YOUNG WOMAN’S GRADUATION PORTRAIT IN PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA

PHILLIE GRAD LADYMeet Pauline Huber Ely. You are looking at what appears to be her graduation picture. She is wearing a fancy dress and holding a rolled scroll that is likely a diploma. She also has a hand fan at her side.The photographer is Husted & Company which was located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Draper and Husted were partners in a studio during the 1860′s and 1870′s.  Joseph Husted was featured in a brief article in the American Journal of Photography (1887) which praised his child portrait work.

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Published in: on December 21, 2013 at 12:55 pm  Leave a Comment  
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AFRICAN AMERICAN MAN IN HIS SUNDAY BEST IN WEST PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA

afr amer phildlpha_0002This cabinet card features an African American man posing for his portrait at the Prentzel & McCollin studio in West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is likely dressed in his Sunday’s best for this photograph. Cabinet card portraits of African Americans are not commonplace. To view a collection of such images, click on cabinet card gallery’s category “African Americans”. One source identifies the photographers as Frank Prentzel and Carl J. McCollin. No confirmation could be located. In fact, research found several sources mentioning a cabinet card era photographer in Philadelphia named Thomas McCollin.

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Published in: on December 15, 2013 at 12:01 pm  Comments (1)  
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ANNA SARAH KUGLER MD: AN ACCOMPLISHED AND ADMIRABLE CITIZEN OF THE WORLD

dr anna kugle_0006It is not the quality of the image that makes this photograph special. This is a unique photograph because of the identity of the subject. Meet Dr. Anna S. Kugler. Anna Sarah Kugler (1856-1930) provided 47 years of service ministering to the spiritual and physical health of the people of southern India. She was the second female missionary and the first female medical missionary sent by the General Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the United States. She was born in Ardmore, Pennsylvania in 1856. In 1879 she graduated from Women’s Medical College in Philadelphia. She did her internship at Norristown State Asylum in 1880. Two years later, after receiving a cleric’s invitation to come work in India to help resolve the major health issues faced by poor Indian women, Kugler decided to take on the challenge. She sailed for India in 1883 and was disappointed that her appointment as a missionary was directed at teaching, not providing medical care. She hoped to change the church’s mind on that matter. During her first year in India she found time to see over 400 patients and still take care of her teaching responsibilities of the Muslim harem women. In 1884 she became the director of the Hindu Girls School, a post she kept for three years. Finally, in 1885, she was appointed a medical missionary. In 1893 she opened a hospital and dispensary in Guntur, India. Over time she established specialized pediatric, maternity, and surgical units in the hospital. After Kugler’s death, the hospital was named after her. Have you heard this quote? “Well behaved women seldom make history”. Women who went to medical school in the 1870′s were likely not considered well behaved because they were entering into a man’s profession. Going to India and working with the poor was also probably seen as outside the realm of being a woman. Thank goodness Dr Anna S Kugler ignored gender boundaries because she accomplished great things and certainly “made history”. This photograph was produced by the Phillips studio in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. To view other photographs by Mr. Phillips, click on the category “Photographer: Phillips”. Phillip’s subjects among his images in the Cabinet Card Gallery include theater great, Ethel Barrymore. At the time of this photograph, Phillips operated his studio at 1206 Chestnut Street. A biographer called Henry C. Phillips (1843-1911)  “A pillar of photography in Philadelphia”. He began working as a photographer while still in his teens. He opened his first studio on Chestnut Street in 1862. He partnered with Samuel Broadbent between 1868 and 1874. (To view other photographs by Broadbent, click on the category “Photographer: Broadbent). After that partnership and another brief one, he opened his 1206 Chestnut studio and it operated for 36 years under Henry and than his two sons, Howard and Ryland. Henry Phillips was a portrait artist and on the side, he was a celebrity photographer. He did not like to use painted backdrops in his portraits. He preferred to photograph faces and figures against neutral or blank backgrounds. Photographs from the studio that utilized painted backgrounds were usually the work of Ryland.

MRS JAMES BROWN POTTER (SOCIALITE AND THEATRE ACTRESS)

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In writing about Mrs James Brown Potter, an author stated “She was singularly beautiful with her pale delicate chiseled face, long dark eyes, and hair like burnished bronze with copper lights”. Mrs Brown Potter (1859-1936) was born Mary Cora Urquhart,  the daughter of a wealthy  New Orleans Colonel. She was one of the first American society women to join the stage. In 1877 she married a very wealth New York socialite, James Brown Potter. That same year she made her stage debut at Theatre Royal in Brighton, England. Soon thereafter, she partnered with actor Kyrle Bellew and they frequently performed together over a ten year period. She performed in the United States and in Europe. She retired from the stage in 1912. She was active in raising money for war charities during the Second Boer War. Mrs Brown Potter was considered a competent actress, but not an outstanding performer. In this photograph, Mrs. Potter looks very beautiful as she peers through a curtained doorway. Her gown was likely made by the best dress makers of the time and was assuredly very expensive. Falk, the photographer of this cabinet card, was a famous celebrity photographer in New York City. To see other photographs by Falk, click on the category “Photographer: Falk”.

The second photograph of Cora Potter was photographed by Kuebler of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She appears to be in costume and is clearly a beautiful woman with fetching eyes. To view other photographs by and to learn more about Kuebler, click on the category “Photographer: Kuebler”.

The third photograph of Mrs Potter was produced by Jose Maria Mora, a celebrity photographer based in New York City. The image was part of a series (#7). To view other photographs by this photographer, click on the category “Photographer: Mora”. Mrs Potter looks quite elegant in this cabinet card portrait. Her hat can best be described as “floral”. The photograph is stamped on the reverse with the name of the gallery that originally sold it (“John Hoch Art Store, 118 Court Street, Boston”). Hoch’s obituary appears in the Bulletin of Photography and the article reports that he was the first among Boston’s photographers to sell photographs of celebrities. He had been engaged in the photography and picture frame business in Boston for more than fifty years. The obituary mentions that he was of German heritage and was 84 years old at the time of his death. His cause of death was cerebral hemorrhage.

PRETTY WOMAN IN WHITE WITH LOTS OF BLING

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A curly haired woman in a white dress poses a bit provocatively in the studio of Chandler & Scheetz in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  She is radiating bling. Note the amount of jewelry that she is wearing. She has a brooch, necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and a ring. She is appears to be holding a purse. To view other photographs by Chandler & Scheetz and to learn more about these photographers, click on the category “Photographer: Chandler & Scheetz”.

GENTLEMAN WITH A NOTABLE BEARD IN PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA

phillie beard_0005Regular visitors to the Cabinet Card Gallery know that this writer has a bit of an obsession with photographs of interesting beards and mustaches. The fellow posing for this cabinet card earns a spot in the “Beards (Only the Best) category. You can view the beard collection by clicking on the aforementioned category. A. M. Gorman of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, produced this image of an interesting looking gentleman. Research yielded some surprising information about the photographer. A. M. Gorman is a female photographer whose full name was Annie M. Gorman. She was listed as a photographer in the 1881 Philadelphia city directory. She also appears in the 1880 US census which lists her occupation as photographer. At the time of the census she was 36 years old and single. To view other women photographers, click on the category “Female Photographers”.

HANDSOME DEVIL IN ALLENTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA

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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. To view other photographs by Lindenmuth, click on the category “Photographer: Lindenmuth”.

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THEATER ACTOR H. J. MONTAGUE AND HIS CHECKERED TIE AND JACKET

MONTAGUE_0003One wouldn’t think that a man could wear a checkered tie with a checkered jacket and still look dashing, but theater actor H. J. Montague is able to accomplish this feat. The photographer of this cabinet card portrait is theater specialist, Jose Mora. To view more of his celebrity photographs, click on category “Photographer: Mora”. The reverse of this image has an address and a return address as if it had been mailed. However, there is no stamp or postmark. The photograph is addressed to a “Jane Mure” in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The script is written in very ornate calligraphy. Surprisingly, both the return and sending addresses have Philadelphia zip codes. Since zip codes are from the twentieth century (1963), it appears that someone may have added the ornate script to give the card more character but wasn’t aware, or not thinking about, the relative recent introduction of the zip code system. Henry James Montague (1844-1878) was the stage name of Henry James Mann. He was an American actor born in England. He appeared in T W Robertson’s comedies in London and in 1870 was a founder of London’s Vaudeville Theater. He came to the United States in 1874 and made quite a splash. He became a matinee idol. George Odell wrote that Montague was “a perfect specimen of refined English Manhood”. He was said to have “made other leading men seem boorish, ill dressed and possibly a bit vulgar”. Montague died quite young, about 34 years old. According to the New York Times (1878) while playing a role in a San Francisco production, he fell extremely ill from a “hemorrhage of the lungs”. He required medical attention from some theater goers and was taken to a hotel to recuperate. He rallied only briefly. During a visit from friends he became acutely ill and his last words as he was dying were reported to be,  “It’s no use, I am going boys; God bless you”. The New York Times covered his funeral. Attendees of his funeral include the “A” list of that era’s theater world. Mourners included Lester Wallack, Kate Claxton, Rose Coghlan, and Maud Granger. The afore mentioned three actresses all have portraits that can be viewed in the Cabinet Card Gallery by utilizing the search box.

PRETTY YOUNG WOMAN IN PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA

PHILLIE LADY_0008A pretty young woman with her hair up, wears a scarf and necklace as she poses for her portrait at the Chillman studio in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. To learn more about P. E. Chillman and to view a collection of his photographs, click on the category “Photographer: Chillman”.

 

Published in: on April 7, 2013 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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MOTHER AND DAUGHTER DRAMA IN LEHIGHTON, PENNSYLVANIA

This portrait features a mother and her daughter posing at the Bretney studio in Lehighton, Pennsylvania. There appears to be some sort of emotional situation occurring during the taking of this photograph. The mother in the image seems none too pleased, while her daughter appears to be consoling her. The reverse of the photograph indicates the daughter’s name is Molly. It appears that Molly has to be strong for her mother, as her mother has suffered some sort of a loss. The History of Carbon County, Pennsylvania (1912) reports that Clement H. Bretney was the leading photographer of Lehighton. He was born in Mahoning, Pennsylvania in 1873.  After leaving public school he studied art as a private pupil of H. Parker Rolfe of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Next he studied at Curtis-Taylor Studio in Philadelphia. He then worked with W. D. Rishel, a Lehighton photographer. Bretney bought Rishel’s studio in 1899. It is also reported that Bretney was a “dealer in Kodaks” and carried a large stock of photographic supplies. Langdon’s list of 19th and early 20th century photographers asserts that Bretney operated his studio until 1905.

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