This cabinet card portrait features a young boy wearing a sailor’s uniform at the wheel of a faux ship located at the Solano Art Studio in Vallejo, California. The photographer is Charles McMillan. The little sailor’s uniform looks very realistic and his hat and lanyard are a nice touch. The backdrop, depicting the sea, is also quite effective. However, the photographer’s use of a fur on the deck was certainly not consistent with the nautical scene he was trying to create. The book “Vallejo” (2004) by James E. Kern, includes an 1895 photograph of Charles McMillan’s studio. The building was located at 314 Georgia Street. McMillan was born in Canada in 1853. He began his photography career at the age of sixteen in Chicago, Illinois. He moved to California in 1879 and became a travelling photographer. He operated his studio out of a tent. He eventually decided to settle down and opened a studio in Vallejo. One source reports that McMillan was such a success upon opening his studio that the competing photographer in town was forced to move his business elsewhere. In 1883 McMillan married Californian Isabell Floto.
A young boy poses proudly wearing a very realistic looking naval uniform. He is standing next to his very detailed toy boat. The ship appears to be a war vessel and appears to be flying a flag similar to the flag of Great Britain. The little admiral was photographed by a New York City photographer named Acker. Perhaps a visitor to the cabinet card gallery can identify the navy represented by the lads uniform and the vessel’s flag.
A nice looking young sailor poses for his portrait at the Rembrandt Studio in Newport, Rhode Island. Newport is a seaport and the sailor was likely in town on leave. While visiting the area he decided to capture his likeness at the studio. Perhaps he sent the resulting photograph to his family or girlfriend. He, or the photographer, chose an appropriate background for the portrait. The sailor is depicted aboard a ship, in uniform, and holding a rifle with a bayonet. The lettering on his sailor cap can only be partially read. The word “squadron” is proceeded by an unknown word which probably is the name of an area of the world where his ship was assigned. Perhaps a visitor to the cabinet card gallery can identify the sailors naval unit and rank. Research yielded no information pertaining to the Rembrandt Studio.
A very cute, but unsmiling child, poses for a portrait by the Haussler Brothers. Note the sailing ship pin attatched to the nautical cap. Although the child’s clothing looks feminine, it is not clear whether this young sailor is a boy or a girl. The studio that published this cabinet card was in Coburg, Germany. Coburg is a town located on the Itz River in Bavaria, Germany.
Meet Willie Howard Smith. He was three and a half years-old at the time of this photograph, which was in 1890. Willie is adorable as he poses for his photograph in his sailor suit. He is wearing a wonderful cap which is covering his longish hair. The photographer of this cabinet card portrait is Kuebler, who was located in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. Research discloses some interesting information about the photographic studio. The studio was co-owned and operated by brothers William Kuebler and Louis H. Kuebler. They were very successful photographers and one of their photographs of Walt Whitman is very well known among those that study the great poet. A news article in The Photographic Times (1888) announces the “largest contract ever made in the photographic line” had been awarded to William Kuebler to photograph the members of the Mexican Typical Orchestra. In all, 4,750 photographs were ordered.
This cabinet card is a memorial photograph of J. W. Stubbs who was accidentally killed in Hong Kong. Stubbs was a stoker (tended to the engine) aboard the H.M.S. Astraea. He died in 1912 and this cabinet card was made by his shipmates in his memory. The image of this smiling and handsome 20 year-old sailor, who died tragically, evokes much sadness. The Astraea was a cruiser of the Royal Navy. She was commissioned for service in 1895 and was active in World War I. She was scrapped in 1920. The photographer who made this memorial card was A. Hing of Hong Kong.
This photograph features a ship captain posing at the Calm Studio, located at the Plazuela De Alfaro in Panama. The card is inscribed to Mr. and Mrs. Wilson and signed by W. C. Gibb. The captain is wearing a nautical uniform and it is unknown whether he is a military or a civilian sailor. Research reveals that the Alfaro Plaza may be named after Jose Eloy Alfaro Delgado (1842 -1912) who was a President of Ecuador who was a strong opponent of pro Catholic conservatism and whose views and actions caused him to be exiled to Panama in 1911. A year later he returned to Ecuador, where he was imprisoned; and then taken from the prison by a mob and executed.