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.


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 (4)  


A young man wearing a Salvation Army uniform poses for his portrait at the Cottage Gallery in Marshalltown, Iowa. The photographer is named Beverage. The uniform is well decorated with Salvation Army identification. He is wearing a badge on his jacket, S’s on his collars,a badge on his hat, and lettering stating Salvation Army on a band around his hat. An inscription on the reverse of the cabinet card states that the subject’s name is “Charlie Phillips” and that he is the brother of the writer’s mother, “Uncle Charlie”. The 1890 Iowa census reveals that a Charlie Phillips, born in Marshalltown, was living in Lake Creek, Iowa. This eighteen year old young man, may be the subject of this photograph. The 1900 United States census reports that Maurice C. Beverage was born in 1841 in the state of Maine and was living with his 20 year old daughter in Marshalltown. He was of Scottish and French Canadian descent. The census listed his occupation as a photographer. Beverage began his photography career in Oconto, Wisconsin. In 1871 he was married to Hattie Crum and they had four children. The Oconto shop was at the corner of Maine and Section Streets. He worked in Oconto between 1869 and 1876. he then moved to Marshalltown where he opened the Beverage Cottage Gallery. He had partnerships there with Benjamin Jarvis and S. E. Jessup. In 1931, Beverage’s obituary appeared in the Times Republican, a Marshalltown newspaper. The obituary states that Beverage lived in Canada from infancy to age 15, when he went to Michigan, and then Oconto where he learned photography. He ran the Cottage Gallery from 1876 until 1912. His son Herbert Morris Beveridge was a photographer in Butte, Montana in 1900. The Cabinet Card Gallery has a large collection of Salvation Army  cabinet cards. To view these photographs, click on the category “Salvation Army”.


A young girl wearing a winter coat and winter hat poses for her photograph at Miller’s Photo Company in Dover, New Hampshire. She is wearing a striped coat with big buttons and has a large fur muff to warm her hands. Judging by my observation of many cabinet cards, the striped coat is not typical winter wear for the era. The large stripes on the coat makes it look like prison garb. Note the fake snow in the background of this image.  The reverse of the photograph has a printed advertisement that indicates that photographer Miller’s main gallery was located in Birmingham, Connecticut. The likely photographer of this cabinet card was William E. Miller. Miller had a number of studios located in Connecticut. His gallery locations included the towns of Ansonia, Birmingham, Derby and Shelton. Miller is credited with taking some of the photographs for a book entitled The History of the Old Town of Derby, Connecticut 1642-1880 (1880). To view other images by this photographer, click on the category “Photographer: Miller”.

Published in: on May 10, 2012 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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This cabinet card poses an interesting question. My first impression upon looking at the photograph was that it was an example of a “Tom Thumb Wedding Portrait”. What is a “Tom Thumb Wedding” ?  The answer offers an interesting social commentary. A “Tom Thumb Wedding” is a wedding pageant in which the major wedding roles are played by children; usually under ten years old. Not only are the bride and groom portrayed, but so are the best man, maid of honor, groomsmen, bridesmaids and the clergyman. Some of these weddings involved more then twenty children playing costumed parts. Often times, the weddings were fund raising events for charitable causes.  These faux weddings became popular after the wedding of General Tom Thumb (Charles Stratton) to Lavinia Warren in 1863. Tom Thumb’s wedding was very publicized by the media in America and received the attention across the county. Not having any royal families, Americans had to find celebrities to obsess over. Tom Thumb had a great promoter keeping him in the public’s eye. P. T. Barnum, the circus entrepreneur managed Tom Thumbs career. The previous owner of this cabinet card contends that this image is actually a portrait of a boy and a girl portraying George and Martha Washington. I have to give the last owner’s theory credibility because over the years I have been collecting these photographs, I have seen a number of portraits of children portraying George and Martha. Sometimes the images present them together and sometimes separately. In conclusion, there is no conclusion. What do you think, “Tom Thumb Wedding” or “Portrayal of George and Martha Washington”. The photographer of this image is R. B. Lewis of Hudson, Massachusetts. He is cited in the Photographic Journal of America (1893) for an excellent photograph of a football team. Lewis is also listed in the Hudson city directory as a photographer between at least 1872 and 1909. Click on the category, “Tom Thumb Wedding” to view other examples of  “Tom Thumb Wedding” photographs. To view other photographs by R. B. Lewis, click on the category “Photographer: Lewis”.


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An attractive young couple pose for their portrait at the Winter studio in Eugene, Oregon. The gentleman is wearing a jacket and bow tie. The woman is wearing a dress with a high collar and has a flower pinned rather low on the front of her outfit. The photographer, John A. Winter was born in Ohio sometime around 1831. He was active in the photography business in Eugene between 1864 and 1869, and again between 1873 and 1900. During his career he also operated photography businesses in Albany, Brownsville, and Jefferson; all towns in Oregon.In 1864 he advertised that he intended to “devote his whole time to making pictures”. In 1865 he began his career operating photographic studios. A number of times during his career he was plagued with poor health. At one point he owned a sheep ranch in addition to a photography studio. Winter employed the bartering system in his business. One of his ads promises to trade portrait taking for firewood. From 1888 to 1900, Winter was the photographer of Oregon State University. Winter’s son, Clarence L. Winter was a photographer in Eugene between 1891 and 1906. However, a letter from C. L. Winter appears in the Photographic Times (1887) indicating that he likely began working in Eugene earlier than the aforementioned date. It is not clear whether John A. Winter or Clarence L. Winter is the photographer who produced the picture of this lovely couple. To view other photographs by Winter, click on the category “Photographer: Winter”.   (SOLD)

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