According to an inscription on the reverse of this cabinet card, the pretty woman featured in this cabinet card photograph is “Aunt Martha’. She is wearing a ring on her right index finger and is also wearing a hair bow. Aunt Martha poses for this photograph while standing at the proverbial garden wall. Note the giant leaves atop the post of the wall. The Taylor & Martin studio produced this photograph. The studio was located in Chicago, Illinois.

Published in: on November 18, 2012 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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Photographer J. Marmand produced this cabinet card photograph of an intellectual family in Montluel, France. Montluel is in eastern France on the outskirts of Lyon. This appears to be an early cabinet card from the 1870’s. The father in this image is holding a newspaper or magazine with a headline that appears to say “La Decentralisation”. This refers to a system of government in which power is exercised by both the state and it’s communities or institutions. The mother in this portrait is displaying a “thinking pose”. The father has no need to pose; he naturally has the appearance of an intellectual.  The couple’s son is well dressed and well groomed and looks very serious and mature. Note the pile of books and the bust on the table. These props add to the scholarly climate portrayed in this photograph.

Published in: on November 17, 2012 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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This unusual cabinet card is by William McCrae, art photographer located at  Berkeley Road in Dublin, Ireland. His studio was opposite the Mater hospital. He was formerly located at Lafayette. This image features an early motor car and chauffeur. The previous owner of the photograph asserted that this car’s registration plate (ik-29), indicates that the car was from Dublin and the time of the photograph was sometime after 1904, when registration plates were introduced.

Published in: on November 15, 2012 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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An adorable young girl poses by a wooden gate for photographer James Campbell in Oxford, Indiana. The little girl has terrific curls tied by bows and is holding flowers. The photographer of this cabinet card was a civil war veteran. The New History of the Ninety Ninth Indiana Infantry (1900) gives a brief biographical sketch of Campbell along with his photograph. James D. Campbell was born in 1845 in Fayette County, Indiana. He and his parents moved to Oxford in 1854. He was a well respected soldier in the civil war. He was a member of the 99th Indiana Infantry (Company C). He entered and left his regiment as a private. The book reports “He was one of those quiet faithful soldiers; always ready and always willing to do his duty”. His biography also describes him as married but having no children.


The dapper gentleman featured in this photograph is identified on the reverse of the cabinet card as William J Grant. Mr. Grant is quite dapper in appearance but it is a bit incongruous that he is standing next to a stack of bales of hay. The photographer’s last name is Tice and his studio was located in Janesville, Wisconsin. The Wisconsin and Minnesota Gazetteer (1865) includes an advertisement for J. A Tice of Janesville.  The subject of this photograph, William J. Grant, was born in 1848 in the state of New York. The 1870 US census finds the 22 year old Grant working on the family farm. He lived with his parents, William and Ann Grant  (both born in Ireland) and his three sisters Mary (age 28), Elizabeth (age 24) and Euphemia (age 20).  The 1880 census reveals that Grant was married but lived without his wife in a boarding house. He worked as a teamster. The 1900 census lists Grant as single and still living in a boarding house. He was employed as a drayman. Drayman? What is a drayman? A drayman is a driver of a dray. Does that help? It didn’t help me, so here is the rest of the story. A dray is a low and flat-bed wagon without sides. The wagon is usually pulled by horses or mules to transport goods.

Published in: on November 12, 2012 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  
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When I first viewed this photograph, I immediately thought about Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. The barefoot little boy is wearing overalls sans shirt and a straw hat while holding a fishing rod and a pail for his catch. A fishing net lies on the floor in front of him. The young boy’s name is written on the reverse of the photograph. His name is “Ralph Griffith”. His story is tragic. He was born in 1899 in Henderson, Kentucky. He appears with his family in the 1900 US census. He lived in Henderson with his father H. E. Griffith (age 30), his mother Hattie (age 29), his sister Eugenia (age 4), and his maternal grandmother Josephine Dunning. His father is listed as a physician. The 1910 US census shows a newly constituted family constellation. Grandma Dunning was the new head of household and Ralph was also living with his mother, sister, and two lodgers. I was unable to determine what happened to Ralph’s father. In 19r14 Ralph died at the age of fourteen. His cause of death, listed on his death certificate, was diabetes mellitus. He was buried in Fernwood Cemetery.  The 1920 census found Ralph’s mother living with his sister in Henderson. Hattie was working in the life insurance field while sister Eugenia was a public school teacher. The censuses tell the sad story of the dissolution of a family. This photograph was produced by the Muller studio in Henderson, Kentucky. George R. Muller was born in Ohio in 1853 and was of German extractiton. He and his family appear in the 1910 US census. He was married to Pauline Muller (age 52) and he and his wife lived with their daughter, Jessie Lee (age 19). The census listed his occupation as photographer. The Bulletin of Photography (1923) announced the sale of his studio in Henderson.


An inscription on the reverse of this photograph identifies this pretty young woman in the image as Louella Pauline Bishop. Research was unsuccessful in mining any biographical information about her. The photograph was produced by the Davis studio in Presque Isle, Maine. Apparently, Davis wanted to be known as a fotografist rather than photographer. Researching the meaning of the word “Fotographist”,  I learned its actually an English word that is simply another way of saying photographer. Prescott Davis was born in 1863. He married his wife Annie in 1889. He appears in the 1900 U.S. census as being a photographer and living in Presque Isle. One wonders if his out of town friends referred to him as “Prescott from Presque”. Presque Isle is located in northeast Maine. It was settled in 1828 and was originally named Fairbanks. The town was located in no man’s land. The territory was claimed by both British Canada and the United States. It was called Presque Isle because the French meaning of Presque is peninsula and the town is located on a peninsula between the Aroostock River and the Presque Isle Stream. In earlier times the town was known for its involvement in agriculture and the lumber business.


An elegantly dressed couple pose for their portrait at the Providence, Rhode Island studio of Theodore F. Chase. The gentleman in this photograph displays a common cabinet card facial expression. He looks intently serious. His wife, on the other hand, has quite the sour look on her face. She looks like there is a hundred other places she would rather be. Chase’s studio was located at 61 Westminister Street. He also operated his business from other addresses. City directories reveal that in 1883 and 1884 his studio was located at 249 1/2 Westminister. Theodore Chase was born in 1842 in Fall River, Massachusetts. He married Emma Horton in 1865 and the couple had four children.


Published in: on November 9, 2012 at 12:01 am  Comments (2)  
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A pretty young woman is featured in this portrait by the Lenhart studio in Allentown, Pennsylvania. This bright eyed woman is wearing earrings and a collar pin.To learn more about Lenhart and to view more of his photographs, click on the category “Photographer: Lenhart”.

Published in: on November 8, 2012 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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The pretty woman in this cabinet card photograph has the appearance of an actress. She has struck a provocative pose in this photograph and is very photogenic. She looks like she rolled out of bed and forgot to get dressed before coming to the A. Pritchard Photographic Art Studio to have her portrait taken.  She also looks like she is wearing her bed clothes, but that is not likely the case. Perhaps she is wearing a costume from a stage production she was appearing in. The reverse of the photograph has the name “Lillian” written on it. Trying to use the first name to assist in identifying this young lady was fruitless. I can’t resist the following insight. The Cabinet Card Gallery has few  images that have been significantly damaged over time. A previous owner of this image cut corners to fit this photograph into a frame. I am beginning to accept what many other collectors already believe,  that damaged photographs have a place in cabinet card collections.The images of damaged cards, even significantly damaged cards, can be quite beautiful as well as interesting. They are as much a window of  history as the most pristine cards. I wonder if the visitors to this gallery agree with me about the value of many damaged cards? Enough of my editorializing! Its time to return to the cabinet card seen above. The photographer of this image, A..Pritchard, operated his studio in Meriden, Connecticut. The Meriden Morning Record  (1921) has an article announcing that Alfred Pritchard had opened a new studio in Meriden. The article states that he had been in Meriden for 15 years but had left the area in 1901. He had moved to New York City where he was “connected with Colonel Marceau” in operating a Fifth Avenue photography business. Later he was “connected” with Roger Sherman’s studio in New Haven, Connecticut. This cabinet card image was produced during Pritchard’s first stint in Meriden.

Published in: on November 7, 2012 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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