THREE PRETTY CANADIAN WOMEN WEARING KIMONOS IN CHATHAM, ONTARIO, CANADA

This vintage photograph features three women wearing pretty kimonos and flowers in their hair. Judging by their smiles, they seem to be having a good time as they pose for their portrait at the Butler Studio in Chatham, Ontario, Canada. There was a time when wearing this Japanese style clothing was quite popular in parts of the United States and Canada. This is apparent because it is not uncommon to find cabinet card era photographs with Western subjects wearing kimonos. In fact, you can view other photographs of Western women dressed in kimonos in the Cabinet Card Gallery’s collection. Place the word “kimono” in this blog’s search box to see other photos exemplifying this impact of Japanese fashion on American/Canadian fashion around the early twentieth century. The photographer of this image is J. S. Butler who operated as a photographer in Chatham from 1874 until 1902. A number of his photographs can be found in the collection of the Chatham-Kent Municipal Museum. A photo of Mr. Butler can be seen below.

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Published in: on April 8, 2018 at 3:03 pm  Comments (2)  
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ELDERLY WOMAN WEARING MOURNING DRESS IN EDMONTON, CANADA

This carte de visite portrait features an aged woman wearing mourning clothes. Her black dress, black hat, and sad expression, all suggest that she has suffered a recent loss. Her left hand is placed on a book atop a small table. The book is likely a bible. The photographer of this cdv photograph is J. R. Bentley. He operated a studio in Edmonton, Canada. Research found an ad in “The Photographic News” (1893) in which Bentley advertises the sale of his studio. It is very interesting to note that the advertising on the reverse of this CDV refers to Bentley as a “Portrait, Landscape, & Equestrian Photographer”. I do not remember ever seeing a early photographer refer to himself as a “Equestrian” photographer. I wonder if Mr. Bentley took photos of individual horses, or if he photographed individuals sitting on horses. I hope someday I locate one of Bentley’s equestrian photographs.

Published in: on April 6, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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MARIE PREVOST: SILENT FILM STAR AND UPSETTING SUBJECT OF A SONG BY NICK LOWE

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The pretty actress featured in this vintage real photo postcard is film actress Marie Prevost (1896-1937). She was born in Canada and during her twenty-year career, she made 121 silent and talking movies. She was originally “discovered” by Mack Sennett who inked her to a film contract after she played a bit part in one of his movies. She was only on the set (Keystone Studios) because she was running an errand for the law firm where she was employed as a secretary. She became one of his Bathing Beauties in the late 1910’s. She appeared in dozens of Sennett’s short comedy films. Her first lead role was for Sennett in “Yankee Doodle in Berlin” (1919). She than began to make feature length films for Universal Studios, where she signed for $1,000.00 a week. In 1922 she moved to Warner Brothers where she became one of the studio’s leading ladies (her contract was for $1,500.00 per week). Her movie roles at Warner included “The Beautiful and Damned” (1922), “The Marriage Circle” (1924), and “Kiss Me Again” (1925). Warner Brothers dropped her in 1926 and her career began to diminish as she was offered primarily secondary roles. Her personal life also began to decline, if not plummet. Her mother died in 1926 and her second marriage, to actor Kenneth Harlan, fell apart in 1927. She became very depressed and her symptoms included alcohol abuse and binge eating. In 1928 she was cast in “The Racket” which was directed by Howard Hughes. The pair had a brief affair and when it ended, Prevost fell into an even deeper depression. It became increasingly difficult for her to obtain parts in films and her last film role was in 1936. At the age of 38, Marie Prevost died from acute alcoholism and malnutrition. Her estate was worth just three hundred dollars and her death helped prompt the creation of the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital. The details of Prevost’s death have become a bit of Hollywood legend. She was found in her apartment two days after her death. Also at death scene were empty bottles of alcohol, a promissory note to Joan Crawford, and Prevost’s pet dachshund. She was discovered because neighbors had complained about her dog’s continued barking. The legend claims that by the time she was found, her corpse was half-eaten by Maxie, her dog. It was asserted that this of course was only because the dog was trying to awaken his deceased master. This story is not true, but it appeared in Kenneth Anger’s book “Hollywood Babylon” (1959) and in Nick Lowe’s song “Marie Provost” (1978). The lyrics from Lowe’s song include “She was the winner, That became the doggie’s dinner, She never meant that much to me, Woe, poor Marie”. This postcard was published by A.N. of Paris for Universal Films. It is part of as series entitled “Les Vedettes de Cinema” (The Stars of Cinema). This postcard is the first in the series (No. 1).

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FIVE LOVELY SISTERS IN HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA, CANADA

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This cabinet card features five adorable girls who are very likely sisters. The children are all nicely dressed and hatted. The kids are sitting around a basket of flowers. The girls were photographed by “The Elite” Photographic Art Studio in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. The proprietors of the studio were Kelly & Company. Research reveals that the Kelly studio was sold to George A. Gauvin but the year of that transaction was not identified.

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Published in: on December 16, 2016 at 4:53 pm  Comments (1)  
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PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG WOMAN IN CHATHAM, ONTARIO, CANADA AND A STORY OF A STRANGE COINCIDENCE

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All of us experience coincidences; events that seem to be very unlikely occurrences. The carte de visite portrait above played a role in one of my latest unlikely experiences. I left my home in New York to attend a wedding in Montana. Before I left, I entered a Canadian cabinet card into the Cabinet Card Gallery. While in Montana, I visited several antique stores searching for vintage photographs. I only found one image to purchase, and you can see it above. The day after I returned to New York) I entered my newest image to the blog, I was surprised to notice that the photographer of this carte de visite image is the same photographer of the cabinet card that I entered right before leaving for my trip. Amazingly, the images were both photographs taken by Edwin Poole. The cabinet card image was taken in St. Catharines, Ontario while this CDV image was taken in Chatham, Ontario. To learn more about Mr. Poole, view the description of the image entered in the gallery directly before this one. I am truly amazed by this coincidence although I take little meaning from it besides “strange things happen”.

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Published in: on July 7, 2016 at 4:20 pm  Comments (1)  
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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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UNHAPPY AND DISCONNECTED COUPLE IN HARRISTON, ONTARIO, CANADA

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This scallop edged cabinet card photograph features a young couple who appear to have had happier days. The couple seem so disconnected and discontent. I can’t decide whether the husband or the wife seems the most miserable. The pair are well dressed for their portrait at the studio of Robert L. Hinde in Harriton, Ontario, Canada. Preliminary research only revealed that Hinde may have operated his studio there between 1890 and 1895. The reverse of the cabinet card has an inscription that states that the lovebirds are Mr. and Mrs. John McJannet.

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Published in: on March 28, 2016 at 12:00 pm  Comments (4)  
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PORTRAIT OF A LOVELY COUPLE IN LONDON (ONTARIO), CANADA

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This cabinet card portrait features a well dressed and handsome couple posing at Edy Brothers studio in London (Ontario), Canada. The studio was located at 214 Dundas Street. The gentleman is holding some papers on his lap. The attractive young woman appears to appreciate jewelry. She is wearing a necklace and a ring. Edy Brothers Studio was a family run business for several decades between the 1860’s and teh early 1920’s in Brantford and London, Ontario. James Newbury Edy (1843-1890) and William Daniel Edy (1832-1911) were the original partners that started the business. William’s son Leslie Eli Edy (1864-1919) ran the business in the early 1900’s. The next proprietor was Franklin William Edy who operated the studio until it’s closure in 1922.

Published in: on May 12, 2015 at 12:04 pm  Leave a Comment  
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CLASS PICTURE FROM THE AVONDALE SCHOOL IN NOVA SCOTIA, CANADA (1898)

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This vintage photograph is a class portrait of children from the Avondale School in Nova Scotia, Canada. The image has unusually great clarity. I suggest that the viewer magnifies the image and carefully look at the children’s expressions, their hairstyles,  and at their attire. This photograph really gives the observer an up close look at turn of the century school children. Note the two boys at the end of the first row. They are holding up signs identifying their school and the date (1898). The teacher sits in a chair, hands on his lap, and looking relaxed. I wonder how common male school teachers were during this era. Two of the girls are wearing identical dresses (same pattern). My guess is that they are sisters and their mother made the dresses. This is an exceptional example of a more than a century old class picture.

Published in: on January 24, 2015 at 11:41 am  Comments (4)  
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PORTRAIT OF A SHEEPISH WOMAN: FASHION STATEMENT IN GANANOQUE, CANADA

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This vintage photograph captures a young woman dressed for winter in her lamb wool coat and lamb wool hat. Her left hand rests snugly in a muff. The photographer of this photograph is H. E. Paige who operated a studio in Gananoque, Ontario, Canada.

Published in: on December 7, 2014 at 7:50 am  Leave a Comment  
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