This vintage real photo postcard features a very beautiful British stage actress named Olive Morrell. She was a successful enough actress to merit having six portraits of her included in the United Kingdom’s National Portrait Gallery. She performed in England and toured in Australia. She was  born as Olive Miller; Morrell was her stage name. In 1908, she married Willie Kelly (1877-1960), an Australian politician. The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News (1905) highlights her career including her role in “The Spring Chicken” at the Gaiety Theatre. In researching the play, I was struck by the number of well known actresses appearing alongside her. The cast included Kitty Mason, Kate Cutler, Gaynor Rowlands, Ethel Oliver, and Gertie Millar. This was certainly an all star lineup and any collector of theatrical postcards will be familiar with these actresses. Collectors will also note that these women were  quite pretty and their postcard images were, and still are, very collectible. Miss Morrell is also the subject of an article in The Play Pictorial (1905) which mentions her appearance in a theatre production called “The Talk of the Town”. This postcard was produced by Rotary Photo as part of the Rotary Photographic Series (no. 1547 C). It is truly a special portrait of Miss Morrell. After viewing many postcard images of this actress; I believe this portrait is one of the finest portraits of Olive Morrell that a postcard collector can find. This photograph captures her beauty as well as provides a close look at fashion during the turn of the century.

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This vintage photograph features a portrait of a “Florodora Girl”.  You may be wondering “what the heck is a Florodora Girl”? I was asking myself the same question when the previous owner of this image described the pretty woman in this photograph as a “Florodora Girl”. Being curious, I did a little research and found that “Florodora” was an Edwardian musical comedy that became one of the first successful Broadway musicals of the twentieth century. The show opened in London in 1899. Actresses Evie Greene and Ada Reeve were among the show’s performers. The Broadway production was performed at the Casino Theater in 1900 and ran for 552 performances. The show achieved some of its success from it’s chorus line of “Florodora Girls”. A wikipedia entry describes the six female performers comprising the line as being”tall, gorgeous damsels, clad in pink walking costumes, black picture hats and carrying frilly parasols (who) swished onto the stage and captivated New York for no other reason than they were utterly stunning”. Please pardon my brief excursion to the land of theater history. Now, lets get back to this image. The reverse of this photograph has an inscription that states “Maid and the Mummy”. It is probably a safe bet to conclude that the subject of this photograph was an actress that appeared in the production of “Maid and the Mummy”. “The Maid and the Mummy (1904)” was a musical comedy that played at the New York Theater in New York City. The show played 42 performances. Actresses in the play included May Boley, Adele Rowland, Janet Priest, and Annie Yeamans. The Cornell Daily Sun (1905) reviewed the play and reported that the production was “one of the most elaborate the stage has seen in recent years”. Interestingly, the article also states that ” “The Maid and the Mummy’ is the biggest success since “Florodora”. After some investigating, I strongly believe that the actress seen in this image is Adele Rowland. Take a look at the photograph below which is a photograph of Miss Rowland taken by photographer Joseph Hall, the same photographer of the photograph seen above. Do the women in these two images resemble each other enough to be the same person? I think so. Who is Adele Rowland? Adele Rowland was born in 1883 in Washington D.C.. Her sister, Mabel Rowland (1882-1943) was also an actress. Adele was a soprano with an “effervescent personality” who excelled in musical comedies. The New York Times (1904) reviewed “The Maid and the Mummy” and wrote that Rowland and May Boley “had something to say and sing, but their chief duty was to be looked at”. In 1915, she introduced the song “Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit-Bag”. That song has stuck around over time. She also had a film career; appearing in six films between 1941 and 1950. She died in 1971. Here is some information about photographer Joseph Hall. He had studios in both Brooklyn and Manhattan, New York. He pursued his career between 1865 and 1915. Hall mass produced carte de visite portraits and albumin prints for the public. He also was a pioneer in producing photo-illustrated books in the 1860’s. He also was well known for being a premier photographer of professional baseball teams and players in the 1880’s. In addition, Hall did a lot of work in the area of photographing theatrical stars and productions. He died in 1915. To view more of Joseph Hall’s photographs, click on the category “Photographer: Hall”.

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                                                                                                                                                Close-Up of Floradora Girl


                                                                                                                                     Confirmed Photo of Adele Rowland

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                                                                                                                                       Reverse of Floradora Photograph


lady in costume

A young woman poses with a guitar at the Mcddaugh Studio in Lead, South Dakota. She appears to be an actress or a singer based on her elaborate costume. Preliminary research found little information about photographer E. Mcddaugh. Lead is located in western South Dakota in the Black Hills near the Wyoming border. The city of Lead was founded in 1876 after gold was discovered there. Lead was established as a company town by the Homestake Mining Company. In 1910, Lead was the second largest town in the state (population of 8,382). South Dakota became a state in 1889.This cabinet card was produced after 1889 as indicated by the “S. D.” printed below the image.



Published in: on July 9, 2016 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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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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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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molly fuller

This cabinet card is a portrait of Mollie (Molly) Fuller (1868-1933), a Boston born stage and vaudeville performer. She appeared in two Broadway plays but is better known for her vaudeville career. She was the second wife of Frederick Hallen (1859-1920) and the couple were a popular team on the vaudeville stage for nearly twenty-five years. They were known for their short comedic plays. Mollie’s resume includes performances in “Adonis” and in “Evangeline”, both plays by  Edward Rice. He biggest hit was her starring role in “The Twentieth Century Girl” (1895). When producer Edward Albee learned Mollie was near blind an impoverished in Chicago, he arranged to bring her to New York. He commissioned a theater piece to be written for her to perform in. She returned to the stage to perform in the resulting playlet “Twilight”. Mollie was the sister of Loie Fuller (1862-1928). Loie was a pioneer of modern dance and theatrical lighting techniques. Among Loie’s skills was her talent as a “skirt dancer”. She died in Hollywood, California, at the age of 68 in 1933. At the time of her death she was receiving assistance from “Troupers”, a national vaudeville players association. This cabinet card was issued by “Newsboy” which was a tobacco company that used cabinet cards as premiums to encourage sales of their tobacco products. This image is number forty-one of a series.



This cabinet card portrait features stage performer and playwright Grace Heyer. The Internet Broadway Data Base lists Miss Heyer as performing in eleven Broadway shows. Her “Great White Way” career began with “Cyrano de Bergerac” (1900) and ended with “Great Gatsby” (1926). Her photo appears in Munsey’s Magazine (1899) and she is credited with appearing in “The Wife”. Her portrait also appears in Theatre Magazine (1904) where she is described as a “young emotional actress” who has headed her own theater company. The Greenback Magazine (1914) describes Heyer as a “formerly well known actress” whose new play “The Philosopher” was to be introduced by the “Liebler Company”. Miss Heyer looks quite beautiful in this cabinet card image. The photograph is subtly provocative. The profile portrait reveals her partially bare back and her bare neck and in the image her expression can be described as being sultry. This photograph was taken by celebrity photographer Jacob Schloss (1856-1938) in his Manhattan studio. Schloss received his education at the Cooper Union in New York City. He graduated in 1872 as an etcher. He joined Benjamin J. Falk’s photography studio and worked there in the mid 1870’s. He left Falk’s employ to open his own studio (54 West 23rd Street) where like Falk, he specialized in theatrical photography. He tended to favor photographing actresses in costume in front of generic studio furnishings. He produced many cabinet card photographs but also was active in the production of magazine images. By the 1890’s he was particularly known for his photographs of beautiful women, much like photographer Jose Maria Mora. Schloss also was an activist for photographers rights. He was very involved in the movement to copyright images. He sued those who used his photographs without crediting or paying him. He was very involved in national photographer associations and was an active photographer until the 1910’s. To view other photographs by this photographer, click on the category “Photographer: Schloss”.

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Published in: on May 21, 2016 at 12:12 pm  Comments (2)  
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This vintage real photo postcard features French actress Gisele Grimaux caught in a candid moment as she texts her boyfriend on her cell phone. Amazingly, this photograph is dated 1927, indicating that the lovely Miss Grimaux’s cell phone was certainly a prototype. Enough with the humor. It is actually a mystery as to what the costumed Gisele Grimaux is holding in her hand that draws her intense attention. Possibilities include a mirror or a photograph. The reverse of the postcard identifies the actress and the date.

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Published in: on April 29, 2016 at 9:26 am  Comments (3)  
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This vintage real photo postcard features actress Bebe Daniels (1901-1971). The postcard was published by Cinemagazine (Paris Edition) and is part of a series (no. 121?). Miss Daniels is absolutely beautiful. She is nicely dressed and her outfit includes furs. She is wearing a large ring and a necklace with a cross. Bebe Daniels was an American actress, singer, dancer, writer and producer. She was born in Dallas, Texas to show business parents. Her father was a theater manager and her mother was a stage actress. She started her career in Hollywood as a silent film child actress. She became a star in musicals such as “42nd Street”. She worked opposite Harold Lloyd and was under contract with Cecil B. DeMille.  She later became a popular radio and television actress in Great Britain. In he 1920’s she was under contract with Paramount Pictures and made the transition to adult roles. In 1924 she played opposite to Rudolph Valentino in “Monsieur Bearcaire”. She also recorded songs for RCA Victor. When talkies began, she was hired by RKO. While with RKO her movies included a number of musicals such as “Dixiana” (1930) and  “Love Comes Along” (1930). Over the course of her career, she appeared in 230 films. She retired from Hollywood in 1935. After World War II she was awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Truman for her service during the war. An interesting story concerning Miss Daniels is that while appearing in a Chicago hotel, several thousand dollars worth of her jewelry was stolen from her hotel room. Al Capone, the notorious gangster, was a longtime Daniels fan and put out an order that the thief had just 24 hours to return it “or else”. The jewelry was returned the following day.


Published in: on April 8, 2016 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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Perhaps this entry into the Cabinet Card Gallery is a mistake on my part. I began this blog in 2008 and for many years all the photographs that the gallery displayed were Cabinet Cards. Having difficuly putting reins on my vintage photography interests, I added cdv’s, real photo postcards, and vintage post cabinet card photographs to the collection. I must have trouble setting limits because today I am entering a “non photograph” into the blog. I feel a need to provide you with a rationalization. The entry today is a vintage trade card advertising corsets for the Chicago Corset Company. The card dates back to the 1880’s. The question remains, what is this “non photograph” trade card doing in the gallery? Here is my explanation. There are many entries in the cabinet card gallery that discuss the use of corsets. The wasp waisted women seen in a number of the gallery’s photographs didn’t get that way from going to Jenny Craig and the gym. Their secret weapon was wearing a corset. Therefore, it seems a brief discussion of corsets is appropriate content for the Cabinet Card Gallery. This trade card utilizes a “celebrity spokesperson”.  Adelina Patti, a famous opera singer, sings the praise of Ball’s Corsets which were manufactured by the Chicago Corset Company of Aurora, Illinois. She ordered eight corsets and testified that she wished that she had known about them sooner. The company advertising on the card brags that “they need no breaking in” and that they provide “health and comfort”. This particular trade card is advertising for T. J. Elcock & Company which was a Dry Goods, Carpets, and Notions store in Mechanicsburgh, Pennsylvania. Here is a little information about the Chicago Corset Company, The business is cited in Robin Shepard’s “The Best Breweries and Brewpubs of Illinois (2003), I’m not kidding about the reference. The author writes that in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s Aurora was considered the corset capitol of the world. There were at least three corset companies operating their factories there and one of the largest was the Chicago Corset Company. In fact, I read elsewhere, that the company was the second largest corset company in the world. At one point, the business employed 600 people and produced 2 million corsets a year. The word “corset” began to be used in the English language in about 1828. “The Ladies Magazine” described it as a “quilted waistcoat”. The primary reason for using corsets was to slim the body and help it conform to a fashionable silhouette. Generally speaking, the corset reduces the wist and exaggerates the bust and hips. Apparently there were “overbust corsets” and “underbust corsets”. Sometimes, corsets were used for medical or for fetish purposes. I’ll refrain from elaborating about the medical and fetish purposes and leave detailed explanation to your imagination. The corset company’s spokesperson on this trade card is Adelina Patti (1843-1919). She was a celebrated 19th century opera singer who earned a great deal of money for her performances at the height of her career. She sang in both Europe and America and is probably one of the most famous sopranos in history. She was born in Madrid. Her father was tenor Salvatore Pattie and her mother was soprano Caterina Barilli. Her parents were Italian and she grew up in the Bronx, New York. She sang professionally from childhood. At sixteen years of age, she made her operatic debut at the Academy of Music in New York City. At age eighteen she began performing in Europe. She later performed “Home Sweet Home” for President Lincoln and his wife shortly after the death of their son, Willie. The bereaved parents requested an encore. She was associated with the song for her entire career. In her prime, Adelina Patti demanded to be paid five thousand dollars a night. She asked to be paid in gold, prior to each performance. She demanded top billing and that her name be in bigger font than others in the company. She also demanded that she not be obligated to attend rehearsals. Did someone say, DIVA? It was reported that she trained her parrot to say “Cash, Cash”. Be sure to look below to see some interesting images pertaining to corsets as well as an image of Miss Patti.

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 Adelina Patti

004                              Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The                                                 Metropolitan Museum of Art