BAWDY PORTRAIT OF A SCANTILY CLAD YOUNG WOMAN (VAUDEVILLE ACTRESS?)

This vintage bawdy photograph features a young woman scantily clothed and flashing a terrific smile. Her expression is very inviting. I wish I knew the story associated with this risque image. My hypothesis is that the woman is an actress and part of a vaudeville show. Her act was likely focused on bringing men into the theater. She may have been a dancer or a singer. Perhaps she was talented in both dance and song. Note her dress. It certainly didn’t require a lot of material to produce. It shows a lot of the performer’s body, but it is tastefully done. The dress covers “the essentials”. Vaudeville acts were very popular in the United States from the early 1880’s through the early 1930’s. Vaudeville was a genre of theater that was composed of a series of separate and unrelated acts that were presented together at one performance. It is difficult to determine when this photograph was taken. It certainly was produced sometime in the early period of vaudeville. This photograph is not a postcard. I do not believe that the image is a trimmed cabinet card, though it has a cabinet card type board.  An examination of the photos edges reveal that they are straight and smooth. The photograph measures about 5 1/4″ x 3 1/4″. There is a small pinhole through the top center of the image. Someone, decades ago, appreciated this wonderful photograph enough, to hang it on their wall.

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Published in: on January 14, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Comments (4)  
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PORTRAIT OF A WOMAN AND HER TINY CHIHUAHUA IN GERA, GERMANY

A middle aged woman poses for her portrait at the studio of Gustav Fuchs in Gera, Germany. On the table next to the woman sits her cute little chihuahua wearing a harness and what looks like a dog tag. This dog is not only a miniature, but it is a miniature miniature. The woman appears to be holding back a smile. Note her pocket watch, or locket, which is hanging on a chain and resting on her midriff. The discoloration on the reverse of the photograph likely derives from the photo sitting in a frame for many decades.

Published in: on January 4, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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TWO WOMEN DRESSED AS NATIVE AMERICANS IN HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT

This vintage photograph features two women dressed as Native Americans. One wonders what occasion caused these ladies to dress in this fashion. Perhaps they are actresses in costume for a theatrical production? Note the women’s beads, Indian blanket, and single feathers atop their heads. Also notice that one of the woman is holding a knife. This photograph was taken by the Taylor Studio in Hartford, Connecticut. Credit for who took this photograph is a bit confusing. First of all, the city of Hartford is crossed out under the studio’s logo. Further complicating identification of the photographer is the fact that beneath the Taylor logo is the embossed signature of another studio (I can’t decipher the studio’s name). This second studio is located in New Britain, Connecticut. It appears to me that the Taylor Studio used the New Britain studio’s card stock rather than invest in new card stock. Research was able to find a photograph of the Taylor Studio. It may be seen on the postcard below. Focus on the banner sign hanging on the fourth floor on the building seen on the far left side of the postcard. The banner is located next to the fourth floor window and reads “Taylor Photo Studio”.

Published in: on December 1, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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PORTRAIT OF A MAN AND TWO WOMEN MUGGING FOR THE CAMERA (VINTAGE PHOTOGRAPH)

This vintage photograph makes me smile. The three subjects in the photo seem to be mugging for the camera. The threesome are well dressed and well groomed. The identity of the subjects and the photographer are unknown. The photograph measures about 6 1/2″ x 4 1/4″.

Published in: on November 28, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

HELEN MILLER GOULD SHEPARD: AMERICAN PHILANTHROPIST DURING THE GILDED AGE

This vintage photographic portrait features Helen Miller Gould (1868-1938). She was the daughter of Jay Gould and was a prominent heiress. She was a heiress because Jay Gould was quite rich. Maybe one of the richest men of his era. He was a leading railroad developer and speculator. Wikipedia reports that he was “one of the ruthless robber barons of the Gilded Age”. Helen was accomplished in her own right. She attended New York University School of Law. She married Finley Johnson Shepard (1867-1942) in 1913. He was an executive at the Missouri Pacific Railroad. She and her husband adopted three children. One of these kids was adopted after being found abandoned on the steps of St Patrick’s Cathedral. She also had one foster child. In 1918, she and Emma Baker Kennedy became the first female vice presidents of the American Bible Society. Helen was a major philanthropist. She donated one hundred thousand dollars the the US government at the start of the Spanish American War. She contributed another fifty thousand dollars toward military hospital supplies. She was active in the Women’s National War Relief Association and worked in a hospital caring for wounded soldiers. Helen donated a library building at New York University and also contributed to its engineering school. She was on the national board of the YWCA and the Russell Sage Foundation. The Russell Sage Foundation funds research relating to income inequality. Areas under study include immigration, ethnicity, labor markets and social inequality in the United States.  Helen Gould was certainly an admirable woman. Through her philanthropy she had a positive impact on many people’s lives. The photograph below is a portrait of Helen Gould Shepard at a slightly younger age than the one above. The photograph above measures about 8″ x 10″.

PORTRAIT OF AN ADORABLE YOUNG BOY BY A PHOTOGRAPHER / MAYOR IN MARION, OHIO

This vintage photograph features an adorable young boy dressed in a sailor styled outfit. He seems to be holding back a smile. The photograph was taken by the Wark studio in Marion, Ohio. James Wark was born in Ireland in 1847. At age 19 he immigrated to the United States and apprenticed for photographer George W Manly (Akron, Ohio). He then worked as a photographer in Kent, Ohio (1871-1891).He is known to have moved to Marion about 1895 and was an active photographer until about 1901. Wark was a busy man in Kent. In the mid 1880’s he he served three terms as Franklin Township’s clerk. He served as mayor of the town between 1886 and 1887. As mayor, Wark had complicated and controversial issues to manage. These controversies included the construction of a municipal waterworks and a resolution to ban saloon traffic in Kent. He relocated to Marion in the Mid 1890’s.  He was a popular resident there and picked up the nickname of “Daddy” Wark. He photographed four generations of clients over his more than sixty year career. He closed his studio in 1933 at 86 years of age. He died in 1934. This photograph measures about 5 1/4″ x 7 3/4″.

Published in: on November 25, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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BUST PORTRAIT OF A PRETTY WOMAN WEARING A MANTILLA

This cabinet card portrait features a woman dressed in black and wearing a black mantilla. Perhaps this is a mourning photograph. The photograph was taken at the studio of George Anthony Henry Eggers in Dunkirk, New York. Eggers and his wife Josephine had a son who was a noted artist. George W. Eggers (1883-1958) accomplishments in art included his talent as an art administrator. He directed three art museums (Art Institute of Chicago, Denver Art Museum, Worcester Art Museum). Photographer, George Eggers parents emigrated from Germany in the early 1850’s. By 1870, George was working as a photographer. He worked with a local doctor, who was an avid photographer, to publish a two volume set of photograph books which can be seen at the Dunkirk Historical Museum. George worked as a photographer until about 1890. At age 80, he designed and built a model schooner for his grandson (see image below).The boat was five feet long, built to scale, and was very detailed.

Published in: on November 24, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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PRETTY TEENAGE GIRL IN THE DARK IN MIDDLETOWN, CONNECTICUT

This cabinet card portrait features  a pretty teenage girl posing at the Hennigar studio in Middletown, Connecticut. She is well dressed and is adorned with flowers. She is wearing a ring and holding a feathered fan. This photograph presents a sharp image of the young lady and the dark background contributes to that sharpness. The photographer directory “Langdon Road” lists a number of photographers with the name “Hennigar” that worked in the Middletown area. There was a Hennigar studio in Lambertsville, New Jersey in the 1870’s. A studio called “Hennigar Brothers” operated in Middletown from at least 1892 through 1901. Who were the principals of Hennigar Brothers studio? The answer is unclear but this is what is known. George Wainwright Hennigar  (1832-1910) was a photographer in Middletown in the 1860’s and 1870’s and is listed as a photographer there in the 1900 census. The New York Public Library has a stereo card photograph by George in it’s collection  The photo captures a damaged steam ship after a collision with a bridge. John W. Hennigar was located in Lambertsville before moving his business to New Rochelle, New York. He was listed in the New York City directories of  1867 and 1868. Morton W. Hennigar (1855-1927) had a studio in Middletown between 1877 and 1909. Charles L. Hennigar (1842-1897) was a photographer in Middletown from at least 1868 through 1872. In 1876 he is listed in the Brooklyn, New York directory as a photographer. The 1880 US census reports that he was a photographer in New York City. It is likely that George W. Hennigar is the photographer that took this photograph. He was present in Middletown around the time that this photograph was taken (1880’s or 1890’s).

Published in: on November 4, 2017 at 10:03 am  Leave a Comment  
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TWO ADORABLE AND PHOTOGENIC YOUNG CHILDREN IN CINCINNATI, OHIO

This vintage photograph features two very adorable young siblings (sisters?) posing for their photograph at the Young & Carl studio in Cincinnati, Ohio. Both children are extremely photogenic. Young & Carl operated their Cincinnati studio between 1895 and 1915. This photograph measures about 5 1/4 ” x 7 1/4″.

Published in: on November 1, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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DUTCH LADIES ON THE BEACH SITTING IN UNUSUAL SUN CHAIRS

This interesting vintage real photo postcard features two women at the beach. Hopefully its not too hot, because if so, these ladies are shvitzing. The wicker seats placed on this beach also serve as shelters. Beach umbrellas must have been popular sometime after this photograph was taken. Note the gentleman in the background of this photograph. He is wearing a white shirt, white apron, and white cap. He is likely a cook or a waiter attending to the culinary needs of the beachgoers. Printed on the reverse of the postcard is the word “briefkaart” which is the Dutch word for “postcard”. Therefore this portrait was likely taken somewhere in the Netherlands.

Published in: on October 24, 2017 at 10:46 pm  Comments (3)  
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