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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TWO TEENAGE SISTERS READING A LETTER IN LONDON, ONTARIO, CANADA

ONTARIO FRONT An inscription on the reverse of this cabinet card indicates that one of the girls in this cabinet card photograph is named Lottie. Lottie and a second teenage girl are sharing a letter in this portrait by photographer Frank Cooper, whose studio was located in Canada (London, Ontario). The girls in this image are most likely sisters. Both are well dressed and wearing flowers.The photographer, Frank Cooper, was born in London in 1845 and was of Irish descent. He started his photography business at age 21. In 1878 he married Emily Riddle of St. Catherines, Ontario. Frank Cooper’s brother (John) was also operated a photography studio in London. Franks business operated from 1868 until 1909 while John ran his studio between 1857 and 1890. Frank Cooper died in San Diego, California but is buried in Woodland Cemetery in London. The photograph below is a portrait of Frank Cooper that was found online in the London Public Library Image Gallery. To view more photographs by Cooper, click on the category “Photographer: Cooper”. LonPL002405222-1

“LEAN ON ME”: TWO AFFECTIONATE WOMEN IN NEW BRUNSWICK, CANADA

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Lean on me, when you‘re not strong. And I’ll be your friend. I’ll help you carry on.”  This cabinet card portrait brings to mind the lyrics of Bill Withers song “Lean on Me”.  The image features two affectionate women (perhaps they’re sisters), one seated on a chair while the other is seated on the floor. The young woman on the floor has an open book in her lap and appears to be reading to the second woman. They are posed in an affectionate manner. Both are wearing pretty bows. The photographer is John Harvey and his studio was located in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. After studying photography for two years in New York, Harvey established his Fredericton studio in 1883. He and his wife, Martha, ran the studio until John’s death in 1903. Martha Harvey continued operating the studio on her own until she sold it to Frank Pridham in 1917. Pridham and subsequent owners kept the “Harvey Studio” name and the business continues to operate today as one of the oldest photography studios in Canada. 

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Published in: on December 8, 2013 at 11:42 am  Leave a Comment  
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