The pretty costumed blonde actress featured in this real photo postcard is Edy Vayland. She is wearing a fantastic headdress. This portrait is a bit risque for it’s era. Preliminary research revealed zero information about this Belle Epoque theatre actress. The postcard is from the 1910’s and was published in Italy by A. Traldi from the city of Milan. Traldi operated in Milan from 1902-1918. The publisher concentrated on view cards of Europe and the Middle East. They are also known for a series published that focussed on dogs. Research reveals that they produced a number of postcard portraits of European stage performers. If any visitors to the Cabinet Card Gallery have information about Miss Vayland, please leave a comment to educate the rest of us.

Published in: on July 24, 2017 at 3:10 pm  Comments (1)  
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This cabinet card portrait features an adorable little girl with a terrific smile. She is holding her china head doll. The close-up view of the child makes this image quite special. The photographer of this photograph was Fred Jorns who operated a studio in Girard, Illinois. Frederick W. Jorns (1857-1943) was once partnered with William L Harrod in operating a studio in Girard. In addition they operated the Jorns and Harrod Palace Art Car. This was a mobile studio that travelled the rails stopping in towns in Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky. The studio car was pulled by an engine from the Cincinnati-Chicago and St. Louis Railroad. An 1892 photo of the studio rail car can be seen below. Fred is the gentleman wearing the suit. Jorn’s father, Gustav Jorns, immigrated from Germany in 1848. He married in 1856 and learned the photography business from his brother-in-law. Gustav established a photo studio in Springfield, Illinois. Gustav’s son, Fred learned the photography business from his father and set up his own studio in Girard. Fred married Lena Hann in 1884 and a portrait of the couple can be seen below.The couple travelled together on the Palace Art Car leaving their three children with relatives. Jorns sold his photography business around 1901 and became a grocer. He later resided in the Oklahoma Territory and then Houston, Texas. Please note the cabinet card portrait below which captures Fred Jorns reclining on a chaise. Initial research was unsuccessful in determining whether Fred Jorns operated his studio alone before he partnered with William Harrod or visa versa.


This vintage photograph features a cute little girl all bundled up in her winter outdoor clothing. Her coat and hat are unique by todays standards. She is wearing gloves and a nice grin. This photograph was taken by the studio belonging to John D. Strunk. He was a talented and prolific photographer who operated a studio in Reading, Pennyslvania. After adding this photograph to the Cabinet Card Gallery, the site will display fifteen of his images. According to evidence gathered in preliminary research, he worked as a photographer between 1888 and 1910. This photograph measures about 5 3/4″ x 7 3/4″ and was taken during the last half of his career. An additional aspect of this photograph is that there is a ghost image on it’s reverse.

Published in: on July 22, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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These two real photo postcards feature German film actress Marina von Ditmar (1914-2014), a leading lady of the 1930’s and 40’s. . She was born in the Russia Empire and was of Baltic German descent. When she moved to Germany she studied acting. Her first roles were appearances at Schauspielhaus, Bremen, and the Altes Theater (Leipzig). In 1937 she joined the ensemble at the Volksbuhne in Berlin and by 1940, she was a permanent actress at this venue. Her first major movie success was in “The Csardas Princess” (1934). In 1943, she starred in “Muchhausen”, a film that had great commercial success. Von Ditmar was also well known for her role in “The Big Shadow” (1942). She appeared in several Nazi propaganda film including Stukas (1941). She married D. Hans-Georg Dehnhardt (1913-2001), a leading physician and owner of a sanitarium,  Soon after her marriage, she retired from acting. The IMDB credits Miss von Ditmar with thirty film roles. The top postcard was published by Film-Forto-Verlag and was part of a series (A 2622/1). The photographer was Baumann and there is an advertising logo for the German film company UFA. The bottom postcard was also published by Film-Foto-Verlag and was part of a series (no. A 3926/1). The photographer was Binz and there is an advertising logo for Prag Films. The Prag company produced 14 films between 1943 and 1945. Many of the people employed to produce these films were Czechs who were forced by war time German authorities to produce these films. The photographer, Tita Binz (1903-1970), was German and she photographed many film stars of the Third Reich, She also made portraits of the soldiers who earned the Knight’s Cross (the highest military award in Nazi Germany). Binz began her career by apprenticing in Paris between 1928 and 1930. She was an apprentice for her uncle, the celebrated photographer, Leopold Reutlinger whose studio was opened in 1850 and became of the worlds most renowned studios. Binz settled in Berlin and worked for various photo studios until opening her own studio in 1938. She specialized in portrait photography and photographed actors, artists, politicians, and other celebrities. One of her clients was the publisher Film-Foto-Verlag (formerly Ross Verlag). The founder of the company, Heinrich Ross was forced out in 1937 by the National Socialists because he was Jewish and Jews were not allowed to own businesses. Ross Verlag retained it’s name until 1941. Film-Foto-Verlag became known for it’s postcard portraits of film stars of the German and Italian cinema. Today, many of Binz’s photo portraits can be found in the collection owned by the Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin.

                                                                                                                REVERSE TOP POSTCARD

                                                                                                           REVERSE BOTTOM POSTCARD


This cabinet card portrait is both interesting and sad. The photograph shows a family of five in mourning. They are dressed in dark clothing and on the table that they are sitting or standing by, is a cabinet card post-mortem photograph of a baby. On the reverse of this cabinet card is the inscription “Carrie Picture”. Clearly, someone has identified the baby as being named “Carrie”. This photograph was taken at the Bannister studio in St. Johns, Michigan. The Michigan Directory of Photographers reports that he operated his St Johns studio in 1895. The directory provides no first name for Mr. Bannister. It is my hypothesis that the photographer of the cabinet card portrait was Frank T. Bannister. He is listed as a photographer in the 1885 business directory for Saginaw, Michigan. He also appears in the 1910 US census as a photographer residing in New Richmond, Wisconsin.

Published in: on July 20, 2017 at 7:39 pm  Comments (2)  
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A young woman, perhaps a teenager, poses for her portrait at the Daylight Studio in Topeka, Kansas. She appears quite solemn and is wearing a black dress with black satin sashes and bows. Perhaps she is in mourning. The young lady is wearing a collar pin and a ring. She is beautifully dressed and is pretty despite her apparent discomfort at being photographed.

Published in: on July 19, 2017 at 7:32 pm  Comments (3)  
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Margaret Halston, in her role as Desdemona in Othello, is the subject of this real photo postcard published by Percy Guttenberg of Manchester, England. The postcard is part of the “Revival Series” (no.122). Margaret Halston (1879-1967) was an English actress born in London, England as Clara Maud Hertz. A number of references mention that she was of Jewish descent. She was known for both theater, film, and television performances. Among her popular performances was in “Tell Your Children” (1922), “The Holly and the Ivy” 1952, and “Touch and Go” (1955). She began her acting career in amateur theatre and she made her professional stage debut at the Haymarket Theater in 1895. Her roles became larger over time until she became a leading actress appearing in plays such as  ‘Hamlet   ‘ (1896), “Antony and Cleopatra” (1897), and “The Taming of the Shrew” (1897). At the turn of the century she became part of Frank Benson’s theatre group and took numerous roles in Shakespearian theatre. It is reported that she acted in almost all of Shakespeare’s plays. She later worked in George Alexander and Herbert Beerbohm-Tree’s theater groups. She became involved in film in 1916 when she made her debut with “A Bunch of Violets”. Over the next few years she appeared in a small number of silent movies. She adapted well to sound films and appeared in a number of them. IMDB credits her with appearing in sixteen films between 1917 and 1956. The site also lists three television credits between 1938 and 1955. Miss Halstan was certainly an entertainment star. It is interesting to note that she twice played in the role of “Queen of Transylvania” in the theatrical production of “My Fair Lady” (1957-1958, 1961-1963). There are three portraits of her in the National Portrait Gallery.


This scallop edged vintage photograph features two teenage boys. The boy in the dark shirt and tie is quite handsome. They are both wearing suspenders. The photograph was taken by the Drysdale studio in Brainerd, Minnesota. James S. Drysdale (1862-1914?) operated his own studio but at one time he was a partner in the Quam & Drysdale gallery. Drysdale had a studio in both Brainerd and St. Cloud between about 1894 and 1899. The Quam and Drysdale studio was located in Walker, Minnesota (1900). Drysdale returned to Brainerd in 1901 and operated a studio there until 1904. Drysdale appears in the 1900 US census. Data indicates that he was Canadian born, immigrated in 1880, and a naturalized US citizen. At the time of the census he was living on the Chippewa Reservation in Cass, Minnesota. The census reports that his race was “White”. Although he was listed as married (1899), he was living independently.

Published in: on July 16, 2017 at 11:56 am  Comments (2)  
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This scallop-edged cabinet card features a young boy posing for his photograph at the Swan studio in Norway, Maine. Some may argue that the child is actually a girl. However, it was common for young boys to wear skirt type clothing and have long hair. John Wesley Swan (1857-?) appears in the 1884 Portland, Maine city directory as a photographer. The 1900 US census reveals that Swan was Canadian born and lived in Norway with his wife (Annie) and their two daughters. Swan married his wife in 1883. According to Anthony’s Photographic Bulletin (1900), Swan’s studio was destroyed by fire and he lost a large number of valuable negatives of scenery in the area of Norway. The journal also states that the “loss was large and the insurance is said to be small”. Swan was the official photographer of the Grand Trunk Railway system. He won a gold medal at the Paris Exposition according to Photo-Era magazine (1900). At one point in his career in Norway, Swan had a partner in his business (Swan & Cobb). John Wesley Swan was involved in a bizarre incident that made the annals of the history of Norway. The book,  “A History of Norway, Maine: From the Earliest Settlement to the Close of the Year 1922”, tells a  mysterious story about Mr. Swan. While on a trip to Boston in 1893, Swan disappeared for a period of about six months. The writer states that Swan “claimed to have been sand-bagged and robbed in Boston and when he partially recovered consciousness found himself in New Orleans”. His memory had “left him” and he wandered around until his memory returned while he was in Texas. Swan returned to Norway and explained his disappearance to his friends and family, and community. According to the writer, many doubted the validity of his explanation.

Published in: on July 15, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Comments (3)  
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This vintage hand-colored real photo postcard features a charming little girl holding her doll. The child has a wonderful smile. She is wearing a fancy white lace dress, a necklace, and a hair bow. The postcard was published in 1904 by Neue Photographische Gesellschaft (NPG) which was located in Berlin and Stuttgart, Germany.The company was in business between 1894 and 1948. It was founded by Arthur Black (1862-1943) and it became one of the most well known and largest companies involved in the production of postcards.The postcard is an Oranotypie. An oranotype is a trade name for a type of glossy real photo postcard published by NPG at the beginning of the 20th century.The postcard was mailed to someone in Paris, France and is postmarked in either 1906 or 1908 (it is difficult to decipher which date).

Published in: on July 14, 2017 at 5:43 pm  Comments (1)  
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