TUFFSWESTCHESTER_0001The previous owner of this cabinet card described the subjects in the photographs as “thugs”,  “ne’er do wells”, and “arrogant”. We will never know if these are fitting descriptions but that is one of the reasons that collecting and viewing cabinet cards is such an interesting and fun activity. Interpreting these photographs require a knowledge of history, detective work, and psychological awareness. In addition, our interpretations of the photographs are also influenced by our own personalities, experiences, and projections. This particular photograph certainly shows three guys with attitude. They dressed nicely for their portrait. The seated man looks like a tough guy and the expression of the gentleman behind his right shoulder seems to communicate that he is ready for a confrontation. The photographer of this cabinet card is W. C. Bell.

Published in: on April 23, 2013 at 12:01 am  Comments (2)  
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This cabinet card features a gentleman with an unusual mustache. This style mustache could be labeled an “ear muff mustache”. The mustache looks like the man had been wearing ear muffs and they slid down his face stopping in a position where the furry ear coverings came to rest on his cheek and upper jaw, while the head band settled in a spot above his upper lip and below his nose. To view other interesting and unique mustaches, click on cabinet card gallery’s category “mustaches (Only the Best)”. The photographer of this image is T. W. Taylor. In advertising on the reverse of the photograph he has printed the name of his studio, “First Premium Gallery”. It was located at 10 West Gay Street in West Chester, Pennsylvania. The previous described advertising also indicates that in 1882 the studio won a “prize medal” for its use of Crayons. Thomas W. Taylor (1838-1904) is described by the Chester County Historical Society as operating one of the most prominent studios in West Chester. His photography career was interrupted by the Civil War. Taylor joined Company E of the 124th Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers. He fought at Chancellorsville and Antietam. He entered the Union army as a private and mustered out as a corporal. He reopened his studio for business in 1863 and worked into the 1890’s.


This cabinet card is a portrait of a young rugby player. He is wearing padded pants but no other equipment. The photographer is W. Frances Grubb (1864-1938). Grubb was an active photographer in the suburban Philadelphia area. He operated from his West Chester, Pennsylvania studio (25 N. High Street). He worked out of this studio between 1886 and 1898. Check out additional rugby cabinet cards under this site’s “rugby” category. To view additional cabinet card photographs by Grubb; click on this site’s “Photographer: Grubb” category.

Published in: on July 11, 2010 at 8:38 am  Leave a Comment  
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Young Black Girl in West Chester, Pennsylvania


This very cute and expressive Black child is posing for this terrific Cabinet card. She doesn’t look like she’s sure how she feels about being in front of the camera. The photographer is Grubb of West Chester, Pennsylvania. To view additional photographs by Grubb, click on this site’s “Photographer: Grubb” category.