FASHIONABLE WOMAN IN BLACK BEADED DRESS IN URBANA, OHIO

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The lady is in black, possibly in mourning. She is wearing a pretty black lace heavily beaded dress. A hair ornament in her hair, a corsage on her dress, and fingerless gloves complete her ensemble. The woman wears a serious expression and has piercing eyes. The lighting in this portrait is well done and highlights the woman and her dress. The photographer of this interesting cabinet card image is F. G. Wilhelmi who operated a photography studio in Urbana, Ohio. Fred G Wilhelmi, like many of photographer colleagues, got around. He appears to have begun his photography career in Cumberland, Maryland (1871-1880). He then practiced his trade in Urbana (1885-1889) and Cleveland (1890- 1900 or later). The dates provided are approximate and come from two guides about early Ohio photographers.

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Published in: on January 2, 2017 at 12:15 pm  Comments (3)  
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PRETTY FASHIONABLE YOUNG WOMAN IN CLEVELAND, OHIO

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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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SASSY WELL DRESSED YOUNG BOY IN PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA

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This cabinet card features a well dressed young boy with attitude. His expression and hand on his hip gives him a sassy appearance. Note his jumbo bow tie. This photograph was taken by Lewis W. Zuver (1854-1927). Zuver was a member of a family of photographers. His brother Leander L. Zuver (1861-1924) had a studio in Tionesta, Pennsylvania. His sister Mary M. Zuver was married to Jacob West and had a studio  in Bradford, Pennsylvania. She was known for her portraits of women and children. Lewis, the photographer of this image was a guy who got around. He had studios in New York (Olean, Ellicottville, Salamonca), Ohio (Cleveland), and Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh). One source reports that he was in Pittsburgh at least from 1893-1900. He is listed in the Pittsburgh Directory (1895). At one point in his career he operated a studio on a steamboat that ran up and down the Alleghany between Olean, New York and Pittsburgh. A portrait of Henry J. Heinz (ketchup king) by Lewis Zuver can be found in “The Successful Americans” (1899). Zuver was clearly quite an entrepreneur and deducing from this image, he was a talented photographer. To view other photographs by this photographer, click on the category “Photographer: Zuver”.

Published in: on February 18, 2015 at 10:47 am  Comments (3)  
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WEDDING COUPLE IN CLEVELAND, OHIO

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Frank Becker, a photographer in Cleveland, Ohio, produced this wedding portrait. The bride is wearing a long white floral veil and the couple clearly spent some money at their local florist. The groom has a handsome mustache. As frequently seen in wedding photographs from the cabinet card era, the groom is seated and the bride stands. Perhaps the reason for this type of pose is to showcase the bride’s wedding gown. Frank Becker was an active photographer in Cleveland between 1886 and 1900 or later. He was born in Germany in 1865 and emigrated to the United States in 1881.

Published in: on June 24, 2014 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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PROFILE OF A PRETTY WOMAN IN CLEVELAND, OHIO

A pretty woman poses for her portrait at the studio of John H. Ryder in Cleveland, Ohio. The subject is wearing a collar pin, earrings, and a interesting patterned dress. John H. Ryder (aka Jack) was a daguerreotype artist and photographer active on and off in Cleveland from the late 1850’s until his death in 1898. He was born in New York around 1832. After working with his older brother James F Ryder (1826-1904) for many years, he opened his own studio in 1884. John Ryder found a diversion from his photography career during his days of working for his brother. Some time around 1864 he went on a series of tours with humorist Charles F. Browne who was known on the lecture series as Artemus Ward”. Ryder served as Browne’s agent and manager. A photograph of Browne can be found below.

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Published in: on April 6, 2014 at 12:46 pm  Leave a Comment  
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STAGE PERFORMER IN EFFEMINATE COSTUME (IS THIS A YOUNG MAN OR A YOUNG WOMAN?)

BURK_0005This cabinet card portrait, photographed by A. D. Burk and Co. presents a gender mystery. A stage performer wearing an effeminate stage costume by today’s standards, is the subject of this portrait. Note the subjects frilly shirt and jacket, and the feathered hat. Also take note of the subjects long curly hair and hanging curls. Are we looking at a handsome actor or a pretty actress? My guess is actress. The photographer, Alcynus D. Burk worked in Cleveland from 1889, when he partnered with David Bailey until 1900 or later.

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Published in: on March 28, 2014 at 12:21 pm  Comments (8)  
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A JOYFUL MOM AND HER BABY IN CLEVELAND, OHIO

Film reviewers speak of a category of movies called “feel good” movies. It has been my observation that there is a category of cabinet cards that should be called “feel good” cabinet cards. This cabinet card, featuring a mother and her baby, falls into the “feel good” genre. This image exudes joy. Mom is smiling. It is important to note that smiling subjects are a rare occurrence in cabinet card photography. Mom’s eyes are smiling too; she just can’t contain her joy. Mom is beautiful, and of course, all babies are adorable. Does anyone wonder how mom was able to hold her baby in this pose for as long as it took to have the photograph taken? Mom likely had some invisible assistance. The child is likely sitting on a platform of some type that has been blocked out by the photographers “tricks” during the development process. This image was photographed by Henrichsen who’s studio was located at 1352 Lexington, in Cleveland, Ohio. John H. Henrichsen operated his studio in Cleveland between 1891 and 1897 and was located on Lexington from 1893 until 1894. These dates were found in the book, “Ohio Photographers 1839-1900” (1998). Henrichsen was also mentioned in Wilson’s Photographic Magazine (1896), as a competitor for prizes at a major photography exhibit.

Published in: on March 15, 2012 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  
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PORTRAIT OF FLORENCE BOYD IN CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (DID SHE SLEEP WITH THE PHOTOGRAPHER AFTER THE PORTRAIT?)

Florence Boyd posed for this cabinet card portrait in Chicago, Illinois. She is identified, in pencil, on the reverse of the photograph. The photographer is listed simply as “Boyd”. Perhaps, Florence, is married to the photographer. It is also possible that the pair may be related in some other fashion. A Samuel Boyd was a photographer in Chicago between 1887 and 1893. Earlier, he operated a studio in Cleveland, Ohio (1897 and 1900). All attempts to find further information about Samuel and Florence Boyd have been fruitless. Therefore, there is no confirmation that Florence Boyd actually slept with the photographer after the portrait.

Published in: on January 10, 2012 at 12:01 am  Comments (2)  
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FLORENCE METTE YOUNG PONDERS IN MOUNT VERNON, OHIO

Florence Mette Young poses for her portrait at the studio of Fred S. Crowell, in Mount Vernon, Ohio. Florence is well dressed and apparently likes jewelry. She is wearing two rings, two bracelets and a necklace. Florence appears to be deep in thought. What might she be pondering about? The 1880 U.S. census reveals that she was born in 1862 and at the time of the census, she was living with her parents, Charles and Angelina Young. Her father was a farmer and her mother was a homemaker. The photographer of this cabinet card, Fred S. Crowell, can also be found in the 1880 census.He was born in 1844 and lived with his wife Ella, and their three children. Other research reveals that there was a Fred Crowell from the Mount Vernon area who enlisted in the 142nd Regiment of the Ohio Infantry during the Civil War.. He served only during 1864. Crowell trained as a photographer under Anna Payne, and worked in the profession in Norwalk, Sandusky, and Cleveland, Ohio. He then opened his own studio in Fredericktown in 1866. In 1869, he moved to Mount Vernon where he established another  photography studio that was in business until at least 1889. To view other photographs by Crowell, click on the category “Photographer: Crowell”.

PRETTY WOMAN IN CLEVELAND, OHIO

This Cabinet card features a pretty young woman posing for her portrait in Cleveland, Ohio. The Kitzsteiner & Noville studio produced this photograph. Paul Kitzsteiner (1854-1923) operated a studio in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania (date unknown) and was active in Cleveland, Ohio, from the  1870’s until 1889. There is an article about a Paul Kitzsteiner in Abels Photographic Weekly (1912). The magazine reports that he was working for Artex Photo Paper Company of Cleveland, Ohio and that he “has done yeoman service in the interests of photographers”. The writer also asserts that “Kitz” has travelled and demonstrated for photographers and printers, since 1870. Perhaps Kitzsteiner left the photographic studio business to pursue work as a photographic supply salesman. The 1900 census reveals that Kitzsteiner was of German descent and his wife’s name was Rosamund (born 1859). He had two daughters, Manda (age 15), and Edna (age 12). In addition to his family, he lived with his mother-in-law  and father-in-law (Ellen and Sam Searse), his dentist brother (Richard), and a boarder. One hopes that Kitzsteiner had a big house to accommodate such a crowd. Kitzsteiner’s partner, Otto Noville, doesn’t seem to have left much of a legacy in the field of photography; no information about his career was gleaned from research. However, he may have left a very large legacy in the field of aviation and exploration. Why the tentativeness concerning his legacy? The reason is that there was an Otto Noville as well as a Otto J. Noville living in Cleveland. One of the Noville’s was the father of George Otto Noville, a pioneer in polar and transatlantic aviation in the 1920’s. He was also a winner of the Distinguished Flying Cross. Among his many accomplishments was his service with Commander Richard Byrd on his historic flight to the North Pole. Otto J. Noville (1872-?) is listed in the 1900 United States Census along with his wife Nellie (1872-?). His occupation is listed as “Salesman-Notions”. In fact, he was a hat manufacturer. Maybe his career as a photographer hadn’t yet started,  or had already ended. The most likely scenario is that Otto J. Noville is the father of George Otto Noville, and Otto Noville, is the photographic artist.