A well dressed African American man poses for his portrait at the J. A. Pfeifer & Company gallery. He is wearing a dress jacket, a pin striped vest, winged collar and bow tie. This handsome young man is unidentified. The reverse of the cabinet card lists Pfeifer’s name but also the names Smith and Mulligan Brothers. Presumably these three names belong to photographers who were employed the the Pfeifer studio. The address of the gallery is also printed on the reverse of the card. The business was located at 262, 264, and 266 South High Street in Columbus, Ohio. According to the book “Artists in Ohio” (2000), the photographer of this image, John A. Pfeifer (1859-1932), was active in the Columbus area from 1882 to at least 1913. During much of that time, he was partners with George C. Urlin of the “Mammoth Art Palace” on High Street. To view images by Urlin, click on the category “Photographer: Urlin”. The Oberlin Review (1888) noted that the Urlin & Pfeifer studio won the contract to be the class of 1888’s photographer. A competitor in the bidding was the Cleveland firm of Urlin & Becker. Urlin’s participation in the bidding under two different studios, caused the students to raise some ethical questions about the bidding process. Pfeifer proved to the students that he had the legal right to use Urlin’s name and the class “was convinced of his honesty and integrity” and retained him as class photographer. In 1891 Pfeifer and George D. Saas (1854-1924) founded Pfeifer & Saas Printers. In 1905 Pfeifer became the sole owner of the firm and renamed it the Pfeifer Show Print Company.
This cabinet card portrait features a profile view of a very pretty woman. She is wearing a broach on her collar and her hairstyle includes a bun. The photographer is George C. Urlin (1854-1942) of Urlin’s Mammoth Art Gallery. The studio was located at 216 & 218 South High Street, in Columbus, Ohio. The studio was founded in 1873. This cabinet card photograph was taken in 1884 or shortly thereafter. The photographer, George Urlin was born in Canada and was active in Columbus from 1873 through 1887. He later partnered with William Beckley in Columbus, J. Becker in Cleveland, and John Pheiffer in Columbus. Urlin won 10 silver medals and 16 “Best” awards from Ohio State Fairs. Other photographs by George Urlin can be seen by clicking on the category “Photographer: Urlin”.
This cabinet card captures a fabulous image of a father and daughter. The photographer is Urlin, of the Monmouth Art Gallery, in Columbus, Ohio. Both father and daughter look co0l and relaxed as they pose for the camera. They are nicely dressed and are wearing broad brimmed hats. The young girl is wearing a ring and a brooch and the father has a pocket watch. The cabinet card itself is of deluxe design. The card is deeply embossed and padded to give it a 3D appearance. The name of the photographer has a gold gild background. The reverse of the cabinet card has an inscription stating, “Will and Alice Crew, McConnelsville, Ohio”. Perhaps father and daughter were visiting Columbus from their home in McConnelsville; when they decided to sit for their portrait. The photographer is George C. Urlin. He was born in Canada and was an active photographer from 1875 or earlier until 1887. During 1888 and 1889 he worked in Cleveland, Ohio. He resumed his photography career in Columbus in 1889. During his tenure as a photographer, he received numerous medals from various Ohio State Fairs. To see other photographs by Urlin, click on Cabinet Card Gallery’s category “Photographer: Urlin”.