An internet dictionary defines funky as ” modern and stylish in an unconventional or striking way”.  The pretty young lady in this cabinet card photograph is certainly dressed in a funky manner. She has a great smile and is remarkably well poised as she stands before the camera. Her scarf appears to be made of a fine fabric, and seems to be tied at the ends by ribbons. She is wearing an interesting belt with a decorative buckle. She is also wearing a terrific hat. Note her necklace and the brooch at her collar. A pencilled notation on the reverse of the cabinet card indicates that the young woman in the image is eighteen years of age and that the photograph was taken in 1902. The photographer was Edgar Salomon. He had a studio in two English cities; Highbury and London.

Published in: on November 30, 2011 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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A pretty young woman arranges cabinet cards in a photograph album. The woman is Scottish, and she is photographed by Wohlgemuth & Company. The studio was located in Glasgow, Scotland. The studio operated between 1887 and 1914. However, a photography journal reported that Benjamin Wohlgemuth was elected to the Glasgow Photographic Association in 1879. The reverse of the image has a pencilled inscription that includes a name and address. The name is difficult to decipher, but it is something close to Prince H. France. The address is 22 Short Street, Leichhardt, Sydney, New South Wales.

Published in: on November 29, 2011 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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L. W. Miller is the photographer of this family portrait in Alma, Michigan. Two curly haired sisters, wearing lace collars and boots, pose with their mother. The girls couldn’t resist smiling for the photographer while their mother  kept her lips pursed and maintained a blank stare. The girls father is notably absent from this image.

Published in: on November 28, 2011 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  
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This photograph presents a bit of a mystery. What organization does this couple represent? Their uniforms appear to be salvation army garb. However, many salvation army workers wore the letter “S” on their collar while this couple has the letter “F”  on their collars. Many salvation army members wore a collar badge with “Salvation Army” written on it. The gentleman in this image doesn’t appear to be wearing such a badge, but the woman may have one,  but it is unreadable. The individuals each have a bar on their shoulders which may indicate a higher than basic rank. Note the wire rim glasses that the gentleman is wearing and the magazine that he is holding. The reverse of the photograph has the name Swanson written on it.  The photographer who produced this image is James E. Purdy.The reverse of the photograph indicates that Purdy was the successor to Hastings, the former operator of the studio.  Purdy’s studio was located at 146 Tremont Street, in Boston, Massachusetts. He operated his studio in Boston between 1896 and 1930. He was a popular photographer in Boston. He was considered to be in the same caliber as the celebrated photographer, Chickering (to view photographs by Chickering, click on cabinet card gallery’s category “Photographer: Chickering”). One of the many famous people he photographed was Winston Churchill, who was in Boston (1900) lecturing about the Boer War. This is not the same Winston Churchill who so ably led Great Britain.


A very attractive and fashionable couple pose for their portrait at the Henry studio in Anvers, Belgium. The gentleman appears to be holding gloves. His top hat is visible on the table behind him.  The lovely lady is wearing a beautiful dress and a fancy hat. She is also wearing white gloves and holding a bouquet of flowers. This image may be a wedding photograph. The backstamp of the cabinet card indicates that the photographer, Henry, was the winner of a photography medal at the World Exposition in 1894.  Anvers, the home of Henry’s studio, was a port and financial center in northern Belgium. The city is located on the Scheldt river and was a center for the diamond industry.  Anvers was also the home of the first stock exchange (1460).  Anvers is the french name for Antwerp.

Published in: on November 26, 2011 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  
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This cabinet card features a portrait of a cute, but skeptical baby, sitting on a fur covered chair. The child is wearing a sweater over a gown, and is propped on a chair. The baby is clenching a toy in his/her right hand. The photograph was produced at the Detroit Art Gallery. The proprietors were listed as Dubbs, Lee & Company. Preliminary research yielded no additional information about the studio.

A cute baby

Published in: on November 25, 2011 at 12:01 am  Comments (2)  
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A distinguished looking older gentleman poses for his portrait at the Steckel studio in Los Angeles, California. The subject is very well dressed and has neatly cut hair, a walrus mustache, and a nicely shaped beard. The beard is shaped like the letter “V”. (To view other noteworthy beards, click on the category “Beards (Only the Best). Note that the gentleman is wearing a lapel pin which is probably representing a fraternal organization. George Steckel (1864-1938) was a highly skilled photographer and won many important awards for his work. In the book “Los Angeles from the Mountains to the Sea” (1921), author, John Steven McGroarty, provides some biographical informaion about the photographer. Stecker was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania and dropped out of public schools at age thirteen. He then worked for a photography studio for two years. He moved to Philadelphia and did photography work there. He then returned to Allentown and opened his own studio which was in business for three years. His next stop was Kansas City, where he worked in the Real Estate field until 1888. He then travelled to Los Angeles and opened a studio, partnering with Joseph H. Lamson (see images by Lamson by clicking on category “Photographer: Lamson”). The partnership eroded after two years, and Stecker opened his own studio in Las Angeles. It is interesting to note  that posters made from his 1894 photograph of Eugen Sandow (1867-1925), nude, with the exception of strategically placed fig leaf, are available for sale today. Sandow was a Prussian pioneering body-builder who was a celebrity of his era.


This Cabinet card features a pretty young woman posing for her portrait in Cleveland, Ohio. The Kitzsteiner & Noville studio produced this photograph. Paul Kitzsteiner (1854-1923) operated a studio in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania (date unknown) and was active in Cleveland, Ohio, from the  1870’s until 1889. There is an article about a Paul Kitzsteiner in Abels Photographic Weekly (1912). The magazine reports that he was working for Artex Photo Paper Company of Cleveland, Ohio and that he “has done yeoman service in the interests of photographers”. The writer also asserts that “Kitz” has travelled and demonstrated for photographers and printers, since 1870. Perhaps Kitzsteiner left the photographic studio business to pursue work as a photographic supply salesman. The 1900 census reveals that Kitzsteiner was of German descent and his wife’s name was Rosamund (born 1859). He had two daughters, Manda (age 15), and Edna (age 12). In addition to his family, he lived with his mother-in-law  and father-in-law (Ellen and Sam Searse), his dentist brother (Richard), and a boarder. One hopes that Kitzsteiner had a big house to accommodate such a crowd. Kitzsteiner’s partner, Otto Noville, doesn’t seem to have left much of a legacy in the field of photography; no information about his career was gleaned from research. However, he may have left a very large legacy in the field of aviation and exploration. Why the tentativeness concerning his legacy? The reason is that there was an Otto Noville as well as a Otto J. Noville living in Cleveland. One of the Noville’s was the father of George Otto Noville, a pioneer in polar and transatlantic aviation in the 1920’s. He was also a winner of the Distinguished Flying Cross. Among his many accomplishments was his service with Commander Richard Byrd on his historic flight to the North Pole. Otto J. Noville (1872-?) is listed in the 1900 United States Census along with his wife Nellie (1872-?). His occupation is listed as “Salesman-Notions”. In fact, he was a hat manufacturer. Maybe his career as a photographer hadn’t yet started,  or had already ended. The most likely scenario is that Otto J. Noville is the father of George Otto Noville, and Otto Noville, is the photographic artist.


This photograph is likely a portrait of a grandfather and grandchild. “Generation Skipping” family photographs  were not at all unusual during the era of cabinet card photography. The white haired and bearded grandfather seems to have forgotten to attend to his grooming before sitting for this image. The old man and his grandchild both appear to be quite befuddled by their session with the photographer. This image was produced by the Stanton studio in Jamestown. There are a number of towns named Jamestown in the United States. It has been impossible, so far, to identify the state in which Stanton’s studio was located.

Published in: on November 21, 2011 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  
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Three well dressed men gather around a table to pose with, what appears to be, three bottles of wine and companion drinking glasses. It appears that these men have been engaged in, or are planning, some serious drinking. Note the terrific hats. The men and the photographic studio are not identified. The style of the cabinet card indicates that the photograph is likely of European origin.

Published in: on November 19, 2011 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  
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