“NOW I LAY ME DOWN TO SLEEP” PORTRAIT OF A LITTLE BOY PRAYING

This vintage photograph features a young boy wearing night clothes deep in prayer. He has a far away look as he kneels and looks toward heaven. The photograph was taken by the Schriever studio in Emporium, Pennsylvania. The reverse of this photograph has an inscription with the name of the subject “James Speltz”. The name is difficult to decipher and I may be incorrect about the exact name. The inscription also reveals that the photograph was taken in 1897. James Beniface Schriever  (1868-1943) was a noted Pennsylvania photographer. He began his career in 1888. His original gallery was in the town of Kane. In 1890 he took his talent and went to work in Emporium. Between 1900 and 1937 he conducted his photography business in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Wilson’s Photographic Magazine (1900) announces the opening of Schriever’s Scanton studio and it appears that he was a talented in marketing. Music was played at the opening and invitations were sent to the public in the form of a legal summons. In 1900, Schriever was the President of the Pennsylvania Photographers Association. He was a 1906 member of the Scranton Board of Trade. He is reported in a “Rootsweb,com” entry to have photographed more than 130,000 people in Scranton during his career. He trained his nephew William G. Bair in the art of photography and sold the business to him in the early 1900’s. The business became known as the Bair Photo Studio. It burned down in the 1930’s. Schriever was also noted for his founding of the “American School of Art and Photography”. The school was actually a correspondence school that utilized the “Schriever System” to teach photography by mail. The course was entitled “The Complete Self Instructing Library of Practical Photography” (1908).  Schriever apparently was an innovator and an entrepreneur.The cartoon below is a caricature of J. B. Schriever from the book “The Story of Scranton” (1914) by Bill Steinke.

 

JACQUELINE LOGAN: BEAUTIFUL STAR OF FILM AND STAGE

This vintage real photo postcard features silent film star Jacqueline Logan (1904-1983). Logan had auburn hair and green eyes. She was considered to be very beautiful. Logan was a “WAMPAS Baby Star” of 1922. The Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers sponsored the WAMPAS promotional campaign. Each year between 1922 and 1934 the promotion honored 13-15 young actresses who were predicted to be on the cusp of movie stardom. Other honorees besides Logan included Clara Bow, Joan Crawford, Fay Wray, and Ginger Rogers. Jacqueline Logan was born in Corsicana, Texas and grew up in Nebraska. She worked briefly as a journalist in Scottsbluff, Nebraska and than went to Colorado Springs for health issues. She took a journalism course there and than moved to Chicago where she found a job dancing in a stage production. She had told her family she was going to Chicago to attend college. She then went of New York City with a theater troupe. While in New York, she received a small part in the Broadway musical “Florodora (1920). She was noticed by Flo Ziegfeld who hired her as a dancer. She also was selected to model in photographs by Alfred Cheney Johnston. By 1921, she began appearing in films. Her first role was in “The Perfect Crime”. Also featured in the film was Carole Lombard, who at the time, was a child actress. Cecile B. DeMille selected Logan to play Mary Magdalene in the film “King of Kings” (1927). The movie broke audience attendance records. With the advent of  “talkies”, Logan had less success. However, she did appear in “Show of Shows” (1929) in which she was a member of an all-star cast. Next, she went to England to do stage work. She received many good reviews. She was then hired by British International Pictures to write and direct films. She was successful in her writing and directing. When she returned to Hollywood she found that studios were not interested in hiring her for behind the camera work. Their resistance was likely predominately due to not wanting a female to direct films. Back in America, she appeared in several Broadway shows including “Merrily We Roll Along” and “Two Strange Women”. In 1934, after her marriage to an industrialist, she retired from films. The IMDB web site reports that Logan has 61 film credits between 1921 and 1931. The Internet Broadway Database lists 3 Broadway play credits for the actress between 1920 and 1935. In her later years, Logan became a conservative political activist and member of the John Birch Society. This real photo portrait postcard was produced in France. It was part of a series (no. 197) called “Les Vedettes de Cinema (Stars of the Cinema)”. The photograph was taken at the Alfred Noyer studio (AN) in Paris. The actual photographer may have been Witze. The postcard includes an advertisement for Fox Film, indicating Logan’s affiliation with the studio at the time of the photograph.

 

 

PORTRAIT OF AN ADORABLE POUTING LITTLE BOY IN CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

Photographer Adolph Westphal photographed this wonderful carte de visite portrait of an adorable pouting little boy in Chicago, Illinois. Westphal (1835-1913) was a photographer in Prussia before he opened a photography studio in Chicago in 1864. He also bought a tavern which included a dance hall and beer garden. He eventually closed the tavern and began bottling beer. Wesphal’s son continued the carbonated soft drink business after his father died.

Published in: on June 17, 2017 at 7:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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THE MOST ADORABLE LITTLE BOY IN ASHLAND, KENTUCKY

An adorable little boy is featured in this cabinet card portrait from the Schmidt studio in Ashland, Kentucky. This cute child is wearing overalls, high top shoes and a terrific wide brimmed hat. Judging by his outfit, one might hazard a guest that he is growing up on a farm. The photographer of this photograph was John William Schmidt (1859-1943). He was a photographer in Ashland and at least at one time, his studio was located at 110 Greenup Avenue. His name can be found in Ashland directories including 1912 and 1930. He is listed as a photographer. He is also listed as a photographer in the 1910 and 1940 US census. Schmidt was born in Ohio and he was married to Alice Schmidt.

Published in: on June 16, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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PORTRAIT OF A HANDSOME WESTERN MAN IN SPOKANE, WASHINGTON

A handsome man poses for his portrait at “Casper’s Studio” in Spokane, Washington. An inscription on the reverse of this vintage real photo reveals that the gentleman’s name is Vincent Vergel Matson (1885-1978). Matson dressed up for this photograph. He is wearing a western vested suit and western hat. Matson was born is South Dakota. The 1900 US census finds him living with his family on the Blackfoot Indian Reservation in Teton, Montana. The 1910 census lists him as living in Edwards, Montana and working as a farmer. By 1920, he moved again. This time he was residing in North Bonners Ferry, Idaho and working as a laborer. He was still working as a laborer at the time of the 1930 census and he was living in a Boarding House in Spokane. He was living in Kalispell, Montana at the time he registered for the draft in 1942. He was listed in the 1943 Kalispell directory as a laborer. At the time of Matson’s death in 1978, he was living in Beaverhead, Montana. My research did not find any record of Matson ever marrying. One has to wonder if Matson was a bit of a drifter. He appears to have moved around a lot, not letting the grass grow under his feet. He had no wife or kids, and could take on labor work wherever he lived. This postcard has an AZO stamp box indicating that it was produced between 1904 and 1918.

PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG GIRL WITH LONG HAIR IN BRUNN, GERMANY

A solemn young girl poses for her portrait at the Mayssl studio in Brunn, Germany. The girl has very long hair. A name is written in the top right corner of the cabinet card. The name likely belongs to the child seen in this image. The photographer, Mayssl had advertising printed on the reverse of the cabinet card. Included in the advertising are drawings of six medals that he had won in various photographic exhibitions.Included are London (1871), Vienna (1873), Paris (1874). The dates of these awards indicate that this cabinet card is likely from the 1870’s. There is also a German phrase on the back of the cabinet card that roughly translates to “Professor of Characters Art” (thank you Google Translate). Perhaps Mayssle was a teacher of photography.

Published in: on June 14, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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MEET THE PIN BOYS: OCCUPATIONAL SNAPSHOT TAKEN AT A BOWLING ALLEY

 

This snapshot captures three pin boys as they work at a bowling alley. Pin boys, also known as pin setters were stationed in a sunken area of a bowling alley which was located behind the pins. The pin boy removed pins after they were knocked down, replaced pins each frame, and returned the bowlers ball. The day of pin boys is long over as automation and computers became employed in bowling alleys. At least two of the young men in this photo are smoking while they are working. The pin boys are wearing tee shirts, presumably because they were exerting themselves in a hot environment. Being a pin boy doesn’t look like a fun job.

Published in: on June 12, 2017 at 9:59 pm  Comments (2)  
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BEAUTIFUL GERMAN ACTRESS: HELI FINKENZELLER

This vintage real photo postcard features pretty German film actress Heli Finkenzeller (1911-1991). During her career she appeared in more than 80 films and television shows between 1935 and 1991. Among her films, she was known for Emil un die Detektive (1954), Teorie und Praxis (1962), and Unser Pauker (1965). She was married twice, to an actor (Will Dohm) and than to a film director (Alfred Bittins).  She is the mother of Gaby Dohm, an Austrian actress. During Finkenzeller’s youth she hoped to become an opera singer. She had an excellent voice but it was too weak for opera. Instead she became an actress. She was discovered for film by director Karl Ritter in 1935. She was popular in films for UFA. a German film company. Later in her career she became active as a stage actress. This postcard was produced by Verlag and is part of a series (no. A 3958/1). The photographer was Star Foto. The logo for Tobis Film appears on the front of the postcard. Tobis was a German film production and distribution company founded n the late 1920’s. The company was discontinued in 1942 when the Nazi controlled government combined it with three other studios (Terra Film, Bavaria Films, UFA) to form a single state controlled film company.

The duet below is from Boccacio (1936) and it features Heli Finkenzeller and Willy Fritsch. One source states that Finkenzeller got “help” with the singing from Rosl Seegers.

 

Published in: on June 10, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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PORTRAIT OF A BASKETBALL PLAYER (ST. MARY’S, 1925)

This wonderful photographic portrait features a basketball player in his game day uniform. Note his high top sneakers and long athletic socks. His uniform reveals that he played for St. Mary’s. There were many schools called St. Mary’s so it is unclear where the school was located or whether it was a high school or a college. Writing on the basketball discloses that this photograph was taken in 1925. There is a name inscribed on the reverse of the photograph but it is hard to decipher. The photo measures about 5 5/8 x 3 3/4 and is on paper that has the consistency of postcard paper.

Published in: on June 9, 2017 at 1:07 pm  Leave a Comment  
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PORTRAIT OF TWO ADORABLE SIBLINGS IN OTTUMWA, IOWA

Two adorable siblings pose for their portrait at the Goldsberry and Gillet studio in Ottumwa, Iowa. The oldest sibling has incredibly engaging eyes. The reverse of this photograph has an inscription that reveals the identities of the two girls in this photograph. The subjects are Lillian Westling (age 4 1/2) and Lena Westling (age 2 1/2). The children’s parents were Swedish born. Lillian was born in 1888, just a year after her parents married. Their father was John Albert Westling and their mother went by a few different names including Minnie Hurd (Wilhelmina) and Miriam C. Westling. By the time of the 1900 US census Lillian had three younger siblings, including Lena. In 1900, the Westlings had moved to Fairbury, Nebraska and John was working as a laundry man. One of the photographers of this image, Benjamin E. Goldsberry (1853-1922) was born in Ottumwa. The 1880 US census finds him living in Bedford, Iowa, married to Anna E. (Lida) and working as a “Degarian Artist”. While working in Bedford he took a portrait of “Sitting Bull”. In 1895 he and his family moved back to Ottumwa where he worked as a photographer. The 1910 US census reports that he was living in Omaha, Nebraska and pursuing his career as a photographer. Goldsberry’s partner for this photograph was Bert Gillett (1857-?). He is listed in both the 1900 and 1920 census as a photographer. In the 1900 census he is listed as married to Virginia E. Gillett but by 1920 the couple had divorced. Gillett is also listed as a photographer in Ottumwa directories including 1902 and 1905.