This is a wonderful cabinet card portrait of a pretty young woman. The photograph features a great deal of uncertainty. The individual who formerly owned this image claimed that the subject is African American. In my opinion, the claim is debatable. One of the issues relating to some cabinet card images of African Americans is this very question. Some collectors and dealers sincerely believe they possess a portrait of an African American while others dishonestly make the claim in order to increase the value of the photograph. This particular image presents another interesting and debatable subject. The previous owner also claimed that this photograph is a memorial cabinet card. In other words, the photograph was made in honor of this young woman upon her death (not a post-mortem photo). The placement of the woman’s image inside a scroll, or whatever the shape represents, is the alleged tip off that it is a memorial photograph. I have seen experts provide conflicting opinions about such claims. Lets talk about what we do know. This young and attractive woman is making an interesting fashion statement. Her dress has little squares of fabric attached to it in what appears to be a haphazard manner. She is wearing a horseshoe collar pin and a thin necklace. If this photo is a memorial cabinet card, then the horseshoe certainly didn’t provide her with good luck. She is wearing her hair up. The photographer of this cabinet card is William T. Ross (1861-1945) who operated a studio in Appleton, Wisconsin. Ross appears in “Wilson Photographic Magazine” (1898) in an article that reports that he was elected Treasurer of the Convention of Wisconsin Photographers. Ross has a presence in a number of Appleton city directories from 1889 through 1934. He was born in Syracuse, New York and was married to Ella A. Ross. The edges of this cabinet card are scalloped and gold gilded. The reverse of the cabinet card has a ghost image (see below). The image was likely formed by the rear of the cabinet card being pressed against the front of another image while occupying a frame or album.


Published in: on November 7, 2016 at 3:01 pm  Comments (6)  
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A highly fashionable and pretty young woman poses for her portrait at an unidentified studio. She is wearing two bracelets, a ring, and a what looks to be, a strand of pearls. She certainly knows how to wear a hat and not hide her beauty. This is a vintage real photo postcard produced by a private studio. The card’s stamp box indicates that the  postcard stock was produced by Crown Studios sometime between 1913 and 1929.


Published in: on September 28, 2016 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  



This cabinet card features a pretty young woman, probably a teenager, posing for her portrait at the Grunseth studio in either Waterford or Mukwonago, Wisconsin. The subject is well dressed with a fancy collar and choker. The Wiconsin Photographers Index, published by the Wisconsin Historical Society lists two photographers named Grundseth in the Waterford/Mukwonago area. One of these men is the photographer who took this photograph. Christ. Grundseth operated a studio in Mukwonago and Waukesha beginning 1895. G. Grundseth had a studio in Waterford between 1893 and 1898. Whichever Grundseth produced this photograph, he did an excellent job of capturing this young woman’s beauty and personality.

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Published in: on August 20, 2016 at 8:05 am  Leave a Comment  
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This post cabinet card era photograph features a portrait of a beautiful well dressed woman. She is wearing a large and unusual hat. In my opinion, calling the hat unusual is an act of kindness. There are certainly more befitting descriptions. The identity and location of the photographer responsible for this very fine photograph is unknown. There is an inscription on the reverse of the image reveals that this lovely lady’s name is “E. Snider Smith”. This photograph measures about 5 3/4″ x 4″.


Published in: on July 18, 2016 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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A fashionable woman holding a parasol poses for her photograph at the Poole studio in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. She is wearing a lot of jewelry; her earrings, collar pin, ring, and a chain on her jacket are quite evident. She is also wearing half gloves and holding a purse. The woman is exhibiting an “all business” expression. Printing on the reverse of the cabinet card notes that the studio was located on St. Paul Street and the studio had received an “Honorable Mention” award at the Paris exposition in 1878. Edwin Poole was born in Abington, England and educated in London. He emigrated to Canada in 1866 and moved to St. Catharines in 1876. In 1900 he opened a photography studio. His work was published in the Toronto Globe and he won many photographic awards during his career. He retired in 1921 and died in St. Catharines in 1931. I believe the image below is a portrait of Edwin Poole. To view other portraits by this photographer, click on the category “Photographer: Poole”.

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A pretty young woman with smiling eyes poses for her portrait at the Bellsmith Studio in Denver, Colorado. She appears to be in her teenage years. She is wearing a lovely dress and a corsage of roses. The photographer of this image is Harold S. Bellsmith. At one point his business was known as Gold Medal Studio. Bellsmith is listed as a photographer in the Denver business directory from 1890 through 1898. The Photographic Times (1890) announced the opening of his Denver studio. The Photographic Times (1892) reported that Bellsmith experienced a great deal of success as a “high class” photographer. If this cabinet card represents the quality of his work, than he was a talented photographer.

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Published in: on June 21, 2016 at 3:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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I tend to buy nice cabinet card images by photographers named “Marsh”. I do so because my last name is also “Marsh”. None of the photographers are my relatives because my earlier American ancestors were not named Marsh and the name “Marsh” was an Ellis Island invention. Levi Marsh is the photographer who took the cabinet card portrait above. He operated a studio in Adams, Massachusetts. The North Adams Transcript (1954) described him as a “one-armed photographer”. Levi was born in Canada in 1846 and immigrated to the United States in 1865. He married Blanche Knight Marsh in 1868 and appears to have married again in about 1885 to Elmeda Marsh. He is listed as a photographer in Adams in the 1870, 1880, and 1900 US censuses. Levi Marsh died in Adams in 1901. This cabinet card features a young woman wearing a ruffled  high collar dress. She appears a bit bewildered in this photograph indicating she did not have a great degree of comfort in front of the camera.

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Published in: on May 15, 2016 at 7:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A pretty young woman poses for her portrait at a studio belonging to photographer C. R. B. Claflin in Worcester, Massachusetts. I suspect that the woman in this photograph is in her teenage years. She is handsomely dressed in her high collared tailored dress. She is wearing a pin on her dress as well as earrings. The reverse of this cartes de visite image reveals that the photograph was taken in 1879, during the transition from cdv’s to cabinet cards. Note the misspelling on the reverse of the cdv. The word “Photographer” is spelled as “Photographir”. It seems unlikely that Mr. Claflin was unaware of the printer’s error. My guess is that he felt a need to not waste his money and utilized the card stock despite the mistake. Charles Ripley Burnett Claflin (1817-1897) was a photographer during many decades. He operated studios in Worcester during part of the 1850’s through part of the 1890’s. On of his images appears in the book American Victorian Costume in Early Photographs (2013). Claflin was married to Emma Claflin.

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Published in: on May 10, 2016 at 2:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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A very pretty young woman is seen in this cabinet card portrait from the Sutter studio in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The woman is wearing a fabulously unusual hat. The photographer of this lovely portrait is Henry S. Sutter. Research reveals that he also is referred to as Harry S. Sutter. He was born in Switzerland in 1853 and immigrated to the United States two years later. He was trained as a photographer by the Green & White studio in 1870. He began his own photography business by taking over Clifford & Gibson’s studio in 1874, ten years after it’s establishment. A number of resources mention that Sutter was a highly successful businessman. “The Industrial History of Milwaukee (1886) reported that Sutter was making $25,000 a year from his studio.

Published in: on April 18, 2016 at 7:51 pm  Comments (1)  
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This cabinet card portrait features a pretty and fashionable young woman. She was posed in a manner which suggests she was having a pensive moment. The photographer of this image is either Moritz or Arthur K. Liebich. Arthur K. Liebich (1834-1905) was an active photographer in Cleveland between 1874 and his death in 1905. He was the son of Moritz S. Libich (1825-1888) who was born in Germany and came to America in 1862. Moritz was a trained artist and he taught art for twelve years at the Jewish Orphan Asylum. Moritz was of the Jewish faith. Moritz and his son Arthur opened their studio on the corner of Ontario and Huron in 1876. In 1885 they added a branch studio on Broadway. In 1890 they moved their primary studio to a street called Euclid. Moritz was married to Alice Gerlach while in Germany and the couple had five children. Moritz’s son Arthur was born in Germany. Arthur came to Cleveland in 1863. He began his photography career working with William Case North and than joined his father’s studio eventually becoming partners with his father (1881-1888).Arthur was a major in the Spanish American War with the Cleveland regiment. In 1881 he married Alice Lacey of Aurora. An interesting fact about the reverse of this cabinet card is that the Liebich’s gallery had a slogan which appears on the card. The quotation is “The light that serves me shines for all.” Research reveals that this slogan appears on the reverse of a number of other Ohio photographer’s cabinet cards. “The Daily Record” (2003), a small Ohio newspaper describes a cabinet card from Harrington’s Gallery (Orville, Ohio) as having the same company motto. In addition, Teeple’s French Light Galleries (Wooster and Ashland, Ohio) also used the same quotation. Research failed to find the origin of this quotation or for it’s relevance in cabinet card photography.

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Published in: on April 9, 2016 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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