ATTRACTIVE SWINGERS IN NAPOLEON, OHIO

This cabinet card features a handsome couple that likes to swing. The husband is a hunk and the wife is pretty. Both are dressed well. Wait a minute! Where is your mind taking you? I’m not referring to that kind of swinging.  I’m talking about playground type swinging, like kids do.  The photographer of this image is G. W. Gardner & Son: “Photographic And Portrait Artists”. The Gardner studio was located in Napoleon, Ohio. Apparently, many people liked to swing during the cabinet card era and you can see a number of photographs of swingers by clicking on Cabinet Card Gallery’s category “Swing”. George W. Gardner was born about 1829 in Cayuga County, New York. He began as a daguerreotype artist in Seneca County, Ohio in about 1850. He moved to Napoleon in 1865 and operated a studio from about 1870 until about 1900. He was assisted by his son George W. from about 1880 through about 1900. (George W.  following in his fathers footsteps is reminiscent of  another George W. following in his father’s footsteps slightly more than a century later). Later a second son, Cecil L. (1875-1960), followed his father and brother’ career path (are you reading this, Jeb?). George W. Jr also had two children enter the photography business in Napoleon.  Joseph Gardner (1873-?) was a photographer and Mary D. Gardner was a photo retoucher. Both were active in 1900. To view other photographs by the Gardner studio, click on the category “Photographer: Gardner”.

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hello, it’s me again! I have two photographs labelled “Gardner Bros. Napoleon O”. I have heard that a second son of George’s joined his brother’s business under this name. One of the photos I believe is from 1916, and the other I think must be slightly later, maybe 1920-1925. My question is that (with your vast pool of resources on photographers) do you know when “Gardner Bros.” started and stopped operating, roughly? Thanks!

    • Hi Ryan. Your question will be a hard one to answer because there were so many members of the Gardner family participating in the photography business. I can give you a reference which I think will be very helpful. Look online for “Artists in Ohio : 1787-1900 :
      A Biographical Dectionary ” . You will find information about George, George Jr, Cecil and other members of this family engaged in the photography business. No doubt, the Gardner family had the photography gene. I would also recommend that you look online for business directories of the town of Napoleon (Henry County). Good luck with your research and it would be terrific if you would leave a comment letting us know what you discover.

      • I know about the book but skipped it because the title suggested it wouldn’t tell me about 1900 to 1930, which I was interested in. The censuses confirm that Cecil and Joseph were photographers during that time, Joseph passing away in 1929. I suppose George and Cecil could have carried on after that.


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