This cabinet card portrait features two adorable and identically dressed sisters posing for their portrait at the H. F. Askey studio in Elliott, Iowa. Note the girl’s puffy lacy bonnets. The girls are identified in an inscription on the reverse of the card as Marcella and Ina Hubbard. Marcella was born around 1892 and Ina was born around 1897. The 1900 US census reveals that the children were living in Sherman, Iowa with their parents Charles and Emma and three older siblings. Charles Hubbard worked as a businessman. The 1910 US census found the girls still living with their parents in Sherman. The only other child in the house was a younger sister. Charles was working as a “peddler” in the food business and Marcella had become a public school teacher. The photographer of this image was Henry Franklin Ashey. He was born in 1872 in Rock Grove, Illinois and died in 1959 in Grant, Iowa. He was married to Alice Dean Carroll in 1902 and the couple had four children. Askey was one of Iowa’s early photographers and at one time operated a studio in Red Oak, Iowa. When he left the photography business he became a farmer near Red Oak and Grant.

Published in: on March 5, 2015 at 4:00 pm  Comments (2)  
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This cabinet card photograph features a portrait of a young child wearing a lace gown. The child appears to be sitting unassisted in a large chair although it is possible the he/she is being held there by some device. The child is cute and is looking at the photographer but appears bored. The photograph was taken by the Miller Photo Company of Biddeford, Maine. The advertising on the reverse of the image indicates that the main gallery of the firm was located in Birmingham, Connecticut (see below). The advertising also includes a drawing of the Birmingham gallery. Note the storefront and the framed pictures displayed in the store’s windows. To view more images by William Miller and to learn more about him, click on the category “Photographer: Miller”.

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Published in: on March 4, 2015 at 7:35 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Two adorable brothers wearing large bow ties pose for their portrait for photographer S. B. Terry at his studio in Winona, Mississippi. The boys are identified in an inscription on the reverse of the cabinet card. The older boy is Walter Boyce Bailey (1892-?) and the younger lad is John Wendell Bailey (1895-1967). The 1910 US census finds Walter (age 18) and John (age 14) living with their parents, Thomas J. and Emma M. Bailey. Also in residence was two sisters, a brother, two boarders, and a servant (cook). Thomas Bailey held a Doctorate of Divinity (Baptist). The family was living in Jackson, Mississippi. The 1920 US census found Walter living in a Denver rooming house. He was married and worked as a cashier for a machine manufacturing company. The 1930 US census reveals that he was still living in Denver and he was living with his wife Louise and two daughters and a son. He was employed with a tire company in some capacity relating to buses and trucks. The 1940 US census states that he was still in Denver with his family but was working as a tax agent. Research reveals that unlike his brother, John Bailey remained in Mississippi. He graduated from Mississippi State University and worked as a college professor. The 1940 US census reports that he was married to Lani Lloyd Bailey and they had three children residing at home. He is buried at the Odd Fellows Cemetery in Starkville, Mississippi. To learn more about the photographer of this cabinet card portrait and to view more of his images, click on the category “Photographer: Terry”.



This lovely cabinet card portrait features an older woman dressed in conservative clothing. She is wearing “Puritanesque” clothing. I invented the word “Puritanesque” because I don’t want to go out on a limb and say the is wearing Puritan clothing without finding confirmation. The woman’s outermost garment covers a dark full dress and she is wearing a bonnet.  She is intensely staring at the photographer and is keeping her lips pursed. The photograph was taken at the studio of Heald & Erickson in Providence, Rhode Island. Heald had other partners during his career in that same city. Heald was involved in an important photography related law case concerning ownership and rights to use photographic negatives. To view more of his images and to learn more about him and the case, type his name in the cabinet card gallery’s search box and look for the photograph produced by Heald & Giles.

Published in: on March 2, 2015 at 6:12 pm  Comments (3)  
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The London Stereoscopic Company produced this cabinet card portrait of the Honorable Lord Ashbourne. The title Lord Ashbourne was created in 1886 for Edward Gibson (1837-1913), the Lord Chancellor of Ireland. Gibson was appointed Ireland’s attorney general in 1877. His daughter, the honorable Violet Gibson (1876-1956) is known for her attempted assassination of Italy’s Benito Mussolini in 1926. She shot him three times while he sat in a car but merely lightly wounded him. After nearly being lynched by a mob, she was deported to England where she spent the rest of her life in a mental institution. An image of the verso of this cabinet card can be found below. The advertising reveals that the London Stereoscopic studio was photographer used by Britain’s royal family. It is also stated that the studio has won medals for photography in many cities throughout the world. It is also interesting to note that the advertising advises customers that free photography lessons, studios, and darkrooms were available to their clients. To view other images by the London Stereoscopic studio, click on the category “Photographer: London Stereoscopic”.

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It is not infrequent that a cabinet card presents an interesting mystery. This cabinet card, by celebrity photographer Napoleon Sarony of New York City, conjures  up some fascinating questions. Is the woman in this photograph a member of one of America’s most famous political families? It is likely that the pretty woman with the dreamy gaze seen in this photo is a Roosevelt. Let me tell you a little about Kate Shippen Roosevelt (1855-1925). In 1883, Kate Shippen Roosevelt (1855-1925) was married to Hilborne Roosevelt who was a world famous organ maker. He had factories in New York City, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. His company made some of the finest and largest pipe organs in the world. He designed the first electric organ and he was a first cousin to President Theodore Roosevelt. Kate was the daughter of William W. Shippen who was the president of the Hoboken Land and Improvement Company and Hoboken Ferry Company. It is not a surprise that their wedding was called by the New York Times (1883) the event of the season. An article in Town Topic Journal of  Society (1883) announces that Kate Shippen Roosevelt would be performing a monologue and that she was one of the “best amateurs” engaged in such performances. Kate was also a well known women’s suffrage critic. She called suffragettes “soapbox militants”. Hillborne Roosevelt died in 1886 at age 37. He left his widow and three year-old daughter quite wealthy and they continued to be part of high society in New York City.  I believe that that the woman in this image is Kate Shippen Roosevelt because  1) the inscription on the reverse of the image is supportive (see below), 2) Mrs. Roosevelt was a member of society and Sarony was a society photographer, and 3) My research was unsuccessful to find another celebrity sharing the name “Kate Shippen”.  Unfortunately, I could not find a photo to confirm or disconfirm that the subject of this cabinet card portrait was Mrs. Roosevelt.

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This cabinet card is a portrait of a large family taken at the studio of A. T. Lewis in Madison, South Dakota. This family is well dressed and likely well-to-do. South Dakota was part of the Dakota Territory until it became a state in 1889. This knowledge reveals that this photograph was taken in 1889 or later. The city of Madison was named after Madison, Wisconsin. Wikipedia reports that the city’s original name was Herman and that it was founded in 1880. Abrah T. Lewis, the photographer of this image was married to Miss Sarah J. Norcott in 1873. She was also a photographer and is actually the more likely of the two to have taken this photograph. Mrs. Lewis tended to do portraits while Mr. Lewis focused on scenic views. Abrah Lewis was born in Oneida, New York in 1853. He next lived with his family in Canada between 1855 and 1873. In 1873, Abrah and his bride moved to Michigan and eight years later he lost his house to a forest fire (1881). Mrs. Lewis’s grandmother perished in the fire and she nearly lost her mother. The couple left for a brief stay in Canada and then settled in South Dakota and worked as photographers in Sioux Falls. Three years later they moved to Madison and opened a photography studio there that was predominately operated by Mrs. Lewis while Mr. Lewis attended to branches of the studio at Brookings, Elkton, and Arlington (all in South Dakota). The pair resided in Madison (five years), Huron (two years) and Clark (two years). Like many photographer of the cabinet card era, this couple kept moving. Their next stop was various locations in Iowa where they continued to work as photographers. One of their locations was a town called Rock Rapids. To view photographs by other female photographers, click on the category “Female Photographers”.


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A well dressed balding man compensates for his hair deficit by wearing wonderful mutton chops and a handsome mustache. This wide eyed gentleman’s facial hair represents tonsorial genius. The photographer of this cabinet card photograph is the studio of Winsor & Whipple in Olean, New York. This photograph was taken in 1903 or before. “The Photographic Journal of America” (1903) reported the dissolution of the partnership between Winsor and Whipple. The article reported that H. C. Whipple needed to retire due to failing health and that he was planning to move to Colorado.

Published in: on February 24, 2015 at 10:00 pm  Comments (2)  
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This cabinet photograph looks like a scene from a Clint Eastwood western feature film. It is as if the four men are looking into the street to watch Clint challenge four outlaws to a gunfight. More likely, this photograph captures a portrait of four men who work in an East Liverpool, Ohio blacksmith shop. Note that two of the men are holding  tools of their trade and also take notice that there is a tool box in the center of the image.  In additon, two of the men are wearing aprons and all four men are wearing what appears to be appropriate blacksmith garb. In the center of the photograph is a pretty horse. The photographer of this wonderful portrait is Culbertson’s Art Studio. The Culbertson studio is associated with the seamier side of photography and created quite a scandal in East Liverpool. Harry and Leon Culbertson were brothers and at one point were business partners in the Culbertson Brothers photography studio. On 5/10/1892, Harry was arrested on a charge of taking lewd and indecent photographs. His legal defense was that the photographs were “purely works of art”.The Lowell Daily Courier (Lowell, Massachusetts) reported the story on 5/13/1892. Culbertson claimed that two unknown young woman came to his studio and induced him to photograph them “undraped”.  He left town shortly after his arrest.

Published in: on February 22, 2015 at 3:18 pm  Comments (3)  
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richardson 2This post cabinet card era photograph (10″ x 8″) features seven members of a girls basketball team and their coach posing in front of their school building. This team, judging by their three trophies, won the 1923 league championship. Note the girl’s modest uniforms and their high top sneakers. Each girl has a hand on the shoulder of the girl next to her and each girl flashes a smile at the photographer. It must have been a fun season. The reverse of the photograph has an inscription which states “Ye Old Team” and “Best Ever”.  This is a fantastic team photograph because it captures the players excitement and happiness. The photographer’s name and the location of the girl’s school is unknown.




Published in: on February 21, 2015 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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