miss howell_0004Miss Howell is the subject of this Newsboy cabinet card. Presumably, the busty and thin waisted  Miss Howell was a stage star. This photograph is number 64 of a series of theater cabinet cards. It is unknown why someone erased the Newsboy logo from the front of the photograph. Newsboy cabinet cards were distributed as premiums accompanying tobacco products. Miss Howell is quite attractive. She is wearing long gloves and a fancy hat.  An attempt to find further information about Miss Howell was unsuccessful. There was an opera singer named “Miss Howell” but it could not be confirmed that she was the appropriate age to be the woman in this photograph. Newspaper accounts reveal that Miss Dicie Howell was an American soprano who performed in many American and International cities during the 1920’s. This cabinet card was  published significantly before 1900. To view other Newsboy cabinet cards, click on the category “Photographer: Newsboy”.

Published in: on January 8, 2013 at 12:01 am  Comments (3)  
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  1. This photo is not quite as old as you think. It is an old copy made to be distributed by Newsboy. I have one by the original photographer and it is from circa 1910-1916. This is an early photo of Alice Howell, famous slapstick silent film actress (often called the female Charlie Chaplin). Stan Laurel was a great admirer of her talent. Alice Howell was the mother of Yvonne Stevens (a Max Sennett starlet), also mother in law of noted director George Stevens and grandmother of producer George Stevens Jr. This picture is atypical. It hails from Howell’s early theatrical days in Vaudeville and Burlesque. Incidentally, her costume was enhanced to give her that impressive voluptuous look. This helped her look older than she really was at the time of the sitting..


    • Thanks for your informative comment. I am curious as to who the original photographer was that photographed Alice Howell that was later used in the Newsboy premium portraits? I assume that the original photographers of the images used in the Newsboy portrait series were compensated by Newsboy. Do you know what they were paid? I am also wondering about a related issue. I have noticed that a number of “novelty” identical images have appeared on cabinet cards crediting different photography studios. In other words, same portraits but different photographers. Do you know if photographers bought interesting novelty images (ie American Indians, Circus Performers) and published them on cabinet cards that credited themselves as the photographer in an effort to sell more images.

      • Will check the the name for you when I get a chance. The picture is stored at another location. The circus photos (cdv’s, cabinet cards) are virtually all mass-produced to sell as souvenirs in the days before postcards. In truth, it’s not easy to say who took the original. Those performers traveled. When they ran out of pictures, they ordered copies made from local photographers. An example: even though they credit an immense wealth of sideshow pictures to Charles Eisenmann, he was actually responsible for originating a far lesser number tan what carries his name. He, like many of the period (even the great Brady) offered duplication services.

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