PORTRAIT OF BEAUTIFUL ACTRESS HELEN STANDISH (PHOTOGRAPHED BY B J FALK)

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This cabinet card portrait features pretty actress Helen Standish. Famed celebrity photographer B J Falk produced this image and Miss Standish’s choice to wear a dress showing some cleavage, makes this photograph somewhat risque for it’s era. In addition, her expression can be interpreted as being enticing. Research revealed very little about Helen Standish or her career. She appears in number of cigarette card series including one produced by Dukes Cigarettes (“Leading Actors and Actresses”) which can be seen below. Her name appears in the New York Times (1887) review of the play “The Pyramid” which appeared at the Star Theater. The reviewer states that Miss Standish and another actress in the play “were not equal to the demands of their roles”. Ouch! The reverse of the cabinet card has a stamp from “Culver Service” which was a New York City company that charged the media for the use of photographs coming from their vast image archives. The reverse of the photograph also has the stamp of photographer J. M. Russell, 126 Tremont Street, in Boston, Massachusetts. Russell was a well known music publisher in Boston and it is possible that he also was involved in the sale of celebrity cabinet  cards.

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WOMAN ON A PEDESTAL: LOTTIE GILSON (THE LITTLE MAGNET)

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This cabinet card portrait of actress Lottie Gilson was produced by celebrated New York City photographer, Aime Dupont. Gilson  is perched on a pedestal and this image is a bit risque for its era. Note Miss Gilson’s coy smile, her exposed neck, relativesly low cut dress, the straps on her arms, and the leggy view. Gilson’s nickname, “the little magnet” is written on the reverse of the photograph. Also on the back of the cabinet card is a stamp from “Culver Pictures” which was a company that supplied photographs to the media for a price. Lottie Gilson (1871-1912)  was a popular comedienne and vaudeville singer born in Basil, Switzerland. She was called “the little magnet” because of her popularity with audiences and her ability to propel the sales of sheet music. Her musical hits included “The Sunshine of Paradise Alley” and “The Little Lost Child”. The date of her theatrical debut is unknown but it is certain that she performed at the Bowery’s Old National Theatre in 1884. She later performed in many of New York’s theaters and was the top soubrette of her day. She is noted as the originator of the stunt of having a boy come out of the balcony singing along with one of her songs. This became a common vaudeville routine. The San Francisco Call (1900) reported Gilson’s third wedding (she was only twenty nine at the time). The article also mentioned that her first husband was sent to the penitentiary for setting her hat on fire. The New York Times (1912) printed an obituary for Gilson. They reported that she had been out of the public eye for five years prior to her sudden death. Another source states that she died after years of self destructive behavior, illness, and depression. To view other photographs by Dupont, click on the category “Photographer: Dupont”.

ESTELLE CLAYTON: STAGE ACTRESS

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Estelle Clayton (1867-1917) is seen in the first and second Cabinet cards. She was a prominent actress as well as a librettist in the late 1800′s. In one of her roles, she starred in “Fayette” with E H Sothern. Clayton was the sister of actress Isabelle Evesson. In 1908, the two sister actresses filed suit against New York City for allegedly diverting land away from earlier generations of their family. In 1917 she died in New York City of heart failure. The photographer of both of these Cabinet cards is Sarony of New York City. The third cabinet card portrait of Clayton was produced by Newsboy as a premium for tobacco products. It is number 47 of a series. The barefoot Miss Clayton is in quite the risque pose in this image.

THEATER ACTRESS MISS ALMA STANLEY (PORTRAIT BY MARC GAMBIER)

ACTRESS BY GAMBIER_0002Theater actress Miss Alma Stanley is the subject of this cabinet card portrait by talented photographer Marc Gambier. To view other photographs by Gambier, click on the category “Photographer: Gambier.  In this photograph, Miss Stanley is in costume and wearing a military style uniform with sash and sword. She appears to be saluting or staring into the distance and shielding her eyes from a fictional sun. This full body photograph highlights her thin waist. The photograph is a bit risque for its time. The backdrop and the scenery are expertly done. She truly appears to be standing outdoors. Alma Stanley (1853-1931) was a multi-talented English entertainer. She was an actress, dancer, comedienne, and singer. She appeared in such roles as Little Don Caesar de Bazan. A theater magazine reported that Miss Stanley was the daughter of an English army officer who named her Alma in honor of  the battle in the Crimea War. The battle of Alma occurred in 1854 and Alma Stanley was born in 1853 so the story of how she received her name likely falls under the realm of  “public relations”. She made her first stage appearance in Milan in 1872 and her first English appearance in the following year. Her New York debut occurred in 1880. She performed with D’Oyly Carte  Opera Company as well as with Tony Pastor’s Broadway Theater. Alma Stanley died in a London jail cell. She was being held on a charge of drunkenness when she died of  “natural causes”. At the time of her incarceration, her jailers did not know her identity.

AGNES EVANS: THEATRE ACTRESS DRESSED IN QUITE RISQUE FASHION

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Agnes Evans poses for this cabinet card (top) photographed by Newsboy of New York.  Agnes Evans was a theatre actress who performed in the Broadway production of the Pit (1904). The actress is wearing a very revealing risque dress.  Further research by myself or assistance from visitors to this site will hopefully further illuminate her life and career. Newsboy was a brand of plug tobacco and Newsboy photographs were given away as a premium by tobacconists and drug stores who sold the tobacco. The images were produced by the National Tobacco Works of New York. They were likely produced and issued in the early 1890′s. The bottom image features Miss Evans in another Newsboy cabinet card (number 8 in a series). She is wearing a risque costume that includes fingerless gloves.

Published in: on February 23, 2013 at 12:01 am  Comments (3)  
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PORTRAIT OF A SULTRY GORGEOUS YOUNG LADY

SULTRYLADY_0002This portrait of a sultry gorgeous young lady must speak for itself. The image has been trimmed and if there was any information on the photograph to help identify the woman or the studio, it is now gone. The woman’s bare shoulders and other exposed areas make this photograph somewhat risque for it’s time.

Published in: on February 7, 2013 at 12:01 am  Comments (3)  
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THEATRE ACTRESS: LIZZIE WEBSTER AT THE BEACH

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The top cabinet card features theatre actress Lizzie Webster posing at the beach. OK; its not the beach, but it is a fake beach, at the studio of celebrity photographer, Mora, in New York City, New York. Webster appeared on the American stage in the late 1870′s and early 1880′s. She appeared on tour in Edward Rice’s popular  show, “Evangeline”. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (1878) described Miss Webster as a “shapely brunette”, and a “beautiful being”. However,  the article states that she did not possess a good voice. In 1893, Lizzie Webster died in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. To see other photographs by Mora, click on Cabinet Card Gallery’s category “Photographer: Mora”.

The second cabinet card features Miss Webster in costume, complete with a sword at her side. This image as well as the top image demonstrates that Lizzie Webster was not too modest to exhibit her legs. Both photographs are a bit risque because of this immodesty. The photographer of this image is unknown because the photograph has been trimmed and the reverse of the photo card has a large sticker covering much of the cards back. The sticker identifies the photograph as the property of Culver Pictures of New York City. The firm owned the rights to the image and would allow the media to use the image, if they paid for the privilege.

CARLOTTA BRIANZA: CELEBRATED ITALIAN BALLERINA (PORTRAIT BY FALK)

This cabinet card portrait features pretty celebrated Italian ballerina, Carlotta Brianza (1867-c.1933). Note that the jewelry that is hanging from her necklace is shaped like a horse. It is also worth mention that this photograph is somewhat risque for the era. Brianza was born in Milan, Italy and was the prima ballerina at La Scala before going to Russia. She created a sensation in Luigi Manzotti’s ballet “Excelsior” as the Spirit of Light. She went to Russia in 1887 after completing a US tour. She was acclaimed for her work in “Sleeping Beauty” and “Esmerelda”. She returned to the west in 1891 when she became the prima ballerina for the Vienna Opera. She died in Paris under suspicious circumstances that suggest she committed suicide. This portrait was produced by celebrity photographer Benjamin J. Falk of New York City. To view other photographs by Falk, click on the category “Photographer: Falk”.

NELLIE HOWE: PRETTY ACTRESS IN RISQUE COSTUME

This cabinet card features pretty actress Nellie Howe in a risque stage costume. The photographer and the location of the studio that produced this image is unknown. Research revealed no  information about Miss Howe. This photograph is likely an early cabinet card, dating back to the 1870′s or 1880′s.

Published in: on September 23, 2012 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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CELEBRATED ACTRESS ADA REHAN AND HER LABORADOR RETRIEVER (PAGE INCLUDES ADDITIONAL PORTRAITS OF MISS REHAN)

Ada Rehan was a well known and respected American actress. The top cabinet card portrait of Ms Rehan and her dog was published by Napoleon Sarony, a famous celebrity photographer in New York City, New York. Ada Rehan was born in Ireland and came to the United States at six years of age. She grew up in Brooklyn, New York. She began acting as a child. From 1873 until 1875 she became more active in acting at Mrs. Drew’s Theatre in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She then joined John Albaugh’s company and appeared in Baltimore, Albany and numerous other cities. In 1879 she joined Augustin Daly’s company upon his opening of his New York theater. She worked with his company for twenty years and appeared throughout Europe. The IBDB reveals that Ada Rehan appeared in 12 Broadway productions.  Some of the Broadway and non Broadway plays she appeared in include a number of Shakespeare productions such as “As You Like It” and “Twelfth Night”. Rehan also acted in “The School for Scandal”, “Foresters”, “Cinderella at School”, and “Our English Friend”. She retired from the stage in 1906 and lived in New York City until her death. It is interesting to note that Ms Rehan’s dog is on a leash. The leash is made of metal links. She is holding the leash with both hands. This is the first leash that I have observed in the many cabinet card photographs of dogs that I have seen. The dog at the end of the leash in this image appears to be a laborador retriever.

The second portrait of Miss Rehan was published by Newsboy of New York. The image was number 68 in a series of photographs. Newsboy distributed these images as premiums for their tobacco product sales.

The third image of Miss Rehan is a bust portrait by Louis Thors of San Francisco, California. Thors was born in Holland in 1845. He was of French descent and educated in France. He was fitted for service in the Merchant Marine and he served in that capacity for a number of years before coming to California in 1876. By 1880 he had established his photography business. One source states that his studio had more than twelve “apartments”. He won a Bronze Medal at the Paris Exposition in 1889. His wife, Gertrude M. Thors was also a photographer. Camera Craft: Photographic Association of California (1910)  printed Thors’s obituary. He was described as one of the highest esteemed photographers in San Francisco. He died of stomach cancer at age seventy-two. He worked in the photography business in San Francisco for over forty years. He left the city after the San Francisco fire and worked in St. Louis for two years before returning to California. The obituary reports that after his immigration to the United States, his skill as a painter earned him employment with photographers Bradley and Rulofsen (click on category “Photographer: Bradley and Rulofsen” to view some of  their photographs). In addition, the death notice asserted that besides his talents as a photographer, Thors had a charming personality and high moral character. To view other photographs by Thors, click on the category “Photographer: Thors”.

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