Two uniformed men strike an affectionate pose for a studio photographer in Kansas City, Missouri. Magnifying the photograph did not help definitively determine if the men were railroad conductors, firemen, police officers, or some other uniformed occupation. The photographer of this image is the Driffill studio. Mrs. Kittie Driffill operated a photography studio at 615 West 6th Street, in Kansas City. City business directories confirm that she had a studio in Kansas City between at least 1887 and 1910. According to the 1900 United States Census, Kittie worked the business with her son Edward Mack. In 1907 she worked with her husband Thomas Driffill.. Kittie Driffill also used the first name of Katherine.
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.