A FASHIONABLE WOMAN AND HER PARASOL IN ST. CATHARINES, ONTARIO, CANADA

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A fashionable woman holding a parasol poses for her photograph at the Poole studio in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. She is wearing a lot of jewelry; her earrings, collar pin, ring, and a chain on her jacket are quite evident. She is also wearing half gloves and holding a purse. The woman is exhibiting an “all business” expression. Printing on the reverse of the cabinet card notes that the studio was located on St. Paul Street and the studio had received an “Honorable Mention” award at the Paris exposition in 1878. Edwin Poole was born in Abington, England and educated in London. He emigrated to Canada in 1866 and moved to St. Catharines in 1876. In 1900 he opened a photography studio. His work was published in the Toronto Globe and he won many photographic awards during his career. He retired in 1921 and died in St. Catharines in 1931. I believe the image below is a portrait of Edwin Poole. To view other portraits by this photographer, click on the category “Photographer: Poole”.

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BEAUTIFUL FRENCH THEATRE ACTRESS MISS LILLIANE WEARING A POLKA DOT BIKINI

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This vintage real photo postcard features French stage actress Miss Lilliane wearing a turn of the century bikini, kerchief, and cape. She is dressed and posed in a risque manner. The photograph was taken by Walery of Paris, France. Stanislaw Julian Ignacy, Count Ostrorog (1863-1935) followed in the footsteps of his father Stanislaw Ostrorog (1830-1890) to become a photographer. He also kept his father’s “photographer name”. The senior Ostorog had changed his name to “Stanislaw Walery” for professional purposes. The last name of “Walery” was derived from his wife’s name, “Waleria”. The elder Walery had set up his London studio in 1883. To view other photographs by Walery, click on the category “Photographer: Walery”.This postcard was published by Papier Guilleminot and is part of a series (#17). The postmark is from Brotteaux, France. Brotteaux is a neighborhood in Lyon, France. It is located between the Rhone River and the railway.

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Published in: on June 29, 2016 at 7:02 pm  Comments (4)  
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PORTRAIT OF A BULGARIAN FAMILY (FATHER IS WEARING A MILITARY UNIFORM)

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This cabinet card portrait features a Bulgarian family. The seated man and woman may be the parents of the three individuals behind them. It is also possible that the five subjects in the photograph are siblings. The man in the image is wearing a military uniform. The previous owner of this image asserted that his uniform indicates that he holds the rank of sergeant. The little boy in the image is also wearing a uniform. It may be a school uniform or possibly he is dressing in this manner in order to imitate his older brother or father. The females in this image are wearing traditional clothing. Some words are penciled on the reverse of the photograph but I do not know their translated meaning. The cabinet card gallery has several Bulgarian photographs and they are quite interesting. To view these images, click on the category “Bulgaria”.

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Published in: on June 28, 2016 at 1:16 pm  Comments (1)  
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AN ADORABLE LITTLE GIRL AND HER GIANT RABBIT (VINTAGE REAL PHOTO POSTCARD)

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This real photo postcard features an adorable little girl hugging a giant toy rabbit. The rabbit appears very life like, save it’s size. The young girl exhibits an expression that looks more like fear than than affection. The postcard was published by Rotophot Berlin (RPH). Rotophot made it’s debut in Berlin, Germany around the turn of the century (1900). The company had other European offices including London and Budapest. They published many different postcard topics including stage stars. Many of their early postcards were tinted. Eventually Rotophot morphed into “Ross Verlag” a postcard company that collectors know for the many postcards they produced featuring actors and actresses. The postcard’s postmark indicates that it was mailed in 1907. It is addressed to someone in Tuscany, Italy.

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Published in: on June 22, 2016 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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PRETTY YOUNG WOMAN WEARING ROSES IN DENVER, COLORADO

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A pretty young woman with smiling eyes poses for her portrait at the Bellsmith Studio in Denver, Colorado. She appears to be in her teenage years. She is wearing a lovely dress and a corsage of roses. The photographer of this image is Harold S. Bellsmith. At one point his business was known as Gold Medal Studio. Bellsmith is listed as a photographer in the Denver business directory from 1890 through 1898. The Photographic Times (1890) announced the opening of his Denver studio. The Photographic Times (1892) reported that Bellsmith experienced a great deal of success as a “high class” photographer. If this cabinet card represents the quality of his work, than he was a talented photographer.

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Published in: on June 21, 2016 at 3:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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PORTRAIT OF STAGE ACTRESS AND JOURNALIST JULIE OPP (VINTAGE REAL PHOTO POSTCARD)

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This vintage real photo postcard features stage actress Julie Opp (1871-1921).  Miss Opp was an American stage actress who was for many years popular in America as well as in Europe. She was the wife of actor William Faversham. She married him after the pair co-starred in the Broadway production of “The Royal Rival” (1902). The internet Broadway data base indicates that Miss Opp appeared in six Broadway shows from 1901 through 1911. Julie Opp was born in New York City in 1871. Her Bavarian father ran a saloon on lower Manhattan”s Bowery Street and was active in local politics.  Her mother was Irish-American. Julie began her education in public schools but her mother decided to transfer her to a local convent to receive her education. The young girl shocked  the sisters and bishop when she told them that she wanted to become a ballet dancer when she grew up. By the time she graduated, she had replaced her ambition to dance, with becoming a writer. Her first job was being a a journalist with the New York Recorder. She was a fashion writer. As part of her work as a journalist, she became involved with many people in the theatre world including Sarah Bernhardt and Emma Calve. The show business performers tried to convince her to become an actress. As a result she dabbled in acting but in 1896 she chose the stage over writing and performed in Shakespeare’s “As You Like it” at London’s St. James Theatre. A review of her performance seen in “To-Day” (1896) stated she was “charming” and “equipped for the performance of brilliant work, either on the press or stage”. In 1906 she published “The Squaw Man: A Novel”. She fell seriously ill in 1914 while traveling abroad with her husband and two sons. She appeared to recover and performed again, but soon suffered a relapse causing her to retire from acting. She then spent her remaining years at her residence in New York City and her country house on Long Island. She died after a failed operation in 1921. This postcard was published by the Rotary Photo Company as part of the Rotary Photographic Series (no. 1572 B). Miss Opp was photographed by L. Caswall Smith. Lizzie Caswall Smith (1870-1958) was a British photographer who operated in the early 1900’s. She specialized in photographing members of society and celebrities. Many of her photographs were used for postcards. She was involved in the Women’s Suffrage movement and photographed many of the leading suffragettes. She also photographed many actors including Billie Burke and Maude Fealy. She operated the Gainsborough Studio from 1907 through 1920 (309 Oxford Street) and moved to a new location (90 Great Russell Street) where she remained until she retired in 1930 at the age of 60 years-old. Her most famous photograph is a portrait of Florence Nightingale taken in 1910. It was auctioned in 1908 and sold for 5500 pounds which is an equivalent today of nearly 8,000 dollars. The National Portrait Gallery has 84 portraits associated with Lizzie Caswall Smith.

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PORTRAIT OF EDWIN PHELPS IN ROME, NEW YORK AND THE EASTMAN KODAK CONNECTION

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An inscription on the reverse of this cabinet card portrait reveals that the subject’s name in Edwin Phelps. The photograph was taken at the Brainerd Photo Company in Rome (Oneida County), New York. Preliminary research tells us a little bit about Mr. Phelps. He was born in Oneida County in 1829. He was married to Amanda Howard (1832-1904). The 1880 census indicates that the couple had three sons living at home with them. He worked as a carpenter during at least four decades.  He died in 1902 in Baltimore, Maryland and is buried in Forest Park Cemetery in Camden (Oneida County), New York. The images seen below include a portrait of Phelps taken at a later date than the portrait seen above, and a photograph of Phelps’s gravestone. The photographer that produced this image is Jonathan Millard Brainerd (1851-1926). Brainerd was born in Oneida, New York. After finishing school, Brainerd began working for photographer H. Hovey and after two years the two men became partners in a firm named appropriately Hovey & Brainerd. The business partnership lasted ten years until Brainerd bought out Hovey. Brainerd was married to Sarah C. Knight in 1874. Brainerd’s studios included locations in Rome (112 West Dominick Street) and in Oneida (28 Main Street). He had an interest in public service which is reflected in the three years that he spent as an alderman and his position as treasurer of State Custodial Asylum. He died in Utica, New York and is buried in Rome Cemetery in Rome, New York. His obituary appeared in the Rome Sentinel (1926) and the article included an interview with his colleague, photographer Betty Filchard. She noted that Brainerd was a friend of the famed photography entrepreneur George Eastman, one of the founders of Eastman Kodak. She stated that Brainerd was a genius and had invented a new camera shutter that Eastman had patented under his own name and “broke Jonathan’s heart”.

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                                                                                                                               LATER PORTRAIT OF EDWIN PHELPS

 

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                                                                                                                                     GRAVESTONE OF EDWIN PHELPS

 

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                                                                                                                           PORTRAIT OF JONATHAN MILLARD BRAINERD

 

 

WHATS MY LINE? PORTRAIT OF FOUR FIREMEN OR TRAINMEN

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Between 1950 and 1967, CBS television ran a popular game show in which four panelists asked question in order to guess the occupation of a guest. The name of the game was “What’s My Line?”. Now you get to play the game except that you have to use observational skills rather than ask questions. What do you think is the occupation of the four men seen in this cabinet card photograph. Three of the men are in uniform and wearing hats displaying identification numbers. At least one of the three is wearing striped pants. The fourth man is well dressed and wearing civilian clothing and a light colored hat. He is also chomping on a cigar. My guess is that the men work for a railroad. It is also possible that they are firemen. Any comments conjecturing about their line of work, would be appreciated. The name of the photographer and the location of his/her studio is unknown.

Published in: on June 15, 2016 at 12:00 pm  Comments (2)  
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HANDSOME BEARDED MAN IN SUSQUEHANNA, PENNSYLVANIA (CARTES DE VISITE)

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A well dressed handsome middle aged man poses for his cartes de visite (cdv) portrait at the Harding Studio in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania. The gentleman has an interesting beard. His handsome face is visible because he lacks a mustache. The photographer of this image is Addison Delavan Harding (1847-1908). At one point in time, his studio was located at 42 Main Street in Susquehanna. His obituary appears in the magazine “Snap Shots” (1908). The article reports that he worked over 40 years as a photographer. He was born in Binghamton, New York. He learned the business of photography while in the employ of a photographer in Towanda, Pennsylvania. Harding opened a studio there in 1865. He married Fannie V. Harding (Shipman) (1847-1945) in 1867. He moved his business to Susquehanna in 1873. After Hardings death, his son (D S Harding) took over the business and operated it until 1942. Fanny lived to the age of 98 years-old. Addison and Fannie Harding are buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Oakland, Pennsylvania.

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ADORABLE LITTLE GIRL RIDING A BEAUTIFUL PONY IN CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS (VINTAGE PHOTOGRAPH)

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The little girl riding this beautiful pony is very adorable. She is plainly dressed and wearing high socks and sandal type shoes. She is likely not an equestrian, judging by her clothing.  The little girl and pony were photographed by W. J. Nolan & Company in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Preliminary research found other photographs by the Nolan firm that featured children on the same pinto as seen in this photograph. Apparently, Nolan liked to use the pony as a prop in his photographic work.

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Published in: on June 13, 2016 at 11:11 am  Comments (3)  
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