Most people don’t think of Penacook, New Hampshire as the center of turn of the century fashion. However, in 1890, a new fashion trend was born in tiny Penacook. Traditional fashion centers like Paris and New York City were blindsided by the innovative dress designs coming out of Penacook. Reptilian Wear was introduced in 1890 and was overwhelmingly the most well received of all these designs. Penacook area photographers quickly were called upon to sharpen their skills in fashion photography because their services were in high demand by the rapidly growing local clothing industry. This cabinet card was produced by the studio of M. S. Lamprey who began operating in Penacook in 1858. The woman in this image is wearing an excellent example of a Reptilian Wear dress. This particular dress was sold under the Iguana label. The model in this photograph was not identified. She is wearing a necklace from which hangs a cross. If you doubt the veracity of this story; you would be correct to do so. Here is some non fiction commentary about this cabinet card. The photographer is Maurice S. Lamprey (1835-1912). The 1860 census finds Lamprey living with his parents and siblings and working as a varnisher. He enlisted in the 10th New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry in 1862 as a private and was transferred to the Signal Corp which is where he remained throughout the war. The earliest city directory found that lists him as a photographer was from 1872. The 1900 US census reports that Lamprey was 64 years old, living alone, and working as a photographer in  Concord. The town of Penacook was named after the Penacook Native American tribe which lived in the area. The town was a village located within the city of  Concord. Penacook was involved in the textile industry. The town was located along the Contoocook River. This location attracted the hydro power industry and Penacook became a mill town.


The man in this cabinet card photograph appears to be a professional gentleman. He is wearing an overcoat and a nicely trimmed beard. He is standing next to his derby hat and has a pocket watch. Perhaps the well dressed gentleman is an attorney. Maybe its not a coincidence that the Binghamton, New York based photographer, Singhi, was located on Court Street. The reverse of the photograph has an inscription which identifies the gentleman as “Adelbert Harroun”. Research reveals that Mr. Harroun was not a lawyer but instead, he was an accountant. The 1870 census notes that Thomas Adelbert Harroun (1851-?) was the 19 year-old son of  Thomas Harroun (1824-1907) and Salina King Harroun (1824-1903). His father’s occupation was listed as a “Presiding Elder”  and further research found that he was a Methodist clergyman. His mother was a homemaker. Adelbert lived with his parents and two siblings in Norwich, New York. Sister Flora (age 22) was a music teacher and brother Arthur (age 11) was a student. He married his wife, Mary Winton, in 1888. The couple had two children. The 1900 census finds the 47 year old Harroun living in Dunleith, Illinois. He was living with his wife, Mary, their son N. Winton (age 10), and daughter Anna Augusta (age 9). Harroun was working as a railroad yard clerk. Further investigation revealed that daughter Anna Augusta died in 1904 in Dubuque, Illinois. The 1920 census reports that the 67 year-old Harroun was widowed and living in Waukegan Lake, Illinois with his sister Flora. He was working as an accountant. The 1930 census locates Harroun in Prineville, Oregon and living as a boarder. At 79 years of his age, he was still working (bookkeeper). The photographer of this image is Will G. Singhi. He worked in Binghamton, New York between 1872 and 1886. His albumen print “A Winter Scene” is exhibited in the online “American Museum of Photography”. Singhi had taken a photograph that appeared to capture a snowball in mid flight heading toward a newsboy who was prepared to deflect it. The museum also has on display a funny cartoon self portrait caricature that Singhi used as an advertisement. The Photographic Times and American Photographer (1883) comments on Singhi’s wonderful sense of humor.


An adorable little girl poses for her portrait at the studio of R. J. Wood in Brockley, England. Brockley is a district of south London.The studio was located opposite Whickham Road. The charming curly haired child is wearing a fancy dress and a necklace. The image shows a girl with lots of personality and a winning smile. Be sure to note the two dolls that are sharing the chair with this bubbly little girl.

Published in: on May 27, 2012 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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This cabinet card portrait features a young attractive woman. She is dressed in an interesting manner and I will leave it to one of the cabinet card gallery’s fashion knowledgeable visitors to describe her clothing. It looks like she is wearing a large  neckerchief  held in place by a broach, but thats just my best guess. The photographer did an excellent job with the lighting in this photograph. The photographer of this image is C. R. Baker who was located at 35, 37, and 39 Monroe Avenue in Detroit, Michigan. Business directories for Detroit list Charles R. Baker as a photo printer beginning in 1876  and his listing soon changes to photographer and appears in directories through 1919. The Photographic Times (1884)  has a “seeking employment” ad placed by Baker. He was searching for a job as a “first class printer and toner”.   The 1900 U.S. census reveals that Baker lived with his wife, Sarah, and his 14 year old son Owen. Both Baker and his wife were 40 years old. The couple also appear together in the 1920 census. The census indicates that Charles Baker was born in Massachusetts and worked as a photographer.

Published in: on May 25, 2012 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  
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Benjamin J. Falk, New York City theatrical photographer, produced this cabinet card portrait of English actress FFolliott Paget. She is dressed to look her best; wearing pearls and a fur coat. Ms Paget appeared in fourteen Broadway plays including “What Every Woman Knows” ((1908-1909) and “The Rivals” (1912).

Published in: on May 23, 2012 at 12:01 am  Comments (2)  
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This cabinet card, by Eclipse Studios in Jamestown, New York, captures two very young girls at play. The girls are sitting in miniature chairs and a small cloth covered table, drinking tea from a miniature china tea set. The children have serious expressions as they sit down for tea. The photographer is G. H. Monroe who’s studio was located at the the corner of West Third and Washington Streets, in Jamestown. The Professional and Amateur Photographer (1900) reported that George H. Monroe was an officer with the Columbian Dry Plate Company. Research also revealed that he was the photographer of a number of postcards produced in the Jamestown area.


This cabinet card features a portrait of a handsome young man with slicked back hair. He is dressed beautifully and well groomed. The photographer is named Smith but the location of his studio is not listed on the front or the reverse of the photograph. The initials on the front of the card indicate that the photographers full name is C. R. Smith. There was a photographer named C. R. Smith located in Clearwater, Minnesota. He was listed in Camera Craft (1908) and also in The Photographic Journal of America (1917). It is not confirmed that this C. R. Smith is the photographer of this cabinet card. It is interesting to note that the Cabinet Card Gallery has a number of photographs by the photographer who photographed this gentleman. All of the photographs share the same logo containing the photographer’s initials. To view these photographs, click on the category “Photographer: Smith CR”

Published in: on May 21, 2012 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  


PHOTO 1     (SOLD)

                                                                           PHOTO 2

The same woman appears in each of these two photographs by the Baker Art Gallery of Columbus, Ohio. The woman is very pretty. She is wearing a black bow in her hair in both photographs and in the profile portrait she is wearing a hair comb. There is a lot of bare skin in these photographs which make them a bit risque, though tastefully done. The Cabinet Card Gallery is building a nice collection of photographs from the Baker Art Gallery. To view these images, click on the category “Photographer: Baker Art Gallery”.



The two pretty young girls in this photograph are nicely dressed and well poised. Their facial expressions give an appearance of maturity that is beyond their chronological years. The older girl has her hand on her hip; a pose that may communicate some impatience with the process of being photographed. The girls are likely sisters. The photograph is trimmed, so the name of the photographer of this image is unknown. The children are also unidentified.

Published in: on May 18, 2012 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  


An attractive woman with a tall fancy hat and a scarf poses for her portrait at the Clark studio in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The photographer of this image is Forester Clark. He was cited in the Photographic Times (1988) because his eight year=old daughter Eva wrote a letter to then President Grover Cleveland which included six winter and six summer views of Pittsfield street scenes. She received a reply from the President with the salutation of “My Dear Young Friend”,  and the letter went on to say, among other things, that he found the photographs very interesting. Clark is also mentioned in the Photographic Journal of America (1893) for announcing that he was leaving Pittsfield (he lived there 21 years) and moving to Montpelier, Vermont to become treasurer of the Excelsior Granite Works. The article reported that Clark had taken 31,000 negatives while in Pittsfield. Clark was a veteran of the civil war. He enlisted in 1861 and was discharged in 1862 with the rank of Private. He was a member of the 5th Wisconsin Infantry. The 1880 US census reveals that Clark was born in Vermont in 1836. He married his wife, Emma, in 1862. He had four children aged one through thirteen. The 1900 census found Clark living in the Bronx, New York with his wife and two of his children. He was employed as a granite salesman. The 1910 census indicates that Clark was living in Cheshire, Massachusetts with his wife and that at 73 years-old, he was working once again as a photographer.