In the 1880’s and 1890’s many people came to California to seek their fortune. The couple pictured in this cabinet card found a fortune. The fortune was not gold or money; instead it was E . W. Fortune, a Los Angeles photographer. The couple probably wasn’t disappointed in this excellent image. The subjects are well posed and the photograph has wonderful clarity. The well dressed and handsome gentleman has a neat beard and is holding a book on his lap. He is wearing a pocket watch. The young woman in the portrait has a pretty dress and is wearing a bracelet on her wrist and a pin on her collar. Judging by their general appearance, the couple seems to have been financially well off. The pair are identified on the reverse of the image as Mr and Mrs W. R. Williams. A genealogical investigators heart sinks when he or she sees a name like “Williams” needing to be researched. There are generally just too many “Williams” to sort through, and the researcher ends up with multiple people who fit the description of their quarry. As expected, research gleaned no biographical information about Mr. and Mrs. Williams. The photographer of this cabinet card operated his studio in Los Angeles, California. The address was 151 South Spring Street. City directories for Los Angeles list Fortune operating as a photographer between 1888 and 1893. He certainly may have conducted his business both before and after those dates but no confirmation could be found.
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