The pretty woman with the large eyes in this portrait is identified on the reverse of the photograph as Miss Lizzie Cooperider. She is wearing a “layered look”. Note her unusual collar pin. The photograph was produced by McCahon’s Art Gallery in Upper Sandusky, Ohio. John McCahon was born in Ireland sometime around 1828. He was a photographer in central Ohio for more than 3 decades. He operated the Cottage Photograph Gallery in Roscoe and galleries in Utica (1870) and Westerville (1878). He opened a studio in Upper Sandusky in 1880 and the last stop of his journey as a photographer was in Newark (late 1880’s). In 1893 McCahon suffered a stroke and his wife Isabella and his daughters Bertha and W. Blanche assisted in continuing the operation of the studio. John McCahon died in 1896. His daughter W. Blanche (1864-1944) continued working as a photographer. After gaining valuable experience managing her fathers studio during his illness, she continued running the gallery until 1918. She then worked in a Mansfield, Ohio studio until she opened her own studio in Westerville as some time during the 1920’s and continued its operation until 1938.
A young woman in a pretty checkered dress is the subject of this cabinet card portrait by the Kepler studio in Central City, Colorado. The woman leans on a wicker chair in an unconvincing thoughtful pose. Note the young lady’s unusual hair ornament. Something else unusual about this cabinet card is that the photograph was taken by a female photographer. The pioneer woman photographer was named Mrs. V. M. Kepler. The “Checklist of Western Photographers (1986) reports that Kepler was a photographer in Central City between 1896 and 1899.
A older gentleman with a bushy mustache poses for his photograph at the Van Dyke Studio in New York City. Printing on the front of the cabinet card indicates that the owner and operator of the studio was Miss Adele Becker. A female owner of a photography studio was a bit unusual during the cabinet card era but the cabinet card gallery has developed a collection of cabinet cards produced by female photographers. Click on the category “Female Photographers”. In regard to Miss Becker, research yielded little information about her life or career. It is likely she bought the studio from Mr. Van Dyke.
This cabinet card portrait features a well dressed woman and was produced by a female photographer in Montreal, Canada. Madame Gagne ran a photography studio in Montreal in the 1880’s and early 1890″s. Gagne had studios at other locations in Montreal including 897 St. Catherine (circa 1885) and1823 St. Catherine (date unknown). She was located at the 211 St. Laurent address in 1895. She did a great deal of portrait work for the Chinese community. William Notman was the Montreal photographer associated with taking portraits of the elite. It is likely that Madame Gagne was married to fellow Montreal photographer, Edouard Gagne. The McCord Museum in Montreal has some of Madame Gagne’s work in their collection of historic local photographs.
Regular visitors to the Cabinet Card Gallery know that this writer has a bit of an obsession with photographs of interesting beards and mustaches. The fellow posing for this cabinet card earns a spot in the “Beards (Only the Best) category. You can view the beard collection by clicking on the aforementioned category. A. M. Gorman of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, produced this image of an interesting looking gentleman. Research yielded some surprising information about the photographer. A. M. Gorman is a female photographer whose full name was Annie M. Gorman. She was listed as a photographer in the 1881 Philadelphia city directory. She also appears in the 1880 US census which lists her occupation as photographer. At the time of the census she was 36 years old and single. To view other women photographers, click on the category “Female Photographers”.
This cabinet card features a well dressed woman dressed in black and holding a handkerchief. The woman appears to be dressed in mourning clothes. On the reverse of the cabinet card is the following pre printed quotation “Secure the shadow ere the substance fades”. This quotation was commonly used in the photographic community in advertising to encourage people to photograph their deceased relatives to keep their memory alive. The next part of the “secure the shadow” quotation is “Let nature imitate what nature made”. It was not uncommon to photograph corpses in life-like poses or in caskets, deathbeds, or other household furniture during the cabinet card era. See cabinet card gallery category “Memorial Card”. This photograph seems to be more of a mourning card than a memorial card, though one can’t be certain. The photographer of this image is Mrs. Vreeland who operated the “leading gallery” in McPherson, Kansas. To view other photographs by female photographers click on the category “Female Photographers”. To view other photographs by Mrs. Vreeland, click on the category “Photographer: Vreeland”.
A handsome young man preens for the camera at the Ramsdell & Halloran studio in Bangor, Maine. Writing on the reverse of the photograph is not totally legible but appears to state “Board of Editors” and “Kallour” or Kallow”. Despite the written clues on the reverse of the photograph, research did not uncover any information pertaining to this gentleman’s identity. Investigating did reveal that one of the photographers of this image was female. Miss Emily I Ramsdell (1856-1917) appears in the 1880 census as living with her parents in Atkinson, Maine and working as a school teacher. Examining several Bangor city directories reveals that she was employed as a photographer as early as 1892 and as late as 1914. The 1887 through 1899 directories show that she was partnered with Thomas F. Halloran. The Bulletin of Photography (1917) reports her death at age sixty-one.
This cabinet card is a wedding portrait of a young unidentified couple. The bride is wearing a dark wedding dress and a long sheer veil. The groom is standing in the background behind the bench his bride is sitting on. The distance between the two removes the intimacy that we tend to see in modern day wedding portraits. The photographer of this image is Miss Carrie B. Clizbe whose studio was located in Elroy, Wisconsin. She is one of a small group of female photographers operating during the cabinet card era. Research revealed very little information about Carrie Clizbe’s career as a photographer. The 1880 US census found Carrie (age 21) living with her parents and four siblings in Reedsburg, Wisconsin. Carrie was working as a “tailoress”. Her father had an interesting occupation. He sold patents. The 1900 and 1910 census does not list her as having an occupation. While investigating, I was able to locate a cabinet card produced by the Clizbe Sisters studio in Reedsburg. It is apparent that Carrie was once partners with her sister Martha. A directory of Early Western Photographers reports that Carrie’s studio operated in Elroy circa 1895. The web site for Reedsburg provides a short biography of the man that Carrie Clizbe married on 7/4/1900. Herbert H. Webb and two partners established a department store in Reedsburg called Webb and Schweke. It was known as ‘The Big Store”. Carrie died in 1921 in the city of Chicago. She is buried in Reedsburg.
A young boy dressed in a double breasted jacket and wearing a tie poses for this portrait by Miss Libby of Norway, Maine. Minnie Libby (1863-1947) had a sixty year business career in Norway, Maine. She was a very able photographer and also an eccentric. She was the daughter of a Maine born blacksmith who was also a carriage maker and dealer. The 1880 census lists her at age sixteen as being an artist. She was sent to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and developed an interest in photography. She worked as a studio photo retoucher while living in Boston. In 1882 she worked as a photo retoucher at the Anthony Crockett Picture Studio in Norway. In 1885 her father constructed a building to house her first studio. By the 1890’s Miss Libby was quite successful. In 1905 her father helped her buy a new studio which caused some controversy in the town of Norway. The seller of the building neglected to tell his tenant, a photographer, that the building was sold. The tenant photographer took ads out in the local paper denouncing the underhanded business practices of Miss Libby who ultimately occupied the building. Miss Libby’s response to the ads was to take out her own ads in which she said that she would use the advertising space to talk about her business, and not to make misleading statements about her competitors. In 1940, Life Magazine discovered Miss Libby. They did a feature on her life as a photographer, both past and present. Minnie Libby also produced oil paintings while working as a photographer. She was a talented artist and did many paintings of plants and flowers as well as landscapes. The Life Magazine article describes Miss Libby’s appearance. She most often wore knickers, men’s shirts, and a flowing bow tie. She was also described as a “first class photographer”. To view other photographs by Miss Libby, click on the category “Photographer: Libby”.
This cabinet card features a bust portrait of a young woman. This is likely an early image from the cabinet card era. The photographer of this image is “Mrs. Barker” of Gardiner, Maine. Research found very little information about this pioneer female photographer. The 1880 United Startes census reveals that Julia R. Barker lived in Gardiner, Maine and worked as a photographer. Her husband, Eugene Barker, was employed as a railroad engineer. Both were 35 years old at the time of the census.