The top cabinet card features Pauline Hall (1860-1919), one of the most popular turn of the century prima donnas. She began her career as a dancer in Cincinnati, Ohio at age 15. She joined the Alice Oats Opera Company but left to tour in plays with famed actress Mary Anderson. By 1880, she worked for well known producer Edward Everett Rice in musical productions. Early in their association, he gave her a role in “Evangeline”. Her shapely figure allowed her to take male roles as she did in “Ixion” (1885). Her greatest success came in the title role of the first American production of “Erminie” (1886). She played in more than two dozen Broadway operettas. Her final role was in the “Gold Diggers” (1919). This photograph was taken by famed celebrity photographer, Elmer Chickering of Boston, Massachusetts. Other photographs by Chickering can be seen by clicking on Cabinet Card Gallery’s category of “Photographer: Chickering, E.”. The second cabinet card, photographed by B. J. Falk, of New York City, captures Pauline Hall in stage costume. The photograph is #305 in a series from Newsboy. The tobacco company (Newsboy) gave away cabinet cards as a premium with the purchase of their products. This cabinet card shows a copyright date in the 1890’s. The exact date has become illegible over time. To view other Newsboy or Falk cabinet cards, click on the categories “Photographer: Falk” or “Photographer: Newsboy”. The third cabinet card portrait was also photographed by Falk. Ms. Hall looks quite beautiful in this image. She is wearing earrings and an interesting hat. The photograph is a bit risque. Much of her neck and shoulders are exposed. In addition, her dress accentuates and reveals significant cleavage. Is the material at the base of her scoop neckline part of her dress; or was it added in order to make the photograph less provocative? Perhaps a visitor to the cabinet card gallery will be able to provide an explanation. The fourth cabinet card image, once again photographed by B J Falk, features Miss Hall wearing a dark dress, long gloves, a lovely hat, and a purse. Pauline Hall certainly was a stage beauty as attested by this photograph.
This portrait features stage actress May Kohnle. She is wearing a loose fitting bulky dress and a look of impatience. The Washington Times (1904) mentions that Miss Kohnle was part of the cast of “The Show Girl” which was appearing at the Lafayette Opera House. The show was described as “a jolly bit of tomfoolery” and the cast included “30 singing and dancing girls”. May Kohnle was a performer with the Wilbur Opera Company. The company began operating in 1870 and was founded by A. C. Wilbur. Wilbur was considered a fantastic businessman because he provided comic opera at popular prices and managed to be very successful financially. This photograph was taken by Elmer Chickering, a celebrated photographer who operated in Boston, Massachusetts. To learn more about Mr. Chickering and to view other photographs by this photographer, click on the category “Photographer: Chickering, E.”.
A distinguished looking Black man poses for a photograph in the studio of Elmer Chickering of Boston, Massachussets. The gentleman has an interesting looking expression. He looks proud and he also has what appears to have a “sparkle in his eye” accompanying a half-smile. Elmer Chickering (1857-1915?) was a prestigious Boston photographer who was began his career in the city around 1884. His obituary states that he photographed many of the leading men and women of the city, state and nation. Chickering was well known his baseball related photographs as well as for his many celebrity portraits. To view more photographs by this photographer, click on the category “Photographer: Chickering, E.”.