ELISE DE VERE: PORTRAIT OF A BEAUTIFUL SOUBRETTE BY REUTLINGER

Elise De Vere was indeed a very pretty woman and her pose in this image can be described as risque. She poses in this cabinet card photograph for famed celebrity photographer, Charles Reutlinger. Reutlinger’s studio was located at 21 Boulevard in Paris, France. The photograph was published in 1899.  Small print located at the bottom of the reverse of the card states R. Dechavannes. He may be in fact the actual photographer of the portrait. Perhaps the photograph was published by Reutlinger but not actually photographed by him. The facts concerning the role of Reutlinger and Dechavannes are not clear. To view other photographs by Dechavannes, click on the category “Photographer: Dechavannes”. To view other photographs by Reutlinger, click on the category “Photographer: Reutlinger”. Elise De Vere was an English actress/singer who performed in music halls and operas around 1900. The previous year she had won second place in a beauty contest at the Paris Olympia Theatre. She was described at the contest as a “Chanteuse Excentrique”  (Eccentric Singer). Around 1900 she was a stage diva in Europe and America. In 1903-1904 she performed in the Flo Ziegfeld Broadway opera “Red Feather” which played at the Lyrical Theatre and then the Grand Opera Theatre. In announcing De Vere’s arrival in America to play in “Red Feather”,  The New York Times (1903) writes that although she was a Parisienne, she spoke excellent English (shouldn’t have been a surprise, she was English). The article added that De Vere had recently learned to sing in German. In a later article, the New York Times (1903) labelled De Vere as a “Soubrette” in the “Red Feather”. A soubrette is a stock character in opera or theatre. A soubrette is frequently a comedic character who is often portrayed as vain, girlish, mischievous, gossipy and light hearted.

NELLIE AND MINNIE MAUS POSE FOR THEIR PORTRAIT IN LAKE ODESSA, MICHIGAN (MICKEY COULD NOT POSE DUE TO CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATIONS WITH THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY)

Meet Nellie and Minnie Maus as they pose for their portrait at the studio of S. D. Joy in Lake Odessa, Michigan. It is uncertain which of these children is Nellie and which is Minnie because the person who wrote their names on the back of the photograph failed to include their ages or other identifying information. The baby in this image is sitting in a very ornate pram. To view other turn of the century  baby carriages, click on the category “Baby Carriages”.  Unfortnately, Mickey Maus was unavailable when this cabinet card was produced. One can only assume that he was in California for a movie shoot or else he was bound by contractual obligations to not appear in any photographs except those published by the Walt Disney Company. Unfortunately, no biographical information about the Maus girls could be uncovered. The photographer, Sherman D. Joy appears in the 1930 census where he is listed as a 62 year-old photographer. He was married to Etta V. Joy.

WEDDING GROUP PHOTOGRAPH IN CLARINDA, IOWA

This cabinet card appears to be a photograph of a wedding group. One would suspect that the bride is the woman in the white gown. She is seated and holding an umbrella. The most likely candidate for groom is the fellow standing behind the bride. The bride is certainly better dressed than the groom. For some unknown reason, the brides  purse was placed on the floor in front of her. What was the photographer thinking? He did an excellent job of posing the six individuals in the wedding group and than detracts from the image by leaving the purse on the floor in the center of the photograph. This  photographer has a history of making similar posing mistakes. To view an example of another one of his poorly posed photographs, click on the category “Photographer O. H. Park. Note the man sitting on the left of the bride. He is holding something that looks like a pin wheel or a small fan. Perhaps a Cabinet Card Gallery visitor can more confidently identify the object. This photograph was taken at Park’s studio in Clarinda, Iowa. Clarinda was founded in 1851. It is written that outlaw Jesse James passed through Clarinda a number of times. The town was named for Clarinda Buck. Legend states that Ms. Buck carried water to the first surveyors of the area. The name “Alice” is written on the reverse of the photograph. “Alice” is likely the name of the bride.

Published in: on April 25, 2012 at 12:01 am  Comments (5)  
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THE CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON: HILLSBORO WISCONSIN HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL TEAM (1900-1901)

This photograph features the Hillsboro High School  basketball team. The team proudly poses with a trophy basketball marking their championship season of 1900-1901. The name “Bob” is written above the second boy to the left in the back row. Could any of these boy been future Wisconsin Badger basketball players? It is certainly a possibility that one of these guys may have played college basketball with the Badgers. The Wisconsin Badger basketball program played their first game in 1899. In 1906-1907 season they won their first share of a Big Ten championship.The likely photographer of this image is Earle D. Akin. The town of Hillsboro was named for early settler Valentia Hill and his brothers. They arrived in the area beginning  in 1850. Many of the earliest settlers were of German descent. They were followed by many Czech settlers and in fact, Hillsboro was known as the “Czech Capital of Wisconsin”. When the town was settled, it did not take much time for a saw mill to arrive, followed by stores , a blacksmith, a hotel, and a school, as well as a grist mill established  along the Barabee River. In the 1880’s dairy farms and a creamery began business in Hillsboro.

Published in: on April 23, 2012 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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ATTRACTIVE FAMILY IN PRAGUE, CZECHOSLOVAKIA (PORTRAIT BY LANGHANS)

This cabinet card features an attractive family posing for their portrait at the studio of J. F. Langhans in Prague, Czechlosvakia. Mother, father, and their two sons are all beautifully dressed. Father appears to be small of stature and looks quite austere with his hands folded across his chest and his stern facial expression. The children in this photograph seem significantly more relaxed than their parents. Take note of the style of father’s eye glasses Jan Langhans (1851-1926) is the best known figure in Czech photography and his gallery is still in existence. There is a wealth of information about Langhans online at the  “Langhans Archive”. The site provides biographical and historical information as well as the “Gallery of Personalities”. The gallery has photographs of many prominent Czech citizens as well as well known visitors to Czechoslovakia.. These portraits date from 1890 through 1948. The studio was founded by Jan Langhans, who was a food chemist by training but developed a passion for photography. He opened his first studio in 1876 and was the preeminent portrait photographer of the region. He opened a number of branch studios throughout Czechoslovakia. He photographed many celebrities and aristocrats. After World War I the gallery possessed over a million negatives. He gave the studio to his daughter Marie and her husband Viktor Meisner.  After World War II, his grandson Viktor Meisner took over the studio. In 1948, soon after the Communist take-over, the studio was nationalized and most of the negatives were destroyed. Fortunately, more negatives were discovered and they comprise the Gallery’s current collection. To view other photographs by Langhans, click on the category “Photographer: Langhans”.

Published in: on April 22, 2012 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  
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GENERAL HORACE PORTER, CIVIL WAR HERO, PRESIDENTIAL ADVISOR, AND DIPLOMAT


The subject of this cabinet card was a victim of mistaken identity. The gentleman in this image was identified as the ninth Governor of the state of Pennsylvania, David R. Porter. The previous owner of this photograph made the identification. After I purchased the card, I did some research and learned that David Porter was born in 1788 and died in 1867. The style of this photograph originated long after Porter’s death and I became upset at myself for beginning the identity confirmation process after paying for the photograph rather than before making the purchase. I had violated one of my basic rules for purchasing photographs of famous people. Fortunately, this story has a happy ending. Further research determined that the subject of the photograph is actually David Porter’s son, Horace Porter, who also was quite an accomplished man. The reverse of the photograph has an inscription “Amb. Porter” and this was the lead I followed to make the correct identity. The whole process was a bit of an emotional roller coaster. I went from feeling foolish, as well as angry at the previous owner’s unintentional incorrect identification; to feeling happy about identifying the subject as a man who played an integral part in American history. Horace Porter (1837-1921) is most well known for his activities during the civil war. He served as a Lieutenant Colonel, Ordnance Officer, and Staff Officer in the Union Army. In 1866 he was appointed brevet Brigadier General in the U. S. Army. He was also personal secretary to General and President Ulysses S. Grant and to General William Sherman. Later, he was the Vice President of th Pullman Palace Car Company and the United States ambassador to France (1897-1905). Horace Porter was born in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania. As stated earlier, he was the son of David R. Porter who who served as Pennsylvania’s Governor. His cousin, Andrew Porter was a Mexican-American War veteran and Union Army Brigadier General. Horace Porter was educated at Harvard University and graduated from West Point in 1860. He was distinguished in the Battle of Fort Pulaski (Georgia), Chickamauga, the Battle of the Wilderness, and New Market Heights. He received the Medal of Honor for his efforts at Chickamauga. He later wrote a memoir “Campaigning With Grant” (1897). The name of the photographer of this image is uncertain. It is difficult to decipher his printed name on the bottom of this photograph.  Owners of other images produced by this photographer refer to him as “Pessford”.  The script on the photograph could also be interpreted as “Bessford”.  There was a photographer in Hudson, Wisconsin listed by the 1880 census as James Bessford, but no evidence could be found linking him to this photograph. POSTNOTE: The photographer has been identified by a cabinet card gallery visitor as Joseph G. Gessford. Check out this entry’s comment section for the visitor’s informative and interesting  contribution.

A KID, A GOAT, AND A GOAT CART

This photograph was taken outside and features a kid, a goat, and a goat cart. The child is dressed for cold weather as he sits in the cart holding a whip. The cart is more of a wagon than a cart. Note the large thin wheels. The goat is wearing a harness. The identity of the child and photographer are unknown. The location where the photograph was taken is also unknown. To view other images of goats, click on the category “Goats”.

Published in: on April 18, 2012 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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SAILOR BOY WEARING DRESS WHITES IN BROOKLYN, NEW YORK

A young boy wearing a white dress naval  uniform poses for a photographer in Brooklyn, New York. The photograph was produced by the Huttenlocher Studio. Note the lads interesting cap. One wonders whether the cap is part of a regulation uniform of a particular nation’s navy. The cap has an insignia on its brim. The meaning of the insignia is unknown. The photographer, Frederick Huttenlocher was mentioned in an article in the Telephone Review (1915) published by the New York Telephone Company. Mr Huttenlocher was presented as kind and as heroic.  A company called the Patchogue Commercial Office, located in Brooklyn, New York, had a fire, causing the office to shut down. The company was across the street from Huttenlocher’s studio and due to Huttenlocher’s kindness, the Patchogue Commercial Office was able to open a temporary headquarters inside of the studio within thirty minutes after experiencing the fire.

Published in: on April 17, 2012 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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FIREMAN IN READING, PENNSYLVANIA

Photographer John D. Strunk photographed this young fireman at his studio in Reading, Pennsylvania. The subject is wearing a dress uniform with buttons with the letters F. D. (Fire Department). He has a ribbon and medal pinned to his chest. He is handsome and has a terrific mustache. To view other firemen, click on the category “Firemen and Policemen”. Other photographs by Strunk can be viewed by clicking on the category “Photographer: Strunk”.

THE LITTTLE ADMIRAL IN NEW YORK CITY: A BOY AND HIS BOAT

A young boy poses proudly wearing a very realistic looking naval uniform. He is standing next to his very detailed toy boat. The ship appears to be a war vessel and appears to be flying a flag similar to the flag of Great Britain. The little admiral was photographed by a New York City photographer named Acker.  Perhaps a visitor to the cabinet card gallery can identify the navy represented by the lads uniform and the vessel’s flag.

Published in: on April 15, 2012 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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