This photograph features a military man with a young woman who is likely his wife. The soldier is wearing collar pins that identify him as a member of the United States Volunteers. Members of the USV were enlisted in the army but were separate from units of the regular US Army. Although volunteer regiments existed during the civil war, the USV was not officially named until the Spanish American War in 1898. The volunteer army was a quick way to supplement the regular army during times of war and was unnecessary during times of peace. This portrait was likely taken during or just after the Spanish American War. The photograph is smaller than a cabinet card. It measures 3.5″ x 5.25″. Note that the woman is standing behind the man making him appear much more prominent. It almsost seems like that she was not even in the original pose and that she was superimposed onto his photographic portrait. The photographer is A. W. Judd of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Judd was born in 1846. The book “Chattanooga” (1996) reports that Amos Wilson Judd was a civil war veteran who began his photography business in 1877. His name and studio appears in Chattanooga’s business directories from 1890 through 1920. He died in 1929. He had two brothers who were photographers. His son succeeded him in running his studio. Judd had two portraits appear in Wilson’s Photographic Magazine (1900). The Photo Beacon (1906) states that Judd was the President of the Kentucky/Tennessee Photographers Association. Wilson’s Photographic Magazine (1908) indicates that he held a patent for a photography invention. A confederate soldier named Amos Judd was a member of the 2nd Battalion Georgia Infantry (State Guard), Company B. He mustered in as a private and left the service with the same rank.
A young woman poses for her portrait at the Bishop studio in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. The woman appears pleasant and quite relaxed. Unlike most cabinet card subjects, she is actually displaying a bit of a smile. The photographer, Henry Bishop, is mentioned in some accounts of the Confederate incursion into Pennsylvania during the civil war. According to Historical Reminiscences of the War (1884), published by the Kittochtinny Historical Society, it seems that Bishop met southern General A. P. Hill in the street near his studio. They had a conversation in which General Hill asked Bishop about some of the people he had known in the area while Hill was stationed at nearby Carlisle Barracks before the war. Hill told Bishop that General Lee was on his way to town to meet with him. While he was telling Bishop that Lee was coming, Lee’s approach was seen in the distance. Bishop hurried back to his studio to prepare to capture a picture of General Lee. He opened the studio’s windows and pointed the camera lens out the window. Unfortunately for Bishop, Lee and Hill’s meeting on the street was a brief one, and he was unable to capture the historic scene.
This cabinet card features a couple posing for their portrait at the studio of A. H. Hall in Chatsworth, Illinois. The gentleman has an interesting long and narrow beard, The woman has a dress with many buttons and is wearing a pin on her collar. Note the mans hat is on the floor directly in front of where the couple is sitting. It is not uncommon to see cabinet card portraits that include hats prominently displayed on the floor. Perhaps the hats were viewed as important enough to belong in the picture but it was considered inappropriate to wear hats indoors. The couple in this photograph are identified on the reverse as Joseph and Ella Francis. Investigation reveals that Joseph Francis served in the civil war. In 1864 he enlisted as a private in Company D of the Illinois 45th Infantry Regiment.He mustered out as a private in 1865. The 1880 US census identifies Joseph S. Francis (1846-1930) as a farmer of Irish descent living in Illinois. The 1910 census finds the Ohio born, Francis living in Forrest, Illinois and working as a railroad car inspector. He was 64 years old at the time and living with his wife Ella Svedaker Williamson Francis (1862-1938) and four of their children. The 1930 census that Joseph Francis, at age 84, was still employed. He was working as an assessor for his township. Research found death certificates for both Joseph (1930) and Ella (1938). The photographer of this image was Albert H. Hall. The History of Livingston County (1878) provides a brief biography of Hall. He was born in 1849 and at age 22 went to Chicago to learn the trade of photography. In 1872 he moved to Chartsworth and opened a photography and gem gallery. He married a woman named Dora Knapp.
An angelic looking young girl dressed in white, poses in an artistic portrait at the Drew Studio in Dover, New Hampshire. The little girl does not appear very happy about the process of being photographed. She has corkscrew curls and is wearing hair ribbons. She is sitting cross legged in a white wicker chair. The photographer of this large format image is A. P. Drew. The Dover Enquirer (1896) has an article which mentions Alfred Palmer Drew. In 1896 a “deluge” and subsequent fire destroyed a business block and three bridges in Dover. The flooding sent the stores on the block down the Cocheco River. The photography studio Drew and Boomer was among the stores washed away. The Bulletin of Photography (1917) contains the obituary of A. P. Drew. He died at the age of 81. He had been born in Dover and had worked as a photographer there for more than 50 years. He retired in about 1914. During the civil war he had been a member of the Strafford Guards. The regiment was originally established in 1822 and a year later became part of the New Hampshire State Militia. In 1864 the Strafford Guards were mustered into service of the Union Army for a period of sixty days. They relieved a New Hampshire artillery unit that had been sent to the front. A. P. Drew served as a corporal.
Most people don’t think of Penacook, New Hampshire as the center of turn of the century fashion. However, in 1890, a new fashion trend was born in tiny Penacook. Traditional fashion centers like Paris and New York City were blindsided by the innovative dress designs coming out of Penacook. Reptilian Wear was introduced in 1890 and was overwhelmingly the most well received of all these designs. Penacook area photographers quickly were called upon to sharpen their skills in fashion photography because their services were in high demand by the rapidly growing local clothing industry. This cabinet card was produced by the studio of M. S. Lamprey who began operating in Penacook in 1858. The woman in this image is wearing an excellent example of a Reptilian Wear dress. This particular dress was sold under the Iguana label. The model in this photograph was not identified. She is wearing a necklace from which hangs a cross. If you doubt the veracity of this story; you would be correct to do so. Here is some non fiction commentary about this cabinet card. The photographer is Maurice S. Lamprey (1835-1912). The 1860 census finds Lamprey living with his parents and siblings and working as a varnisher. He enlisted in the 10th New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry in 1862 as a private and was transferred to the Signal Corp which is where he remained throughout the war. The earliest city directory found that lists him as a photographer was from 1872. The 1900 US census reports that Lamprey was 64 years old, living alone, and working as a photographer in Concord. The town of Penacook was named after the Penacook Native American tribe which lived in the area. The town was a village located within the city of Concord. Penacook was involved in the textile industry. The town was located along the Contoocook River. This location attracted the hydro power industry and Penacook became a mill town.
An attractive woman with a tall fancy hat and a scarf poses for her portrait at the Clark studio in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The photographer of this image is Forester Clark. He was cited in the Photographic Times (1988) because his eight year=old daughter Eva wrote a letter to then President Grover Cleveland which included six winter and six summer views of Pittsfield street scenes. She received a reply from the President with the salutation of “My Dear Young Friend”, and the letter went on to say, among other things, that he found the photographs very interesting. Clark is also mentioned in the Photographic Journal of America (1893) for announcing that he was leaving Pittsfield (he lived there 21 years) and moving to Montpelier, Vermont to become treasurer of the Excelsior Granite Works. The article reported that Clark had taken 31,000 negatives while in Pittsfield. Clark was a veteran of the civil war. He enlisted in 1861 and was discharged in 1862 with the rank of Private. He was a member of the 5th Wisconsin Infantry. The 1880 US census reveals that Clark was born in Vermont in 1836. He married his wife, Emma, in 1862. He had four children aged one through thirteen. The 1900 census found Clark living in the Bronx, New York with his wife and two of his children. He was employed as a granite salesman. The 1910 census indicates that Clark was living in Cheshire, Massachusetts with his wife and that at 73 years-old, he was working once again as a photographer.
A pretty and elegant looking young woman poses for her portrait at the Singhi studio in Rockland, Maine. She is beautifully dressed and wearing a watch chain emanating from a watch in her dress pocket. She appears very business-like. The photographer was named John F. Singhi (1834-1906). He was a native of Maine but his father was born in Italy. Mr. Singhi was a participant in the Civil War. He entered the Union Army as a Private in the 4th Infantry Regiment of Maine. He was mustered in in April, 1861 and mustered out in July,, 1864. He was promoted to Corporal in 1862. Upon entry into the army, he was listed as a leader of the company band and Fife Major. The fourth regiment was assembled in Rockland. In all, 144o men served in the regiment during the war and 170 of them died in or from battle. Forty men died in Confederate prisons and 137 soldiers died from disease. The Fourth Regiment participated in many major battles including The First Bull Run, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg. After the service, he worked as a photographer. He was listed in Rockland city directories as a photographer from 1877 through 1897. In addition to soldiering, music and photography; John Singhi liked to get married. He especially liked marrying younger women. The 1870 US census revealed that John lived with a woman named Frances who was presumably his wife. In 1872 he married Hannah C. Bartlett. John and Hannah were reported in the 1880 census. John was 46 while his wife was 31. In 1898, John married Caroline Look who was 17 years his junior. In 1901, John married Georgie Dow, a woman who was 13 years younger than him. In 1906, John Singhi died at age 72. His death certificate listed his cause of death to be “Shock (Paralysis)”. From that description, one imagines he died from a stroke. Perhaps cavorting with his numerous younger wives was deleterious to his health.
The subject of this cabinet card was a victim of mistaken identity. The gentleman in this image was identified as the ninth Governor of the state of Pennsylvania, David R. Porter. The previous owner of this photograph made the identification. After I purchased the card, I did some research and learned that David Porter was born in 1788 and died in 1867. The style of this photograph originated long after Porter’s death and I became upset at myself for beginning the identity confirmation process after paying for the photograph rather than before making the purchase. I had violated one of my basic rules for purchasing photographs of famous people. Fortunately, this story has a happy ending. Further research determined that the subject of the photograph is actually David Porter’s son, Horace Porter, who also was quite an accomplished man. The reverse of the photograph has an inscription “Amb. Porter” and this was the lead I followed to make the correct identity. The whole process was a bit of an emotional roller coaster. I went from feeling foolish, as well as angry at the previous owner’s unintentional incorrect identification; to feeling happy about identifying the subject as a man who played an integral part in American history. Horace Porter (1837-1921) is most well known for his activities during the civil war. He served as a Lieutenant Colonel, Ordnance Officer, and Staff Officer in the Union Army. In 1866 he was appointed brevet Brigadier General in the U. S. Army. He was also personal secretary to General and President Ulysses S. Grant and to General William Sherman. Later, he was the Vice President of th Pullman Palace Car Company and the United States ambassador to France (1897-1905). Horace Porter was born in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania. As stated earlier, he was the son of David R. Porter who who served as Pennsylvania’s Governor. His cousin, Andrew Porter was a Mexican-American War veteran and Union Army Brigadier General. Horace Porter was educated at Harvard University and graduated from West Point in 1860. He was distinguished in the Battle of Fort Pulaski (Georgia), Chickamauga, the Battle of the Wilderness, and New Market Heights. He received the Medal of Honor for his efforts at Chickamauga. He later wrote a memoir “Campaigning With Grant” (1897). The name of the photographer of this image is uncertain. It is difficult to decipher his printed name on the bottom of this photograph. Owners of other images produced by this photographer refer to him as “Pessford”. The script on the photograph could also be interpreted as “Bessford”. There was a photographer in Hudson, Wisconsin listed by the 1880 census as James Bessford, but no evidence could be found linking him to this photograph. POSTNOTE: The photographer has been identified by a cabinet card gallery visitor as Joseph G. Gessford. Check out this entry’s comment section for the visitor’s informative and interesting contribution.
This cabinet card is chock full of history. The photograph features three young Native Americans posing for their portrait at the studio of Christopher Charles Stotz (1851-1932), in El Reno, Oklahoma Territory. The subjects of this image are likely siblings. The young women are wearing identical dresses and are adorned with rings and beautiful earrings. The specific Indian tribe that these three young people represent, is unknown. Oklahoma was the home of many Indian Tribes including Pawnee, Creek, Apache, Arapaho, Choctaw, and others. Many tribes were relocated there from other states. As mentioned earlier, the photographer of this cabinet card is C. C. Stotz and his studio was located in El Reno, Oklahoma Territory. Oklahoma became a state in 1907 which means that this photograph was taken before that year. El Reno is located in central Oklahoma, about 25 miles from Oklahoma City. Fort Reno was built in 1874 and it’s first commander was Civil War hero, General Philip Sheridan. Sheridan named the fort after his friend, General Jesse L. Reno, who was killed in the Civil War. The fort was near the Cheyenne-Arapaho reservation. One of the fort’s missions was to “protect” the “Five Civilized Tribes”. This group was comprised of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole tribes. Employing the term “civilized tribe” was evidence of the special prejudice held against the tribes not among the designated five civilized tribes. Tribes described as civilized were tribes that had adopted many of the customs and values that were held by European-Americans at the time. Who was C. C. Stotz? Stotz was born in Columbia, Pennsylvania. He established a studio in El Reno in 1889; the same year El Reno was founded. Therefore, this photograph was taken between 1889 (El Reno founded) and 1907 (Oklahoma statehood). During the 1880′s and 1890′s, he made field and studio photographs of Southern Plains Indians. Stotz is an acclaimed early photographer of Native American’s and Native American life.
Florence Mette Young poses for her portrait at the studio of Fred S. Crowell, in Mount Vernon, Ohio. Florence is well dressed and apparently likes jewelry. She is wearing two rings, two bracelets and a necklace. Florence appears to be deep in thought. What might she be pondering about? The 1880 U.S. census reveals that she was born in 1862 and at the time of the census, she was living with her parents, Charles and Angelina Young. Her father was a farmer and her mother was a homemaker. The photographer of this cabinet card, Fred S. Crowell, can also be found in the 1880 census.He was born in 1844 and lived with his wife Ella, and their three children. Other research reveals that there was a Fred Crowell from the Mount Vernon area who enlisted in the 142nd Regiment of the Ohio Infantry during the Civil War.. He served only during 1864. Crowell trained as a photographer under Anna Payne, and worked in the profession in Norwalk, Sandusky, and Cleveland, Ohio. He then opened his own studio in Fredericktown in 1866. In 1869, he moved to Mount Vernon where he established another photography studio that was in business until at least 1889. To view other photographs by Crowell, click on the category “Photographer: Crowell”.