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.


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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hi there, I have a photograph online at Picasa, it was in my mother’s collection. She says it’s her Grandfather’s Christening picture. It looks very much like one of your “Cabinet Cards” and shows that it was taken by a Photographer named Lamson, in Los Angeles. I see you have some information on him, I was wondering what 2 years he might have been here? That would pin down the date pretty well for this photo. I believe my Grandfather was born in 1889 or 1890, but it may have been earlier (or later, I don’t have that information readily available). The photo:


    Thanks so much, your photo blog is fascinating!

    • I wish I could be more helpful but I found little information about photographer Joseph Lamson.He was listed in a Los Angeles business directory (1888) but not at the Spring Street address. In 1890 he was partnered with a man named Steckel. I hope this information will help you in your research.

  2. I have a photo that kinda looks like the woman in the photo, but younger. The market has. (•steckel LOS ANGELES•) It ended up in Des Moines.

    • The cabinet card gallery has a photograph by Steckel in it’s collection. It is an image of a distinguished looking older gentleman and you can see it by putting the name “Steckel” in the gallery’s search box.

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