This vintage photograph features a family of six dressed in their finest clothing. The family portrait includes a couple and their two teenage daughters and one teenage and one young adult son. This photograph was taken at the C. A. McDannell’s studio in Wattsburg, Pennsylvania. The photo below shows McDannell’s house. His studio was on the top floor. The picture was taken during one of the town’s multiple floods which occurred between 1892 and 1909. Charles A. McDannell (1859-1944) was born and died in Erie County, Pennsylvania. He was married to Jennie Barry. He is buried in Wattsburg Cemetery. The 1900 US census lists McDannell and his 17 year-old son Clyde as photographers. The 1910 US census also lists Charles as a photographer. However, the 1920 and 1930 US census reveals that he had become a postmaster. Wattsburg-tanner.Weebly.com provides a bit of biographical information about McDannell. In addition, the site displays some of his photographs. It is noted that Charles liked taking outdoor photographs. He had a special interest in photographing country life and children. “Photographic Times” (1888) praises a few of his photographs and the “Bulletin of Photography” (1912) reports that he was on the executive committee of the Professional Photographers Society of Pennsylvania. Inscribed on the reverse of this photograph is a family name. I have been unable to search the name due to legibility problems. Any assistance would be appreciated in deciphering the name. ADDENDUM: See comment below. Great genealogical detective work by a cabinet card gallery visitor identified all the members of the family seen in this photograph.
Grapes? Paper Bags? When did paper bags get invented anyway? Why did the photographer choose to photograph four teenage girls eating grapes? Is there some kind of symbolism in the image or is it meant to just show four girls enjoying a picnic? This cabinet card photograph presents a number of interesting questions and I can only answer one of them. Paper bags were invented in 1852. At least that is when Frances Wolle patented the machine that manufactured paper sacks and founded the Union Paper Bag Company. The reverse of this cabinet card has an inscription stating “Stella Pape, 1888″. Stella was actually her nickname. Her given name was Destella L. Pape and she was born in 1872. She was about sixteen years of age at the time of this photograph. In the 1900 US census she was living with her mother (Mary) and older brother (Nielson) in Butler, Pennsylvania She later married George Reiber who was a man twenty-one years her senior. The couple had a son in 1905 who was named after his father (George). Stella Pape died in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania in 1956. She was buried with her son (see the photograph of her gravestone below). The photographers of this image are Criley & Wagner. To view more of their images, click on the category “Photographer: Criley & Wagner”.
This cabinet card portrait features two young women and a young man posing together at the Zuver studio in Butler, Pennsylvania. The three subjects appear to be friends judging by the amount of affection seen in the photograph. One woman is leaning into the other and the young man has his arm placed behind the pretty woman in the center. The three subjects also appear to be having fun as can be ascertained from the smiles on their faces. All three subjects are wearing terrific hats. Lewis W. Zuver was active in the photography business from the late nineteenth century through the early twentieth century. A help wanted ad for his studio appeared in the Bulletin of Photography (1921). His brother, Leonard Zuver operated a studio in Tionesta, Pennsylvania. His sister, Mary Zuver West ran a photography studio in Bradford, Pennsylvania and specialized in portraits of women and children. To view photographs by this photographer’s brother, Lewis and to learn more about his family; click on the category “Photographer: Zuver”.
This cabinet card portrait features what is almost certainly a grandfather sitting with his young granddaughter on his knee. Grandpa looks quite proud and his little granddaughter looks very comfortable on her perch. This photograph likely served as an emotional keepsake for either the grandfather or the granddaughter for the remainder of their lives. The photographer of this image is William Bailey who operated a studio in Columbia, Pennsylvania. To view more photographs by this photographer and to learn more about him, click on the category “Photographer: Bailey”.
An adorable little girl poses for her portrait at Lenhart’s Studio in Allentown, Pennsylvania. She is wearing a cute bonnet and is clutching her prized doll. A look at her eyes reveals that she is taking in the entire scene around her. She is sitting on a large cushion on what appears to be a wicker chair. To view other images by Thomas Lenhart and to learn more about him, click on the category “Photographer: Lenhart”.
A LADY AND HER VIOLIN IN ALLENTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA (PORTRAIT BY THE ARTIST ARLINGTON NELSON LINDENMUTH)
A woman poses for her portrait at the Lindenmuth Studio in Allentown, Pennsylvania. She likely viewed her self as foremost, a musician. She chose to pose herself, or approved the photographers instructions, to pose sitting and holding her violin and bow. The photographer, Arlington Nelson Lindenmuth (1856-1950) is a noted American landscape and portrait painter. He worked in Allentown which is located in the Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania. He was a member of the Baum Circle which was a group of artists who were influenced by the work of Pennsylvania impressionist painter Walter Emerson Baum. Lindenmuth studied painting under Peter Alfred Gross and also in Europe. His paintings were exhibited in Philadelphia and New York City. He also painted a number of murals which still can be seen in a number of Allentown’s buildings. Lindenmuth is also known as one of the pioneer photographers in the Lehigh Valley. He operated a photography studio in Allentown for a number of decades. Interestingly, in addition to running a photography business, Lindenmuth taught art from his photography studio. In 1882 he worked for the Eastman Kodak Company as a traveling salesman. He was a great advocate of art appreciation. He was a proponent for the Allentown Art Museum. One of his sons, Raphael Tod Lindenmuth, had much success as an artist. Below is an example of a painting by Arlington Nelson Lindenmuth. To view other photographs by Lindenmuth, click on the category “Photographer: Lindenmuth”.
This cabinet card portrait features an adorable baby wearing a long gown. The baby is perfectly posed. This is one of the most alert babies that I’ve ever seen photographed on a cabinet card. The image has great clarity. The talented photographer who produced this photograph is F. N. Warmkessel. He operated as a photographer in Allentown in the 1880’s and 1890’s.
This cabinet card features a young boy dressed in his finest clothing. He is wearing a suit, large bow tie, and a boutonniere. Note his terrific hat. This photograph was produced by the Criley & Wagner studio in Butler, Pennsylvania.To view other photographs by this photographer, click on the category “Photographer: Criley & Wagner”.
The “Murray Sisters” assume an adorable pose at the Shadle & Busser studio in York, Pennsylvania. The girls appear to be entertainers, likely singers, dancers, or a combination of both. The sisters were probably teenagers at the time of this portrait. Research yielded no identifying information about these photogenic girls. A casual review of theater periodicals (1908-1913) uncovered an act called the “Murray Sisters” but it is not certain that they are one and the same as the girls in this image. This act toured the country and the sisters were described as operatic singers. The oldest sister was named Marion and the youngest was named Vic or Victoria. To learn about the Shadle & Busser studio and to view other photographs from their studio, click on the category “Photographer: Shadle & Busser”.
The Thomas B. Cowan studio captured these two wasp waisted women in a touching pose.The thin waists possessed by these two women didn’t come from spending hours at the gym and at palates classes. Tight fitting corsets are the likely causes of their remarkable figures. The young ladies have a family resemblance and it is quite possible that they are sisters. Thomas B. Cowan operated his studio in Jennette, Pensylvania.