A nicely dressed couple pose for their portrait at the studio of Mrs. Charles Waldack (Mary Tanner) in Cincinnati, Ohio. The gentleman’s pocket watch chain can be seen under his jacket and the woman is wearing a collar pin and necklace. The woman is displaying affection by resting her hand on the man’s shoulder. The photographer, Mary Waldack was born about 1849 in Harford County, Kentucky. Although Mary was quite talented, her husband garnered the most attention. Charles Waldack was born in 1828 in Ghent, Belgium. In 1866 he became well known for using magnesium and gunpowder to make the first underground photographs in America. He took these photographs at Mammoth Cave in Kentucky. The pictures were published as stereo cards by E. and H.T Anthony of New York. Charles pursued his photographic career in Cincinnati from 1854 until 1881. In addition, he contributed many articles to photographic literature. In 1881 he took a trip to his native Belgium. He left his wife in charge of his studio. He died a brief time later and Mrs. Waldack managed the business until at least 1893. Mary Waldack is a member of a small group of pioneering women photographers. To view other images by early female photographers click on the category “Female Photographers”.
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