MOTHERS, DAUGHTERS AND SISTERS IN SAXTONS RIVER, VERMONT

This cabinet card, photographed by P. W. Taft, features two young adult women and two young girls. Perhaps the two older girls are sisters and the two young girls are daughters of the older woman. The family constellation in this image is impossible to determine. It is interesting to note that the two little girls are both wearing dresses styled after a sailor suit. The two dresses are similar, but not identical. Taft’s studio was located in Saxtons River, Vermont. To view other photographs by Taft, click on the category “Photographer: Taft”. Preston William Taft (1826-1901) was listed in the Windham County Business Directory 1884) as having a photography business in Saxtons River. Research reveals that he established a Daguerreotype, and later Photography business in 1856 and operated the studio until 1878. He was married in 1850 to Rose Melissa Miller and the couple had three sons and a daughter. Sons Frank (born 1851), Charles (born 1863), and Edward (born 1868), all became photographers. The daughter’s name was Nettie (born 1865). It is likely that this cabinet card was produced by one of P. W. Taft’s sons since, judging by characteristics of the cabinet card, it was likely photographed after he had left the business. To view other photographs by P. W. Taft, click on the category “Photographer: Taft”.

Published in: on January 31, 2012 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  
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A WINTERTIME FAMILY PORTRAIT IN WINDSOR, NEW YORK

This cabinet card features a family portrait taken in Windsor, New York. The family constellation appears to be composed of a father, mother, two adult sons, and a little girl who was likely an afterthought. The four older subjects are all holding their hats and the young girl has mittens hanging from her coat. The entire family is well-dressed. The photographer is listed as Conrad and the studio is listed as being located in Windsor, New York. However, the reverse of the image has a printed advertisement for the Binghamton Art Gallery, located at 493 Court Street, in Binghamton, New York. Windsor and Binghamton are about sixteen miles apart. Perhaps Conrad had studios in both towns. The 1900 U.S. census lists a photographer living in Binghamton named Edward E. Conrad. Note the confirming monogram on the center bottom of the cabinet card indicates that  the photographer’s initials are “E. E.”.  Edward Conrad (1857- ?) lived with his wife Susie, their three school age daughters, and a boarder.  Edward and Susie were married in 1887. The 1920 U. S. census discloses that at age 63, Edward was still a photographer, and owned his own gallery. He still lived with Susie (age 52), but his children no longer lived home. However, there was still child rearing to do in the Conrad home. The couple lived with their two and a half year-old grandchild.

Published in: on January 30, 2012 at 12:11 am  Comments (3)  
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MAE BRANSON: PROVOCATIVELY POSES IN CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

A sexy, busty, and leggy, blonde Mae Branson poses for celebrity photographer, William McKenzie Morrison, in Chicago, Illinois. The photographer’s studio was located in the Haymarket Theatre Building. To learn more about this well known photographer, click on the category “Photographer: Morrison”. A stamp on the reverse of this photograph indicates that the cabinet card  was formerly owned by Culver Pictures. Culver was located in New York City, and for a fee, provided images to newspapers, films, and other forms of media. Research yielded little biographical information about stage beauty, Miss Branson. The National Police Gazette (1892) reports the bathing exploits of four actresses at Long Brauch. The article was written in poetry form and the verses included the following lines: “and in the surf she daily dips in jaunty bathing dress; That fits her like a glovelet – not an inch the more or less”. The actresses described were Minnie Seligman, Geraldine McCann, Della Fox, and Mae Branson. The site of the sexy swimming exhibition was likely Long Branch, New Jersey;  “Long Brauch” was likely a misspelling. It appears that MTV’s reality TV show, “Jersey Shore“, is a remake; because there seems to have been plenty of provocativeness at the Jersey Shore in 1892.  Mae Branson’s name also appears in an article in a Maine newspaper,  The Lewiston Daily Sun (1893). The article appeared in the Music and Drama section. A review of the play “1492” describes Miss Branson as exhibiting “agreeable singing and artistic work” which obtained “prompt and hearty recognition”.

ATTRACTIVE COUPLE IN TORONTO, CANADA

This photograph, by Thomas E. Perkins, features an attractive formally dressed couple. The woman is very photogenic. Her dress is very styled and detailed  Her husband appears very intense. The photographer was based in Toronto, Canada. His studio was located at 293 Younge Street. In the 1880’s Perkins employed a fledgeling photographer, William H. Gardiner. Later in his career, Gardiner became well known for his photographic work on Mackinac Island, Michigan.

GEHRIG HITS HOMERUN WITH PORTRAIT OF STYLISH YOUNG WOMAN IN CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

Joseph W. Gehrig “hits one out of the park” with this cabinet card portrait of a fashionable and attractive woman in Chicago, Illinois. She looks magnificent with her white fur draped around her neck and her black feather hat. The subject of this photograph is clearly a woman of means.

Published in: on January 27, 2012 at 12:01 am  Comments (3)  
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PRETTY WOMAN IN PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA (1885)

A pretty woman poses for her portrait at the Dunshee Studio in Philadelphia, Pennslvania. The studio was located across the street from the U. S. Mint. The subject’s dress has a very lacy collar and she is wearing an elaborate belt. Note the buttons on the side of her skirt. This arrangement of buttons is not commonly seen on dresses in cabinet card photographs. Her figure is improved by the corset that she is wearing. Print on the reverse of the photograph indicates that the image was produced in 1885. To view other photographs by Edward Sidney Dunshee, and learn more about his history, click on the category, “Photographer: Dunshee”.

A LITTLE GIRL SHORT IN STATURE, BUT LONG ON NAMES: “MISS EVA EMMA ELLA FERBER” IN CINCINNATI, OHIO

According to a notation on the reverse of this photograph, the little girl featured in this cabinet card photograph is named “Miss Eva, Emma, Ella, Ferber”. Perhaps Mr. and Mrs. Ferber were very indecisive people and couldn’t pick a single  name for their daughter. Possibly, the three names that made the final cut were Eva,Emma and Ella; and when the couple couldn’t come to an agreement; they decided to give their daughter all three of the names. The girl with many names, has curly locks and big brown eyes, and is quite adorable. She is sitting on a stone wall beside a statue of a small dog (pug). A search of the U. S. census may have uncovered some biographical information about Miss Ferber. The 1920 census lists a young woman named Eva E. Ferber, age 24,  who lived with her parents in Cincinnati. Her father’s name was Charles and he was employed as an inspector for the Chamber of Commerce. Her mother’s name was Ella (one of the name’s assigned to Eva). The census reported that Eva was employed as a bookkeeper in a clothing store. Her parents were listed as being born in Ohio, but of German heritage. Data from other census reports indicated that Eva had an older brother named Charles and that her   father had once worked as a carriage trimmer.  The photographer of this image is Herman Mueller. To view other photographs by Mueller, click on the category “Photographer: Mueller”. Mueller was born in Germany in 1833. He came to the United States with his wife, Mathilda, and his daughters Maria and Alfrieda. Both of the daughters became photographers and assisted him in the gallery he established in Cincinnati. He was active there from about 1886 until at least 1905.

Published in: on January 25, 2012 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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WIDE-EYED BABY IN GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN

A wide eyed baby is photographed by F. W. Schneider, in Green Bay, Wisconsin. the baby is lying on fur and wearing a long gown. The book, “A History of Brown County, Wisconsin, Past and Present Vol. 2” (1913) reveals that Schneider was born and raised in Niederschelden, Germany. He emigrated to the United States in 1868 and settled in Green Bay in 1874. Schneider operated a photographic gallery until 1911, when his son, C. Alvin Schneider, succeeded  him. “The Bulletin of Photography” (1922), noted F. W. Schneider’s death from heart disease. Schneider was 68 years old at the time of his death, and it was reported that he had operated his studio for 38 years. An interesting side note about Green Bay is that it was established in 1634 by the French as a small trading post. The town’s original name was “La Baie des Puants” (“The Stinking Bay”).

Published in: on January 24, 2012 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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DAPPER YOUNG MAN IN BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS (PHOTOGRAPH BY CHICKERING)

A handsome and well dressed young man poses for his portrait at the studio of Walter E. Chickering in Boston Massachusetts. The gentleman’s hair and mustache are well groomed and his mustache takes an interesting twist at it’s ends. To view other interesting mustaches, click on the category “Mustaches (Only the Best)”. The reverse of the photograph has a back mark that includes the statement,  “Walter E. Chickering, The Original Photographer, of that Name”. These words were a written swipe at photographer, Elmer Chickering, who was also  based in Boston. Elmer was a highly acclaimed celebrity photographer who Walter clearly perceived as a threat to his business. To learn more about both Walter and Elmer Chickering, click on the category “Photographer: Chickering, W.”.

Published in: on January 23, 2012 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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THREE GRADUATES POSE IN PARIS………………(PARIS, KENTUCKY)

Three young women pose for their graduation portrait in Paris, Kentucky. Judging their age by their appearance, the girls are likely graduating from high school or college. It is interesting to note that each girls graduation gown is slightly different from the others. It is also notable that there is no backdrop in this image; the photographer used curtains instead. Perhaps the photograph was taken outside of the photographer’s studio and he took the curtains with him to the site of the graduation. This image was produced by a photographer named Gibson. Research reveals no additional biographical information concerning Mr. Gibson.

Published in: on January 22, 2012 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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