afr am

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.


Published in: on January 28, 2015 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
Tags: , ,



The gentleman featured in this cabinet card has a terrific salt and pepper bushy beard. In fact, it is so terrific that this image qualifies to join cabinet card gallery’s category “Beards (Only the Best). To see other great beards, click on the category. This photograph was produced by the Howe studio in Pittsfield, Maine. W. H. Howe is listed as a photographer in the Pittsfield Register (1904).

Published in: on July 11, 2014 at 11:55 am  Comments (1)  
Tags: , ,



This cabinet card features a young woman wearing a pair of unusual eyeglasses. The spectacles are of the pince-nez var iety and what makes the glasses odd are the dark color and the thickness of the frames. This portrait was produced by the Tuttle Studio in Belfast, Maine. William  C. Tuttle (1835-1901) was an early Belfast photographer. In addition to working as a photographer, he also wrote about the practice of the profession. Tuttle wrote an article in the journal Mosaics {1878} which was titled “Babies”. The article dispensed humorous tips on how to effectively photograph babies. A book by Joseph Williamson entitled “History of the City of Belfast” (1913) reveals that Tuttle’s studio burned down in a major fire occurring in Belfast in 1885. At one point in his career, Tuttle also had studios in other Maine towns including Winthrop, Castine, Kent’s Hill, and Northport. A classified listing  in the Bulletin of Photography (1918) advertises that Tuttle’s Belfast studio was up for sale. The advertisement stated that one of its selling features was that there was “no competition” in Belfast. Tuttle had at least one son that entered his business so it is possible that this son may have been the photographer of this cabinet card. The 1870 Federal Census reveals that Tuttle was married to Georgia Tuttle, a woman who was 14 years his junior. At the time of the census, the couple had a seven month old son named Adrian. Research also discovered that Tuttle had enlisted in the Union army during the civil was. In 1861 he joined Maine’s 13th Infantry regiment as a musician. During the war he reached the rank of full Drum Major. Tuttle is buried in the Grove Cemetery in Belfast.

Published in: on June 29, 2014 at 12:16 pm  Comments (4)  
Tags: , , , , , , ,


HANDSOME BANGORChalmers studio in Bangor, Maine produced this photograph of a formally dressed and handsome young man. The reverse of the photograph has the subject’s name and a few more details listed.  The fellows name is C. L. (possibly G. L.) Surall of the University of Maine, class of 1899.  This image is likely a graduation picture.

Published in: on July 13, 2013 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,


bangor man_0005

A handsome young man preens for the camera at the Ramsdell & Halloran studio in Bangor, Maine. Writing on the reverse of the photograph is not totally legible but appears to state “Board of Editors” and “Kallour” or Kallow”. Despite the written clues on the reverse of the photograph, research did not uncover any information pertaining to this gentleman’s identity. Investigating did reveal that one of the photographers of this image was female. Miss Emily I Ramsdell (1856-1917) appears in the 1880 census as living with her parents in Atkinson, Maine and working as a school teacher. Examining several Bangor city directories reveals that she was employed as a photographer as early as 1892 and as late as 1914. The 1887 through 1899 directories show that she was partnered with Thomas F. Halloran. The Bulletin of Photography (1917) reports her death at age sixty-one.


PRETTYGIRLINBATH_0004This cabinet card features a very pretty young woman in Bath, Maine. If you were expecting to see a pretty young woman in a bathtub, sorry for your disappointment or surprise. The young woman in this image may actually be a teenager. If so, she sure is displaying a lot of poise for a girl that age. She has an expression that makes it appear that she is oblivious of being photographed and is intensely staring at something in the distance. She is wearing a lace shawl with a pin. The subject of this image is unidentified. The photographer is J. C. Higgins of Bath, Maine. Higgins was an active photographer in Bath in the 1880’s and 1890’s. He was an excellent photographer. One of his photographs (Man in a Bottle) was displayed in New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art (MOMA). Another one of his photographs can be seen on the website of the Maine Historical Society. Higgin’s son, Charles R. Higgins was also quite a prominent photographer. He apprenticed to his father and later took over the studio. He became known for his hand colored photography work which was in a style similar to Wallace Nutting. Many of his images were depictions of nature and New England scenery.


MISS LIBBY_0007A young boy dressed in a double breasted jacket and wearing a tie poses for this portrait by Miss Libby of Norway, Maine.  Minnie Libby (1863-1947) had a sixty year business career in Norway, Maine. She was a very able photographer and also an eccentric. She was the daughter of a Maine born blacksmith who was also a carriage maker and dealer. The 1880 census lists her at age sixteen as being an artist. She was sent to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and developed an interest in photography. She worked as a studio photo retoucher while living in Boston. In 1882 she worked as a photo retoucher at the Anthony Crockett Picture Studio in Norway. In 1885 her father constructed a building to house her first studio. By the 1890’s Miss Libby was quite successful. In 1905 her father helped her buy a new studio which caused some controversy in the town of  Norway. The seller of the building neglected to tell his tenant, a photographer, that the building was sold. The tenant photographer took ads out in the local paper denouncing the underhanded business practices of Miss Libby who ultimately occupied the building. Miss Libby’s response to the ads was to take out her own ads in which she said that she would use the advertising space to talk about her business, and not to make misleading statements about her competitors. In 1940, Life Magazine discovered Miss Libby. They did a feature on her life as a photographer, both past and present. Minnie Libby also produced oil paintings while working as a photographer. She was a talented artist and did many paintings of plants and flowers as well as landscapes. The Life Magazine article describes Miss Libby’s appearance. She most often wore knickers, men’s shirts, and a flowing bow tie. She was also described as a “first class photographer”. To view other photographs by Miss Libby, click on the category “Photographer: Libby”.



FEMALE PHOTOG_0002This cabinet card features a bust portrait of a young woman. This is likely an early image from the cabinet card era. The photographer of this image is “Mrs. Barker” of Gardiner, Maine. Research found very little information about this pioneer female photographer. The 1880 United Startes census reveals that Julia R. Barker lived in Gardiner, Maine and worked as a photographer. Her husband, Eugene Barker, was employed as a railroad engineer. Both were 35 years old at the time of the census.

Published in: on December 12, 2012 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  
Tags: , ,


An inscription on the reverse of this photograph identifies this pretty young woman in the image as Louella Pauline Bishop. Research was unsuccessful in mining any biographical information about her. The photograph was produced by the Davis studio in Presque Isle, Maine. Apparently, Davis wanted to be known as a fotografist rather than photographer. Researching the meaning of the word “Fotographist”,  I learned its actually an English word that is simply another way of saying photographer. Prescott Davis was born in 1863. He married his wife Annie in 1889. He appears in the 1900 U.S. census as being a photographer and living in Presque Isle. One wonders if his out of town friends referred to him as “Prescott from Presque”. Presque Isle is located in northeast Maine. It was settled in 1828 and was originally named Fairbanks. The town was located in no man’s land. The territory was claimed by both British Canada and the United States. It was called Presque Isle because the French meaning of Presque is peninsula and the town is located on a peninsula between the Aroostock River and the Presque Isle Stream. In earlier times the town was known for its involvement in agriculture and the lumber business.


This photographic portrait captures a good looking and well dressed gentleman posing at the J. F. Gerrity Company studio in Bangor, Maine. The gentleman in this photograph has a wonderful well groomed mustache and is wearing what appears to be a pin back button on his lapel. There is a design on the button that I can not identify. The reverse of the photograph has an inscription that is dated 1898. The subject is identified as Harry H McLean. The message states “Merry Xmas, Happy New Year” and the word “University” followed by an unidentified word. An advertisement in a Bangor Board of Trade publication (1899) indicates that the Gerrity studio had two locations; 11 State Street in Bangor, and 244 Miiddle Street in Portland, Maine. City of Bangor directories indicate that he also owned a lumber business in Bangor. Census data reveals that Gerrity was born in 1855 and had at least two wives; Nancy (1920 census) and Edith (1930 census). No biographical information about Harry McLean was found.

Published in: on October 4, 2012 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 614 other followers