A young man, probably a teenager, poses for his portrait at the Keller studio in Nappanee, Indiana. The young gentleman is well dressed and well coiffed. Either he, or someone else, spent a good deal of time and work to properly arrange his hair. John M. Keller (1867-1943) opened his photography studio in Nappanee in 1897. An ad in the St. Louis and Canadian Photographer (1900) advertised the business as being for sale. The 1900 US census listed him as working as a bicycle dealer. Keller married Clara Burbach in 1891. The 1908 Elkhart (Indiana) business directory reported that he had a store selling bicycles and sundries, as well as repairing sporting goods. By the time of the 1910 US census, Keller had a new occupation. He was working as a garage manager. The Goshen Democrat Newspaper (1912) reported that while Keller was testing an automobile, the flywheel came off and struck him below the knee. The unfortunate accident broke his leg. Interestingly, the newspaper also stated that after injuring Keller, the flywheel continued it’s journey and actually went through the side of the building. The 1920 US census found Keller working as a “garage mechanic” in Frankfort City, Indiana while the 1930 US census lists him as unemployed and living in Rochester, Indiana. It turns out that Keller was a real entrepreneur. According to the Rochester Historical Society, In 1921 Keller built and operated the Keller Inn which was located near the edge of Lake Manitou. He also made lures for fishermen. Apparently Keller had a shady side. During prohibition he made and sold liquor and “locals reported he also ran prostitutes out to an island in Lake Manitou”. Keller died at age 75 from heart disease. Much of the information about J. M.Keller was found at an internet site (http://www.folkartfishingtackle.com/#!john-keller/cadr). The image below was also found there. The image is a back stamp from one of Keller’s cabinet cards. It seems likely that the young man pictured in the image is Keller himself. I can’t resist supplying an interesting fact about the town of Nappanee. It is the longest city name in the US which has each letter in it’s name appearing twice.


Published in: on June 25, 2015 at 3:45 pm  Leave a Comment  
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W. J. Lee, a photographer in Rochester, New York, produced this wonderful family portrait of a father and his two children. Dad is quite handsome. He is holding his derby hat on his knee. Dad has his arm tucked around the waist of his son. The son is wearing a hard to identify hat/cap. Is it a fez? The photographer did a terrific job of capturing the daughter’s facial expression. She is adorable and she is displaying an interesting “look”. Is she communicating a certain elegance, or is her glance an expression of apathy? One wonders why the children’s mother does not appear in this portrait. W. J. Lee is listed in various Rochester city directories beginning 1887 and ending 1902.

Published in: on June 6, 2014 at 7:18 pm  Comments (1)  
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ROCHESTER GIRLThe little girl pictured in this cabinet card portrait is none too happy to be at J. W. Taylor’s studio in Rochester, New York. In fact, she looks bewildered about the entire experience. She is wearing a pretty dress with a bow tied in the front. To learn more about the photographer and to view more of his photographs, click on the category “Photographer: Taylor JW”.


Published in: on December 24, 2013 at 12:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The photographer is A. L. Lehnkering located at 87 East Main Street in Rochester, New York. She is wearing a gorgeous dress with rows of ruffles at the bottom. Note her tiny waist, likely courtesy of a corset. She is also wearing jewelry including a band around her wrist and a ring. She looks pensive. She is leaning on a chair with tassels. August L. Lehnkering seems to have occupied a few different addresses on East Main Street. In addition to number 87 (listed on the reverse of this image). he also operated out of 87 and 89 East Main Street, as well as 208 East Main Street. He was working out of 87 East Main in 1879, according to the Rochester Business Directory. He is mentioned in the American Journal of Photography (1891) for being awarded a photographic patent, and also in two photography journals published in 1906 for contributing to a charitable fund.

Published in: on November 1, 2012 at 12:01 am  Comments (2)  
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Photographer I. A. Collins of Rochester, New Hampshie, produced this cabinet card portrait of a lovely woman. She is wearing a pretty dress and an abundance of jewelry. Note her bracelet, ring, pin and chains. Her dress has two very large buttons and hopefully one of the fashion experts who visit the Cabinet Card Gallery can explain the purpose of the buttons. It appears as if the buttons are held together by a clasp and serve to keep the skirt portion in position.Very little information could be uncovered about photographer I. Collins. He was listed in the Dover, New Hampshire business directory (1889 and 1891) as a photographer. The directories  report that the gallery was located on a street named Hanson.


This cabinet card features a profile view of a beautifully dressed pretty woman. She is wearing a tennis racquet pin. The photographer of this image is J. W. Taylor of Rochester, New York. He framed the photograph in an interesting manner. The shape of the frame could be described as a scalloped rectangle. I have observed several cabinet card portraits framed similarly except the frame was shaped like a scalloped leaf. A photograph by J. W. Taylor appears in Wilson’s Photographic Magazine (1900). The photograph was featured as a good example of excellent portraiture. The subject of that photograph was “Jack Turner” who was described as “an English ex-pugilist of note”. To view other photographs by Taylor, click on the category “Photographer: Taylor JW”.

Published in: on June 17, 2012 at 12:01 am  Comments (2)  
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This cabinet card is a portrait of theatre actress, Lorraine Dreux. The  image is part of the Newsboy Series (#385) and was published in New York City. The Newsboy series was used for advertising purposes by the Newsboy Tobacco Company. Celebrity photographs were given away as premiums upon the sale of tobacco products.To view other Newsboy photographs, click on the category “Newsboy”. Ms. Dreux looks like she ran through the woods in order to arrive at the photography studio in a timely fashion. She has twigs and leaves on her head and even is wearing a necklace of branches around her shoulders. It seems she is modeling “the natural” look. Her eyes are looking upward, as if to say, “Am I really wearing sticks and leaves?”. Who was Lorraine Dreux? The Illustrated America (1893) describes her as “young and pretty, with soft dark eyes, a tremulous little mouth, and a dazzling complexion”. She was born in Marquette, Michigan, of well to do parents. Her father did a great deal of business in the East and she spent much time on the banks of the Hudson River in New York. She was educated at home by a governess supervised by Dreux’s beautiful mother. She decided that she wanted to be an actress while in her early teens. Her parents reluctantly gave her permission and her first experience acting occurred while she was in London, England, with her mother. She was engaged by Mr Charles Wyndham to play comedy parts in London stage shows. She next joined the London Globe Theatre Stock Company playing sentimental roles. She then joined an English traveling theatre company. She soon returned to America and appeared in a number of plays, including “Ninety Days” with William Gillette. The article closes with the prediction that Dreux would be a successful actress in America because she possessed both beauty and talent. The New York Times (1894) reported on Dreaux’s appearance in “Lem Kettle” at the Bijou theatre. She also appeared in “Rush City” (1894) which was staged in Brooklyn (New York), and also in “Nance Oldfield” (1896) in New York. The latter show starred Rose Coghlan and her portrait can be seen in the Cabinet Card Gallery by placing her name in the “search box”. Dreux appeared in one Broadway production, “The Spectator” (1896). The New York Dramatic Mirror (1908) reported the tragic death of Lorraine Dreux. She was described as a well known and capable leading women of many stock companies outside of New York City. She died in New York’s Bellvue Hospital at age 35. The article reports that she “had fallen on evil days” and was “too proud to let her friends know of her plight”. She let an illness go till it turned  into acute pneumonia which led to her death. Her last two engagements were in Worcester, Massachusetts and Rochester, New York. She received excellent reviews for her acting in both productions. However, her wardrobe was stolen and she was criticized for the way she dressed for her part in Rochester. She returned home “down hearted and discouraged” and sick, penniless and homeless. She met an old friend on the streets of New York who took her home to be fed and cared for but her condition worsened. A collection was made from other actors and actresses and the money was used to admit her to Bellvue Hospital where she died. Aid from the Actors Fund paid for her funeral and burial at Evergreen Cemetery.


A cherubic, curly haired little girl stands on a blanket covered chair in the photographic studio of J. W. Taylor, in Rochester, New York. The girl is wearing a long gown and a very serious expression. She firmly holds a rattle with both hands. To view other photographs by Taylor, click on the category “Photographer: Taylor JW

Published in: on December 22, 2011 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  
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A cute long haired boy poses for his portrait at the studio of J. Heberger, in Rochester, New York. The boy is wearing his sunday finest. He is wearing a striped blouse with a big bow. The blouse is almost screaming “notice me”! In addition, he is wearing short pants and high black shoes and stockings. The photographer did a poor job of posing the young boy. The child is standing beside a wicker chair, and due to poor staging, there is an illusion that part of the chair is protruding from the top of the child’s head. The photographer’s lack of experience, or carelessness, significantly detracts from the quality of this portrait. This photograph is not apparently, an adequate reflection of the skills of the photographer. John Heberger is cited in a number of photography journals of his time for his skills and innovations. One article, from 1909, describes his development of a new process for putting pictures on fabrics. Another article appearing in The Photographic Journal of America (1919) describes an exhibit presented by Heberger. He displayed a number of photographs of subjects with obvious physical deformities. He then demonstrated how using modeling and etching techniques, he was able change the subjects appearance, in the photograph,  to show them without their defects. One of his examples was a man with a goiter whose eyes appeared to “pop out of his head”. After Heberger applied his photographic magic, the man’s eyes looked perfectly normal on the resulting photograph.

Published in: on August 2, 2011 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  
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A handsome and well groomed young man poses for his portrait at the studio of Cornell and Saunders, in Rochester, New York. References to Cornell and Saunders were found in photographic journals of 1893 and 1894.

Published in: on October 26, 2010 at 5:15 pm  Leave a Comment  
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