This cabinet card captures four fabulously dressed gents posing for their photograph. The men are showing affection toward each other in this image. The gentlemen are sportily dressed; note the striped sport jacket. Their hats are interesting and varied. One man is smoking a pipe. The photographer’s name and the location of the studio are unknown.
Mr E. H. Chapman posed for this cabinet card photograph at the studio of J. S. Wooley in Ballston, New York. He inscribed the back of this card indicating that he turned 67 years old on September 17th, 1895. He gave the card to an unidentified person, to mark the occassion. Mr Chapman’s eyes show a certain wisdom that only comes with age. His pipe and straw hat add much character to the image of this older gentleman. Ballston, NY is in Saratoga County, and north of Schenectady. Research reveals that Edw H Chapman was President of the Ballston town board in 1856 and was involved in the manufacture of woolen goods and in 1867 had a business manufacturing bricks. Research also reveals that the photographer of this cabinet card is Jesse Sumner Wooley (1867-1943). At age 13 he worked for a photographer in Saratoga and in 1887 he opened his own photographic studio in Ballston Spa. He became a noted photographer as a result of his taking expeditions and chronicling them in the form of lantern slide/stereoptic lectures. In 1893 he and noted landscape photographer Seneca Ray Stoddard took a photographic expedition exploring the Adirondacks and they prepared a photographic lecture about this trip. Wooley also took similar expeditions to Florida (preparing a photographic historical presentation), the Chicago Exposition (Worlds Fair), New York City (100th anniversary of George Washington’s inaugaration), and to California (Yellowstone National Park). The Florida stereoptic lecture is one of the few professional lantern slide/stereoptic lectures that survive today.