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MISS VIOLET CAMERON: SCANDALOUS STAGE ACTRESS

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Violet Cameron (1862-1919), was an English stage star. She was the niece of burlesque legend Lydia Thompson. Cameron  began her stage career as a child in 1871. She played several child roles at the Drury Lane Pantomime theatre. As an adult, she played many prominent roles in the most important English theatres. In 1886 she came to America and played in “The Commodore” and “Kenilworth”. In 1893 she had great success in the stage play “Morocco Bound”. She was involved in several scandalous love affairs during her stage career.  The top cabinet card was a product of Elliot & Fry, a prominent London photography studio. The second cabinet card was produced at the studio of W & D Downey in London, England. The third portrait of Violet Cameron is also by Downey. She looks lovely in her ruffly dress and her plunging neckline (relative to the cabinet card era) highlights her necklace. The reverse of the cabinet card has the stamp of Charles Ritzmann of New York City indicating that it was once owned by the esteemed purveyor of theatrical photographs. The fourth photograph of Miss Cameron once again comes from the Downey studio. She appears to be wearing a wedding dress in this cabinet card portrait. To view other photographs by these two studios, click on the category Photographer: Elliot & Fry or Photographer: Downey.

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PROFILE OF A PRETTY WOMAN IN CLEVELAND, OHIO

A pretty woman poses for her portrait at the studio of John H. Ryder in Cleveland, Ohio. The subject is wearing a collar pin, earrings, and a interesting patterned dress. John H. Ryder (aka Jack) was a daguerreotype artist and photographer active on and off in Cleveland from the late 1850′s until his death in 1898. He was born in New York around 1832. After working with his older brother James F Ryder (1826-1904) for many years, he opened his own studio in 1884. John Ryder found a diversion from his photography career during his days of working for his brother. Some time around 1864 he went on a series of tours with humorist Charles F. Browne who was known on the lecture series as Artemus Ward”. Ryder served as Browne’s agent and manager. A photograph of Browne can be found below.

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Published in: on April 6, 2014 at 12:46 pm  Leave a Comment  
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SOLEMN MAMA BROWN POSES FOR HER PORTRAIT IN WASHINGTON D.C.

mama brownThe inscription on the reverse of this cabinet card identifies the subject of this portrait. She is “Mama Brown, friend and neighbor of Annie S. Peters”. The photographer of this photograph is G. W. Dahi… and his studio was located at 925 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D. C..  Dahi… had a second studio located at 821 Broad Street in Richmond, Virginia. If you are wondering why his name is spelled “Dahi…”, let me tell you the answer. The first four letters of the photographers name are “Dahi” and the rest of the letters are unknown because they were removed when the image was taken from the frame or album that used to house it. Note the subjects, ruffles, lace, flowers, and hair ornament.    Research did not identify the photographer. There were a number of photographers that operated businesses from the 925 Pennsylvania Avenue address. They included Henry Whitefield Samson (1878), J. D. Merritt, G. W. Davis, and Tassert or Fassett. Research also failed to identify Mama Brown. There are a number of Mamie Browns that lived in the Washington D. C. area and it is possible that one of them is the subject of this portrait. Annie S. Peters, Mama Brown’s friend and neighbor, was easy to track down. She appears in a number of US Censuses. Annie was born around 1849 and was married to David W. Peters in 1871.

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Published in: on March 30, 2014 at 4:53 pm  Leave a Comment  
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STAGE PERFORMER IN EFFEMINATE COSTUME (IS THIS A YOUNG MAN OR A YOUNG WOMAN?)

BURK_0005This cabinet card portrait, photographed by A. D. Burk and Co. presents a gender mystery. A stage performer wearing an effeminate stage costume by today’s standards, is the subject of this portrait. Note the subjects frilly shirt and jacket, and the feathered hat. Also take note of the subjects long curly hair and hanging curls. Are we looking at a handsome actor or a pretty actress? My guess is actress. The photographer, Alcynus D. Burk worked in Cleveland from 1889, when he partnered with David Bailey until 1900 or later.

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Published in: on March 28, 2014 at 12:21 pm  Comments (2)  
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