This cabinet card portrait features a handsome middle aged African American man. He displays an intense expression and is wearing formal clothing for his visit to the photographer’s studio. The photographer of this cabinet card is Newton Mossheim Wonders. He was born in Ohio in 1862. He learned the photography business from his brother and worked in Cleveland (Ohio), Chicago (Illinois), and Lebanon (Pennsylvania) before opening his photography business in Pottsville (Pennsylvania) in 1891. His studio was originally located at 105 East Market Street (1893-1909). He moved the gallery to North Centre Street where it was located between 1910 and 1941. A review of US census data reveals that he was married to his wife Annie Wonders (1863-1963) in 1889. The couple had three children. Newton Wonders died in 1945 and is buried in the Charles Baber Cemetery in Pottsville.
INTRIGUING IMAGE OF SIMPLY DRESSED BLACK WOMAN SITTING ON STEPS WITH TWO WHITE MEN (VINTAGE REAL PHOTO POSTCARD)
This vintage real photo postcard is one of the most intriguing postcards that I have come across. What is the story behind this photograph? The image captures a simply dressed black woman flanked by two white men dressed in jacket and tie. Who are these men in relation to this woman? Why do the subjects of this photograph want their meeting photographed? One can imagine some interesting scenarios. Unfortunately the circumstances related to this image are lost to history. This AZO postcard was published between 1904 and 1918.
This cabinet card portrait features two young African American children sharing a large chair while posing at a photography studio in Denver, Colorado. The Beebe studio was located on Arapahoe Street within the mile high city. The children are adorable. They are looking at the photographer with bright and wide open eyes. One wonders how the youngest child is being held into the chair. Perhaps there is a brace attached to seat so that the baby doesn’t get injured due to falling or sliding onto the floor. In many cabinet card photographs of children this youngster’s age, there is a hidden parent under some fabric holding the child in place. Good quality photographs of African American subjects are not easy to find. Discrimination and economic factors are among the principal causes of their relative rarity. The photographer of this cabinet card portrait is John E. Beebe. Denver city directories indicate that he operated his studio between 1887 and at least 1894. Langdonroad.com, a historical photographer directory, reports that before his arrival in Denver, Beebe was a photographer in Chicago, Illinois.
This vintage photograph found it’s way into the Cabinet Card Gallery on merit. The image features a beautiful African American woman with incredibly soulful eyes. She is well dressed in her winter coat and hat. The photograph measures about 3″ x 4.75″. The photo is likely trimmed but does not appear so.
This vintage photograph features an African American man and woman. The pair dressed up in their fanciest clothing to pose for this portrait. The man is wearing a plaid suit and a vest. The couple may be husband and wife though the man looks significantly older than the woman. The woman has her left hand on the man’s shoulder in a display of affection. The subjects of this photograph as well as the photographer are unidentified.This photograph measures about 4″x 5″.
This vintage photograph features a pretty young African American woman posing for her portrait at the Kuhn studio in Brunswick, Maine. The woman is wearing a couple of pieces of jewelry. She has a collar pin which has a photograph of a young white woman. On wonders if the photo is of someone that the subject knows or if it is just a beautiful model. The woman in this photograph is also wearing what appears to be a pocket watch. The timepiece is hanging from her blouse exposed between the lapels of her jacket. The woman has a nice smile and expressive eyes. An inscription on the reverse of this image indicates that the subject’s name is Nora.
This photograph is emotionally moving and it elicits a story that we tell ourselves. Most people will likely see it as a story about a grandmother and her grandchildren. Grandma has a tight loving grasp around the waist of her youngest granddaughter while the older granddaughter clings to grandma’s shoulder for security. This is a portrait of a tight knit family. The little girls are adorable. They are wearing bows in their hair; and both girls are wearing necklaces. It is difficult to tell for sure, but grandma seems to be containing a smile. The girls however, seem a bit bewildered by their experience of being photographed. Grandma was not living in easy times. At the time of this photograph, slavery had already ended but prejudice and discrimination was prevalent. There is dearth of early photographs of African American individuals and families. This image certainly serves a role in representing African American history. Unfortunately, the photographer and subjects of this image are unidentified.