FOUR VICTORIOUS YOUNG MEN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY 1900 (VINTAGE PHOTOGRAPH)

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This vintage photograph captures four young men posing in their dress-up clothing and patriotic straw hats. An inscription on the reverse of the image states that the men were photographed on July fourth, 1900. The men are wearing prize ribbons on their lapels. They apparently won a contest of some sort. Its interesting to note that the two men in the front row are balancing luggage bags on their knees. The bags almost look like doctor bags. This photograph was taken by J. L. Blessing of Salamanca, New York. Blessing was no amateur as is apparent in his  1908 photograph of a Native American woman seen below. She is from the Seneca tribe and her name is Ah-Weh-Eyu (translation: Pretty Flower). Her English name was Goldie Jamison Conklin and she was from the Allegany Reservation in Western New York. She was born in Salamanca in 1892 and died in 1974. She was quite beautiful and worked as a model for the Cattarugus Cutlery Company of Little Valley, New York. She helped advertise the company’s line of “Indian Brand” knives. She was often photographed by Jesse Lynn Blessing who operated the Blessing Studio in Salamanca. His father was J. H. Blessing (1851-1920) who started the studio. According to an entry on geneology.com by J. L. Blessing’s grandaughter, Mr Blessing “was asked to work with Disney Studios by Walt Disney but decided to take over his father’s studio instead”.

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