ETHEL BARRYMORE: STAGE BEAUTY

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Ethel Barrymore (1879-1959) was an outstanding American actress and a member of the famous theatrical Barrymore family. She was born Ethel Mae Blythe in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her parents were actors and she was the sister of John and Lionel Barrymore.  She was the great aunt of modern day actress Drew Barrymore.

Ethel Barrymore was considered by many to be the greatest actress of her generation. She was a major Broadway performer and first appeared there in 1895. She had roles in A Dolls House by Ibsen (1905).  She was a strong supporter of the Actors’ Equity Association and played a major role in the 1919 strike. She played in Somerset Maugham’s comedy, The Constant Wife (1926). She also starred in motion pictures beginning her film career in 1914.  Notable films included None but the Lonely Heart (1944) and The Spiral Staircase (1946). Around 1900, Winston Churchill proposed marriage to Barrymore but she refused. She later married Russell Griswold Colt in 1909 and had three children. She died of cardiovascular disease in 1959 at her home in California. The Ethel Barrymore Theatre in New York City is named in her honor.

The top cabinet card portrait of Ethel Barrymore was photographed by Phillips Photographers of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. To view other photographs by Phillips, click on the category “Photographer: Phillips”. The second cabinet card image of the actress was produced by Sarony, the famous celebrity photographer who’s studio was located in New York City. To see other Sarony photographs, click on the category “Photographer: Sarony”.

The third portrait of Miss Barrymore appears on a postcard published by the Rotograph Company who operated in  New York City and Germany. This postcard portrait was taken by famed Chicago photographer William Morrison. He is well known for his excellent portraits of theatrical stars. He produced both real photo postcards and cabinet cards. This postcard is number HB/1422 of the “Rotograph Series”. The image on this postcard is color tinted. This postcard has been mailed and postmarked (1907). The reverse of this postcard can be seen below.To view other photographs by Morrison, click on the category “Photographer: Morrison”.

The fourth portrait of Ethel Barrymore is an uncommon one. The image provides a lovely profile view of this legendary actress. If you search for this exact postcard online, you likely won’t find it. This postcard was published by E. Frey & Company who operated in  New York City . Research reveals that postcards displaying the printed name of  “E. Frey” were actually published by the Souvenir Post Card Company which existed between 1905 and 1914. It was located at 268 Canal Street in New York City. The company was purchased by Valentine & Sons and the combined company became Valentine – Souvenir. This postcard was printed in Germany and is in good condition (see scan).

The fifth photograph of Miss Barrymore was published by the Rotograph Company. This postcard portrait was taken by famed Chicago celebrity photographer William Morrison.This postcard is number B 662 of the “Rotograph Series”. The image has excellent clarity.

The sixth image is a vintage real photo postcard portrait of Ethel Barrymore. The postcard was published by Albert Hahn who was based in New York City (200 Broadway) and Hamburg. Hahn operated his company between 1901 and 1919. The postcard was produced in Germany sometime in the decade of 1900-1910. The postcard is part of a series (no. 5271),

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                                            REVERSE OF THIRD IMAGE (ROTOGRAPH POSTCARD)

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                                             REVERSE OF FIFTH IMAGE (ROTOGRAPH POSTCARD)

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                              REVERSE OF THE SIXTH IMAGE (POSTCARD BY ALBERT HAHN)

ANNA SARAH KUGLER MD: AN ACCOMPLISHED AND ADMIRABLE CITIZEN OF THE WORLD

dr anna kugle_0006It is not the quality of the image that makes this photograph special. This is a unique photograph because of the identity of the subject. Meet Dr. Anna S. Kugler. Anna Sarah Kugler (1856-1930) provided 47 years of service ministering to the spiritual and physical health of the people of southern India. She was the second female missionary and the first female medical missionary sent by the General Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the United States. She was born in Ardmore, Pennsylvania in 1856. In 1879 she graduated from Women’s Medical College in Philadelphia. She did her internship at Norristown State Asylum in 1880. Two years later, after receiving a cleric’s invitation to come work in India to help resolve the major health issues faced by poor Indian women, Kugler decided to take on the challenge. She sailed for India in 1883 and was disappointed that her appointment as a missionary was directed at teaching, not providing medical care. She hoped to change the church’s mind on that matter. During her first year in India she found time to see over 400 patients and still take care of her teaching responsibilities of the Muslim harem women. In 1884 she became the director of the Hindu Girls School, a post she kept for three years. Finally, in 1885, she was appointed a medical missionary. In 1893 she opened a hospital and dispensary in Guntur, India. Over time she established specialized pediatric, maternity, and surgical units in the hospital. After Kugler’s death, the hospital was named after her. Have you heard this quote? “Well behaved women seldom make history”. Women who went to medical school in the 1870’s were likely not considered well behaved because they were entering into a man’s profession. Going to India and working with the poor was also probably seen as outside the realm of being a woman. Thank goodness Dr Anna S Kugler ignored gender boundaries because she accomplished great things and certainly “made history”. This photograph was produced by the Phillips studio in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. To view other photographs by Mr. Phillips, click on the category “Photographer: Phillips”. Phillip’s subjects among his images in the Cabinet Card Gallery include theater great, Ethel Barrymore. At the time of this photograph, Phillips operated his studio at 1206 Chestnut Street. A biographer called Henry C. Phillips (1843-1911)  “A pillar of photography in Philadelphia”. He began working as a photographer while still in his teens. He opened his first studio on Chestnut Street in 1862. He partnered with Samuel Broadbent between 1868 and 1874. (To view other photographs by Broadbent, click on the category “Photographer: Broadbent). After that partnership and another brief one, he opened his 1206 Chestnut studio and it operated for 36 years under Henry and than his two sons, Howard and Ryland. Henry Phillips was a portrait artist and on the side, he was a celebrity photographer. He did not like to use painted backdrops in his portraits. He preferred to photograph faces and figures against neutral or blank backgrounds. Photographs from the studio that utilized painted backgrounds were usually the work of Ryland.