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”.

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Very provocative indeed for the times! Love the comment regarding the Jersey Shore remake (giggle). Thanks for sharing this great photo and story!

  2. I have a Morrison/Haymarket cabinet card that does not have a name printed on the front, but handwritten on the back it says “Lily B. Eakin” any idea who she was?

    • I don’t know who “Lily B. Eakin” is but I am wondering if you may have the name wrong due to illegibility. I misread or can’t read written inscriptions quite frequently. Perhaps the subject of Morrison’s photograph is actually actress “Lily Elton”? Take a look at the handwritten name again and let me know if you think it may actually be Miss Elton’s name. She was photographed by Newsboy in a relatively risque pose for her time.


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