In the 1880’s and 1890’s many people came to California to seek their fortune. The couple pictured in this cabinet card found a fortune. The fortune was not gold or money; instead it was E . W. Fortune, a Los Angeles photographer. The couple probably wasn’t disappointed in this excellent image. The subjects are well posed and the photograph has wonderful clarity. The well dressed and handsome gentleman has a neat beard and is holding a book on his lap. He is wearing a pocket watch. The young woman in the portrait has a pretty dress and is wearing a bracelet on her wrist and a pin on her collar. Judging by their general appearance, the couple seems to have been financially well off. The pair are identified on the reverse of the image as Mr and Mrs W. R. Williams. A genealogical investigators heart sinks when he or she sees a name like “Williams” needing to be researched. There are generally just too many “Williams” to sort through, and the researcher ends up with multiple  people who fit the description of their quarry. As expected, research gleaned no biographical information about Mr. and Mrs. Williams. The photographer of this cabinet card operated his studio in Los Angeles, California. The address was 151 South Spring Street. City directories for Los Angeles list Fortune operating as a photographer between 1888 and 1893. He certainly may have conducted his business both before and after those dates but no confirmation could be found.

Published in: on July 16, 2012 at 12:01 am  Comments (3)  
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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I like your pun about genealogists…

    I can relate to that.

    By the way, have you found any cabinet cards of your ancestors?

    I did… This is Honoré Sauvé and Julie Leroux, my great-great-grandparents. Back in 2007, this is all the information I had. Then I began my quest…

    So, read them and weep…!

    Thanks again for those wonderful cabinet cards. They make my day…

    Pun intended.

  2. You just made my day. I have recently come across an old unidentified family portrait. It was trimmed to fit in an album. All that was left of the cabinet card was 151 South Spring Street and a couple of swoops from the top of the cursive logo. After doing an extensive search on the web I found your blog and the logo for E.W.Fortune, 151 South Spring Street – a perfect match. This confirms that this family photo was taken in Los Angeles, which in turn helps me identify the family by its location and composition (father, mother and three daughters, photo from around 1890). Mystery solved and all thanks to you.

    • I am very happy that you were able to utilized this blog to help you identify an old family portrait. One of the rewards for creating and maintaining this blog is that many people have found photographs of ancestors, or photographs by ancestors in the cabinet card gallery. That is truly a pleasure. Another reward for curating this site is that It is an international community effort and I have learned much from comments from the visitors to this site. I am glad you found the site and hope you become a frequent visitor and contributor of ideas and information.

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