The pretty film actress seen in this vintage real photo postcard is Ita Rina (1907-1979). Her unusual name is actually a pseudonym. Italina Lida Kravanja was her given name and it’s understandable that she used a shorter and more catchy moniker. Miss Rina was a Slovenian film actress and beauty queen. In the late 1920’s and early 1930’s she was one of the major film stars in Germany and Czechoslovakia. After getting married in 1931 she changed her name to Tamara Dordevic. Rina was a poor student as a child and knew early on that she wanted to be an actress. In 1926 she entered a beauty contest sponsored by a Slovenian magazine and Rina won. She was then slotted to compete in the next level beauty contest but she arrived late and could not participate. No worry though, she was noted by a cinema owner who sent her photograph to German film producer Peter Ostermayer who invited her to Berlin for an audition. In 1927,  Rina went to Berlin without her mother’s permission. She took classes in acting and dancing. She made her debut in the film “What Do Children Hide from Their Parents” (1927). After a number of small film roles, she received some attention for her role in the film “Last Supper” (1928). Her breakthrough occurred in the film “Erotikon (Seduction)” (1929) in which she had a starring role. The film was a great success but upset some moral and Christian organizations for it’s eroticism. Some consider her best role to have been in the Czech sound film “Tonka Sibenice” (1930). Rina received an offer from Hollywood but her husband vetoed it and she decided to stay with her husband. However, she continued her film career until the beginning of World War II. Rina’s IMDB filmography asserts that she appeared in 19 films. This RPPC was produced by Iris Verlag. Iris Verlag was the most important Austrian publisher of film star postcards. It operated from Vienna during the 1920’s and 1930’s. The publishing house  Amag (Albrecht & Meister) is listed on the reverse of the card. The postcard is part of a series (no. 5118). The photographer was Kiesel of Berlin.


Published in: on June 7, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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The little girl that is the subject of this vintage photographic portrait is absolutely adorable. She is wearing a cute patterned dress trimmed with lace. She also is wearing a couple of hair bows. The photographer of this image is Hubert Quante who had a studio in Ferdinand, Indiana. At least I think it is Hubert Quante. The embossment below the photograph is very difficult to decipher. My research found a man named “Hubert Quante” who lived in Ferdinand. Quante (1866-1927) can be found in a number of US censuses but his occupation is never listed as a photographer. It is likely that his foray into operating a photo studio was of short duration and never coincided with a year that the census was conducted. He may not have been a photographer for a long period of time, but he did a masterful job of taking and posing this photograph. Quante was German born and arrived in the United States in 1884. In 1897 he married Ida M. Quante. The town of Ferdinand was founded in 1840 and was named after the Emperor Ferdinand 1 of Austria. Most of the town’s early settlers were German speaking and they came to the US from central Europe.

Published in: on June 6, 2017 at 2:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
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This endearing vintage real photo postcard captures a barefoot little boy and his drum. He is looking quite proud and serious. The drum does not look like a toy. Perhaps it saw some action during the civil war. The reverse of the postcard has an inscription revealing that the child is named John M. Norris and that he is two years old. The inscription also states that this photograph was taken in 1914. The AZO stamp box offers a confirmation of the date. This stamp box was utilized between 1904 and 1918. This postcard was purchased near Austin, Texas.

Published in: on June 5, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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This cabinet card features a profile portrait of a a very pretty young woman. The photograph was taken by the F. G. Schumacher Gallery of Photographic Art in Los Angeles, California. The subject of this photograph appears to be in her teenage years. An article in the Los Angeles Herald (1886) is quite complimentary of Mr Schumacher. He is described as “one of the best photographic artists on the coast”. He is also referred to as “a graduate of the famous studio of Bradley & Rulofson” in San Francisco. The article also reports that he had taken portraits of many celebrities and had a particular talent in photographing children and infants. (To view photographs by Bradley & Rulofson, click on category Photographer: Bradley & Rulofson).  Frank G. Schumaker (1861-1930?) was born in California. The University of California (Berkley) archives asserts that he established a photography studio in 1882 on North Spring Street in Los Angeles. He is listed in Los Angeles business directories from at least 1888 through 1904. Wilson’s Photographic Magazine (1897) printed an article entitled “Photographic Studies by Schumacher. The article praised his work.

Published in: on June 4, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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I wish I knew what was going on in the photograph on this vintage real photo postcard. Mom, Dad and their child all are displaying very intense expressions. The man and woman are staring at each other. It is as if their eyes are throwing darts at each other. The child, wearing a nautical outfit, looks like he just saw a ghost. The child is standing on a wagon. The family dog is standing on it’s hind legs with one paw on the wagon. This postcard’s AZO stamp box indicates that it was produced sometime between 1904 and 1918.

Published in: on June 3, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Comments (4)  
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This cabinet card features a portrait of a young child wearing fancy clothing. Note the large bow tie and the sash with tassels that serves as a belt. The photographer of this photograph is E. C. Nickerson. His studio was located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He is no stranger to the Cabinet Card Gallery. You may view more of his photographs by clicking on the category “Photographer: Nickerson”. Among his photographs are portraits of firemen. Nickerson’s name is listed in a number of Portsmouth directories from 1888 through 1892.

Published in: on June 2, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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This vintage real photo postcard features a portrait of an attractive young woman wearing a dark dress with a high collar. She is wearing her hair loose and she is quite striking. This photograph was taken at an unidentified studio, at an unidentified location, and by an unidentified photographer.

Published in: on June 1, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  



alice crawford

These vintage real photo postcards feature a beautiful actress named Alice Crawford (1882-1931). Miss Crawford was born in Bendigo, Australia. Her sister, Ruby Crawford was also an actress. Miss Crawford came to England with actor Wilson Barret in 1902 after appearing with him in Australia. Her London debut was in 1902 in in the play “The Christian”.  She was in the revival of the play in 1907. Other stage credits include “Antony and Cleopatra (1906), Matt of Merrymount (1908), and “The Passing of the Third Floor, Back” (1908). The New York Times (1909) announced her arrival in New York to perform in “These Are My People”. She is credited with film roles in “False Ambition” (1918) and Glorious Adventure (1922). There are fifteen portraits of Alice Crawford in the National Portrait Gallery, eight of which are by the photographer of the top photo postcard (Alexander Bassano}. Bassano  (1829 –1913) was a leading royal and high society photographer in Victorian London. Crawford was married to George Valentine Williams. He was wounded twice in WW I and was awarded the Military Cross. He later worked as a journalist, mostly in trouble spots. During WW2 he conducted “confidential work” for the British Government. He is best known as an author of Detective Fiction. He died in 1946. This postcard captures Miss Crawford in costume for her role as “Diantha Frothingham” in “Matt of Merrymount” (1908). Alice Crawford certainly qualifies as a “stage beauty” and she has an amazingly engaging smile. Bassano photographed the actress for Rotary Photo’s, Rotary Photographic Series (no.1852 R).                                          

The second photo postcard features Miss Crawford looking quite beautiful. Her hair is long and flowing and she has a flower hair band. Her eyes are beautiful and she appears to be holding back a smile. Like the first postcard, this card is also published by Rotary Photo and was part of a series (no. 1852 K). In fact both postcards seen here are part of the same series.  The postcard’s photograph was taken by the Dover Street Studio.  The studio was active between circa 1906 and circa 1912. The gallery specialized in taking theatrical portraits and was located in London, England. They were the successors to the Biograph Studios as well Adart (a studio that took advertising photos). Examination of the reverse of this postcard (see second postcard below) reveals that it was postmarked in 1907. The message on the back of the postcard is quite interesting because it contains comments about the photo on the postcard. The writer reports that she was charmed by a postcard from the addressee and she asks her how she likes “this one”. The writer also states that she was planning to go see “The Thief” at the St. James Theater. Billboard (1907) contains a review of the musical and describes it as an English version of Henry Bernstein’s “Le Voleur”.  The play was produced by Mr George Alexander and it’s cast included Mr. Alexander, Irene Vanbrugh, and Lillian Braithwaite. 

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alice crawford 1




This cabinet card portrait features a sweet and attractive looking young woman posing for her portrait at the Ernsberger Fine Art Gallery in Auburn, New York. She appears to be in her teenage years and is well dressed and holding a fur muff. Note her stylish hat. An inscription on the reverse of the photograph indicates that it was taken in May, 1880. William H. Ernsberger was a popular Auburn photographer judging by the large number of photographs by him in the collection of early Auburn images held by the Cayuga Museum. He was born in nearby Trumansberg in 1844 and moved to Auburn in 1865. He operated a photo studio in Auburn for more than sixty years. He was known to have photographed abolitionist Harriet Tubman (1822-1913) in 1908. At one point, his son Fred joined him in business. Ernsberger died in 1941. His obituary appeared in the Dunkirk Evening Observer. The article states that he was “reputedly” the oldest active photographer in the nation. He was 97 years old at the time of his death.


This press photo features Lulu Hunt Peters (1873-1930), an American doctor and diet expert. She began by writing a featured newspaper column entitled “Diet and Health”. Her column appeared in more than 400 newspapers around the United States. She then wrote a book entitled “Diet & Health: With Key to the Calories” (1918). Dr Peters was the first person to popularize counting calories as a method of weight loss. She educated her readers about the concept of calories and urged them to think of food in terms of calories.  In other words, women should say “I ate 100 calories of bread” and not say “I ate a slice of bread”. Peters also taught her readers how to calculate their ideal weight. Peters maintained a strict diet of 1200 calories a day. Her book was the first weight-loss book to become a best seller. It was among the top ten selling non fiction books from 1922 through 1926. In 1918 the book sold two million copies, and spread the word that “thin is in”. Amazingly, Peters nine year-old nephew was the books illustrator. Peters was born in Maine and moved to California. She received her MD in 1909 from the University of California (Berkeley). Dr. Peters was very aware of obesity having grown up with a weight problem when at one point, she reached 220 pounds. Interestingly, during World War I, Peters considered her diet solution to be a form of patriotism. She viewed dieting as absolute self control and suggested that women organize “Watch Your Weight Anti-Kaiser Classes” to reach their goal weights. In addition, Peters believed that dieting would make war rationing easier and leave left over rations for children. Dr. Peters also supported the suffragist movement. She believed women needed to take better care of their health, exercise, and become more self-sufficient. It is clear that there were some problems associated with Dr Peters weight loss philosophy. Coupled with the fashion industry of that era, the communicated message was that all women should strive to be thin. Dieting was equated with being beautiful and having self esteem. Peters also believed that people who lacked self control over their weight were exhibiting poor morals. She contended that to be thin, women must be strong enough to resist temptation which she described using concepts such as sin, punishment, and redemption. After publishing her book, Peters went to Bosnia where she worked with the Red Cross. Dr Peters book remains in circulation today. In many ways she deserves credit for being a pioneer in the weight loss industry. On the other hand, she also advocated a philosophy that creates shame for those that are overweight, and worse yet, spawns eating disorders.


Published in: on May 27, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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