Film reviewers speak of a category of movies called “feel good” movies. It has been my observation that there is a category of cabinet cards that should be called “feel good” cabinet cards. This cabinet card, featuring a mother and her baby, falls into the “feel good” genre. This image exudes joy. Mom is smiling. It is important to note that smiling subjects are a rare occurrence in cabinet card photography. Mom’s eyes are smiling too; she just can’t contain her joy. Mom is beautiful, and of course, all babies are adorable. Does anyone wonder how mom was able to hold her baby in this pose for as long as it took to have the photograph taken? Mom likely had some invisible assistance. The child is likely sitting on a platform of some type that has been blocked out by the photographers “tricks” during the development process. This image was photographed by Henrichsen who’s studio was located at 1352 Lexington, in Cleveland, Ohio. John H. Henrichsen operated his studio in Cleveland between 1891 and 1897 and was located on Lexington from 1893 until 1894. These dates were found in the book, “Ohio Photographers 1839-1900” (1998). Henrichsen was also mentioned in Wilson’s Photographic Magazine (1896), as a competitor for prizes at a major photography exhibit.

Published in: on March 15, 2012 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  
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A unknown photographer captures an attractive unidentified couple in a lovely portrait. The pair are nicely dressed and appear relatively comfortable in front of the camera. The photographer and the location of the studio are both unknown.

Published in: on March 12, 2012 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  


These cabinet cards feature American stage actress, Mary Anderson (1859-1940). Interestingly, Anderson’s father was an Oxford educated New Yorker who after Mary was born, moved his family to Kentucky. He then joined the Confederate army and was killed in action when Mary was just three years old. Mary was not much of a student but loved to read Shakespeare. Her step father sent her to New York at age 14 to take ten professional acting lessons. In 1875, at age 16, Mary Anderson began her stage acting career in a Kentucky production of Romeo and Juliet. She continued acting in Kentucky and then appeared in a number of other cities, including New York. Her critical reviews tended to be mixed but she was well loved by the public. She then worked the New York and touring company stages for twelve years until she spent the next six years on the English stage (appearing in a lot of Shakespeare productions). She then returned to the United States, and at age 30, collapsed on  stage with a case of nervous exhaustion.   This experience, likely coupled with less than favorable reviews, caused her to retire from acting. The top cabinet card features Anderson in the role of  Galatea. A review of Mary Anderson’s performance in this role appeared in the New York Times in a September 1884 edition. She was appearing opposite British actor William Terriss, in the play “Pygmalion and Galatea”,  at the Lyceum Theatre in London. Many notables were in attendance, including Oscar Wilde. The review states ” Miss Anderson surpassed herself and that the performance was throughly artistic and finished”. The cabinet card was photographed by The Vanderweyde Light of London, England (182 Regent Street W.). Henry Van Der Weyde (1838-1924) was an artist and photographer. In 1877, he became the first photographer to install and take photographs by electric light. The second cabinet card was photographed by celebrity photographer, Sarony. The image reflects Mary Anderson’s great beauty. To view other photographs by Sarony, click on Cabinet Card Gallery’s category “Photographer: Sarony”. The third cabinet card was photographed by “The Sparks Studio”. The studio was located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the artist/manager was Elliott Houseworth. This cabinet card offers a profile portrait of the attractive Ms. Anderson. The 1880 census lists Elliott A. Houseworth as being born in 1855, residing in San Francisco, California, and working as a photographer. Houseworth also appears in the 1900 census as living in Norwood, Pennsylvania and working as a manager. These demographics fit the photographer of this image, since Houseworth managed Sparks Photography Studio and Norwood is only about eleven miles from Philadelphia.  To view other photographs of actresses by Sparks, click on the category “Photographer: Sparks Photo Publishing Co.”. The  fourth cabinet card features a smartly dressed Mary Anderson and was photographed by George Rockwood, of New York City. To learn more about Rockwood and to view more of his photographs, click on the category “Photographer: Rockwood”.  A sticker on the reverse of the photograph indicates that the image was once part of the Kean Archives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Kean Archives was a company that served as a source of illustrations and photographs for various modes of media. They eventually were purchased by Getty Images.


Emma Loraine appears to have been a minor stage star. The New York Times (1879) reported that Wallack’s Theatre production of “Our Girls” included Ms. Loraine in the cast. Also in the cast was Maurice Barrymore. The New York Times (1881) has a story about the Wallach company going on tour because their new theatre was under construction. The company was planning to perform “She Stoops to Conquer” and “The School for Scandal” while on tour. Performing as part of the touring company was Osmond Tearle, Rose Coghlan, and Emma Lorraine. The cabinet card gallery has images of both Tearle and Coghlan that can be viewed by typing each of their names in the search box. Their names must be searched separately. Both cabinet card portraits of Loraine were photographed by celebrity photographer, D. H. Anderson of New York City. To view other images by Anderson, click on the category “Photographer: Anderson (New York)”. An article in the Photographic Times and American Photographer (1883) describes Anderson’s studio at 785 Broadway in New York City. The location was formerly the studio operated by famed photographer, Mathew Brady. Anderson is considered a pioneer in early photography. He made his first pictures (daguerreotypes) in Paducah, Kentucky in 1855. He later worked in Cincinnati (Ohio), Dayton (Ohio), New Orleans (Louisiana), Louisville (Kentucky), and various other cities. He finally settled for awhile in Richmond, Virginia in 1865. In 1881, he sold his studio and moved to New York City. The previously cited article described a “composition group” portrait that Anderson was working on during the magazine writers visit to his studio. The photograph was described as measuring eleven feet by fourteen feet and picturing the 7th Regiment posing in their new armory. The image included over a thousand soldiers.


A very pretty woman with big dreamy eyes and dark hair poses for her portrait at the  McKnight studio, in Centrailia, Illinois. The woman is wearing a dress that has four very large buttons at its top and smaller buttons below. The large and small buttons appear to be identical except for size. The decorative buttons show grapes or berries. The woman is also wearing a flower and earrings, as well as a pin at her collar. The pin features the letter “H”, which may be the first letter of her first or last name. The photographer of this image may be Frank McKnight or P. McKnight. Both of these individuals are listed in a directory of Illinois photographers as operating studios in Centralia during the cabinet card era. This photograph has a crossed out location on the bottom of the image. It is probable that the photographer formerly owned a studio in Missouri and moved to Illinois but kept his stock of pre-printed paper. Although it is easy to decipher the state, the town is blacked out beyond the point of recognition.

Published in: on March 9, 2012 at 12:01 am  Comments (2)  
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A pretty woman stands among some plants at the photographic studio of Patten, Perkins and Stratton in Boston, Massachusetts. The studio was located at 47 Hanover Street in Boston. The woman is wearing a pretty hat and a large bow on her blouse. She is wearing a pattern dress and a collar pin. Note the woman’s fingerless gloves.

Published in: on March 8, 2012 at 12:01 am  Comments (2)  
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A young boy stands on a porch as he poses for an unknown photographer. He is wearing long shorts and high socks. He also is wearing an interesting hat and a large bow on his collar. Note the detail and the quality of the bannister on the porch steps and the porch. They’re certainly not making bannisters the way they used to. The identity of the young boy, and the location where the cabinet card photograph was taken, is unknown.

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Published in: on March 7, 2012 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  


A sad child poses for a portrait at the studio of J. S. Fritz, in Reading, Pennsylvania. The frowning child is standing on a bench and wearing a fancy outfit. Note the large bow and the unattractive hat. The name of the child, “Jemil Arman”,  is penciled on the reverse of the cabinet card. Research yielded no information about Jemil Arman or photographer, J. S. Fritz. It is possible that a legibility problem may have resulted in an incorrect interpretation of the subject’s name.  ADDENDUM  Additional research resulted in discovering information about photographer, John S. Fritz. He was born on his father’s Pennsylvania farm in 1861. He left home at 15 to work in Philadelphia and while there, learned photography. He then worked with his brother in law as a traveling photographer. He left the business to pursue other occupations and he worked in both Atlantic City, New Jersey, and Philadelphia. He returned to photography and at some point operated a photography studio located at 852 Penn Street in Reading. He was married to Elizabeth Apffel  and had at least three children. To view more photographs by Fritz, click on the category “Photographer: Fritz (JS).

Published in: on March 6, 2012 at 12:01 am  Comments (2)  
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This cabinet card features three children, likely siblings, posing for their portrait at a photographic gallery in Polotsk, Belarus. The young girl in the photograph is holding a ball held inside netting. Perhaps a visitor to the cabinet card gallery can provide more details about this toy. The previous owner of this cabinet card is from St. Petersburg, Russia. He has provided the photographers location, as well as the photographers name, Bernstein. He also contends that the way that the subjects are dressed in this image, indicates that they are scouts. In addition, the previous owner also asserts that the photographer of this image was Jewish. In fact, research reveals that the population of Polotsk in 1897 was over 20,000, and more than half of those residents were Jewish. There was a strong Orthodox Jewish community there.  The “Jewish Virtual Library” indicates that in the late nineteenth century, the city became embroiled in anti-Jewish agitation.


A cute little girl with a wonderful smile sits atop a rocking horse at Lauder Brothers studio in Dublin, Ireland. She is holding the reins of the very detailed rocking horse and her young mother poses behind the girl, in position to keep her daughter securely on the horse. The Lauder gallery had two locations,  32 Westmoreland Street and 45 Lower Sackville Street. Lauder Brothers studio began operation as a daguerreotype studio on Capel Street in Dublin in 1853. The owner of the studio was Edmund Stanley Lauder, who died in 1895. Lauder Brothers was in business on Lower Sackville Street between the 1850’s and 1904. It was operated by a number of members of the Lauder family. Business directories list the studio as Lauder Brothers between about 1880 and 1884.. Edmund Lauder’s son, James Stack Lauder (1853-1923),  founded the Lafayette Studio in 1880. He became the first Irish photographer to be granted the Royal Warrant. He earned this honor after photographing Queen Victoria in her Golden Jubilee year (1887). James Stack Lauder had three brothers who also became photographers. The brothers names were George Marsh Lauder (1858-1922), Edmund Stanley Lauder Jr. (1859-1895), and William Harding Lauder (1866-1918).  (SOLD)

Published in: on March 1, 2012 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  
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