I wanted to utilize a headline for this entry that stated “Eerie Child in Erie” but this child is too adorable to be described as “eerie”. What a shame! It would have been a clever headline. This photograph captures a well dressed child with long rolls of curls and a terrific smile. I believe the child is a boy and he is holding what appears to be a walking stick or a riding crop. This cute child is wearing a short suit and high topped shoes. The photographer is F. J. Weber who operated photography studios from the 1870′s to at least through the 1890′s in Erie. During part of that time, Weber’s firm was called F. J. Weber& Brother. His brother’s name was Charles H. Weber. In their book “The Photographic Experience 1839-1914: Images and Attitudes” (1994), Henisch and Henisch cite Weber & Brother as having a warning printed on the reverse of their CDVs which cautioned people not to use fly-by-night photographers. The warning stated “Do not trust your pictures to be copied by travelling photographer bummers who make great promises and generally deliver very poor work”.
J. W. Clark, a photographer from Mendota, Illinois, produced this lovely portrait of a young couple. The pair are beautifully dressed and are wearing flowers. This photograph is likely their wedding portrait. Note the young man’s striped suit and long coat. In addition, take notice of the beautiful stitching near the hem of the woman dress. J. W. Clark was born in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania in 1852. In 1881 he began to operate a photography business, succeeding J. L. Gurrard.
A handsome well dressed and devilish looking man poses for his portrait at Lindenmuth’s studio which was located at 24 North 6th Street in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He looks terrific in his three piece suit and his well groomed beard and handlebar mustache. Writing on the reverse of the photograph dates the image as being produced in 1899. The photographer of this portrait is primarily known for his work as an artist. Arlington Nelson Lindenmuth (1856-1950) was an American landscape and portrait painter who lived and painted in Allentown and the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania native was a member of the “Baum Circle”., the group of artists either were taught by or influenced by Pennsylvania impressionist painter, Walter Emerson Baum. Lindenmuth was also one of the earliest professional photographers in the Lehigh Valley area. He opened his first studio in Allentown in 1881. Prior to that, he operated studios in Tamaqua, Philadelphia, and Pottstown. All three cities are in Pennsylvania. As early as 1862, Lindenmuth was also employed as a traveling sales representative for Eastman Kodak.
A cute little girl wearing a long gown stands on a wicker chair and looks directly at the photographer. The photographer is the Gray Studio of Easton, Pennsylvania. William Gray is listed as a photographer in various Easton business directories from 1894 through 1916. He was married to Annie Gray. William Gray is also cited in the 1940 US census and it is reported that he was born in 1867 and was a native of Maryland.
This cabinet card is not a terrific image. However, there is something about the subjects eyes that compensates for the photograph’s deficits. The teen sisters pictured in this photograph have lovely eyes. An inscription on the reverse of the image reveals that the older sister is sixteen years old while the younger girl is fourteen years old. The photograph was taken in 1893. The inscription does not identify the girls names. The photographer was the Gillespie studio in New Castle, Pennsylvania. In 1857 S. M.Gillepsie (1832-1906?) began his photography career as an apprentice to a photographer named Johnston in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1862 he opened his own gallery in New Castle. He was married to Henrietta Harper in 1859.
A young girl with long curls, wearing a gingham dress and lace collar, poses while standing on a wicker chair. She offers the camera a lovely smile. The Seavy and Fowler studio of New Castle, Pennsylvania produced this lovely portrait. To view other photographs by this studio, click on the category “Photographer: Seavy & Fowler”.
This cabinet card appears to feature a Reading wedding couple. The couple is well dressed and the bride is wearing a feathered hat instead of a veil which lends some doubt to the wedding theory. The woman is wearing and holding flowers. Note her thin waist and his large hands. The photographer is John D. Strunk who operated in Reading, Pennsylvania. To view other photographs by Strunk, click on the category “Photographer: Strunk”.
ADORABLE LITTLE GIRL WEARING HER FANCIEST CLOTHES TAKES A FAKE STROLL IN A FAUX PARK IN READING, PENNSYLVANIA
The subject of this photograph is a darling little girl with sausage curls under a fancy hat. She is seen faking a walk in a faux park. The little girl is holding a parasol. The photographer of this image is John D. Strunk of Reading, Pennsylvania. To view other photographs by Strunk and to learn more about him, click on the category “Photographer: Strunk”.
The previous owner of this cabinet card described the subjects in the photographs as “thugs”, ”ne’er do wells”, and “arrogant”. We will never know if these are fitting descriptions but that is one of the reasons that collecting and viewing cabinet cards is such an interesting and fun activity. Interpreting these photographs require a knowledge of history, detective work, and psychological awareness. In addition, our interpretations of the photographs are also influenced by our own personalities, experiences, and projections. This particular photograph certainly shows three guys with attitude. They dressed nicely for their portrait. The seated man looks like a tough guy and the expression of the gentleman behind his right shoulder seems to communicate that he is ready for a confrontation. The photographer of this cabinet card is W. C. Bell.