A pretty young woman wearing a dark beaded sleeveless dress and a choker poses for her portrait at the Rugg studio in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Arthur Rugg took a profile view of this woman and managed to capture her sweetness, evidenced in her eyes and smile. Mr. Rugg is not a stranger to the cabinet card gallery and you can view more of his images and learn more about him by clicking the category “Photographer: Rugg”. Below, you can see Mr. Rugg’s advertising which appeared on the reverse of the photograph.

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Published in: on April 11, 2015 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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wedding 2

This cabinet card features a well dressed handsome groom and his pretty pensive bride. The bride and groom are bedecked with flowers and are wearing white gloves and serious expressions. The reverse of the cabinet card has a penciled inscription stating “Mrs. Torborg Halvorsen”. This creates some interesting speculation considering that the photographers name is also Halvorsen. Is this the photographers wedding photo? Is the bride or groom in this image a child of the photographer? Preliminary research failed to answer these questions. However, it was learned that there was a photographer named J. R. Halvorsen who operated in Albert Lea, Minnesota between 1886 and 1887.  He is certainly the photographer of this image but the exact identity of the subjects in this portrait remain unknown. It is important to note that Halvorsen, a Norwegian name,  was not an uncommon name in Minnesota. Minnesota had many residents of Norwegian origin or roots from Norway.

Published in: on December 20, 2014 at 6:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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This cabinet card portrait features a stoic looking man with haunting eyes and a wispy beard. He is well dressed and well groomed. The photographer of this photograph is Orville Slocum whose studio was in Austin, Minnesota. J. E. and Orville Slocum were both photographers in Austin. Presumably they were brothers. Research discovered little about J. E. but information was found about Orville.  Orville Slocum was born in Herkimer County, New York in 1843. He worked as a photographer in Minnesota in the 1870’s, 1880’s, and 1890’s. He apprenticed with H. S. Coon. Before entering the photography business he fought in the Civil War as a private with the 1st Minnesota Cavalry (Company M). It appears that he married the boss’s daughter. His first wife was Barbara Coon who he married in 1865. That marriage ended in divorce and he then married Mary Hayden in 1891. Orville Slocum died in 1910 and is buried in the Iowa Veterans Home Cemetery in Marshalltown, Cemetery.



MRS FRED DRURY_0002A young couple pose for their wedding portrait in Mankato, Minnesota. The photographer is the Snow Art Gallery. The reverse of the photograph has an inscription that states “Mrs Fred Drury”.  Presumably, Mrs Drury is the woman seen in this image. John R. Snow, the proprietor of the Snow Gallery, was born in New Brunswick, Canada, in 1868. At nine years old, he and his family moved to Maine where he finished common school. After graduating, he went to work in a sardine and lobster factory. He left Maine for Wisconsin and it is there that he began his photography career as a tent photographer. He travelled in this capacity and covered the area between Wisconsin and Kentucky. He later had studios in Fort Dodge, Iowa, and Zumbrota, Minnesota. He bought a studio in Mankato in 1893. His addresses in Mankato included 118 East Jackson (1893-1902), and 313 South Front Street (1912-1919). The 1910 US Census lists both John and his wife Margaret as Mankato photographers. Their son, Cecil J. Snow (1894-?), worked as a photographer in Mankato in the 1920’s and 1930’s.

Published in: on March 26, 2014 at 11:54 am  Leave a Comment  
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wedding minn

This wedding portrait was produced by the Fairbanks studio in Austin, Minnesota. The bride is wearing a beautiful dress and veil. The groom is a handsome and  wearing a fancy suit with a white bow tie. The wedding couple are wearing flowers galore. The photographer of this image is likely one of the Fairbanks brothers. In 1891,Henry Durant Fairbanks started a photography studio in Austin. He was joined by his brother, Guy L. Fairbanks in 1894. Henry Fairbanks appears in the US census (1900, 1910, and 1920). The census reveals that he was born in Vermont circa 1870. At the time of the three censuses he was married to Katie Fairbanks and was working as a photographer.


Published in: on March 13, 2014 at 12:08 pm  Comments (2)  
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This photograph features an attractive young couple posing at the studio belonging to Algot Anderson in St. Paul, Minnesota. The couple are well dressed and well coiffed. This is one very cool couple. Algot Anderson worked in St. Paul from 1894 through 1926.The photograph measures 5″ x 7″.


Published in: on February 21, 2014 at 11:45 am  Leave a Comment  
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SPAN AM WAR SLDR_0002This Spanish American War era soldier is dressed, armed and ready to deploy. Note his long rifle and the bayonet he is wearing on his side. He is wearing two medals, one which the previous owner of the photograph identified as signifying that he was the son of a Union civil war veteran. This photograph was taken at Dempsie Portraits which was located at 316 Nicollet Avenue in Minneapolis, Minnesota. George M. Dempsie began operating in Minneapolis in about 1887 and worked until at least 1910. He was at the Nicollet Avenue address between 1889 and 1910. He operated under the names of Dempsie’s New Photographic Rooms, Dempsie Portraits, and Dempsie & Andrews. At various times he employed his sons George R. Dempsie and Guy C. Dempsie.




duluth family_0003A well dressed family looks quite handsome as they pose for their portrait at the Christensen studio in Duluth, Minnesota. The father is wearing an unusual tie while the son is wearing a more traditional tie and a wing tipped collar shirt. The mother is wearing a pin on the neckline of her dress. The photographer of this cabinet card is John Christensen. The Bulletin of Photography (1916) reported that Christensen was one of several Duluth photographers who signed a petition urging the licensing of traveling photographers who passed through the city. The petition stated that these traveling photographers enlarged pictures at very low prices but then compelled people to purchase very expensive frames. They also charged customers in advance to enlarge family photos and then left town without doing the work or returning the treasured photographs.

Published in: on March 21, 2013 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  
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SLEEPYEYE_0001Members of the cast of the American Western movie “The Magnificent Seven” (1960) pose for a group picture in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota. These seven gunmen were hired to protect a small Mexican agricultural village from a gang of marauding bandits. The cast included Charles Bronson (back row left), Steve McQueen, Yul Brynner, James Coburn, Robert Vaughn, and Eli Wallach. Wait a minute! Even though the Charles Bronson guy really looks like Charles Bronson, how could the cast of a 1960 movie appear in a turn of the century cabinet card photograph? In addition, what would Hollywood actors be doing in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota if they are in a film where the locale is Mexico? Besides that, is there really a town called Sleepy Eye? It’s time for a confession. The men in this photograph are not members of a movie cast even though I could almost swear that the guy in the back row is Charles Bronson. In regard to the existence of a town named Sleepy Eye; yes it does exist. The town of Sleepy Eye is named after Chief Sleepy Eye, or Ishtakhaba. He was a chief of the Sioux tribe and happened to have droopy eye lids. He was one of four Sioux Indians to meet President James Monroe in 1824 in Washington D.C.. This image was produced by Sleepy Eye photographer S. C. Madsen who also had a studio in New Ulm, Minnesota. He operated in Sleepy Eye between 1884 and 1892 and had a studio in New Ulm in 1888. Since this cabinet card advertises the New Ulm studio on the reverse of the photograph, this photograph was likely taken in 1888. Who are the men in the picture? Unfortunately, they are not identified. They appear to be businessmen from town but that of course is just a guess (two of the men have papers in their shirt pocket). Three of the men in the bottom row have their arms crossed resting on their abdomen. The fourth gentleman apparently didn’t get the message from the photographer who posed them. The man on the far right of the top row must have just finished the all you can eat buffet at the Silver Dollar Saloon judging by the tightness of his shirt.


This photograph features a very handsome man posing for his portrait at the studio of Skrin Seth in Crookston, Minnesota. My spelling of the photographer’s name is questionable since his name is partially illegible as printed on the front of the photograph. The subject of this photograph has glamorous looks and is wearing a fur coat. He is identified on the reverse of the card but once again there is a legibility problem. His name is either “Mr. E. McKenzie” or “N. E. McKenzie”. Research revealed no biographical information about the image’s subject or about the photographer.

Published in: on September 7, 2012 at 12:01 am  Comments (7)  
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