On July 17th, 1911, the New York Times printed the following obituary, reporting from Louisville, Kentucky. “Lillian Dolfinger, known to the theatrical world as Lillian Raymond, who appeared in “The Girl of the Golden West’, and several other New York productions, died today at the home of her father here from tuberculosis. She was 25 years old. Miss Raymond was to appear in one of the New York productions this Fall, but became ill”. Investigation revealed that Miss Raymond appeared on Broadway on three occassions. She appeared in “Wonderland” (1905), “About Town” (1906), and “The Girl Behind the Counter” (1907). All three shows were musicals. No other information about Miss Raymond could be found during preliminary research. The photographer of this image is C. J. Horner who described himself through his advertising as a “European Photographer. His studio was located at 11 Winter Street in Boston, Massachusetts. It is tragic that Lillian Raymond’s stage career and life was cut short by illness. We will never know to what heights this pretty young actress may have climbed in the theatrical world. The photographer of this image rose to lofty heights in his profession. Swedish born Carl Joseph Horner (1864-1926) was probably the best sports photographer of his era. He was particularly known for his baseball photographs, many of which appeared on tobacco company issued baseball cards. Among the players he photographed were Cy Young and Tris Speaker. His panoramic portrait of the 1912 “Red Sox Champions” is well known among collectors.
The top cabinet card features theatre actress Lizzie Webster posing at the beach. OK; its not the beach, but it is a fake beach, at the studio of celebrity photographer, Mora, in New York City, New York. Webster appeared on the American stage in the late 1870′s and early 1880′s. She appeared on tour in Edward Rice’s popular show, “Evangeline”. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (1878) described Miss Webster as a “shapely brunette”, and a “beautiful being”. However, the article states that she did not possess a good voice. In 1893, Lizzie Webster died in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. To see other photographs by Mora, click on Cabinet Card Gallery’s category “Photographer: Mora”.
The second cabinet card features Miss Webster in costume, complete with a sword at her side. This image as well as the top image demonstrates that Lizzie Webster was not too modest to exhibit her legs. Both photographs are a bit risque because of this immodesty. The photographer of this image is unknown because the photograph has been trimmed and the reverse of the photo card has a large sticker covering much of the cards back. The sticker identifies the photograph as the property of Culver Pictures of New York City. The firm owned the rights to the image and would allow the media to use the image, if they paid for the privilege.
This portrait features an attractive unidentified actress. This woman seems to love texture. Note the fabrics she is wearing. She has a wonderful feathered hat and a shaggy stole. At least I think its a stole but I am uncertain and welcome intervention from a cabinet card gallery visitor knowledgeable about woman’s fashion. The woman looks quite handsome in her high collar dress and lovely accessories. The photograph was taken at Fredricks Knickerbocker Family Portrait Gallery in New York City (770 Broadway). To learn more about Mr. Fredricks and to view more of his images, click on the category “Photographer: Fredricks”.
Maude Branscombe was a very popular stage beauty and light opera singer. She was reported to be the most photographed woman of her day. Biographical information about her is sparse and more will be added at a later date. Her first appearance on the New York stage was in 1876 as Cupid in a revival of Ixion at the Eagle Theatre. The portrait at the top was photographed by renowned W & D Downey of London, England.
The second portrait was cropped so the photographer is unknown.
The third portrait (Branscombe is wearing a necklace) is by L. Levin & Son of San Francisco, California.
The fourth cabinet card image was photographed by Sarony. Sarony was a well known celebrity photographer and more of his portraits can be viewed by clicking on the category of “Photographer: Sarony”. Sarony does an excellent job of capturing Branscombe’s beauty and her alluring eyes.
The fifth and sixth, and seventh cabinet card were photographed by another celebrity photographer, Jose Mora, of New York City. Interestingly, the fifth and seventh cabinet card captures Branscombe in the same costume as the second cabinet card. It is likely that the photographer of cabinet card number two, is also Jose Mora. To view other photographs by Mora, click on the category of “Photographer: Mora”.
The seventh cabinet card portrait of Branscombe was photographed by Howell, another New York City photographer with a studio on Broadway. Howell’s close-up photograph captures the actress’s beauty and her wonderful eyes. She is wide eyed and her hair is a bit mussed. These qualities add to the allure of Miss Branscombe.William Roe Howell was born in 1846 in Goshen, New York. He had a passion for drawing and painting and he directed his creative interest into the field of photography as a young adult. He opened a photographic studio in Goshen. In 1863 he moved to New York City where he joined Robert and Henry Johnston at Johnston Brothers Studio at 867 Broadway. In 1866 the firm became Johnston & Howell. In 1867, he became the sole proprietor of the gallery. By 1870, he was gaining much recognition in the field of photography. His great location in New York City gave him access to many fashionable upper class men and women as well as many celebrities. Among his photographic subjects were P. T. Barnum, Buffalo Bill, and Robert E. Lee. He opened a branch studio in Brooklyn. In 1873 he came one of five Americans to be awarded a special grand prized at the Vienna World Fair. He frequently received mention in the photographic journals. He published a book of cabinet cards that received much praise. He became a photographer for West Point, Princeton, and other notable institutions. He won many medals at photography exhibitions. In 1878 he moved his business from 867 to 889 Broadway and opened another studio with a partner (Meyer) at 26 West 14th Street. In 1880 he retired from photography due to health reasons. In 1886 he moved with his family to Washington D.C. intent on opening a photography business there. He then disappeared. He vanished just two weeks before the grand opening of his new studio. He left his wife of 16 years (Fannie Scott) and his five children penniless. His wife stated that Howell was an eccentric man and that he must have got tired of business and family problems “and cut loose from us”. He apparently returned home after a short duration of absence and his business appeared in the 1888 Washington D. C. business directory but not in the 1889 directory. He died of tuberculosis in New York City in 1890. He had been residing at the home of a colleague who ran a photography studio in Harlem. It is believed by some biographers that he had divorced his wife and returned to New York without his family.
DOLLY ADAMS: VARIETY ACTRESS MARRIES MAN SHE ACCUSES OF THEFT WHILE HE IS IN POLICE CUSTODY IN HARLEM PRISON COURT (“OOPS….I STAND CORRECTED”)
The New York Times of September 21, 1897 reports that Emma Viola Street a variety actress, known as Dolly Adams; and Frederick Hillmeyer, the son of a well-to-do hotel propieter, were married in a
Harlem, New York, prison. They had to be married by a clergyman because a court room judge refused to perform the ceremony because he thought “the marriage could not turn out happily”. The reason why Hillmeyer was in court was because he was accused by Ms Adams of stealing jewelry and cash from her Park Avenue flat. Ms Adams requested that the judge withdraw the charges but he refused to do so, causing the actress to have an “epileptic” fit. This cabinet card was photographed by an unidentified photographer at an unidentified location. This image is certainly risque for its time. A visitor to the Cabinet Card Gallery left a comment that disputes my identification of the subject of this photograph. There were two actresses named Dolly Adams during the cabinet card era and the visitor’s comment accurately points out that the subject of this image is Dolly Adams, the “Water Queen”. Be sure to read the comment section of this blog entry to learn the “true story” behind this performer.
Miss Howell is the subject of this Newsboy cabinet card. Presumably, the busty and thin waisted Miss Howell was a stage star. This photograph is number 64 of a series of theater cabinet cards. It is unknown why someone erased the Newsboy logo from the front of the photograph. Newsboy cabinet cards were distributed as premiums accompanying tobacco products. Miss Howell is quite attractive. She is wearing long gloves and a fancy hat. An attempt to find further information about Miss Howell was unsuccessful. There was an opera singer named “Miss Howell” but it could not be confirmed that she was the appropriate age to be the woman in this photograph. Newspaper accounts reveal that Miss Dicie Howell was an American soprano who performed in many American and International cities during the 1920′s. This cabinet card was published significantly before 1900. To view other Newsboy cabinet cards, click on the category “Photographer: Newsboy”.
Lillian Russell (1860-1922) is pictured in the top Cabinet Card photograph by famed New York celebrity photographer, Falk. Lillian Russell is captured in costume as she appeared in “Pepita” (1886). Russell was a very famous American actress and singer who was known for her beauty, style, voice and stage presence. Her theater career began with roles in comic operas including the work of Gilbert and Sullivan. She married composer Edward Solomon in 1884 and two years later, he was arrested for bigamy. She performed in New York and elsewhere in starring roles in comic opera and musical theatre. In 1904 she switched to dramatic roles due to voice problems. She later also appeared in vaudeville. She retired from the stage in 1919. She later wrote newspaper columns, advocated for women suffrage, and was a popular lecturer. She married four times and her longest marriage was to Diamond Jim Brady who supported her extravagant lifestyle for four decades. It is interesting to note that the New York Times (4/2/1886) reported that during the performance of “Pepita”, an opera by her husband, Edward Solomon; there were obvious signs of marital discord observed on stage. The newspaper blamed issues revolving around Russell’s interfering mother, as well as, issues pertaining to Russell’s sudden prosperity. The newspaper article correctly predicted that there would soon be a divorce. The second cabinet card, is also photographed by Falk. This photograph provides a close-up image of Lillian Russell and is a testimonial to her beauty. The third cabinet card was published by Newsboy and used by the tobacco company as a premium (#340). The photographer was Falk and the image was copyrighted in 1893. To view a collection cabinet cards by Falk; click on the category “Photographer: Falk”. The fourth cabinet card is another image produced by B. J. Falk. Miss Russell is in costume and is posed provocatively partially behind sheer lace.
This fantastic cabinet card photograph features beautiful theater actress Kate Santley (1837-1923). The photograph was produced by New York City celebrity photographer, Napoleon Sarony. Santley was born in Germany but raised as a child in Charleston, South Carolina. After the outbreak of the civil war in America, Santley left for England. She began her theater career in England and became a well known actress, singer, comedienne, and theater manager. In 1876 she played Wilhelmina in “The Jolly Waterman” at the London Opera Comique. Also in 1876, she started her own theater company and produced and starred in W. S.Gilbert’s “Princess Toto” at the Theatre Royale in Nottingham. Kate Santley was a stage beauty. She was slim and pretty and was frequently photographed for carte de visites, cabinet cards, postcards, and advertising. To view other photographs by this celebrated photographer, click on the category “Photographer: Sarony”.
Julia Marlowe (1865-1950) was born in England and as a young child moved to the United States with her family. In her early teens she began her theatrical career with a juvenile opera company. She began playing Shakespeare in her home town of Cincinnati, Ohio. She made her Broadway debut in 1895 and by the end of her career, had appeared in more than 70 Broadway productions. Her first husband was actor, Robert Tabor. Their marriage lasted six years. In 1904 she appeared in “When Knighthood was in Flower”. Great success in this play brought her financial independence. Earlier, in 1903, she appeared in ‘The Cavalier” and “Ingomar”. The New York Sun wrote about her performance in “Ingomar”; “There is not a woman player in America or in England that is – attractively considered- fit to unlace her shoe”. In 1904 she began a partnership with actor E. H. Sothern. They toured the United States performing various plays of Shakespeare. They were managed by Charles Frohman and later, the Shubert brothers. They were considered to be among the major Shakespearian actors of the day. In 1906, Marlowe played in “Jeanne d’Arc” and also as Salome in “John the Baptist”. Later, Sothern and Marlowe played in London but were not terrific box office successes there. In 1911 Marlowe and Sothern married each other. In 1920 and 1921, they made eleven phonograph recordings for the Victor Company. The top Cabinet Card was produced by Newsboy as a premium for their tobacco products. The photographer was Falk and the image is from 1892.
The second portrait of Julia Marlowe has a notation on the reverse of the card stating “Julia Marlowe Tabor”. Therefore, this photograph was likely taken during the time of her marriage to Tabor (1894-1900). The photographic studio that produced this portrait is Klein & Guttenstein of 164 Wisconsin Street, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Klein and Guttenstein were leading photographers of their time. Wilson’s Photographic Magazine (1902) reveals that the two men were very active in the Photographers Association of Wisconsin and other photography organizations. The photographers were considered part of a network of photographers skilled at producing publicity images of theatrical and vaudeville stars to be used in national magazines and other publications. The New York Public Library has a collection of portraits of actress Blanche Bates; produced by Klein & Guttenstein. The University of Pennsylvania Library has one of Klein & Guttenstein’s portraits of Julia Marlowe.
The third portrait of Julia Marlowe in the cabinet card gallery collection is photographed by Sarony, the famed celebrity photographer located in New York City. This cabinet card is signed by the actress and dated 1890. Additonal photographs by Sarony can be viewed by clicking on the category “Photographers: Sarony”.
The fourth portrait of Miss Marlow features her in role in the production of “Countess Veleska”. The play was adapted for a German work, “The Tall Prussian”, by Rudolph Stratz. The play opened in New York in 1898 at the Knickerbocker Theatre. The review in the New York Times (1898) stated that the “drama was made wholly interesting by the personal charm and sincerity of Miss Marlowe”. In a sarcastic tone, the reviewer comments about Marlowe’s co star, Bassett Roe. The reviewer states that Roe has only two qualities of the man he was playing, “height and good looks”. The reviewer continues his scathing description of Roe; “The only time he actually warmed up was when he accidentally set his hair on fire. Even then he would have let it burn if Miss Marlowe had not gone to his rescue.” The photographic studio that produced the “Countess Veleska” cabinet card was Pach Brothers of New York City. Pach Brothers were photographers known for their photographs of celebrities of their era. To see additional photographs by the Pach Brothers, click on this site’s category of “Photographers: Pach Brothers”.
The fifth portrait of Julia Marlowe appears to be a photograph of the actress in costume for an unknown stage production. The image was photographed by Ye Rose Studio of Providence, Rhode Island. The reverse of the card indicated that the studio was opened in 1886. The studio was located in the Conrad building in downtown Providence. The building still exists. Other photographs by the Ye Rose Studio can be viewed by clicking on the category “Photographer: Ye Rose”.
Portrait number six is an excellent example of the beauty of Julia Marlowe. This image, from 1888, captures Ms. Marlowe at the young age of twenty-three. The photographer of this portrait was B. J. Falk, a celebrity photographer located in New York City, New York. To view other photographs by Falk, click on the category “Photographer: Falk”.
The seventh portrait is another example of a B. J. Falk image. The photograph features a costumed Julia Marlowe in the production of “Cymbeline“. Cymbeline is a play by William Shakespeare that was based on legends about the early Celtic British King, Cunobelinus. The play deals with themes that include innocence and jealousy. Ms. Marlowe plays Imogen, the King’s daughter. Her expression in the photograph shows fear and concern as she looks at someone or something in the distance. Her left hand shades her eyes while her right hand clutches her belted dagger. A stamp on the reverse of this cabinet card reveals that it was formerly owned by Culver Pictures of New York City, New York. Culver Pictures has been collecting photographs and illustrations from the 19th and first half of the 20th century, since 1926. These pictures are used in books, films, and other forms of media. At the time that this cabinet card was stamped by the company, Culver Pictures was located in New York City.
Portrait number eight is a close-up photograph of Miss Marlowe. The photographer of this cabinet card is the studio of Rose & Sands whose gallery was located in Providence, Rhode Island. Note that photograph number five also came from the Rose studio, but at that time, the gallery was called, the Ye Rose studio. The Wilson’s Photographic Magazine (1899) reports that Rose and Sands were the proprietors of Ye Rose. A humorous headline in a photography magazine stated “Providence Provides for All, And Rose Provides for Providence”. Print on the reverse of this cabinet card reveals that the Rose & Sands studio was opened in 1886 and that it specialized in “High Class Portraits from Cabinet to Life Size”. Also of interest, like photograph number seven, there is a stamp on the reverse of the photograph with the name “Culver Pictures Inc”.
Photograph number nine features the beautiful Miss Marlowe displaying a mischievous smile. Note her engaging large eyes. She is wearing a somewhat revealing dress (for the cabinet card era) and has a wonderful hat atop her head. This cabinet card photograph was published in 1888 by Benjamin Falk of New York City. The image is marked with the number sixty-nine.
Portrait number ten is a closeup of Julia Marlowe with her head covered, but with her pretty face very visible. She is likely in costume for this photograph. The photograph is taken by B. J. Falk of New York City and has a copyright date of 1888.
PORTRAIT OF BEAUTIFUL ACTRESS EVANGELINE IRVING (BY CELEBRITY PHOTOGRAPHER WILLIAM McKENZIE MORRISON OF CHICAGO, ILLINOIS)
The previous owner of this photograph, reported the subject to be theatrical actress Evangeline Irving. Visual comparison to other portraits of Evangeline Irving support this identification. Evangeline Irving was an theater actress and the sister of a more successful theater actress named Isabel Irving. See Isabel’s portrait by searching for it in the Cabinet Card Gallery. This photograph was produced by William McKenzie Morrison, the Chicago, Illinois, based celebrity photographer. View other Morrison photographs by clicking on category “Photographer: Morrison”. The New York Times (1895) reported that Evangeline substituted for Isabel in a matinee performance of “The Case of Rebellious Susan”. Isabel was suffering from hoarseness. A number of New York Times (1895, 1896) articles describes a banking fiasco that Evangeline Irving was able to resolve. Her mother had gone to the Lincoln Safe Deposit Company to get twenty thousand dollars worth of bonds out of her box. When she could not find the bonds in the box, she ran out of the vault screaming that she had been robbed. She went home ill, and took to bed. She complained around town and soon her Senator contacted the bank demanding she be compensated with a check replacing her loss. The situation caused many people to run to their banks to see if their safety deposit box holdings had disappeared. Mrs. Irving caused a mini run on the city banks. It took awhile for Mrs. Irving’s daughters to get involved because both of the women were performing out west. Isabel was playing roles with the Lyceum Company and Evangeline was part of Stuart Robson’s Company. Soon, Evangeline came to the bank and after opening the safe deposit box found the bonds tied up in a bundle in the box. An apology was issued to the bank and made public.