PORTRAIT OF A JOCKEY WEARING HIS COLORS IN SARATOGA, NEW YORK

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This cabinet card is a portrait of a horse racing jockey wearing his colors. The photograph was taken by the Record & Epler studio in Saratoga, New York.  According to the printing on the reverse of the photograph, the studio was located on the corner of Broadway and Phila Street. To view other photographs by this studio, click on category “Photogapher: Record & Epler”.  Saratoga is a resort and horse racing town. The Saratoga Race Course is a Thoroughbred horse racing track in Saratoga Springs. The track opened in 1863.

“WHAT’S MY LINE?”: OCCUPATIONAL CABINET CARD PORTRAIT OF TWO MEN IN GORMANIA, WEST VIRGINIA

This cabinet card features two men dressed for work and holding some sort of tool or scraper. They appear to be wearing leather work aprons. This is a wonderful example of an occupational cabinet card but unfortunately, it is not clear what these men’s occupation happens to be. It has been suggested that the men may be textile workers. The photographer of this image is John Randolph Schaeffer. He seems to have forgotten that this studio photograph was supposed to depict an outside scene. That is unless it is common to see curtains hanging in the outdoors in Gormania, West Virginia. Schaeffer was born on a Gormania farm in 1858. His family was of German heritage. After finishing school at age twenty, he entered the teaching profession. He pursued his education career for seventeen years; during his last year (1909) he was a principal of a school. During his education career he earned a Masters Degree in Didactics and also did photography. He entered the business of photography after leaving teaching. His studio not only was a  photographic gallery, but it also sold photo supplies, jewelry, and other commodities. He was also appointed by President Woodrow Wilson to the position of postmaster for two terms. In his spare time he supported the Democratic party and was a member of Odd Fellows. He married Susie C. Miller in 1894 and the couple had seven children. The Library of Congress lists Schaeffer as holding at least two copyrights. He also published a view book entitled From Baltimore to Charleston (1906)The book was cited by one reviewer as containing “magnificent scenery” photographs. The town of Gormania has had a number of names. Its present name honors a US Senator from Maryland , Arthur Gorman. One of the towns previous names was Schaefferville, named after early settler Jacob Schaeffer (father of photographer John Schaeffer). Jacob Schaeffer and one of his sons owned and operated the town’s first tannery. The business was sold in 1889. We know a lot about the photographer of this portrait but still don’t have any idea of the occupation of the two subjects in the photograph. Lets play “What’s My Line?”. Hopefully, some cabinet card gallery visitors will leave comments with their hypotheses about the type of work the men in this portrait did. My uninformed guess is that the subjects in this photograph are tannery workers.

THE SHEPARD FAMILY CONCERT COMPANY

This cabinet card features a portrait of the Shepard Family Concert Company. In this photograph, mother is playing the piano (or organ) and the five children and their father are playing violins. The photographer of this cabinet card is unknown, as is the location of the studio. A photograph of the Shepard family and their instruments appears in The Henry Sheldon Museum of Vermont (located in Middlebury, Vermont). In addition, the museum possesses a “cigar ribbon quilt” serving as a piano cover. The quilt is made from silken advertising ribbons which cigar companies used to tie cigars together for packaging purposes. This particular quilt was made by Mary Emily Shepard (“Minnie”), the matriarch of the Shepard Family. The Shepard Family was Massachusetts based, and mostly toured upper New England. The musical group venues included the Town Hall Theatre, in Middlebury, Vermont. Family Musical Troupes were popular in the 1880’s and 1890’s.  Mr. and Mrs. J. M. Shepard  and their children, Kittie, Laura, Lessie, Georgie, and Burtin were regionally well known and appreciated in the late nineteenth century. Each family member were multi instrumentalists. The family could perform as a choral group, a brass band, or a violin ensemble with the mother playing the pump reed organ. In addition, sometimes, the children would perform as a banjo quintet.

UNIFORMED MAN WITH A LANTERN (OCCUPATIONAL CABINET CARD)

This cabinet card is a staged portrait of a man at work. The man is wearing a uniform and most likely he is a railroad worker. He may be an engineer or possibly a conductor. He is holding a brass lantern and writing on a pad. The man’s facial expression seems to say that he means business. One can easily imagine seeing him standing next to a train at a railroad station taking notes. The photographer of this cabinet card  is  Lyman & Wells, of Columbus, Ohio.

Published in: on September 23, 2011 at 12:01 am  Comments (2)  
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YOUNG FIREMAN IN CROOKSTON, MINNESOTA

A young uniformed fire fighter poses for his portrait at the studio of P. E. Lynne, in Crookston, Minnesota. The fireman is wearing the insignia of his fire department on his cap and on his shirt. “CFD” likely is an abbreviation for the Crookston Fire Department. The fireman’s badge shows an eagle and a  fire wagon.

EIGHT ATHLETIC LOOKING BLOKES IN SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

This cabinet card is a portrait of eight very athletic looking men. The men are dressed very similarly. Their pants appear to be identical and they each are wearing a wide white belt around their waists. The image presents a number of questions. Are these Aussie blokes wearing a uniform? Are they members of  a sports team? Are they wearing work clothing and all share the same occupation? Hopefully some Cabinet Card Gallery visitors will leave a comment that gives their opinion as to the answers to the aforementioned questions.  The photographer of this image is Herbst of Sydney, Australia. He is mentioned in a number of Sydney newspapers published in the 1890’s.  Advertisements for his studio appear in the newspapers, and there is mention of some of the notables he photographed.

Published in: on July 5, 2011 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  
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TWO HOTEL MAIDS IN CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE

This occupational cabinet card features two women posing with supplies of their trade. The women are likely hotel maids, or house servants. One maid is holding a broom, while the other is holding a glass and what appears to be, a clean towel. The photographer of this image is F. A. Dow of Concord, New Hampshire.

Published in: on June 16, 2011 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  
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WOODSMAN IN CLAUSTHAL, GERMANY

This occupational cabinet card features what appears to be a Woodsman and his axe. He is holding a metal tool in his left hand. Hopefully, a visitor to this site can identify the name and purpose of this particular tool. The mysterious object actually looks like an animal trap. Note the ladder in the background and the cut wood in front of him. He appears to be sitting on an overturned wheelbarrow. The photographer of this image is Friedrich Zirkler, of Clausthal, Germany. Clausthal is a town in Lower Saxony in the Harz Mountains. The area was known for its mining activity at the time of the photograph.

Published in: on May 26, 2011 at 12:01 am  Comments (3)  
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TURN OF THE CENTURY CARPENTER AND PAINTER IN WARREN, MASSACHUSETTS

This occupational cabinet card features two men dressed in work garb. The man on the left appears to be a painter and he is equipped with his paint pail and brush. His stained overalls show that he is a veteran painter. Note the large clean brush in his shirt pocket. The gentleman on the right seems to be a carpenter. He is holding a saw and rule which he is resting on a sawhorse. He is wearing an apron and both men have caps to keep their hair clean. The photographer is Penfield and the location of the studio is Warren, Massachusetts. Daniel Edward Penfield (1842-1914) was born in Meriden, Connecticut and died in Warren, Mass.

CLERGYMAN IN LUDLOW, VERMONT

A clergyman is featured in this cabinet card portrait from a photographer named Moore in Ludlow, Vermont. The man has an educated appearance emanating from his beard and pince-nez spectacles.Pince-nez are a style of spectacles that was popular in the nineteenth century. These glasses were not supported by ear pieces but instead, stayed on the wearer by pinching on the bridge of his or her nose.  The clergyman  is wearing a pin near his collar and part of the chain from his pocket watch is visible at the bottom of the image. The Photographic Journal of America (1890) mentions photographer, C. A. Moore of Ludlow, Vermont. He is likely the same Moore that created this image.

Published in: on March 31, 2011 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  
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