A pretty young woman is featured in this portrait by the Lenhart studio in Allentown, Pennsylvania. This bright eyed woman is wearing earrings and a collar pin.To learn more about Lenhart and to view more of his photographs, click on the category “Photographer: Lenhart”.
A distinguished looking older gentleman poses for his portrait at the Steckel studio in Los Angeles, California. The subject is very well dressed and has neatly cut hair, a walrus mustache, and a nicely shaped beard. The beard is shaped like the letter “V”. (To view other noteworthy beards, click on the category “Beards (Only the Best). Note that the gentleman is wearing a lapel pin which is probably representing a fraternal organization. George Steckel (1864-1938) was a highly skilled photographer and won many important awards for his work. In the book “Los Angeles from the Mountains to the Sea” (1921), author, John Steven McGroarty, provides some biographical informaion about the photographer. Stecker was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania and dropped out of public schools at age thirteen. He then worked for a photography studio for two years. He moved to Philadelphia and did photography work there. He then returned to Allentown and opened his own studio which was in business for three years. His next stop was Kansas City, where he worked in the Real Estate field until 1888. He then travelled to Los Angeles and opened a studio, partnering with Joseph H. Lamson (see images by Lamson by clicking on category “Photographer: Lamson”). The partnership eroded after two years, and Stecker opened his own studio in Las Angeles. It is interesting to note that posters made from his 1894 photograph of Eugen Sandow (1867-1925), nude, with the exception of strategically placed fig leaf, are available for sale today. Sandow was a Prussian pioneering body-builder who was a celebrity of his era.
This cabinet card features a family portrait taken at the Lenhart’s studio in Allentown, Pennsylvania. There is a real contrast of facial expressions between mother and father in this image. The mother of this family appears calm and bright eyed; and she has a pleasant smile. The father is looking quite haggard, depressed, and disoriented. Maybe he is finding the children exhausting, or perhaps; he has fallen upon hard economic times. Writing on the reverse of the photograph provides the answer. “Well I’m living here in Allentown. And it’s hard to keep a good man down. But I won’t be getting up today. And its getting very hard to stay. And we’re living here in Allentown”. Ok. These words are not really on the back of the image. The words are actually lyrics to Billy Joel’s hit song, “Allentown”. Sorry, I couldn’t resist the temptation. The photographer of this cabinet card is Thomas Lenhart. He was a talented photographer and one of his photographs is exhibited in the American Museum of Photography. The cabinet card displayed is a double self portrait. It is called a double self portrait because the image captures Lenhart taking a photograph of himself. In other words, he assumes two different poses in the same photograph. Lenhart is known to have operated in Allentown between 1894 and 1899. It is very possible that he was located there before and after those years; but no documentation for other years has been found. To view other photographs by Lenhart, click on cabinet card gallery’s category “Photographer: Lenhart”.