DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMAN IN PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND

The photographic studio of  Heald and Giles produced this portrait of a distinguished older gentleman. The man is wearing a nicely groomed graying beard and mustache. He is displaying a serious expression on his face. Research reveals that Mr. Heald had a number of partners during his photography career. Among the names he operated his business under was Wright and Heald, and Heald and Erickson. The law journal, “Open Jurist” and several other turn of the century law journals, cite Mr. Heald in an important legal case. The case was “Corlis et. al. versus E. W. Walker Company et. al. (1894). Emily Corlis sued the Walker Company for inserting a portrait (photographed by Heald) of George H. Corlis in a biographical sketch about to be published. A photograph of the late Mr. Corlis had been submitted to the company by Emily Corlis but she had withdrawn her permission for them to use it after they had not complied with some of her demands. The Walker Company returned the photograph to her but then turned to Mr. Heald and purchased a copy of an original photograph Heald had taken of George Corlis. Emily Corlis was outraged and took Walker to court. The general policy of the courts, based on precedence. was that negatives of photographs belonged to photographers but the right to print negatives belonged to the customer (subject of the photograph).   The court in this case, however, ruled that this case was an exception to precedence because the rule applies only to “private persons”, and not “public characters”. The court stated that Mr. Corlis was a “public character” because of his status as the inventor of the Corlis Engine. It seems that his portrait had already appeared in a number of magazines and other publications. Stated simply, pubic characters had no right to privacy. In addition, the court stated that Walker could not be sued because  he was not the photographer. Only the photographer had a contractual obligation not to publish the subjects photograph without consent from the subject. To view the work of another photographer involved in an interesting court case  related to the business of photography, and to learn about that case, click on the category “Photographer: Rugg”.

LADY PINNED BY A CONDUCTOR IN SIOUX CITY, IOWA

This cabinet card portrait features a young nicely dressed woman wearing a tintype pin or brooch. The jewelry holds a photograph of a train conductor; presumably the woman’s husband or suitor. The cabinet card was photographed by Rugg, whose studio was located in Sioux City, Iowa. Research reveals little to assist in gathering information about Rugg. Investigation found that there was an artist that resided in Sioux City named Elliott I. Rugg  (1862-?).  There is a reasonable possibility that he is the photographer that produced this image. Elliott Rugg was a relative of another photographer, Arthur Rugg, who operated out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. To view photographs by Arthur Rugg, click on category “Photographer: Arthur Rugg”.

Published in: on September 22, 2011 at 12:01 am  Comments (3)  
Tags: , , , ,

MAN WITH A LONG GREY GOATEE IN MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA

An elderly man poses for his portrait at the studio of Arthur Rugg in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The man has a very distinguished appearance. His long grey goatee is his entry ticket into cabinet card gallery’s category “Beards (Only the Best)”. To view other photographs by Rugg, and learn of his unethical behavior as a photographer, click on the category “Photographer: Rugg”.

Published in: on September 13, 2011 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

NOTABLE MUSTACHE IN MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA (THE PHOTOGRAPHER WAS A SCOUNDREL)

This cabinet card features a gentleman with a very notable mustache and bushy sideburns. He looks like a very intense man as he stares at the camera. The man behind the camera was Arthur B. Rugg (1853-?). Rugg’s life story is likely similar to many men who pursued the occupation of photographer. Such a life requires much change; first, working for various photographers in various locations, and finally, making enough money to finance ones own gallery. Rugg, at age 17, was an apprentice to J. C. Moulten of Fitchburg, Massachusetts. Moulton took ill just three weeks after Rugg began his apprenticeship and Rugg was forced to be a quick learner. He operated the gallery by himself and at night consulted with Moulten in his sick chamber , receiving criticisms and instructions. Rugg operated the business on his own for three weeks and the business did not suffer with him at its helm. In 1873, Rugg opened his own gallery but it did not do well, so he moved to Boston and worked for a photographer there for the next two years. He then went to Florida to become an orange grower but he lost everything when the business failed. His next stop was New Orleans where he worked for W. W. Washburn in one of the city’s leading galleries. However, after contacting malaria, he was forced to move North and ended up in LaCrosse, Wisconsin where he worked for a year and a half for a leading studio there. In 1879, he moved to Minneapolis and purchased the studio of William Brown and soon Rugg became one of the leading photographers of Minneapolis. Rugg was also noted for being involved in a major lawsuit that had impact on the profession of photography. The American Journal of Photography (1890) reported that the Supreme Court of Minnesota handed down a decision against Rugg for selling a copy of Mrs. Ida E. Moore’s  photograph “which was put on exhibition in improper places, much to the discredit of the lady”. He was ruled to have had no right to the picture which legally belonged to the sitter (Ms. Moore). She won her suit for damages of five thousand dollars although it is not clear if that was the actual amount awarded. Another photography journal of that time reported more specifics of the case. It seems that Rugg had given one of Ms. Moore’s pictures to a police detective named Clark, who showed the photos in a number of houses of ill repute in the Minneapolis and St. Paul area. The court ruled that although the negatives of the photograph belonged to Rugg, he could not print photographs from those negatives without permission from Ms Moore. Mr Rugg seems to have lacked some ethics in this instance.  Now, back to that great mustache. To view other photographs of unusual mustaches, click on Cabinet Card Gallery’s category of “Mustaches (Only the Best)”.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 560 other followers