Theater actress Miss Alma Stanley is the subject of this cabinet card portrait by talented photographer Marc Gambier. To view other photographs by Gambier, click on the category “Photographer: Gambier. In this photograph, Miss Stanley is in costume and wearing a military style uniform with sash and sword. She appears to be saluting or staring into the distance and shielding her eyes from a fictional sun. This full body photograph highlights her thin waist. The photograph is a bit risque for its time. The backdrop and the scenery are expertly done. She truly appears to be standing outdoors. Alma Stanley (1853-1931) was a multi-talented English entertainer. She was an actress, dancer, comedienne, and singer. She appeared in such roles as Little Don Caesar de Bazan. A theater magazine reported that Miss Stanley was the daughter of an English army officer who named her Alma in honor of the battle in the Crimea War. The battle of Alma occurred in 1854 and Alma Stanley was born in 1853 so the story of how she received her name likely falls under the realm of ”public relations”. She made her first stage appearance in Milan in 1872 and her first English appearance in the following year. Her New York debut occurred in 1880. She performed with D’Oyly Carte Opera Company as well as with Tony Pastor’s Broadway Theater. Alma Stanley died in a London jail cell. She was being held on a charge of drunkenness when she died of ”natural causes”. At the time of her incarceration, her jailers did not know her identity.
Agnes Evans poses for this cabinet card (top) photographed by Newsboy of New York. Agnes Evans was a theatre actress who performed in the Broadway production of the Pit (1904). The actress is wearing a very revealing risque dress. Further research by myself or assistance from visitors to this site will hopefully further illuminate her life and career. Newsboy was a brand of plug tobacco and Newsboy photographs were given away as a premium by tobacconists and drug stores who sold the tobacco. The images were produced by the National Tobacco Works of New York. They were likely produced and issued in the early 1890′s. The bottom image features Miss Evans in another Newsboy cabinet card (number 8 in a series). She is wearing a risque costume that includes fingerless gloves.
This portrait of a sultry gorgeous young lady must speak for itself. The image has been trimmed and if there was any information on the photograph to help identify the woman or the studio, it is now gone. The woman’s bare shoulders and other exposed areas make this photograph somewhat risque for it’s time.
The top cabinet card features theatre actress Lizzie Webster posing at the beach. OK; its not the beach, but it is a fake beach, at the studio of celebrity photographer, Mora, in New York City, New York. Webster appeared on the American stage in the late 1870′s and early 1880′s. She appeared on tour in Edward Rice’s popular show, “Evangeline”. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (1878) described Miss Webster as a “shapely brunette”, and a “beautiful being”. However, the article states that she did not possess a good voice. In 1893, Lizzie Webster died in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. To see other photographs by Mora, click on Cabinet Card Gallery’s category “Photographer: Mora”.
The second cabinet card features Miss Webster in costume, complete with a sword at her side. This image as well as the top image demonstrates that Lizzie Webster was not too modest to exhibit her legs. Both photographs are a bit risque because of this immodesty. The photographer of this image is unknown because the photograph has been trimmed and the reverse of the photo card has a large sticker covering much of the cards back. The sticker identifies the photograph as the property of Culver Pictures of New York City. The firm owned the rights to the image and would allow the media to use the image, if they paid for the privilege.
This cabinet card portrait features pretty celebrated Italian ballerina, Carlotta Brianza (1867-c.1933). Note that the jewelry that is hanging from her necklace is shaped like a horse. It is also worth mention that this photograph is somewhat risque for the era. Brianza was born in Milan, Italy and was the prima ballerina at La Scala before going to Russia. She created a sensation in Luigi Manzotti’s ballet “Excelsior” as the Spirit of Light. She went to Russia in 1887 after completing a US tour. She was acclaimed for her work in “Sleeping Beauty” and “Esmerelda”. She returned to the west in 1891 when she became the prima ballerina for the Vienna Opera. She died in Paris under suspicious circumstances that suggest she committed suicide. This portrait was produced by celebrity photographer Benjamin J. Falk of New York City. To view other photographs by Falk, click on the category “Photographer: Falk”.
This cabinet card features pretty actress Nellie Howe in a risque stage costume. The photographer and the location of the studio that produced this image is unknown. Research revealed no information about Miss Howe. This photograph is likely an early cabinet card, dating back to the 1870′s or 1880′s.
CELEBRATED ACTRESS ADA REHAN AND HER LABORADOR RETRIEVER (PAGE INCLUDES ADDITIONAL PORTRAITS OF MISS REHAN)
Ada Rehan was a well known and respected American actress. The top cabinet card portrait of Ms Rehan and her dog was published by Napoleon Sarony, a famous celebrity photographer in New York City, New York. Ada Rehan was born in Ireland and came to the United States at six years of age. She grew up in Brooklyn, New York. She began acting as a child. From 1873 until 1875 she became more active in acting at Mrs. Drew’s Theatre in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She then joined John Albaugh’s company and appeared in Baltimore, Albany and numerous other cities. In 1879 she joined Augustin Daly’s company upon his opening of his New York theater. She worked with his company for twenty years and appeared throughout Europe. The IBDB reveals that Ada Rehan appeared in 12 Broadway productions. Some of the Broadway and non Broadway plays she appeared in include a number of Shakespeare productions such as “As You Like It” and “Twelfth Night”. Rehan also acted in “The School for Scandal”, “Foresters”, “Cinderella at School”, and “Our English Friend”. She retired from the stage in 1906 and lived in New York City until her death. It is interesting to note that Ms Rehan’s dog is on a leash. The leash is made of metal links. She is holding the leash with both hands. This is the first leash that I have observed in the many cabinet card photographs of dogs that I have seen. The dog at the end of the leash in this image appears to be a laborador retriever.
The second portrait of Miss Rehan was published by Newsboy of New York. The image was number 68 in a series of photographs. Newsboy distributed these images as premiums for their tobacco product sales.
The third image of Miss Rehan is a bust portrait by Louis Thors of San Francisco, California. Thors was born in Holland in 1845. He was of French descent and educated in France. He was fitted for service in the Merchant Marine and he served in that capacity for a number of years before coming to California in 1876. By 1880 he had established his photography business. One source states that his studio had more than twelve “apartments”. He won a Bronze Medal at the Paris Exposition in 1889. His wife, Gertrude M. Thors was also a photographer. Camera Craft: Photographic Association of California (1910) printed Thors’s obituary. He was described as one of the highest esteemed photographers in San Francisco. He died of stomach cancer at age seventy-two. He worked in the photography business in San Francisco for over forty years. He left the city after the San Francisco fire and worked in St. Louis for two years before returning to California. The obituary reports that after his immigration to the United States, his skill as a painter earned him employment with photographers Bradley and Rulofsen (click on category “Photographer: Bradley and Rulofsen” to view some of their photographs). In addition, the death notice asserted that besides his talents as a photographer, Thors had a charming personality and high moral character.
This cabinet card features a pretty young woman in a risque pose. She is identified on the reverse of the image as Netty Hunter. The previous owner of this portrait reported that Miss Hunter was a theater actress but a search found no evidence to support the notion that she had a stage career. In fact, no biographical information could be found about her. The photographer of this image was Jacob Schloss. Schloss photographed many theater celebrities from his studio in New York City. A notation on the lower left corner of the image shows that the copyright date of this photograph is 1895. A fading stamp on the back of this cabinet card indicates that it was formerly part of a collection belonging to Charles L. Ritzman (943 Broadway, New York City) who collected among other things, photographs of theater actors and actresses. In sum, although there is evidence that Netty Hunter was a theater actress; the evidence is not conclusive.
The same woman appears in each of these two photographs by the Baker Art Gallery of Columbus, Ohio. The woman is very pretty. She is wearing a black bow in her hair in both photographs and in the profile portrait she is wearing a hair comb. There is a lot of bare skin in these photographs which make them a bit risque, though tastefully done. The Cabinet Card Gallery is building a nice collection of photographs from the Baker Art Gallery. To view these images, click on the category “Photographer: Baker Art Gallery”.
This photograph, by celebrity photographer B. J. Falk, features stage star Jennie Joyce. She was photographed for the Newsboy tobacco company and the image was used as a premium to reward purchasers for buying Newsboy products. The image has a copyright date of 1891 and is number 307 in the Newsboy series. This photograph is risque for its era. Miss Joyce is showing much of her nearly bare legs and is exhibiting a sexually provocative pose. The New York Times (1892) published an article reporting that Jennie Joyce was sued by her husband for divorce. John E. Stanley’s request for a divorce was uncontested. The newspaper described Jennie Joyce as a variety actress and singer. An 1899 article in the same newspaper reported a story about problems in the marriage of Joyce and sportsman Phil Daly Jr.. Daly had told Joyce that he would be out all night but according to plan, returned home at two in the morning only to find his wife with another man (Phillip Wood). Daly fired a number of shots at Wood but missed. Daly’s parting shot was to file for divorce and end his five year marriage. The bad publicity caused by Joyce’s marital problems cause her to speculate in another 1899 Times article that she planned to leave the United States to perform pantomime in London until the fallout from her divorce had diminished. An additional conflict was in the news when the New York Times (1901) printed a story about Joyce successfully suing theatre manager, Alexander Hashim for unpaid salary. Jennie Joyce was clearly a gossip magnet for the press and she provided them with a lot of material.