WEDDING PORTRAIT OF HANDSOME COUPLE IN CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

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J. B. Scholl, well known Chicago photographer, produced this wedding portrait of a smartly dressed bride and groom. The groom has a nice handlebar mustache. The bride is wearing a pretty floral wedding veil and appears to be holding the grooms sleeve rather than his hand. Despite their lack of physical contact, the pair are standing much closer to each than seen in many other wedding photographs. I wonder why the photographer posed the gentleman with one foot elevated on a curb. At first, I speculated that the rationale was to add height to a groom who was shorter than his bride. However, the gentleman has both knees bent which certainly restricts his reaching full height. My final conclusion was that the photographer, normally quite skillful, had a bad day and was careless setting up this particular pose.To view more of Mr. Scholl’s photographs and to learn more about him, click on the category “Photographer: Scholl JB.

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Published in: on July 29, 2014 at 11:50 am  Comments (2)  
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A PRETTY WASP WAISTED ACTRESS NAMED HATTIE IN CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (HATTIE HARVEY: A MYSTERY AND A STORY OF INFATUATION)

 

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A pretty corseted actress poses for this cabinet card portrait by theatrical photographer, J. B. Scholl, in Chicago, Illinois. The wasp waisted actress is posed a bit provocatively by the photographer. She has her hands on her hips and her head is slightly tilted. She is also exhibiting a mischievous grin.The reverse of the image is inscribed and dated. The cabinet card is signed “For ever yours, Hattie”. There is a possibility that her name is “Nattie” because the first letter of the name is not very legible. The back of the card is dated 1892. In addition to the State Street address, during his career, Scholl also had studios at two locations on South Halsted in Chicago. Perhaps a visitor to the cabinet card gallery can identify this actress. It is my opinion that this actress is Miss Hattie Harvey. The opinion is formulated by viewing other images of Miss Harvey and by her connection to Chicago. An article about Hattie Harvey appeared in the New York Times (1892). The article was entitled “Hattie Harvey’s Infatuation”. It seems the young Chicago actress had developed an infatuation for an Englishman in her company named Brooks (now we know why she has such a mischievous grin in this photograph). Her parents were not pleased and when the company’s production closed, her father promised to arrange more engagements for the company if his daughter would give up Mr Brooks. She refused his manipulative offer and there were some “exciting scenes” that occurred in the Grand Hotel concerning this family conflict. In addition, Hattie’s mother had two fainting spells “over the affair”. The newspaper article described Harvey as a “very pretty girl of nineteen” and reported that she declared she would marry the fifty year-old Brooks. However, public speculation was that Brooks, who was recently divorced, still had another wife back in England. Hattie Harvey’s parents threatened to “cast her off” if she continued the relationship with the”adventurer”.

The second photograph produced by Newsboy (#379) as part of a series of tobacco premiums, is a portrait of  “Miss Infatuation”, Hattie Harvey. Compare the photograph with the one above and decide whether the two women are one and the same. It is my view that the portraits both feature Miss Harvey. Please leave a comment if you have an opinion about this matter. In the second photograph, Miss Harvey appears to be in wardrobe for one of her stage appearances. She certainly was an attractive woman.

MAN WITH INTERESTING BEARD POSES WITH IS WIFE IN CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

COUPLE BEARD_0003J. B. Scholl, who operated a studio in Chicago, produced this cabinet card portrait of this lovely couple. To view other photographs by Scholl, and to learn more about him, click on the cabinet card gallery category “Photographer: Scholl (J B)”.  The gentleman in the photograph combs his beard to the sides; a most unusual strategy.

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Published in: on December 13, 2013 at 2:13 pm  Comments (1)  
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FANNY DAVENPORT: AMERICAN STAGE ACTRESS (1880)

The top Cabinet Card is an image of American stage actress, Fanny Davenport. The photograph is dated February 28, 1880. Miss Davenport (1850-1898) was thirty years of age when she sat for this photograph by Emil Scholl, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He photographed many celebrities and this site has a category that includes a number of his images.  To view these images, click on the category “Photographer: Scholl”. Davenport was born in London, England and educated in public schools in Boston, Massachusetts. In 1862 she appeared in ” Faint Heart Never Won Fair Lady” in New York. In 1869 she became a member of the Augustin Daly Theater Company. She later formed her own company. She had great success in “Fedora” (1883) and “Cleopatra” (1890). Fellow actor, Otis Skinner, in a backhanded compliment stated that “Miss Davenport was a handsome woman, her business sense keen and her industry untiring. To these qualities rather than her acting, she owed the late success in which she accumulated a fortune in her productions.” The second photograph features a portrait of Davenport by Thomas Houseworth, whose studio was located in San Francisco, California. This image was part of the “Houseworth Celebrities” series. The series included three thousand titles for different categories, including entertainment and government. Note the carving below the chairs armrest in this photograph. Also take notice of Miss Davenport’s interesting hat. Thomas Houseworth (1828-1915) was an optician, photographer, and photographic publisher. Houseworth and George S. Lawrence came to San Francisco in 1849, during the Gold Rush. They caught gold fever and worked as miners in Calavera and Trinity counties. After two years of mining, they admitted defeat, and returned to San Francisco. In 1855, they partnered in a store that sold optical supplies and other miscellaneous items; but the partners became most well known for their stereographs. In 1859 they sold stereographs from an English company, but they soon contracted with local photographers to acquire and publish a diverse collection of stereos featuring various aspects and scenery of northern California and western Nevada. Later, they began to publish and market stereographs under their own name and by the early 1860’s had built the largest collection of stereographs for sale on the west coast. Lawrence retired in 1868 and the firm became known as Thomas Houseworth and Company. Houseworth hired the most talented photographers he could find.  His photographers included Thomas Hart (Transcontinental Railroad Construction), Carleton Watkins (The Sierras’), and Eadweard Muybridge (Yosemite). By the 1870’s Houseworth’s business was failing due to increased competition. He left the field of photography in the 1880’s and went to work as an accountant and an optometrist.

Lina Merville: Burlesque Queen

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This Cabinet card photograph presents Lina Merville, a burlesque star. More research is required to learn more of her biographical details, so at least for now, a picture has to be worth a thousand words. The photographer is Emil Scholl of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Published in: on December 17, 2008 at 10:43 pm  Comments (4)  
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