JENNIE CALEF: PORTRAIT OF A BEAUTIFUL THEATER ACTRESS

CALEF F

 

This cabinet card portrait features stage actress Jennie Calef. Variety (1917) offers a brief obituary for the actress. She was described as a noted soubrette who became a melodrama star in her later years. There are many articles about Jennie Calef in the newspaper archives. Most are brief and are concerned with announcing her appearances and providing reviews. Many of the articles mention Calef’s beauty. The Cornell Daily Sun (1883) hawks her appearance in M’liss at the Wilgus Opera House in Ithaca, New York. The newspaper quotes a review from the Richmond Sentinel, “Jennie Calef secures the enthusiasm of her audience from her first appearance, and retains it to the end. She is a charming actress”.  A negative review can be found in The Daily Gazette– Fort Wayne Indiana (1885). The newspaper reports that “Jennie Calef, the actress who afflicted the people here in a bad play called Little Muffets is (now) devastating the Ohio towns.” It further reports that finances were becoming a problem for the theater company and that one of the “ham fat” actors of the company had taken legal action, attaching the shows baggage for his salary due. Another story concerning the actress is reported by Ohio’s Newark Daily Advocate (1886). The newspaper states that Jennie hurt one of her “beautiful limbs” while rushing onto a Sandusky, Ohio stage. The injury appears to have been to her knee. The article also asserts that she was confined to a Dayton, Ohio hotel room for two months in order to recover. She and a lawyer spoke to a judge about filing suit but the judge advised her not to pursue a law suit against the theater. An unconfirmed story was that the accident occurred when she slipped on some flowers that were given to her by her manager. Further articles indicate that she eventually did file a ten thousand dollar suit against the theater. The Sporting Life (1890) reports Calef’s marriage to Andrew Waldron who was her manager and an actor. Preliminary research failed to uncover details about the latter years of  Jennie Calef’s life. This cabinet card portrait was produced by the studio of Gilbert & Bacon. To read more about the Philadelphia studio and it’s history, click on the category “Photographer: Gilbert & Bacon”.

store

Advertisements

FLORENCE METTE YOUNG PONDERS IN MOUNT VERNON, OHIO

Florence Mette Young poses for her portrait at the studio of Fred S. Crowell, in Mount Vernon, Ohio. Florence is well dressed and apparently likes jewelry. She is wearing two rings, two bracelets and a necklace. Florence appears to be deep in thought. What might she be pondering about? The 1880 U.S. census reveals that she was born in 1862 and at the time of the census, she was living with her parents, Charles and Angelina Young. Her father was a farmer and her mother was a homemaker. The photographer of this cabinet card, Fred S. Crowell, can also be found in the 1880 census.He was born in 1844 and lived with his wife Ella, and their three children. Other research reveals that there was a Fred Crowell from the Mount Vernon area who enlisted in the 142nd Regiment of the Ohio Infantry during the Civil War.. He served only during 1864. Crowell trained as a photographer under Anna Payne, and worked in the profession in Norwalk, Sandusky, and Cleveland, Ohio. He then opened his own studio in Fredericktown in 1866. In 1869, he moved to Mount Vernon where he established another  photography studio that was in business until at least 1889. To view other photographs by Crowell, click on the category “Photographer: Crowell”.

YOUNG CHILD AND LITERARY DOG POSE FOR THEIR PORTRAIT IN MOUNT VERNON, OHIO

Photographer, Fred S. Crowell published this cabinet card portrait of a child and his/her pet dog. The dog appears to be an English Springer Spaniel. Writing on the reverse of the card indicates that the child’s name was Caroll Clucas and the dogs name was Peredeo. The canine’s name was not completely legible and Peredeo is a “best guess”. Peredeo is actually a name that comes from the story of Rosamund. Rosamund, the wife of King  Alboin plotted to have her cruel husband killed. It was suggested to her that she employ Peredeo, “a very strong man”, to accomplish the murder. Peredeo refused to kill his King, but that night, he mistakenly slept with a disguised Rosamund. As a result of this adultery, Peredeo agreed to kill Alboin, in order to avoid retribution for sleeping with Rosamund. Now lets jump many centuries forward to the mid to late 1800’s. The photographer did an excellent job of photographing the dog; no easy task. Crowell’s studio was located in Mount Vernon, Ohio. Fred Crowell (1844-?) was born in Huron County, Ohio. He began his career as a salesman in a bookseller and stationers shop. He next worked for a jeweler. His first photography job was in Mt. Vernon but he also worked in Norwalk, Sandusky, and Cleveland, Ohio. His photography jobs included a stint in Erie, Pennsylvania. Crowell rose in his career to own photography galleries. He operated in Frederickstown, Ohio (1866-1869) and Mt. Vernon (1869-1889). To view other photographs by Crowell, click on the category “Photographer: Crowell”.  Little information could be found about the identity of Caroll Clucas. It appears that his parents names were William G. Clucas and Ida Cassel Clucas. He had a sister, Fenella Viola Clucas (1887-?).

TODDLER WITH PRETTY WHITE LACE GOWN IN UPPER SANDUSKY, OHIO

This cabinet card is a portrait of a toddler in a very pretty white lace gown. The child is also wearing black boots. The photographic studio is McCannon’s Art Gallery of Upper Sandusky, Ohio.

Published in: on May 28, 2010 at 12:01 am  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , ,