This cabinet card portrait features stage actress May Gallagher. The photograph was taken by New York City celebrity photographer D. H. Anderson. To view more photographs by the Anderson studio, click on the category “Photographer: Anderson (New York)”. Miss Gallagher’s hair appears to need a little work. Her curls are quite flat. In fact her hair looks glued down to her head. She is wearing a fancy lace dress. May Gallagher was not a major actress but she received some attention in the theatrical news of her time. Music and Drama (1882) refers to her as “the charming May Gallagher” in their reference to her appearing as Esmeralda at the Madison Square Theater in New York City. The New York Times (1884) mentions Miss Gallagher in their story about the traveling company of the play “Private Secretary”.
Stage actress Mattie Vickers poses for this cabinet card image at the Anderson studio in New York City. Anderson photographed many celebrities and more of his photographs can be seen by clicking on category “Photographer: Anderson (New York)”. During the early 1900’s, Vickers was one of the the sweethearts of American musical comedy. Her father was a retired actor who ran a boarding house. She made her theatrical debut in vaudeville in the mid 1870’s. In 1877 she married her manager, Charlie Rogers. He died in 1888 after which she toured the country playing starring roles in plays such as “Circus Queen” and “Edelweiss”. A portrait of Mattie Vickers ran in The National Police Gazette (1886). The accompanying text described her as the “sprightly and vivacious young American soubrette” and “the cleverest rough-and-tumble soubrette on the American stage”. No need to visit a dictionary to discover the definition of the word “soubrette”. A soubrette is simply someone who plays a minor female role in a comedy. The reverse of the cabinet card has been stamped by George D. Russell of Tremont Street in Boston, Massachusetts. Research reveals that Mr. Russell was a well known music publisher in Boston. Perhaps he also was involved in the sale of theatrical cabinet cards.
The beautiful woman in this cabinet card portrait is unidentified despite the existence of evidence that should facilitate identification. One possibility is that the subject of this photograph is an actress. Evidence pointing toward the acting profession include her beauty as well as the fact that she was photographed by D. H. Anderson, a renowned New York City theatre photographer. Obviously not all beautiful women are actresses and Anderson didn’t exclusively photograph theatre stars. Further evidence exists that points the search for the subjects identity in another direction. An inscription on the reverse of the photograph reveals the subjects name, “Lillie Prush”. However, life is rarely that easy; there is a complication. Due to legibility issues, the inscription might actually read “Lillie Roush” or “Lillie Raush”. I contend that the name is “Lillie Prush” and the 1880 US Census finds a Lillie Prush living in New York City. Miss Lillie was a school teacher. She was born in 1859 and lived with her parents and brother. Her father, J. E. Prush, owned a furnishing store and her brother was a civil engineer. If this photograph is an image of Miss Lillie, a New York City school teacher, than she must have certainly commanded the attention of the older boys in her classes. There must have been a lot of crushes in her classroom. Here is one final observation. Note the ivy pinned to the shoulder and back of Lillie’s dress. Do you think this small prop adds to or detracts from the photograph? To view other photographs by Anderson, click on category “Photographer: Anderson (New York)”.
Emma Loraine appears to have been a minor stage star. The New York Times (1879) reported that Wallack’s Theatre production of “Our Girls” included Ms. Loraine in the cast. Also in the cast was Maurice Barrymore. The New York Times (1881) has a story about the Wallach company going on tour because their new theatre was under construction. The company was planning to perform “She Stoops to Conquer” and “The School for Scandal” while on tour. Performing as part of the touring company was Osmond Tearle, Rose Coghlan, and Emma Lorraine. The cabinet card gallery has images of both Tearle and Coghlan that can be viewed by typing each of their names in the search box. Their names must be searched separately. Both cabinet card portraits of Loraine were photographed by celebrity photographer, D. H. Anderson of New York City. To view other images by Anderson, click on the category “Photographer: Anderson (New York)”. An article in the Photographic Times and American Photographer (1883) describes Anderson’s studio at 785 Broadway in New York City. The location was formerly the studio operated by famed photographer, Mathew Brady. Anderson is considered a pioneer in early photography. He made his first pictures (daguerreotypes) in Paducah, Kentucky in 1855. He later worked in Cincinnati (Ohio), Dayton (Ohio), New Orleans (Louisiana), Louisville (Kentucky), and various other cities. He finally settled for awhile in Richmond, Virginia in 1865. In 1881, he sold his studio and moved to New York City. The previously cited article described a “composition group” portrait that Anderson was working on during the magazine writers visit to his studio. The photograph was described as measuring eleven feet by fourteen feet and picturing the 7th Regiment posing in their new armory. The image included over a thousand soldiers.
This cabinet card features a pretty young actress wearing, what appears to be, a rain slicker hat. The photograph is a bit risque for its time. The actress’s neckline may not be plunging, but it leaves a lot uncovered. She was photographed at the studio of celebrity photographer, D. H. Anderson, in New York City.
A young woman poses for her portrait at the studio of Anderson, in New York City. She is beautifully dressed and extremely attractive. Unfortunately, she is unidentified. It is likely that a woman with such great beauty and poise, photographed by celebrity photographer, D. H. Anderson; is an actress. There is a name written on the reverse of the cabinet card. The handwriting is not clearly legible but it appears to say “Marjorcni”. Research has yielded no relevant information pertaining to identifying this image. Assistance in identifying the person in this photograph would be appreciated. The knowledgeable and helpful visitors to the cabinet card gallery have solved a number of similar mysteries in the past.