This handsome older gentleman with white hair and a white beard, is named Adrian Manley (1826-1906). The U.S. census of 1880 reveals that he was married to Elizabeth Manley and that he was employed as a clerk. He and his wife lived with their son Leny, a twenty nine year-old laborer. The 1900 census finds Mr Manley in his seventies living with his wife and two grandchildren, Wane (age 8), and Sylvia (age 6). Adrian Manley’s death certificate lists his occupation as a farmer which likely indicates that farming was his primary work for most of his life. The photographer who produced this photograph was John Morrison Brigham (1863-1933) whose studio was located in Plainwell, Michigan. Brigham attended Indiana Normal College at Valparaiso, Indiana. He studied photography in Plainwell and owned his first gallery there. In 1898 he moved to Battle Creek, Michigan where he opened a photography studio that became very successful. In 1885, Brigham  married Ida M Potter of Mankato, Minnesota. Photo Beacon (1897) printed a review of some of Brigham’s work and it was not complimentary. The reviewer simply wrote, “lots of dead eyes”.



This cabinet card features two young gentlemen and two young ladies posing for their portrait at Roswall’s Art Studio, in Macon, Missouri. The exact address of the studio was 21 & 23 Rollins Street. The  young adults in this photograph may be from the same family, or may be just friends. These four individuals are very well dressed, leading one to believe that they likely come from families of means.  It is interesting to note that the girl on the left appears somewhat separated from the other three subjects. The separation my reflect how she felt psychologically about her place in the foursome. However, her position in the photograph may be simply the result of the photographer not wanting to leave too much space on the left side of the image. The photographer, Lars J. A. Roswall, was reported by the Photographic Times (1884) to be a part of a group that held a patent relating to  an apparatus for cleaning photographs.

Published in: on December 29, 2011 at 12:03 am  Comments (1)  
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These two cabinet card portraits come from the same source and belong together. Writing on the reverse of one photograph indicates that the couple are named George and Lizzie. Perhaps the young man and  woman are married to each other. If not married, the two subjects may be siblings. The photographer of both cards is Copelin whose studio was located on the Northwest corner of Madison and State Streets in Chicago, Illinois. The exact address was 75 Madison Street. Some biographical information concerning the Copelin studio is available, but it is very difficult to sort out. It seems that Copelin had a succession of photography businesses. Alexander J. W. Copeland  (1851-c1923) and Melander bought out their boss to open a studio in Chicago sometime around 1870.  Copelin & Son was established in 1871 and existed about ten years. The business has an interesting story associated with it. The gallery was established just six days before the Chicago Fire (1871) and the building was completely destroyed in the blaze. The building had been the first photographic gallery in Chicago but had housed many proprietors. A.J. Copelin rebuilt the business. In the early 1880’s, the Copelin Gallery was established. Copelin eventually left portrait photography and opened a successful commercial photography business. Copelin is also recognized as one of the founding fathers of the Photographers Association of America.


UThis cabinet card features Charles James Folger (1818-1884) who was an American lawyer and politician. He served as Secretary of the Treasury under President Chester Arthur. Folger was born in Nantucket, Massachusetts but lived most of his life in Geneva, New York. He attended Hobart College. His political career includes judgeships and some terms in the New York State Senate (1862-1869). While in the state senate, he served four years as President Pro Tempore. In 1869 he left state government after being appointed by President Ulysses Grant as the Assistant U.S. Treasurer. In 1870, he became a judge of the New York Court of Appeals and eventually became the Chief Judge. H eft the judgeship in 1881  to serve as Secretary of the Treasury, and during that tenure, he ran for Governor in New York against future U.S. President, Grover Cleveland. Folger had many accomplishments and he has just added a new honor to his legacy. Folger’s wonderful muttonchops, qualifies him to join the facial hair elite in the category of “Beards (Only the Best)”. Click on the category to view unusual styles of facial hair. This portrait was photographed by Falk, a well known New York City, celebrity photographer. To view other photographs by Falk, click on the category “Photographer: Falk”. A stamp on the reverse of  this cabinet card reveals that it was formerly owned by Culver Pictures of New York City, New York. Culver Pictures has been collecting photographs and illustrations from the 19th and first half of the 20th century, since 1926. These pictures are used in books, films, and other forms of media. At the time that this cabinet card was stamped by the company, Culver Pictures was located in New York City.


This cabinet card features a pretty, Rose Austin, of the Austin Sisters, who were well known trapeze artists. On the reverse of the photograph is a pencilled notation that states the performer’s name and “Bath Beach, Long Island, New York” (Bath Beach is in Brooklyn). The image was published by the Robinson & Roe studio which had galleries in both Chicago and New York City. The Circus Historical Society’s web site cites the “Austin Family”. Its members included R.G., Aimee (1870-1907), George E., and Rose. Among their venues were Orrin Brothers (1883-1884), W. W. Cole (1885), Coney Island (1892), and Bentley’s (1895). Aimee Austin, born in London, was an aerialist who was known as the “Human Fly” for her talent of “ceiling walking”. She began performing with Rose Austin, at nine years of age, as part of the Austin Sisters aerial act which played at the Circus Rentz, in Berlin, Germany. The act was managed by R. G. Austin. The aerialist performed with various European circuses before coming to the United States. Rose Austin was the subject of three articles in the New York Times. A 1892 article was entitled “Cannot Find Rose Austin”. The article reported that the disappearance of Ms. Austin from her home in Bath Beach. She was described as a well known trapeze performeer and leader of the “clever” Austin Sisters. It was also metioned that she was the wife of R. G. Austin; the manager of the Australian Theatrical Company. At the time of her disappearance, she and her sister were performing at Vaceas’s West End Casino in Coney Island, New York. She had been last seen boarding a ferry bound for New York City. The article points out that Ms. Austin had suffered from epilepsy for the previous four or five years and had experienced a severe attack about ten days earlier.(An acrobat with epilepsy? Doesn’t seem like a terrific career choice.). The article closes with a statement that both Rose Austin’s husband and her doctor, believed that she was either in a hospital, or had fallen off the ferry and drowned. A follow up article (1892) revealed that Ms. Austin had been found and was currently confined to bed as “she is wandering in her mind”. She couldn’t account for her whereabouts or activities during the time she was missing and last remembered falling ill on the ferry. A third article in the New York Times (1894) reports that Rose fell from a trapeze while performing with her brother George in Coney Island. She fell after fainting (one would imagine she had a epileptic seizure). She and her brother fell into a net together and knocked heads, rendering them both unconscious. George recovered quickly but Rose was brought home to Bensonhurst (Brooklyn) in a delirious condition. To view other photographs by Robinson and Roe, and to learn a little about them, click on the category “Photographer: Robinson & Roe”.  SOLD



When Ole Johnson passed away at ninety-four years of age, it is likely that his family commissioned a photographer to produce this memorial cabinet card. Due to the commonality of the name Ole Johnson (especially in the North Central states where many Scandanvians settled) , research yielded no biographical information about the Mr. Johnson pictured in this photograph. To view other Remembrance cabinet cards, click on the category “Memorial Card”.

Published in: on December 24, 2011 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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A cherubic, curly haired little girl stands on a blanket covered chair in the photographic studio of J. W. Taylor, in Rochester, New York. The girl is wearing a long gown and a very serious expression. She firmly holds a rattle with both hands. To view other photographs by Taylor, click on the category “Photographer: Taylor JW

Published in: on December 22, 2011 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  
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This cabinet card features a well dressed young boy posing next to a wooden tricycle in the Jenness Studio, in Clinton, Massachusetts. The lad is wearing a suit, bow tie, and hat. Note the decorated wooden  handlebars on the tricycle and the fancy seat. The first tricycle was invented in 1680 by a disabled German man who wanted to maintain his mobility. There were many versions invented over time until Starley developed the first rotary chain drive tricycle in 1877. After the introduction of this model, tricycle riding became very popular. Tricycles and bicycles can be found in many cabinet card photographs. To view examples of such images, click on the category of  “Bicycle”.

Published in: on December 21, 2011 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  
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This photograph captures an attractive dancer in an unusual pose. She is doing a split, which is a very risque pose for this time era. The woman is likely a professional dancer but it is possible that she is just a very athletic, and provocative young lady. There is no identification available of the young woman or of the photographer and studio. Perhaps a visitor to the Cabinet Card Gallery will recognize the dancer and leave a comment concerning her identity.  SOLD

Published in: on December 20, 2011 at 12:01 am  Comments (2)  
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This photographic portrait features a pretty young lady posing for her portrait at the Flagg and Plummer gallery in Lewiston, Maine. The subject has quite the sour expression on her face. She looks exasperated, as if she has spent more time and effort at the photographer than she cared to. A pencilled inscription on the reverse of the photograph reveals that the Flagg and Plummer studio was the successor to the Curtis and Ross studio. The  notation also discloses that the young woman in this photograph was named Florence L. Bisbee and that the image was produced in 1899. According to the U.S. Census of 1900, Florence Bisbee was born in 1877 and lived in Auborn, Maine. She lived with her father (Byron), mother (Adiline), and two older brothers. Florence worked as a dry goods clerk, her father was a grocery clerk, and her brothers worked as shoe cutters. By the 1910  census, Florence was employed as shoe stitcher and in the 1920 census she was still living with her parents at the age of forty-three. The 1930 census found her as a head of household and  living with an older woman. She was still a shoe stitcher. Very little information could be found about this photographs creators.  The Flagg and Plummer studio is mentioned in an article in The Bulletin of Photography (1915) concerning the formation of an advertising group of photographers.

Published in: on December 19, 2011 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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