THEATRE ACTRESS: DORA LESLIE

Dora Leslie was a theatre actress whose career included Broadway appearances. In 1887 she was appearing in “Lord Chumly” in Boston and wanted to leave the production because she felt her role was too small and offered little opportunity. A fifteen year old replacement was sent by Daniel Frohman; her name was Maude Adams and she went on to great fame. Leslie is mentioned in the New York Times for appearing in “The Marquis” (1889) and in a play inspired by a Mark Twain story (1890). The photographer who produced this cabinet card portrait of Leslie, is unknown.

Published in: on March 31, 2012 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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NICELY DRESSED BIKE RIDER IN LAKE ODESSA, MICHIGAN

A young man poses holding a bicycle at the studio of G. A. Shampang in Lake Odessa, Michigan.  The good looking man is dressed in what is probably his finest clothing. Take note of where the backdrop screen reaches the floor. The photographer was a bit careless and did not take notice or action to insure the backdrop touched the floor properly to promote a more credible background. Oops! G. A. Shampang located in Lake Odessa in the late 1890’s. According to an ad in the Lake Odessa Wave, the studio was located above the Lake Odessa Savings Bank on the corner of Fourth Avenue and Second Street. In late 1898 Shampang took on Mr. Mead as a partner, forming Shampang & Mead. Something apparently went wrong with the partnership because Shampang bought back Mead’s shares in the business after just three months of  joint ownership. Shampang operated the gallery until about 1910. In 1911 he moved to California and later on, moved to Saginaw, Oregon where he owned an oil station. In 1931 he succumbed to a stroke. His wife, Ada Ema Rozell, survived him. To learn more about Shampang, visit the web site for the Ionia County Genealogical Society.  SOLD

Published in: on March 28, 2012 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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CONCHITA GELABERT: BEAUTIFUL OPERA STAR IN PARIS, FRANCE

This cabinet card features the lovely Conchita Gelabert, soprano and operetta actress. Marie “Conchita” Gelabert was born in Madrid in 1857 and died in Paris in 1922. She was educated in the Paris Conservatory of Music. An article in the New York Times (1922) announced her death. She was described as a “Spanish Comic Opera singer. who for many years was one of the most celebrated of Paris stars”. The article states that Gelabert “died today alone and forgotten”. Apparently, she had left the stage in 1890 and went into seclusion for the rest of her life. The cause of her abandoning her career and becoming an isolate, was an unhappy love affair. The article credits Gelabert with creating many roles, including “The Beautiful Person”and “The Grand Mogul”. This portrait was photographed by Chalot and Company of Paris, France. Ms. Gelabert is a stage beauty with eyes and an expression that can best be described as playful. She is wearing an interesting hat and well adorned with jewelry. Her dress is a bit risque but by Paris standards, this is a tame photograph.  The photographer of this image, Isadore Alphonse Chalot was one of the subjects of an article appearing in the American Journal of Photography (1890). The article was entitled “Photographers in Paris- Their Studios and Workshops”.  SOLD

FOUR SIBLINGS AND THEIR TOYS IN STEINHEIM, GERMANY

A sister and three brothers pose for their portrait at the Lammersen studio in Steinheim, Westphalia, Germany. The young girl is holding a doll with bows in its hair; which is the same way that the young girl wears her hair. One of the boys is playing with blocks while another boy is holding a book. The photographer of this image, F. Lammersen,  took the photographs for an article appearing in the Strand Magazine (1898). The article was entitled “The Most Wonderful Hedge in the World” and was about  the work of a railway guard at the Steinheim station. The railroad employee used his spare time to artistically clip hedges into wonderful sculptures and Lammersen’s camera provided many illustrations of the talented gardeners creative work.

Published in: on March 26, 2012 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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VIOLINIST LOUIE DUDENHOFER AND HIS UNIDENTIFIED ACCORDION PLAYING SIDEKICK IN FORT WAYNE, INDIANA

This photograph features two musicians posing for their portrait at the Jarrard Studio in Fort Wayne, Indiana. According to an inscription on the reverse of the photograph, the violinist is named “Louie Dudenhofer” and he is the “Brother to Jeanette”. The second musician is unidentified and he is holding his accordion. The photographer, Harry R. Jarrard was born in Indiana in 1852. He is known to have been a photographer from at least 1889 through 1910. He is thought  to have arrived in Fort Wayne in 1886 and in 1888 married Emma Short. His photography business in Fort Wayne occupied several locations during its existence.

Published in: on March 25, 2012 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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EXCEPTIONALLY BEAUTIFUL WOMAN FROM DARMSTADT, GERMANY

The woman in this photograph is absolutely beautiful. She is also elegant and stylish. She is wearing a pretty boa and hat. The photographer of this image is Hofmann & Company. The studio was located in Darmstadt, Germany. Darmstadt is in the city of Hesse, which is a little south of  Frankfurt. An inscription on the reverse of the photograph has the subject’s name and the date of the photograph. The name of  this pretty fraulein is illegible but it is clear that the photograph was taken in 1905.

Published in: on March 24, 2012 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  
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FIVE SALVATION ARMY WOMEN AND THREE GUITARS IN MORRIS RUN, PENNSYLVANIA

Five women pose for their photographic portrait at the O’Donnell studio in Morris Run, Pennsylvania. The women are all dressed in a uniform that appears to be consistent with the garb of the Salvation Army. However, none of the women seem to be wearing the customary badge that members of the organization usually wear. Comments in regard to whether their band is part to the Salvation Army, would be welcomed. Three of the ladies are holding guitars. The other two may be singers but one  would expect that they would be holding tambourines as is the style in many music themed salvation army cabinet cards. The photographer is likely Stewart J. O’Donnell who is listed in the 1899  Hamilton Township business directory. O’Donnell’s studio was located in Morris Run, which is part of Hamilton Township and Tioga County. The area was known for its coal mining.

Published in: on March 22, 2012 at 12:01 am  Comments (4)  
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A LOVELY YOUNG LADY AND HER HAT

A lovely young lady is featured in this photographic portrait. She is beautifully dressed and is wearing a hat that is nicely adorned with flowers. The name of the photographer and his location are unknown.   SOLD

Published in: on March 21, 2012 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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A SAILOR AND HIS GUN ON DECK IN NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND

A nice looking young sailor poses for his portrait at the Rembrandt Studio in Newport, Rhode Island. Newport is a seaport and the sailor was likely in town on leave. While visiting the area he decided to capture his likeness at the studio. Perhaps he sent the resulting photograph to his family or girlfriend. He, or the photographer, chose an appropriate background for the portrait. The sailor is depicted aboard a ship, in uniform, and holding a rifle with a bayonet. The lettering on his sailor cap can only be partially  read. The word “squadron” is proceeded by an unknown word which probably is the name of an area of the world where his ship was assigned. Perhaps a visitor to the cabinet card gallery can identify the sailors naval unit and rank. Research yielded no information pertaining to the Rembrandt Studio.

Published in: on March 20, 2012 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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PRETTY ACTRESS TRYING TO GET LUCKY IN PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA

A beautiful young actress poses for her portrait at The Sparks studio in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is wearing a horseshoe broach which probably was supposed to bring her good luck. This actress’s name was Marion Elmore. She was born in 1860 in a tent in Sandhurst, Australia. Her parent were English and they were in Australia because they were hoping to hit it big in the Gold Rush. Elmore began her acting career at age three. She played in Rip Van Winkle with touring American actor, Joseph Jefferson. In the 1870’s she was a member of Lydia Thompson’s famous burlesque troupe. “The Blondes” performed a risque mix of songs, dance and comedy. They also were very well known for showing a great deal of leg in their revealing costumes. She came to the United States in 1878 with the troupe but soon went off on her own as an actress and vaudeville performer. Her first starring role was in Chispa (1883). This play was poorly reviewed. The “Virtual Dime Museum” quotes the journal “Music and Drama” which wrote that the play “was dramatic rubbish, and that it does not fit Marion Elmore any better than her straw hat, which was continually falling off”. The New York Times (1882)  also lambasted the play. The critic had mixed feelings about Miss Elmore, but stressed her negatives. He blamed actress Maggie Miller for perpetuating a type of actress that he found abhorrent. These actresses were seen as stock actresses who rose to “money making dignity” by performing in troupes like Lydia Thompson’s Blondes. He described Elmore as a “vivacious exponent of the high art of leg burlesque”. The critic asserts that the craze surrounding Lydia Thompson, and other similar troupes, was one of the worst stupidities of the stage” and that he was pleased that the popularity of this type of entertainment had become “extinct”. On the positive side, the critic enjoyed Elmore’s sense of humor and her “brightness”.  One fortuitous outcome of her acting in Chispa was that she fell in love with, and in 1884, married her co star, Frank Losee. Another actress in Chispa was Lina Merville. Her portrait can be found in the Cabinet Card Gallery via the search box. As Elmore’s career continued, she acted in many plays in the New York area. She was active through the 1890’s and the early twentieth century. She died at age ninety in 1950. To view other photographs of actresses by Sparks, click on the category “Photographer: Sparks Photo Publishing Co.”.