HUMAN CANON BALL_0005This cabinet card portrait features a pretty young woman who was quite a daredevil. She was the first female canonball. Her stage name was Rose Zazel. In this photograph she is wearing her namesake rose as well as a necklace, bracelet, and earrings. She is also wearing a risque costume. Miss Zazel’s act involved being shot from a spring loaded cannon invented by “The Great Farini”. Zazel’s given name was Rossa Matilda Richter and she was just 14 years of age when she was engaging in this exciting but reckless behavior. At one point, she toured with the PT Barnum Circus. Eventually she suffered a career ending injury when she missed a safety net and suffered a broken back. The information I cited about Rose Zazel comes from an interesting article on The article is entitled “Seven Most Mind Blowing She-Daredevils in History” and it was written by Karl Fabricus. The article included the image below which is a poster advertising an appearance of “Zazel the Human Projectile”.  This cabinet card image was photographed by Marc Gambier, a well known photographer of celebrities. You can view more of his images and learn more about him in the category “Photographer: Gambier”.



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This cabinet card portrait features an actress, or possibly a musician, holding a violin and bow. She is dressed in a risque fashion. Courtesy of her short dress, she is exposing a great deal of her legs. The photograph was taken by Julius Gertinger (1834-1883) whose studio was located in Vienna, Austria. The reverse of the photo (seen below) shows some of the medals won by Gertinger in exhibitions. One of the earlier medals is from 1868. The date of this photograph (1886) is also listed on the reverse of the cabinet card. Gertinger is cited in the “British Journal of Photography (1874)”. In a review of a collection of his photos appearing in an international exhibition, the writer states that his photographs “possess great delicacy”. “The Photographic News (1875)”  in announcing the winners of awards at the Vienna Photographic Exhibition, reports that Gertinger and another winner were “by no means unknown to many of their brethren in Great Britain”. The New York Public Library’s Photography Collection includes the work of Gertinger.


Published in: on June 9, 2015 at 6:52 pm  Comments (1)  
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The top cabinet card features early theatre actress, Jennie Winston. Unfortunately, biographical information concerning Ms. Winston appears to be sparse, and further research is necessary. An 1881 publication reveals that Jennie Winston was a native of Scotland and moved to Australia to join W. S. Lyster’s Italian Opera company. Her tenure with this company was seven years. She next went ot America under engagement to “Mr Maguire”, for whom she worked for one season’s duration. She then formed her own traveling opera company which journeyed to the western United States and British Columbia. The “Dramatic News” described Winston as “unsurpassed as a comic-opera artist by anyone in this country”. The photographer of this portrait was the studio belonging to Gilbert & Bacon. This studio was well known for their quality work as well as their work with local and visiting celebrities. To view other photographs by this studio, click on the category of “Photographer: Gilbert & Bacon”.

The second photograph, also by Gilbert & Bacon, captures a costumed Jennie Winston playing the mandolin. Note the backdrop  used in this photograph. The backdrop was an excellent choice for the photograph as it is compatible with Ms. Winston’s costume. It was also a good choice technically; the actress does realistically appear to be standing on a winding stone road.

The third photographic portrait features a sultry looking Jennie Winston, and is by celebrated photographer, Marc Gambier (1838-1900). The fourth cabinet card portrait was also photographed by Gambier. Miss Winston is in costume for an unnamed theatrical performance. She is acting in the portrait. Note her provocative and coy appearance. Gambier was born and educated in Paris, France. At the age of 19, he came to America for a very short stint of time. He returned to France and became a student of the great painter, Le Creton. Subsequently, he became a student of another great painter, Camino. He then returned to America and for five years, studied and worked under esteemed photographer, Sarony (view Sarony’s photographs by clicking on the category “Photographer: Sarony”). He then launched his own photography business in New York City. He divided his time between his first love, painting, and his business of taking and selling photographs. Gambier was known as a great historical painter. He was a veteran of the French Army and while in the service, he sketched and painted several important battles. Research reveals that Gambier was listed in the 1880 US census. He was forty-one years old and living in New York City with his family. He is listed as living with his wife Emilie (age 28), daughters Louise (age 10) and Emilie (age 7), and son M. L. (age 2). Also in the residence was a young woman (age 25) who worked as a servant. Gambier was known for the many theatrical photographs he produced as well as for selling postage stamp sized portrait photographs, that people attached to their letters and postcards.


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The pretty and well dressed woman featured in this cabinet card portrait is noted soprano, Etta Miller Orchard. Her photograph appears in “The International (1901)”. In addition, she is mentioned in “The Musical Courier (1902)” for her performance in a Good Friday service at the Marble Collegiate Church in Boston, Massachusetts. Interestingly the photographer of the image seen in “The International” is Aime Dupont, the same photographer who created the portrait seen above. Dupont is a well known New York City photographer who took many photographs of celebrities. To view more of his images and to learn more about him, click on the category “Photographer: Dupont”. The cabinet card is stamped on the reverse with the name “Charles L. Ritzmann”. Ritzmann was a well known collector and retailer of celebrity cabinet cards. To view more of Ritzmann’s photographs, click on the category “Charles Ritzmann Collection”.


A pretty and nicely dressed woman poses for her portrait from celebrity photographer, William McKenzie Morrison, at the Haymarket Theatre in Chicago, Illinois. The subject of this photograph looks very much like actress, Lily Hanbury (1874-1908). An inscription on the reverse of this image states
“to my darling brother Mike, from Lily”. The card is dated “Aug   8, 1894”. There were many actresses in 1894 named Lily; Lily Langtry was likely the most famous of them all. Research failed to provide evidence that this cabinet card photograph features Ms. Hanbury. It is not certain that she ever appeared at the Haymarket, nor is there data to confirm that she had a brother named Mike. To view a confirmed photograph of Lily Hanbury, type her name in Cabinet Card Gallery’s Search Box and click the search button. To view other photographs by Morrison, click on the category “Photographer: Morrison”. ADDENDUM: I am grateful to a cabinet card gallery visitor who left a comment (click comment below) identifying the actress who is the subject of this photograph. Her name is Hattie Williams (1870-1947) and another photo of her can be seen in the form of the photograph found below. Miss Williams was an American stage actress, comedienne, and singer. She was born in Boston. She began her career in the farcical plays of Charles Hoyt. She was a popular actress in vaudeville and with the Charles Frohman Theater Company. At one point in her career she was considered an arch rival to Ethel Barrymore. A photograph of Miss Barrymore is posted in the cabinet card gallery and can be viewed by putting her name in the search box. Williams appeared in one motion picture (1915).




A pretty well dressed young woman poses for her portrait at the Anderson studio in San Francisco, California. She is wearing a beautiful dress with a large bow and a feathered hat sits atop her head. She is also wearing what appears to be diamond earrings and a collar pin. I would guess, and it’s only a guess,  that the woman in this photograph is an actress. The woman’s beauty, attire, and poise leads me to hypothesize her theatrical background. Perhaps a visitor to the cabinet card gallery will recognize her and be able to provide the rest of us with her identity. The photographer of this image is Hugh S. Anderson. He was born in Scotland sometime between 1820 and 1828.  Anderson was a California photographer who operated studios in Eureka (1858-1865), Hydesville (1859-1860), San Francisco (1866-c1895), and Petaluma (1875). The Valencia Street studio that produced this photograph operated between 1879 and 1884.


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Maggie Mitchell (1832-1918) was a famous American actress, born in New York. Her first regular stage appearance was in “The Soldier’s Daughter” at the Chambers Street Theatre in 1851. Her first major success was as star of  “Oliver Twist”. She has been described as small, agile and energetic, with a special talent for comedy. In 1860, she appeared in “Fanchon, The Cricket” which was adapted for her from a George Sand novel. She performed in this and other plays in front of  President Abraham Lincoln. The photographer of the top image was celebrity photographer, Mora, of New York City. To view other photographs by Mora, click on Cabinet Card Gallery’s category, “Photographer: Mora”. The second portrait of Miss Mitchell was taken by the esteemed Philadelphia photographic studio, Gilbert & Bacon. This cabinet card image shows Maggie displaying a “come hither” expression. To view more photographs by this studio, click on the category “Photographer: Gilbert & Bacon”. ADDENDUM: A knowledgeable visitor to Cabinet Card pointed out that the second photo of Miss Mitchell is actually actress Lotta Crabtree (see comment below). A bit of research confirmed his astute observation. Lotta Crabtree, a woman who led a very interesting life, will receive her own entry in the cabinet card gallery in the next few days.




Pencilled on the reverse of this cabinet card, is the name Isabel Everson. Preliminary research reveals little information about this actress other than an existence of a tobacco card premium published by Sweet Caporal which has her portrait. In addition, some newspaper articles were found that announce her appearance in various theater production.  Further research is required. This cabinet card is by Sarony, famed celebrity photographer located in New York City. To see other examples of Sarony’s photographs; click on the Photographer: Sarony category on this site. The second photograph of Miss Everson is by an unknown photographer. Unfortunately, the bottom of the cabinet card has been trimmed to fit into a frame or album, making it difficult but not impossible to identify the photographer. I attempted to identify the photographer by matching the script on the bottom of the photo with other photographer logos in the cabinet card collection. Unfortunately, I had no luck. Perhaps a cabinet card gallery visitor will be able to accomplish the detective work necessary to make the identification. Note the images found below that identifies Miss Everson as well as the image of the Russell Brothers stamp. Both the inscription and the stamp were located on the reverse of the cabinet card. Miss Everson is wearing a very interesting costume in this cabinet card photograph. It is probably something that she was wearing in a play in which she was appearing. I wonder what the object is that she is holding in her right hand. Does the object relate to her costume? I seem to have more questions than answers about this portrait of Isabel Everson.

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Published in: on April 2, 2015 at 12:01 pm  Comments (6)  
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A pretty young woman poses for a cabinet card portrait at the Worden studio in Boston, Massachusetts. This profile portrait provides a nice view of her lacy dress and pinned flowers. The reverse of the photograph has an inscription that states “Compliments of Miss Gertrude Foster”. Research was unable to find an actress, dancer, or singer with the name of  Gertrude Foster. It seems likely that the Gertrude Foster seen in this cabinet card was not a celebrity. Researching Miss Foster was unproductive because her name is too common in the Boston area. To view more photographs from the Worden studio, click on the category “Photographer: Worden”.         ADDENDUM: I stumbled upon some biographical data about Miss Foster. It turns out that Gertrude Foster was a stage actress during the cabinet card era. The Capital (1898) reported that she was the “leading lady actress” at the Alcazar Theater in San Francisco before accepting a place in the touring Belasco  & Thall Theater Company. Miss Foster is mentioned again in the San Francisco Call (1900). The newspaper reports her marriage to Edward W. Mansfield who was the manager of the Fisher Opera House in San Diego, California. Apparently Mansfield was smitten with her when they met professionally some years before. Mansfield reportedly waited to pursue her until she had an opportunity to garner some “fame”.



The beautiful woman in this cabinet card portrait is opera singer Isabelle L’Huillier. She made her debut during the 1908/1909 season with the Metropolitan Opera Company as Musetta in “La Boheme”. She concluded the season with a role in “The Bartered Bride”. Miss L’Huillier is beautifully dressed in this photograph. She is wearing a fur and a pretty hat. The photographer of this cabinet card photograph is celebrity photographer Aime Dupont. To learn more about Mr Dupont and to view more of his images, click on the category “Photographer: Dupont”.


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