This cabinet card features a very pretty woman wearing a feathered hat. The feathers are likely ostrich feathers. She is wearing a beautiful dress and has flowers pinned to it in two places. She is wearing something that looks like a scarf wrapped around her neck and running down the dress’s front. Her hat is also beautiful. This woman would be considered a fashionista if she lived during the present era. She exudes stylishness. The woman has curly hair and an inquisitive expression. The Richardson Brothers photography firm produced this cabinet card and is mentioned in the Wisconsin Business Directory (1919).The brothers first names are cited as “Fred” and “Frank”. The “Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Wisconsin ……….” (1895) provides a different first name than Frank. It states that H. N. Richardson was born in 1854 in Sparta, Wisconsin. His father was a wagon maker turned farmer. H. N. was the youngest of five children.At age 21 he left the family farm and went to work in a Sparta marble works. At 23 years of age he moved to Sioux Falls, South Dakota and was employed for three years n a Marble Works there before returning to Sparta. He joined his brother Frank in a photography business named “Richardson Brothers”. The brothers operated the gallery together for four years. Then H. N. moved to Stevens Point, Wisconsin and established his own studio. He eventually developed branches in Plainfield, Scandinavia, and Hancock (all in Wisconsin). H. N. Richardson married Miss Jennie A. Linneman of Minnesota and they had four children. The “St. Louis and Canadian Photographer (1900) reported that Richardson Brothers Studio in Sparta was destroyed by fire. Research also revealed that at one time Fred Richardson was partners with Fred Foster in a studio in Sparta named “Richardson and Foster”.
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY IN PLAINFIELD, NEW JERSEY ……. (PORTRAIT OF A LOVING FATHER AND DAUGHTER BY CELEBRATED PHOTOGRAPHER CHARLES EISENMANN)
This photograph, by celebrated photographer Charles Eisenmann, exudes love. A young girl is pictured hugging her father and she exhibits a very loving expression. The father appears truly happy to be the recipient of such love. This photograph was taken by a famous photographer of the cabinet card era. Charles Eisenmann (1855-1927) was German born and was a celebrated cabinet card photographer during the 1880’s and 1890’s. His studio was located in New York City’s Bowery District. This part of the city was populated by many people who were considered “on the fringe of society”. The area was full of artists, transients, and prostitutes. The Bowery district appeared in the movie Gangs of New York (2002). Eisenmann was noted for his photographs of human oddities (side show “freaks” and people with unusual birth defects). He was also known for his photographs of Circassian beauties. These women were reported to be escapees from Turkish harems but in fact were local women who were costumed to look wild and wore teased “big” hairdos. Eisenmann also did celebrity portraits. His customers included P. T. Barnum, Major Tom Thumb, Mark Twain and Annie Oakley. He left his Bowery studio in 1898 and was succeeded by his intern/son-in-law Frank Wendt. For a few years he took portraits out of a studio he operated in Plainfield, New Jersey. The above photograph is a product of that studio. He later went to work for Dupont where he was the director of the photography department. A number of institutions have collections of Eisenmann’s work. Syracuse University’s library has a collection of more than 14,000 Eisenmann images.
This cabinet card features a uniformed band member and his tuba. At least I think it is a tuba but I would appreciate some confirmation from a cabinet card visitor well versed in identifying musical instruments. Note the sheet music clipped to his brass instrument The musician has a terrific handlebar mustache and his cap indicates that he is a member of the “Ashland Band”. This image was produced by the Brown studio in Jewett City as well as Moosup, Connecticut. Jewett City is a borough in the town of Griswold and Moosup is located in the town of Plainfield. Jewett City and Moosup are 12 miles apart. To drive from Jewett City to Moosup, one starts off on Ashland Street. I wonder if the “Ashland Band” is related to “Ashland Street”? Research reveals that the photographer William H. Brown was born in Packerville, Connecticut in 1853. His father was an overseer in the local mill. Brown was educated in public schools and his first job was as a store clerk. After three years of working in the store, he bought it and ran it for four years until he sold it. He then went back to work as a store clerk but bought a camera and for fun, photographed his friends and others during off hours. In a short time, it was clear that Brown had much talent in the area of photography. In about 1888 he opened a photography business. He had studios in Dayville and Wauregan. Later he opened galleries in Jewett City, Taftville and Moosup. Brown was married in 1874 to Miss Lillian Bennett and the couple had two daughters, Lillian and Alice.
This Cabinet Card photograph is an image of a Salvation Army Worker. Note her uniform and the “S” on her collar. The photographic studio that produced this image is Fisher & Monfort of Plainfield, New Jersey. This photograph is one of a number of photographs of Salvation Army workers that can be found in the Cabinet Card Gallery. Take a look at them in the “Salvation Army” category. There is also a category for “Photographer: Fisher & Monfort” where other pictures by these photographers may be viewed. Their full names are Charles W. Fisher and George W. Monfort.
This gentleman has a mustache worthy of adding to the esteemed category of “mustaches (Only The Best” ) in this blog. He is posing for his portrait at the studio of Fisher & Monfort in Plainfield, New Jersey. Does anyone know anything about the pin he is wearing on his lapel? Please leave a comment if you know about the pin or have any ideas to share. Plainfield was originally settled by Quakers, became a township in 1847, and the New Jersey legislature made it a city in 1869. The city is located in Northeastern New Jersey. To view other photographs by Fisher and Monfort, click on the category “Photographer: Fisher and Monfort”.