This cabinet card features a fashionable clean-cut gentleman posing for a studio portrait. His nice clothing indicates that he was a well-to-do man. Perhaps he was on vacation at the time of this photograph. He was photographed by James C. Dinham who operated the Gainsboroough Gallery in Torquay, England. Torquay is a seaside resort town located on the English Channel in southwest England. This gentleman may have been staying at one of the local resorts. A photograph of Dinham’s studio can be seen below. The photograph was taken in 1918 and the gallery is decorated for Armistice Day. The image and further information can be found at the Devon Heritage Site on the internet. Dinham established his business in the 1890’s. He had a very distinguished clientele but his gallery bordered a very poor area of the city. The residents lived in “ancient tenements” and were poor and lived in squalor. Dinham visited this neighborhood and took many photographs of colorful characters and street scenes. He gave these photos catchy titles but in truth, Dinham was engaging  in photo journalism. He was one of the pioneers in this field of photography. In researching Mr. Dinham, it was found that he began his studio 1881. The source reports that the gallery closed in about 1910 only to become “Dinham & Sons” which operated from 1910 until about 1939. Research also found that Dinham was cited in “Photography” (1898) for photographing the Duke of York during one of the Duke’s visits to Torbay (the Borough which includes Torquay).


Published in: on September 8, 2017 at 2:05 pm  Comments (1)  
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This vintage photograph features a well dressed handsome young man. He is wearing a three piece suit with all the accoutrements needed to make him very fashionable. He has a flower on his lapel, a tie tac on the knot of his tie, and a handkerchief in his jacket pocket. This photograph was taken at the Dorge studio in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Elias G. E. Dorge (1863-1915) worked as a photographer from 1891 until 1941. He worked most of his career in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Bulletin of Photography (1912) reports his purchase of a studio in Fargo, North Dakota. He worked in Fargo from 1911 until 1914. Before he went to work independently in Fargo, he had a partner who helped him operate the Dorge & Jansrud studio. Dorge was born in Norway and immigrated to America in 1881. He lived in Brooklyn, New York for about two years and then moved to Minneapolis where he worked as a photographer for 28 years. He was married to another Norwegian immigrant, Dorthea Batne. Dorge died suddenly of alcohol poisoning in 1915. Another source states he died of heart failure. This photograph measures about 4 1/8″ x 5 7/8″.

Published in: on August 17, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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This cabinet card photograph features a portrait of a southern gentleman. He is finely dressed and holding his hat in his hand. He is wearing a stylish beard and mustache. His facial expression communicates arrogance. The photography studio that produced this image is the Johns & Faught studio of Lexington, Kentucky. The cabinet card gallery has other photographs by this studio and they can be seen by clicking the category “Photographer: Johns & Faught” or by placing the studio’s name in the search box. If you view the other photographs you will note that this studio does an outstanding job with their portrait photography. In the book “History of Fayette County, Kentucky” (1882) it is stated that W. E. Johns was born in Lexington in 1843. He began his photography business in Lexington in 1870 and by 1876 opened a new studio at the address (56 East Main Street) where he photographed this cabinet card. By at least 1886, James Faught worked for Johns as an operator in his studio. At a later date, the pair became partners in the business.


Published in: on November 29, 2016 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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This vintage real photo postcard features a handsome ethnic looking young man posing for his portrait at an unidentified private photo studio. Perhaps the man is of Hispanic or Mediterranean origin. The gentleman is well dressed and gives the appearance of being a businessman. His facial expression exudes self assurance. This photo postcard certainly evokes a number of unanswerable questions. The postcard’s stamp box indicates that it was printed on Artura card stock sometime between 1908 and 1924. Residue on the reverse of the postcard reveals that it once was a resident of a photo album.


Published in: on October 7, 2016 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  



Two dandies pose for their photographic portrait at an unidentified studio. They are wearing wonderful hats and both of the men are flashing half smiles. The postcard has a CYKO stamp box revealing that it was published between 1906 and 1915. 
Published in: on October 1, 2016 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Who are these guys? I suppose we will never know. This cabinet card photograph features two older men posing for their portrait at the Crane studio in Prairie City, Illinois. The men are pretty well dressed. Both are wearing long coats and hats. One imagines that this photograph was taken during the winter, judging by the men’s clothing. The gentleman on the right side of the image has an appearance of someone who likely did not live a traditional lifestyle. His appearance might have earned him a part in a movie about a wild man living a bit away from civilization. That is, if there were movies during the cabinet card era. Of course I realize that my hypothesis could be very wrong. As much as I love to conjecture about the people in these vintage photographs, I am clear that our interpretations may reveal more about ourselves than about the subjects in the images. These old photos can be similar to the projective tests (ie the Rorshach)  employed by Psychologists. Gathering information about the photographer of this image was problematic. More thorough research could reap some very interesting results. The only photographer named Crane that I could find in the Prairie City area was Maria Ann Crane who operated a studio right in Prairie City. According to the Yale University library collection of “Women in Photography”, Miss Crane operated a studio in Prairie City in 1893. The library collection includes two of her portraits. Crane may have been an independent photographer, or like many other pioneer women in photography, she may have joined or succeeded her husband in the photography business.



Published in: on August 26, 2016 at 12:00 pm  Comments (2)  
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A well dressed man poses for his portrait at the studio of R. W. Loucks in St. Paul Minnesota. He is wearing a wide neck tie with an even wider knot. The gentleman has a wonderful well groomed mustache. He is displaying a serious demeanor as he poses for this cabinet card image. The Minnesota Historical Society’s directory of early Minnesota photographers reveals that R. W. Loucks worked as a photographer in Minnesota during the 1890’s and 1900’s. His St. Paul addresses included 405 Wabasha (1893-1894) and 225 East Seventh (1897). He also had studios in Minneapolis; 1221 Washington Avenue North (1898-1902) and 28 Central Avenue (1903). This information asserts that the above photograph was taken during 1893 or 1894. Mr. Loucks appears in the 1900 US census. From this document we learn that he was born in Canada in 1850 and immigrated to the US in 1887. He was married to Anna L Loucks in 1877 and at the time of the census, lived with their twelve year old daughter named Lillian.


Published in: on August 1, 2016 at 8:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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three guys

This vintage real photo postcard features three fashionable men and their hats. These guys appear to be dressed for a special occasion. The men are smiling for the photographer, not a common sight in many portraits of this era. What era, you may ask? The answer lies in noting that the AZO stamp box indicates that the postcard was published sometime between 1904 and 1918. The names of these men and the identity of the photographer are lost to history.

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Published in: on July 8, 2016 at 12:00 pm  Comments (2)  



An inscription on the reverse of this cabinet card portrait reveals that the subject’s name in Edwin Phelps. The photograph was taken at the Brainerd Photo Company in Rome (Oneida County), New York. Preliminary research tells us a little bit about Mr. Phelps. He was born in Oneida County in 1829. He was married to Amanda Howard (1832-1904). The 1880 census indicates that the couple had three sons living at home with them. He worked as a carpenter during at least four decades.  He died in 1902 in Baltimore, Maryland and is buried in Forest Park Cemetery in Camden (Oneida County), New York. The images seen below include a portrait of Phelps taken at a later date than the portrait seen above, and a photograph of Phelps’s gravestone. The photographer that produced this image is Jonathan Millard Brainerd (1851-1926). Brainerd was born in Oneida, New York. After finishing school, Brainerd began working for photographer H. Hovey and after two years the two men became partners in a firm named appropriately Hovey & Brainerd. The business partnership lasted ten years until Brainerd bought out Hovey. Brainerd was married to Sarah C. Knight in 1874. Brainerd’s studios included locations in Rome (112 West Dominick Street) and in Oneida (28 Main Street). He had an interest in public service which is reflected in the three years that he spent as an alderman and his position as treasurer of State Custodial Asylum. He died in Utica, New York and is buried in Rome Cemetery in Rome, New York. His obituary appeared in the Rome Sentinel (1926) and the article included an interview with his colleague, photographer Betty Filchard. She noted that Brainerd was a friend of the famed photography entrepreneur George Eastman, one of the founders of Eastman Kodak. She stated that Brainerd was a genius and had invented a new camera shutter that Eastman had patented under his own name and “broke Jonathan’s heart”.


                                                                                                                               LATER PORTRAIT OF EDWIN PHELPS



                                                                                                                                     GRAVESTONE OF EDWIN PHELPS



                                                                                                                           PORTRAIT OF JONATHAN MILLARD BRAINERD





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The gentleman in this vintage photograph looks like he just walked off the page of an issue of Gentleman’s Quarterly. His jacket is buttoned with only the top button and he is wearing a wide tie and pocket handkerchief. Note the watch chain under his jacket as well as the boater hat and cane that he is holding. The photographer of this image is Andrew Simson (1837-1922). He emigrated to Buffalo at the age of 11 from Germany. At the beginning of his career he had a partner and the name of their firm was Upton & Simson. Simson had a number of  “claims to fame”. In 1901 he was an accredited photographer at the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo. He also is known for training Howard D. Beach (1867-1954). Beach was a great talent who worked in several disciplines. He was a portrait photographer, inventor, scientist, poet, lecturer and photo/art critic. He partnered with with Beach in 1896 (Simson & Beach) and in 1900 purchased Beach’s interest in the studio. Research revealed that Beach was considered the major photographer in Buffalo in regard to serving the “most cultured” citizens of the city. This photograph is not the same size as a cabinet card. It measures about 4 x 7 1/4 and is known as a “Promenade Card”.  The printed word “Promenade” can be seen in the center of the bottom border of this image.

Published in: on May 9, 2016 at 6:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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