This Cabinet Card may be a mourning card; a photograph of a woman in grief over the loss of a loved one. Sadness permeates this cabinet card and the woman’s expression. The photographer is Joseph Harrison Lamson (1840-1901) of Portland, Maine. The photographer’s father was a maker of daguerrotypes and his mother was an artist. He began his career in photography in Bangor, Maine and then worked in Cuba, the West Indies, and South America. He made a fortune and then bought a studio in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He then moved to Maine and operated a photographic studio in Portland. He photographed the poets Longfellow and Whittier. When he died, his two sons took over the studio.



This Cabinet Card presents some interesting questions. Who is this man? What is his ethnicity? What is his story? The answers are lost to history but we can hazard some guesses. Perhaps the history of Orange City, Iowa can provide a little helpful information. Orange City was originally called Holland when it was founded in 1870 by settlers from Pella, Iowa who were looking for better and cheaper land. History books refer to Orange City as being known as the “Dutch Garden” or one of the “Dutch Colonies”. The photographer of this cabinet card is J. Jelgerhuis of Orange City, Iowa. The photographer’s last name indicates Dutch ethnicity. My hypothesis is that the subject of this photograph is a Dutch man, but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it. This is an especially good idea since I don’t have a farm. It sure would be terrific if a visitor to this site can identify historical details concerning this gentleman’s hat. I am quite sure that such information will illuminate the issue of his ethnic origin.

Published in: on January 30, 2010 at 12:01 am  Comments (3)  
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This Cabinet Card is an image of a teenager or young woman posing in a special dress for what is apparently a special day. She is holding a small book and flowers. She is wearing dress gloves and a corsage. Perhaps this is a portrait of her confirmation day. The props in the photograph are quite elaborate and that should not be a surprise once one learns about the photographer.  The photographer is F. Schanz of Ft Wayne, Indiana. Research reveals that Felix Schanz (1861-?) was born in France and educated in Germany. He came to the United States at age 18 and worked as a photographer for three years in New York City. He arrived in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1881. “The Pictorial History of Fort Wayne, Indiana” , published in 1917; states that Schanz was a well known and popular businessman who lived in Fort Wayne nearly 40 years. He had a number of successive studios but the one that he built in 1914 allowed drivers to drive into the building to obtain photographs of their car and the car’s occupants. Schanz also expanded his studio to work in the area of motion picture photography. He was an innovator and his studios were described as quite grand. to view other photographs by Schanz, click on the category “Photographer: Schanz”.

Published in: on January 29, 2010 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  
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This Cabinet Card captures the image of a young fireman in Steamer Company #4 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He is wearing his dress uniform as he poses in the photographic studio of E. C. Nickerson located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The badge on his cap discloses that he is a member of steamer company #4. The first steam fire engine was built in England by Braithwaite and Ericsson in 1829. Captain Ericsson came to the United States where he produced the Civil War  ironclad, the Monitor.  In 1840, the first steam fire engine was produced in the United States. An improved and successful steamer in the United States was designed in 1852. The steamer fire engine could produce as many as six separate streams of water. The Cabinet Card Gallery’s category of “Firemen and Policemen” has a portrait of a second member of the Portsmouth Fire Department. Check it out. To view a another photograph by Nickerson, click on the category “Photographer: Nickerson”.


This cute little girl poses for her portrait in the studio of Holman, located in Warren, Ohio. She appears to be sitting on one of her feet as she peers into the camera with a dubious expression. She is wearing bows in her hair for her big day at the photographer. The reverse of the card indicates that the subjects name is Hazel Daugherty.  Research indicates that the photographer is Charles E. Holman (1847-1915 or 1919). He was born in Massachusetts and shortly after the civil war, studied photography with his brother-in-law Luther M. Rice in Warren, Ohio. He moved to Utica, New York where he worked in a shoe factory until returning to Ohio and his employment with his brother-in-law in 1875.  In1879, he bought the studio from Rice and ran the studio until about 1900.

Published in: on January 27, 2010 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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This Cabinet Card is a portrait of three cute children who are probably siblings. They are photographed by Lacey of Angola, Indiana. The older of the two girls is holding what appears to be folded single sheet of thick paper or possible a needlepoint or other craft project. The younger girl is sitting on a child-size rocking chair and has a small doll on her lap and is holding a ring toy. Research reveals that the photographer is G. A. Lacey and that in 1902 he entered into a studio partnership with W. Freeman.

Published in: on January 26, 2010 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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This Cabinet Card is an interesting and puzzling family portrait. Who are these people and how are they related? The photographer is Shirley of Yates Center, Kansas. Yates Center is the county seat of Woodson County, Kansas. Note that the Woman in the back row is holding something (despite appearances, her hand doesn’t appear to be on the man’s shoulder in front of her). The young girl in the center of the front row is holding a dark bag of some sort and the woman in the floral dress is grasping a book (she must have left her kindle at home).  The reverse of the card has the inscription “Mrs. Electa Harding; Flushing, Michigan. The 1919 Farm Journal Rural Directory of Genesee County, Michigan lists a James Harding and his wife “Electra” as residents of the County. Correspondingly, Flushing is located in Michigan’s Genesee County. Despite the difference in spelling, Electra and Electa Harding appear to be one and the same individual.

Published in: on January 24, 2010 at 12:01 am  Comments (3)  


A distinguished serious gentleman sits for his cabinet card portrait at one of the studios of photographer B. Etter. Etter had photographic studio locations in New Hampshire. He had a businesses in Great Falls and in Rochester.


Mr. George West poses for his photograph at the Morse studio in San Francisco, California. Mr. West is sporting an incredible mustache earning him a spot in this blog’s Mustache (Only the Best) category. Research reveals that the photographer of this cabinet card is George Daniels Morse (b1835-?). Morse was active in photography in Grenwich, New York;  New York City; San Francisco (1862-1869 and 1896-1905); and Chicago. To view other photographs by Morse, click on Cabinet Card Gallery’s category “Photographer: Morse”.

Published in: on January 22, 2010 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  
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This Cabinet Card is a portrait of a Canadian Rugby team. The photographer is Gray in St. Mary’s, Ontario, Canada. The boy’s uniform shirts reveal that the name of the team is St. Mary’s and one of the boys in the bottom row is holding the ball.

Published in: on January 20, 2010 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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