Ada Rehan was a well known and respected American actress. The top cabinet card portrait of Ms Rehan and her dog was published by Napoleon Sarony, a famous celebrity photographer in New York City, New York. Ada Rehan was born in Ireland and came to the United States at six years of age. She grew up in Brooklyn, New York. She began acting as a child. From 1873 until 1875 she became more active in acting at Mrs. Drew’s Theatre in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She then joined John Albaugh’s company and appeared in Baltimore, Albany and numerous other cities. In 1879 she joined Augustin Daly’s company upon his opening of his New York theater. She worked with his company for twenty years and appeared throughout Europe. The IBDB reveals that Ada Rehan appeared in 12 Broadway productions. Some of the Broadway and non Broadway plays she appeared in include a number of Shakespeare productions such as “As You Like It” and “Twelfth Night”. Rehan also acted in “The School for Scandal”, “Foresters”, “Cinderella at School”, and “Our English Friend”. She retired from the stage in 1906 and lived in New York City until her death. It is interesting to note that Ms Rehan’s dog is on a leash. The leash is made of metal links. She is holding the leash with both hands. This is the first leash that I have observed in the many cabinet card photographs of dogs that I have seen. The dog at the end of the leash in this image appears to be a laborador retriever.
The second portrait of Miss Rehan was published by Newsboy of New York. The image was number 68 in a series of photographs. Newsboy distributed these images as premiums for their tobacco product sales.
The third image of Miss Rehan is a bust portrait by Louis Thors of San Francisco, California. Thors was born in Holland in 1845. He was of French descent and educated in France. He was fitted for service in the Merchant Marine and he served in that capacity for a number of years before coming to California in 1876. By 1880 he had established his photography business. One source states that his studio had more than twelve “apartments”. He won a Bronze Medal at the Paris Exposition in 1889. His wife, Gertrude M. Thors was also a photographer. Camera Craft: Photographic Association of California (1910) printed Thors’s obituary. He was described as one of the highest esteemed photographers in San Francisco. He died of stomach cancer at age seventy-two. He worked in the photography business in San Francisco for over forty years. He left the city after the San Francisco fire and worked in St. Louis for two years before returning to California. The obituary reports that after his immigration to the United States, his skill as a painter earned him employment with photographers Bradley and Rulofsen (click on category “Photographer: Bradley and Rulofsen” to view some of their photographs). In addition, the death notice asserted that besides his talents as a photographer, Thors had a charming personality and high moral character.