This photograph features an attractive young couple posing at the studio belonging to Algot Anderson in St. Paul, Minnesota. The couple are well dressed and well coiffed. This is one very cool couple. Algot Anderson worked in St. Paul from 1894 through 1926.The photograph measures 5″ x 7″ and is in excellent condition.
This Spanish American War era soldier is dressed, armed and ready to deploy. Note his long rifle and the bayonet he is wearing on his side. He is wearing two medals, one which the previous owner of the photograph identified as signifying that he was the son of a Union civil war veteran. This photograph was taken at Dempsie Portraits which was located at 316 Nicollet Avenue in Minneapolis, Minnesota. George M. Dempsie began operating in Minneapolis in about 1887 and worked until at least 1910. He was at the Nicollet Avenue address between 1889 and 1910. He operated under the names of Dempsie’s New Photographic Rooms, Dempsie Portraits, and Dempsie & Andrews. At various times he employed his sons George R. Dempsie and Guy C. Dempsie.
A well dressed family looks quite handsome as they pose for their portrait at the Christensen studio in Duluth, Minnesota. The father is wearing an unusual tie while the son is wearing a more traditional tie and a wing tipped collar shirt. The mother is wearing a pin on the neckline of her dress. The photographer of this cabinet card is John Christensen. The Bulletin of Photography (1916) reported that Christensen was one of several Duluth photographers who signed a petition urging the licensing of traveling photographers who passed through the city. The petition stated that these traveling photographers enlarged pictures at very low prices but then compelled people to purchase very expensive frames. They also charged customers in advance to enlarge family photos and then left town without doing the work or returning the treasured photographs.
Members of the cast of the American Western movie “The Magnificent Seven” (1960) pose for a group picture in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota. These seven gunmen were hired to protect a small Mexican agricultural village from a gang of marauding bandits. The cast included Charles Bronson (back row left), Steve McQueen, Yul Brynner, James Coburn, Robert Vaughn, and Eli Wallach. Wait a minute! Even though the Charles Bronson guy really looks like Charles Bronson, how could the cast of a 1960 movie appear in a turn of the century cabinet card photograph? In addition, what would Hollywood actors be doing in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota if they are in a film where the locale is Mexico? Besides that, is there really a town called Sleepy Eye? It’s time for a confession. The men in this photograph are not members of a movie cast even though I could almost swear that the guy in the back row is Charles Bronson. In regard to the existence of a town named Sleepy Eye; yes it does exist. The town of Sleepy Eye is named after Chief Sleepy Eye, or Ishtakhaba. He was a chief of the Sioux tribe and happened to have droopy eye lids. He was one of four Sioux Indians to meet President James Monroe in 1824 in Washington D.C.. This image was produced by Sleepy Eye photographer S. C. Madsen who also had a studio in New Ulm, Minnesota. He operated in Sleepy Eye between 1884 and 1892 and had a studio in New Ulm in 1888. Since this cabinet card advertises the New Ulm studio on the reverse of the photograph, this photograph was likely taken in 1888. Who are the men in the picture? Unfortunately, they are not identified. They appear to be businessmen from town but that of course is just a guess (two of the men have papers in their shirt pocket). Three of the men in the bottom row have their arms crossed resting on their abdomen. The fourth gentleman apparently didn’t get the message from the photographer who posed them. The man on the far right of the top row must have just finished the all you can eat buffet at the Silver Dollar Saloon judging by the tightness of his shirt.
This photograph features a very handsome man posing for his portrait at the studio of Skrin Seth in Crookston, Minnesota. My spelling of the photographer’s name is questionable since his name is partially illegible as printed on the front of the photograph. The subject of this photograph has glamorous looks and is wearing a fur coat. He is identified on the reverse of the card but once again there is a legibility problem. His name is either “Mr. E. McKenzie” or “N. E. McKenzie”. Research revealed no biographical information about the image’s subject or about the photographer.
YOUNG WOMAN UNDER AN UMBRELLA AND EVEN YOUNGER BOY DRESSED IN “LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY” STYLE IN LITTLE FALLS, MINNESOTA
A young woman and an even younger boy pose for their portrait at Moe’s Studio in Little Falls, Minnesota. One can only guess about their relationship. Are they mother and son? Could they be brother and sister? The answer to these questions will likely remain unknown. The woman under the umbrella appears pensive. She is wearing a hat and holding gloves. The boy is dressed in the popular “Little Lord Fauntleroy” style that was in fashion at the time of the photograph. No information could be found about Moe or Moe’s Studio. The last name “Moe” appears to have been a popular name in Little Falls around the turn of the century. The name was of Norwegian origin.
Two women dressed in winter coats pose for their portrait at Boyer Brothers studio in West Superior, Wisconsin. They appear well prepared for the winter scene that is hanging behind them. Both women are holding books in their arms. Unlike most subjects appearing in cabinet cards, these two ladies are smiling. The Boyer Brothers include Hans R. Boyer, Henry Boyer, and Robert H. Boyer. The brothers worked in various combinations and in a number of partnerships in Superior, Wisconsin and Duluth, Minnesota. They were associated with studios from the 1880s through the 1910′s.
A father and his child pose in their winter clothing for photographer J. P. Benjamin in Pipestone, Minnesota. Both are wearing outer coats and snow hats. No biographical information could be found concerning the photographer of this cabinet card. Pipestone is located in southwest Minnesota. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow mentioned the beautiful stone area around Pipestone in one of his poems (Hiawatha). The town was established by two settlers who wanted to visit the site mentioned in the poem. A pipestone quarry is located about a mile north of the town and it was named a National Monument in 1937.
This cabinet card is a family portrait of a nicely dressed young couple and their baby. Mom and dad are wearing flowers and mom appears to be holding a cane or umbrella. The photograph was produced by the Flodin & Thyberg Photographic Art Studio in Worcester, Massachusetts. The photograph is dated 1889. Photographer, Ferdinand Flodin was born in Stockholm, Sweden in 1863.He came to America in 1883 and studied photography in Boston with a well known photographer named Ernest Ritz. He then studied under renowned Boston photographer, William Notman. He moved to Worcester in 1887 and partnered with August Thyberg in opening a gallery. After a time, Thyberg withdrew from the business. Flodin was a very productive writer. He had several articles published in photography journals. He also wrote an illustrated book on Sweden. In addition, he wrote an article which appeared in “Photographic Mosaics: Annual Record of Photographic Progress” (1895). The article was entitled “Our Reception-Room Showcase”. The Wilson Photographic Magazine (1903) reported that Flodin returned to Sweden in 1898 and operated a studio in Stockholm. The magazine article includes some excellent photographs of the Swedish gallery. August Thyberg was born in Sweden in 1863. He immigrated to the United States in 1884. His wife, Alma, was also Swedish. The United States census provides further information about Thyberg. In 1900, he was living in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and working as a merchant. In 1910, he lived in Springfield, Massachusetts and worked as a blacksmith. In 1920, he lived in Minneapolis and owned a shoe business. The 1930 census finds Thyberg retired in Minneapolis. It is safe to say, that unlike his one-time partner, Flodin; Thyberg had a difficult time sticking to an occupation.
This cabinet card presents an enigma. How can this photograph be interpreted? The image features, what are likely, three sisters, gathered around a table. Each of the young woman is holding a book, but only one of the three has their book open. So? What’s the enigma? The mystery concerns the fact that prominently displayed on the table is a picture frame without a picture. The missing picture hasn’t wandered too far away. It can be seen lying on the table, face up, in front of the frame. Hopefully, a cabinet card gallery visitor will leave a comment with their hypothesis as to why the frame and picture are separated in this image. The photographer of this portrait was Theodore A.Wirsing (1865-1938) of Montague, Michigan. Research about Wirsing yielded confusing information. He is reported to have had a studio in Annandale, Minnesota in 1902 and a studio in Maple Lakes, Minnesota in 1902 and 1914. Another source states that Wirsing ran his gallery in Montague between 1890 and 1910. He and his wife, Lillian Bovee Wirsing (1865-1930) are buried in Michigan. Wirsing can also be found in four United States census reports. In 1900, he was living in a boarding house in Corinna, Minnesota, and working as a photographer. He was unmarried. In 1910, Wirsing was living in Annandale, Minnesota and listed as a photographer. .He was also married. In 1920, he was still living in Annandale, Minnesota and he was managing a photographic gallery. In 1930, the 64 year-old, Wirsing, and his wife, were living in Bellingham, Washington. The census also states that Theodore Wirsing was working as a carpenter in Bellingham.