KIDS, KIDS, AND MORE KIDS IN IMPERIAL RUSSIA

This cabinet card features ten beautiful young children posed together for what is likely a portrait of an extended family. The children are well dressed for their visit to the photographer. Two of the boys are holding their baby sibling in position for the photograph. Note that the baby on the left is holding a stuffed animal, possibly a teddy bear. The photographer of this image is A. Steiker whose studio was located in Moscow, during the time of Imperial Russia.

Published in: on December 31, 2011 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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HANDSOME WHITE HAIRED AND WHITE BEARDED GENTLEMAN IN PLAINWELL, MICHIGAN

This handsome older gentleman with white hair and a white beard, is named Adrian Manley (1826-1906). The U.S. census of 1880 reveals that he was married to Elizabeth Manley and that he was employed as a clerk. He and his wife lived with their son Leny, a twenty nine year-old laborer. The 1900 census finds Mr Manley in his seventies living with his wife and two grandchildren, Wane (age 8), and Sylvia (age 6). Adrian Manley’s death certificate lists his occupation as a farmer which likely indicates that farming was his primary work for most of his life. The photographer who produced this photograph was John Morrison Brigham (1863-1933) whose studio was located in Plainwell, Michigan. Brigham attended Indiana Normal College at Valparaiso, Indiana. He studied photography in Plainwell and owned his first gallery there. In 1898 he moved to Battle Creek, Michigan where he opened a photography studio that became very successful. In 1885, Brigham  married Ida M Potter of Mankato, Minnesota. Photo Beacon (1897) printed a review of some of Brigham’s work and it was not complimentary. The reviewer simply wrote, “lots of dead eyes”.

TWO YOUNG GENTLEMEN AND TWO YOUNG LADIES IN MACON, MISSOURI

This cabinet card features two young gentlemen and two young ladies posing for their portrait at Roswall’s Art Studio, in Macon, Missouri. The exact address of the studio was 21 & 23 Rollins Street. The  young adults in this photograph may be from the same family, or may be just friends. These four individuals are very well dressed, leading one to believe that they likely come from families of means.  It is interesting to note that the girl on the left appears somewhat separated from the other three subjects. The separation my reflect how she felt psychologically about her place in the foursome. However, her position in the photograph may be simply the result of the photographer not wanting to leave too much space on the left side of the image. The photographer, Lars J. A. Roswall, was reported by the Photographic Times (1884) to be a part of a group that held a patent relating to  an apparatus for cleaning photographs.

Published in: on December 29, 2011 at 12:03 am  Comments (1)  
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PORTRAITS OF GEORGE AND LIZZIE IN CHICAGO (STILL TOGETHER AFTER ALL THESE YEARS)

These two cabinet card portraits come from the same source and belong together. Writing on the reverse of one photograph indicates that the couple are named George and Lizzie. Perhaps the young man and  woman are married to each other. If not married, the two subjects may be siblings. The photographer of both cards is Copelin whose studio was located on the Northwest corner of Madison and State Streets in Chicago, Illinois. The exact address was 75 Madison Street. Some biographical information concerning the Copelin studio is available, but it is very difficult to sort out. It seems that Copelin had a succession of photography businesses. Alexander J. W. Copeland  (1851-c1923) and Melander bought out their boss to open a studio in Chicago sometime around 1870.  Copelin & Son was established in 1871 and existed about ten years. The business has an interesting story associated with it. The gallery was established just six days before the Chicago Fire (1871) and the building was completely destroyed in the blaze. The building had been the first photographic gallery in Chicago but had housed many proprietors. A.J. Copelin rebuilt the business. In the early 1880’s, the Copelin Gallery was established. Copelin eventually left portrait photography and opened a successful commercial photography business. Copelin is also recognized as one of the founding fathers of the Photographers Association of America.

CHARLES J. FOLGER: SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY UNDER PRESIDENT CHESTER ARTHUR

UThis cabinet card features Charles James Folger (1818-1884) who was an American lawyer and politician. He served as Secretary of the Treasury under President Chester Arthur. Folger was born in Nantucket, Massachusetts but lived most of his life in Geneva, New York. He attended Hobart College. His political career includes judgeships and some terms in the New York State Senate (1862-1869). While in the state senate, he served four years as President Pro Tempore. In 1869 he left state government after being appointed by President Ulysses Grant as the Assistant U.S. Treasurer. In 1870, he became a judge of the New York Court of Appeals and eventually became the Chief Judge. H eft the judgeship in 1881  to serve as Secretary of the Treasury, and during that tenure, he ran for Governor in New York against future U.S. President, Grover Cleveland. Folger had many accomplishments and he has just added a new honor to his legacy. Folger’s wonderful muttonchops, qualifies him to join the facial hair elite in the category of “Beards (Only the Best)”. Click on the category to view unusual styles of facial hair. This portrait was photographed by Falk, a well known New York City, celebrity photographer. To view other photographs by Falk, click on the category “Photographer: Falk”. A stamp on the reverse of  this cabinet card reveals that it was formerly owned by Culver Pictures of New York City, New York. Culver Pictures has been collecting photographs and illustrations from the 19th and first half of the 20th century, since 1926. These pictures are used in books, films, and other forms of media. At the time that this cabinet card was stamped by the company, Culver Pictures was located in New York City.

THE POLKA DOT LADY FROM BELLEFONTE, PENNSYLVANIA

This cabinet card image features a shapely woman in a polka dot dress with a black jacket and apron. Although the shape of the dots are more like a leaf or star, than a dot, the dress has a polka dot appearance. The fashion statement made by this woman is reminiscent of the latter day song about the girl in the “itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini”. The woman in this photograph, judging by her outfit, clearly is not adverse to attracting attention. The photograph was produced by an unidentified studio in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. Interestingly, Bellefonte proclaims itself to be “Central Pennsylavnia’s Victorian Secret”. According to various sources, the town has many  lovely Victorian homes. Bellefonte is located about twelve miles from State College, the home of Penn State.

Published in: on December 26, 2011 at 12:00 am  Comments (3)  
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“LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, BOYS AND GIRLS, CHILDREN OF ALL AGES, LOOK AT THE GIRL ON THE FLYING TRAPEZE” …ROSE AUSTIN, AERIAL PERFORMING STAR

This cabinet card features a pretty, Rose Austin, of the Austin Sisters, who were well known trapeze artists. On the reverse of the photograph is a pencilled notation that states the performer’s name and “Bath Beach, Long Island, New York” (Bath Beach is in Brooklyn). The image was published by the Robinson & Roe studio which had galleries in both Chicago and New York City. The Circus Historical Society’s web site cites the “Austin Family”. Its members included R.G., Aimee (1870-1907), George E., and Rose. Among their venues were Orrin Brothers (1883-1884), W. W. Cole (1885), Coney Island (1892), and Bentley’s (1895). Aimee Austin, born in London, was an aerialist who was known as the “Human Fly” for her talent of “ceiling walking”. She began performing with Rose Austin, at nine years of age, as part of the Austin Sisters aerial act which played at the Circus Rentz, in Berlin, Germany. The act was managed by R. G. Austin. The aerialist performed with various European circuses before coming to the United States. Rose Austin was the subject of three articles in the New York Times. A 1892 article was entitled “Cannot Find Rose Austin”. The article reported that the disappearance of Ms. Austin from her home in Bath Beach. She was described as a well known trapeze performeer and leader of the “clever” Austin Sisters. It was also metioned that she was the wife of R. G. Austin; the manager of the Australian Theatrical Company. At the time of her disappearance, she and her sister were performing at Vaceas’s West End Casino in Coney Island, New York. She had been last seen boarding a ferry bound for New York City. The article points out that Ms. Austin had suffered from epilepsy for the previous four or five years and had experienced a severe attack about ten days earlier.(An acrobat with epilepsy? Doesn’t seem like a terrific career choice.). The article closes with a statement that both Rose Austin’s husband and her doctor, believed that she was either in a hospital, or had fallen off the ferry and drowned. A follow up article (1892) revealed that Ms. Austin had been found and was currently confined to bed as “she is wandering in her mind”. She couldn’t account for her whereabouts or activities during the time she was missing and last remembered falling ill on the ferry. A third article in the New York Times (1894) reports that Rose fell from a trapeze while performing with her brother George in Coney Island. She fell after fainting (one would imagine she had a epileptic seizure). She and her brother fell into a net together and knocked heads, rendering them both unconscious. George recovered quickly but Rose was brought home to Bensonhurst (Brooklyn) in a delirious condition. To view other photographs by Robinson and Roe, and to learn a little about them, click on the category “Photographer: Robinson & Roe”.


MEMORIAL CARD FOR OLE JOHNSON (1808-1902)

When Ole Johnson passed away at ninety-four years of age, it is likely that his family commissioned a photographer to produce this memorial cabinet card. Due to the commonality of the name Ole Johnson (especially in the North Central states where many Scandanvians settled) , research yielded no biographical information about the Mr. Johnson pictured in this photograph. To view other Remembrance cabinet cards, click on the category “Memorial Card”.

Published in: on December 24, 2011 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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ADORABLE TWIN GIRLS AND THEIR LITTLE SISTER (FEMALE PHOTOGRAPHER)……….AKA “LOVELESS IN CARLINVILLE”

This family portrait features adorable identical twin sisters and their younger sibling. The three children share the same face and hairstyle. Like many twins of today, these twins are dressed identically. The twins are holding hands and are standing in front of their sibling who is posed in a prominent position, centered and standing on a chair peering over her sisters shoulders. The photographer who created this photograph was Miss Trumbull of Carlinville, Illinois. The precious children in this photograph are identified on the reverse of the image. Their names are, from left to right, Lila, Georgia, and Lela Loveless. The U.S. census of 1920 sheds some light on the Loveless family. First of all, the family was far from loveless, considering that Cyness and Sarah Loveless had five children. The twins, Lila and Lela, and their little sister, Georgia, had an older brother named Lincoln and a younger brother (Mack) and younger sister (Sadie). It is interesting to note that the Loveless parents named a son Lincoln. The boy was born in 1896, and that despite the fact that three decades had passed since the civil war, the Loveless’s honored their native son assassinated President. After considering the census data, it is likely that this photograph was taken approximately 1904. By 1920, Lincoln Loveless, age 24, had joined his father working as a farmer. Unfortunately, research has not yet uncovered any information about the photographer of this image. Women photographers during this era were not common. Hopefully, a visitor to the Cabinet Card Gallery will be able to supply biographical information concerning Miss Trumbull.

Published in: on December 23, 2011 at 12:01 am  Comments (3)  
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LITTLE GIRL AND HER RATTLE IN ROCHESTER, NEW YORK

A cherubic, curly haired little girl stands on a blanket covered chair in the photographic studio of J. W. Taylor, in Rochester, New York. The girl is wearing a long gown and a very serious expression. She firmly holds a rattle with both hands. To view other photographs by Taylor, click on the category “Photographer: Taylor JW

Published in: on December 22, 2011 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  
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