PORTRAIT OF A PRETTY TEENAGE GIRL IN CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (PHOTOGRAPH BY J. K. STEVENS)

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This cabinet card portrait of a pretty teenage girl is by esteemed Chicago photographer John Kimball Stevens. A number of photographs by Stevens can be viewed in the cabinet card gallery by clicking on the category “Photographer: Stevens”. Stevens operated his gallery out of the McVicker’s Theatre building. The young woman in this photograph is bright eyed and has a terrific pleasant expression. She is clearly holding back a smile. She apparently liked jewelry as evidenced by her interesting necklace, collar pin, and earrings.

A visitor to the Cabinet Card Gallery, named Jon, left a comment indicating that he had found a cabinet card image at a flea market that appeared to be the same woman as the one pictured above.He was kind enough to send a copy of the image that he found (see the image below). I definitely see the similarity in appearance that Jon is referring to. However, the woman in the top cabinet card has a rounded face and springy curls while the woman below has an oval face with thick tight curly hair. In addition, their eyes and smiles are vastly different. Both photographs were taken by the Stevens Gallery which was quite prolific. It is no surprise that they likely had many instances of photographing people that had similar appearance. Thank you Jon for sharing the photograph and your observations.
Reader photo sent Stevens

Published in: on March 26, 2017 at 7:15 am  Comments (7)  
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PORTRAIT OF A PRETTY WOMAN IN CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

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This vintage photograph features a portrait of a pretty young woman wearing a lace collar and lace bib. Note her collar pin and her lovely eyes. This photograph comes from the studio of George F. Riel of Chicago, Illinois. He was a talented photographer. You can make your own judgement about his talent by clicking on the category “Photographer: Riel”. You will be able to view more of his images and learn more about him.

Published in: on January 20, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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THE CUTEST LITTLE GIRL IN CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

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This cabinet card portrait features the cutest little girl in Chicago, Illinois. She was photographed by the Siegel Cooper gallery which was located in one of Chicago’s major department stores, not coincidentally named Siegel Cooper. The young girl in this photograph is beautifully dressed from head to toe. Her bonnet is strategically placed to show her lovely curls and her pretty and expressive face. She holds a small bouquet of flowers and appears a bit intimidated by the milieu of the photography studio. Note the reverse of this photograph seen below because this is your opportunity to see a ghost. Well maybe not a ghost but a ghost image for sure. I am guessing that the image formed by being pressed tightly against the front of another cabinet card creating the ghost like image. However, photography historians have written that some photographers purposely created ghost images for their clients. Why? Sometimes they were asked to, and sometimes they had their own nefarious reasons. The Cabinet Card Gallery has a number of photographs by this gallery. To learn more about the photographer and to view more of the gallery’s photographs, click on the category “Photographer Siegel Cooper Company”.

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Published in: on December 29, 2015 at 12:00 pm  Comments (2)  
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THREE YOUNG BOYS DRESSED IN HARLEQUIN COSTUMES IN CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

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The photographer of this wonderful vintage photograph is J. Edgar Waters who operated a studio in Chicago, Illinois. The three children seen in this image are wearing harlequin costumes. Harlequin was the best known of the comic servant characters from the “Italian Commedia dell’arte. The character was introduced in the late 16th century and represents a light heartedness and even devilish (trickster) nature. Overtime the character took on more of a romantic role. Photographer J. Edgar Waters wrote an article for a business magazine. “The Magazine of Business” (1915) contains an article entitled “The One-Man Business”. In the article, Waters provides practical advice about business record keeping. To learn more about this photographer and to view more of his photographs, click on the category “Photographer: Waters”.

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THE GIRLS OF SUMMER: WOMENS SOFTBALL TEAM (1934 VINTAGE PHOTOGRAPH)

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This vintage photograph features a women’s softball team. Judging by their smiles, the ladies were in a happy mood at the time this photograph was taken. The image was produced in the year 1934 which the text on the photo indicates celebrates “a century of progress”. Two of the players are wearing baseball caps but no baseball equipment or team logo is visible in the photograph. At that time in softball history, many leagues required the players not to use gloves.  It is also notable that this team photo includes eleven players rather than the expected baseball nine. Women’s softball teams of that era employed ten players on the field with the tenth player occupying the position of short centerfield. Perhaps the eleventh player in the photo is the coach/manager or possibly a substitute. It is also interesting to note that “A Century of Progress” was the slogan for the 1933 World’s Fair.The exposition was held along the lakefront of Chicago, Illinois. The fair was operated from June 1-November 1, 1933, and May 26-October 31, 1934. It is a safe assumption that this image was taken at the Chicago Worlds Fair grounds. Softball was one of the few team sports available to women during the 1930’s, 1940’s,and 1950’s. During the 1930’s, softball was a very popular sport around the United States. In 1933 the newly established Amateur Softball Association sponsored the first national fast pitch softball tournament for women. The association tied the tournament to the Chicago Worlds Fair. In the initial competition, eight women’s teams competed against each other. It is worth mentioning that some sources report that the games were actually sponsored by a duo comprised of a sports writer and a sporting goods salesman. This wonderful memento of softball history measures 3″ x 4 3/4″ and based on the black paper residue on it’s reverse, once found it’s home in someone’s photo album.

Published in: on July 19, 2015 at 12:00 pm  Comments (5)  
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PORTRAIT OF A FASHIONABLE WOMAN AND HER HUSBAND IN CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

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A lovely couple pose for their portrait at the Johnson & Company studio in Chicago, Illinois. The most notable feature of this image is the fashionability of the young woman. Her dress is attractive and relatively unusual relative to dresses seen in most cabinet card images. She is also very well accessorized. Note her jewelry which includes a ring, necklace, and earrings. She is also wearing fingerless gloves. She is a Chicagoan and must have taken advantage of the good shopping there. She also appears to have had good clothes sense. Her husband is dressed formally but clearly not trying to draw attention to himself via his clothing. The photographer, Johnson & Company was operating in Chicago at least between 1886 and 1895. The proprietor was J. Scott Johnson who was born in Ohio in 1860 and moved to Chicago in 1882. Johnson placed an ad in “The Photographic Times (1908)” which listed his studio for sale due to his desire to retire. The ad noted that the studio was in the heart of Chicago’s business district and was “a gold mine for a hustler”. In listing the price of the studio, Johnson wrote that he would sell it as a “sacrifice at $1500.00”.

Published in: on July 8, 2015 at 8:31 pm  Comments (2)  
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A WELL DRESSED GENTLEMAN HOLDS HIS HAT IN HIS HAND IN CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

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A well dressed man with a relatively close shaved beard and mustache poses for his portrait at the studio of John Kimball Stevens in Chicago, Illinois. He stands with his hat in his hand displaying a half smile. He is wearing a pinky ring and a tuxedo collar type shirt. He looks like a city dweller, perhaps a businessman. To learn more about J. K. Stevens and to view more of his photographs, click on the category “Photographer: Stevens”. The image below shows the reverse of the cabinet card. Note that Steven’s gallery was located in the McVicker’s Theatre Building.

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Published in: on July 6, 2015 at 8:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
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MYSTERY ACTRESS AT THE HAYMARKET THEATRE IN CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (MYSTERY SOLVED)

A pretty and nicely dressed woman poses for her portrait from celebrity photographer, William McKenzie Morrison, at the Haymarket Theatre in Chicago, Illinois. The subject of this photograph looks very much like actress, Lily Hanbury (1874-1908). An inscription on the reverse of this image states
“to my darling brother Mike, from Lily”. The card is dated “Aug   8, 1894”. There were many actresses in 1894 named Lily; Lily Langtry was likely the most famous of them all. Research failed to provide evidence that this cabinet card photograph features Ms. Hanbury. It is not certain that she ever appeared at the Haymarket, nor is there data to confirm that she had a brother named Mike. To view a confirmed photograph of Lily Hanbury, type her name in Cabinet Card Gallery’s Search Box and click the search button. To view other photographs by Morrison, click on the category “Photographer: Morrison”. ADDENDUM: I am grateful to a cabinet card gallery visitor who left a comment (click comment below) identifying the actress who is the subject of this photograph. Her name is Hattie Williams (1870-1947) and another photo of her can be seen in the form of the photograph found below. Miss Williams was an American stage actress, comedienne, and singer. She was born in Boston. She began her career in the farcical plays of Charles Hoyt. She was a popular actress in vaudeville and with the Charles Frohman Theater Company. At one point in her career she was considered an arch rival to Ethel Barrymore. A photograph of Miss Barrymore is posted in the cabinet card gallery and can be viewed by putting her name in the search box. Williams appeared in one motion picture (1915).

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PRETTY YOUNG WOMAN PHOTOGRAPHED BY CELEBRITY PHOTOGRAPHER J. K. STEVENS IN CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

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Celebrity photographer John Kimball Stevens photographed this pretty young woman in his studio located in the McVickers Theatre Building in Chicago, Illinois. The woman is wearing a high collar dress with an accompanying collar pin. She has a serious but unfocused expression. To view more of Stevens images and to learn more about him, click on the category “Photographer: Stevens”. This photograph measures approximately 8 1/4″ x 3 1/4″; not a standard cabinet card sized photograph.

FAMILY FINDS SALVATION IN CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – SALVATION ARMY CABINET CARD

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This family portrait is a bit unusual because mom and dad are both wearing Salvation Army uniforms and Salvation Army pins on their collars. The two older children are wearing identical outfits that may be Salvation Army issued. This attractive family appears to be in a good mood as they pose for their photograph at the Siegel Cooper Department Store in Chicago, Illinois. To view other photographs by this gallery, click on the category “Photographer: Siegel Cooper and Company”. To peruse other Salvation Army related images, click on the category “Salvation Army”.