The  previous owner of this cabinet card believed that the woman in the image may be a man. Perhaps the jacket and tie that she is wearing is the predominant evidence that she/he is a cross dresser. I am not very convinced that the subject of this photograph is a man, but it certainly is a possibility. Never forget the wise words of the well respected group of philosophers known as the Kinks; “Well I’m not the world’s most masculine man, but I know what I am, and I’m glad I’m a man, so is Lola”. An interesting side note is that the photographer of this image, Will C. Fryatt, is responsible for a number of other unusual photographs taken at his studio in Montezuma, Iowa. It is entirely possible that Fryatt never took the photograph, but instead, bought the rights to sell it at his studio. There is also a possibility that the individual in this image is an actor/actress from a touring theatre company. Another mystery that this cabinet card presents is as follows: Why does a town in Iowa get named after an Aztec Emperor of Mexico? Stay tuned, research is in progress. A visitor to the cabinet card gallery commented that the woman in this cabinet card looked very  much like male impersonator, Ella Wesner (1851-1917) who was popular in the 1880’s. She was a part of the Gilded Age vaudeville circuit. You can view an image of Miss Wesner below. The assertion that the portraits of the two women in these photographs look similar, is very true. Do you think that they are one and the same person?


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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. She looks somewhat like Ella Wesner,an actress who portrayed men.

  2. On close examination in both pictures, the lobe structures of the left ear are so alike … I would say it is the same person. Convinces me … now I can see the one in the other. (Fingers crossed)

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