This photograph tells a story and it is up to the viewer of the photograph to create the story. Not all viewers will create identical stories so the image is more like a Rorschach Test. The stories we originate tell us something about ourselves. Here is my story about this photograph. A young maid prepares to serve tea to the lady of the house. It is a beautiful day, so the  tea is served in the garden and the tables have been set with fine lace tablecloths. The garden is located behind a lovely house in the English countryside. Now, back to reality. The photographer of this image and the location of  his studio is unknown. The identity of the subject is also a mystery.

Published in: on June 20, 2012 at 12:01 am  Comments (7)  
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The Baker Art Gallery of Columbus, Ohio, produced this portrait of a pretty and busty young woman. A corset likely assists her wasp waist and lovely figure. Apparently, she is well aware of her beauty and capitalizes on it with a “come hither” expression. Take note of her interesting hat; its truly a work of art. The Cabinet Card Gallery has a number of images from the Baker Art Gallery. To view these images and to learn more about the Baker studio, click on the category “Photographer: Baker Art Gallery”.



Two sibling pose for their portrait at the studio of C. N. Stowell in Keene, New Hampshire. The reverse of the cabinet card has an inscription that identifies the children as Amy and Dexter Dodge. Photographer, C. N. Stowell is listed in the Keene, New Hampshire business directory of 1897.  Amy Lee Dodge (1889-?) was married in 1919 to John Elliott Cook in Keene, New Hampshire. Her father was Willie Alfred Dodge and he mother was Mary Jane Palley. According to city directories, Amy worked as a telephone operator between 1911 and 1920. The 1930 US census revealed that Amy Cook (her married name) was living with her husband, her 4 year-old son, and a few in-laws. Her husbands occupation was listed as “farmer”.  Dexter Rudolph Dodge (1896-?) In the 1917 and 1918 city directories (Keene), Dexter is listed as a member of the US Army Reserve. Note that these were the years of World War I and it is unknown whether Dexter actually went overseas and saw combat.  The 1920 US census found Dexter working as a clerk in a jewelry store and living with his parents in Keene. In 1921 he married Helen Lucy Winch. Research found a 1942 draft registration card which reported that Dexter owned a jewelry store and was living in Worcester, Massachusetts. City directories from 1951 through 1957 list Dexter as “retired”.

Published in: on June 18, 2012 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  
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This cabinet card features a profile view of a beautifully dressed pretty woman. She is wearing a tennis racquet pin. The photographer of this image is J. W. Taylor of Rochester, New York. He framed the photograph in an interesting manner. The shape of the frame could be described as a scalloped rectangle. I have observed several cabinet card portraits framed similarly except the frame was shaped like a scalloped leaf. A photograph by J. W. Taylor appears in Wilson’s Photographic Magazine (1900). The photograph was featured as a good example of excellent portraiture. The subject of that photograph was “Jack Turner” who was described as “an English ex-pugilist of note”. To view other photographs by Taylor, click on the category “Photographer: Taylor JW”.

Published in: on June 17, 2012 at 12:01 am  Comments (2)  
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This photograph features a portrait of two siblings posing in Hartford, Connecticut. The studio that produced this image was Wise, Smith, and Company. The printing on the bottom of the image list L. E. Taylor as the studio artist. This photograph is a striking portrait. The children are adorable and beautifully dressed. The image is amazingly clear. The previous owner of the photograph suggested that the children appear to be of Latin origin, though that is certainly an impression and not to be taken factually. Research online (in the Hog River Journal) found a 1914 photograph of the Hartford Theatre which was formerly the Wise Smith Building. One may conjecture that the building was the home of the Wise Smith Gallery. The article reports that the building was originally the Hartford Opera House where, among other productions,  Yiddish plays were performed. The building was also a stage theatre prior to and during the silent film era. The Wise and Smith gallery was listed in Hartford’s 1903 business directory.

Published in: on June 15, 2012 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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A pretty young woman poses for her portrait at the studio of Walter E. Chickering in Boston, Massachusetts. The woman is wearing a winter coat which appears to be made from fur. Her sleeves are definitely fur trimmed. She is wearing gloves and a lovely hat. The subject of this portrait is unidentified. Walter E. Chickering was a well known Boston photographer. He was concerned about being confused with a photographer named Elmer Chickering, who also operated a studio in Boston. The reverse of this image has a printed advertisement describing Walter Chickering as “the original photographer of that name”. The ad is a bit grandiose in its description of Walter Chickering’s studio as being “mammoth” in size. To view other photographs by the Chickering (both Walter and Elmer), and to learn more about them,  click on the category “Photographer: Chickering, W.”.

Published in: on June 14, 2012 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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This cabinet card features a nicely dressed cute little girl posing with her large fancy doll. The curly haired girl is wearing plenty of lace and a necklace. Note how fashionably the doll is dressed. The photographer of this image is Henry Levin of Chicago, Illinois. The child’s last name  is identified as Werner on the reverse of the photograph. Her first name is illegible. The inscription states that the girl was two and half years old at the time of the photograph.

Published in: on June 13, 2012 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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The subject of this cabinet card portrait is an intense looking man with piercing eyes. He has a handsome beard and wavy hair. He wore his fancy clothing for his encounter with the photographer. The photographer of this image is a studio called Dobler Brothers of Beloit, Kansas. C. W. Dobler (1860-?) is listed in the 1880 census as a 20 year-old photographer living with his sister and brother-in-law. His brother-in-law, Frank Dawson, was 26 years old and also worked as a photographer. Directories show that by 1885, Dobler had married a woman named Sarah (age 22) and had a baby daughter named Pearl (age 1). The city of Beloit was settled in 1868 with the aim of improving water power in the area. Legend has it that local Native Americans advised the settlers to locate the town at a certain bend of the Solomon River to protect the town from tornadoes. The settlers followed their advice and the town has never been hit by a tornado while nearby areas have been less fortunate.

Published in: on June 12, 2012 at 12:01 am  Comments (2)  
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This cabinet card portrait features a pretty woman named Lizzie Smitz. She is identified on the reverse of the image. She is wearing earrings and what appears to be a beaded dress. Ms Smitz has great eyes. The photographer is Abbott, whose studio was located in Henry, Illinois. No biographical information about Lizzie Smitz could be found. The photographer, Charles Abbott is listed in the 1880 US census as an artist. He was 35 years old and lived with his wife, Louisa Abbott (age 32), and their son Harry (age 12). The family lived in a boarding house. The couple had married in 1867. Louisa Abbott was also listed in the census as an artist. The 1900 census finds the Abbots living as a couple in Henry, and Charles working as a photographer. Research also discovered that during the civil war, Charles was a Private in the 27th Maine Volunteer Infantry (Company K).



The Kosciuszko Photo Art Company of Chicago, Illinois, produced this photographic portrait of a lovely couple. Both the man and the woman are well dressed. She is wearing a pin, necklace, and earrings. He is wearing a vest and his jacket has a lapel pin. The couple are identified by an inscription on the reverse of the photograph. Meet Mr and Mrs Ned Kitterer. No further information could be learned about the Kitterers or the Kosciuszko Photo Art Company.

Published in: on June 11, 2012 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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