A woman with long hair and a long dress poses for her portrait at the A. W. Compton studio in Brigham City, Utah. Her dress has an interesting pattern which clashes with the studio’s carpet. The woman has a far away look in her eyes. Brigham City was founded by Mormon pioneer William Davis who first explored the area in 1850. Brigham Young, the church president,  assigned Lorenzo Snow to create a self sufficient city at the site in 1853. Two years later, the town was named Box Elder. Brigham Young gave his last public sermon there and in 1877 the city was renamed in his honor. The photographer of this image was Alma Walter Compton. Utah State University has a collection of 90,000 photographs from the Compton Studio which was operated by three generations of the Compton family beginning in 1884. The collection is said to provide an illustrated history of agriculture, business, social life and education for the town of Brigham City over a span of nearly one hundred years. The Alma Compton House, located in Brigham City, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.



Unlike a lot of children photographed during and soon after the cabinet card era, this child is showing some emotion. It’s exciting to be able to stand on a chair and have parental  permission to do so. The child looks adorable in his/her plaid outfit. Note the pretty wicker chair. The Nast studio captured this somewhat unfocussed but lovely portrait.

Published in: on September 29, 2013 at 1:03 pm  Comments (7)  
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WOOLWICH MAN_0001A man with distinctive muttonchops poses for his portrait at the C. J. Farlie studio in Woolwich. Charles James Farlie  (1839-1901) was located at 74 Wellington. The town of Woolwich is part of greater London. Farlie worked as a photographer in the town between the 1860’s and 1880’s. He was married twice. One of his wives was Selina Louisa Farlie who died in 1873 at the age of 32. The subject of this photograph is formally dressed and is wearing the usual pocket watch with the chain exposed under his coat. The gentleman’s interesting facial hair gains him entry into the Cabinet Card Gallery’s category of “Mustaches (Only the Best). Peruse the intriguing facial hair by clicking the category.

Published in: on September 28, 2013 at 6:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
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HUNT IS ON_0001A hunter poses with his dog and gun for Paul Pietschmann at his studio in Vienna, Austria. Note the man’s pocket watch and great hat. The dog appears to be very alert and “at the ready”.

Published in: on September 25, 2013 at 9:29 pm  Comments (1)  
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A formally dressed gentleman poses for his portrait at the Alman & Company studio in New York City. He has a great bushy mustache which earns a spot in the category “Mustaches (Only the Best)”. Click on this category to view other facial hair masterpieces. Note the man’s wide lapels and bow tie. One source states that Louis Alman (1835-?) was active in New York City and Newport, Rhode Island from the 1870’s through 1920. The dates have not been confirmed by research.

Published in: on September 24, 2013 at 8:21 pm  Comments (4)  
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roofers_0001This wonderful photograph has an occupational theme. However, it is a mystery as to what exactly the men in this photograph do for a living. The previous owner of this image asserted that that them men are roofers. It is likely that the women and children in the photograph are residents of the work site or famiy members of the workmen. The name “Odway” or “Ordway” is written on the reverse of the photograph. “Odway” is a last name and “Ordway” is the name of a town in Colorado. Unfortunately, the name of the photographer or the location the photograph was taken are unknown.

Published in: on September 20, 2013 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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This large format cabinet card features a thick bearded man wearing a band or fraternal uniform holding a clarinet at his side. His uniform suggests that he is a member of a band or a fraternal organization. He is wearing a bag strapped over his left shoulder. Could that bag be his clarinet case? This photograph was produced by the Newcomb studio in Salt Lake City, Utah. Photographer Scott Newcomb operated out of the 162 South Main Street address listed on the bottom of this cabinet card. According to reference site Langdon Road, Scott Newcomb was a photographer in Salt Lake from the 1890s until 1905. A photographer named Marion W. Newcomb (1851-?) also was active at an unknown address in Salt Lake City during the cabinet card era. It is likely that the two men were relatives as one source noted that a female photographer, Flossie Newcomb, was from a family of photographers in Salt Lake City. Flossie operated her own studio in Vernal, Utah in 1906 and married noted photographer Fred Hartsook.


tilson gilson

This cabinet card portrait of actress Lottie Gilson was produced by celebrated New York City photographer, Aime Dupont. Gilson  is perched on a pedestal and this image is a bit risque for its era. Note Miss Gilson’s coy smile, her exposed neck, relativesly low cut dress, the straps on her arms, and the leggy view. Gilson’s nickname, “the little magnet” is written on the reverse of the photograph. Also on the back of the cabinet card is a stamp from “Culver Pictures” which was a company that supplied photographs to the media for a price. Lottie Gilson (1871-1912)  was a popular comedienne and vaudeville singer born in Basil, Switzerland. She was called “the little magnet” because of her popularity with audiences and her ability to propel the sales of sheet music. Her musical hits included “The Sunshine of Paradise Alley” and “The Little Lost Child”. The date of her theatrical debut is unknown but it is certain that she performed at the Bowery’s Old National Theatre in 1884. She later performed in many of New York’s theaters and was the top soubrette of her day. She is noted as the originator of the stunt of having a boy come out of the balcony singing along with one of her songs. This became a common vaudeville routine. The San Francisco Call (1900) reported Gilson’s third wedding (she was only twenty nine at the time). The article also mentioned that her first husband was sent to the penitentiary for setting her hat on fire. The New York Times (1912) printed an obituary for Gilson. They reported that she had been out of the public eye for five years prior to her sudden death. Another source states that she died after years of self destructive behavior, illness, and depression. To view other photographs by Dupont, click on the category “Photographer: Dupont”.


allentown man_0003

A handsome well dressed and devilish looking man poses for his portrait at Lindenmuth’s studio which was located at 24 North 6th Street in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He looks terrific in his three piece suit and his well groomed beard and handlebar mustache. Writing on the reverse of the photograph dates the image as being produced in 1899. The photographer of this portrait is primarily known for his work as an artist. Arlington Nelson Lindenmuth (1856-1950) was an American landscape and portrait painter who lived and painted in Allentown and the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania native was a member of the “Baum Circle”., the group of artists either were taught by or influenced by Pennsylvania impressionist painter, Walter Emerson Baum. Lindenmuth was also one of the earliest professional photographers in the Lehigh Valley area. He opened his first studio in Allentown in 1881. Prior to that, he operated studios in  Tamaqua, Philadelphia, and Pottstown. All three cities are in Pennsylvania. As early as 1862, Lindenmuth was also employed as a traveling sales representative for Eastman Kodak. To view other photographs by Lindenmuth, click on the category “Photographer: Lindenmuth”.



brooklyn mustash_0004A man with a partial beard, mutton chops, and a very bushy mustache is captured by photographer George Frank E. Pearsall. The address of Pearsall’s studio was 298 Fulton Street in Brooklyn, New York. This portrait earns a spot in the cabinet card gallery’s category “Mustaches (Only the Best)”. Take a look at the category for some very interesting facial hair images. Frank Pearsall was born in New York City. His father was a life boat builder. Pearsall’s parents died when he was young and he and his two brothers were raised by an aunt in Saratoga, New York. In 1852 he began to learn about the photography business from his uncle who operated a gallery. After two years, his uncle left for Australia and the business failed despite Pearsall’s aunt’s efforts. Frank and his older brother left for an adventure and they spent eight years in such places as Cuba, West Indies, Venezuela, and elsewhere. In 1862 he returned to New York and worked as a positionist with celebrated New York City photographer Benjamin Gurney (see category “Photographer: Gurney”). He refined his skills working in the Gurney studio. In 1866 he married Long Islander Elizabeth Conrow. In 1870 he opened a photographic studio in Brooklyn which operated for two years at which point he moved his business to the 298 Fulton Street address. An 1880 advertisement asserted that Pearsall’s studio was the largest one in Brooklyn. Pearsall developed a historic camera in 1883. The camera was called the “Pearsall’s Compact Camera” and was unique in that it came in its own “carrying case” that also housed needed accessories. This design was imitated by all of the major camera manufacturers through the 1920’s. The British Journal of Photography (1876) published an article pertaining to a court case involving Pearsall. The case, Pearsall vs Schenck. was followed by photographers through out the United States because it involved a matter of universal importance to their business. The case concerned a couple that set for 17 poses at Pearsall’s studio. He sent them the proofs and they returned them. The couple contended that they did not like the pictures and would not pay for them. Pearsall demanded payment regardless of whether the couple liked the pictures. The journal took the side of Pearsall when they wrote that photography does not make “the human face divine”, it only reproduces it. The journal argued that the photographer does not have the responsibility of the painter to please the sitter for the portrait because the photographer can not control an image the way a painter can control a painting. Photographer can no change their subject’s “bad features”. The nose that is “snubby” will be “snubby” in photographs. “It is too bad to blame the poor photographer for the facial accidents of nature”. Tongue in cheek, the journal suggests the couple should have paid their bill or else the photographer might put their portraits in the gallery’s main display cases to be seen by all visitors. Pearsall won the legal case and the couple was ordered to pay for the photographs. The New York Times (1876) also reported this story but was less supportive of Pearsall. However, their article stated that the photographer should be paid for his time and supplies. The Times also made an analogy concerning the relationship of medical doctor and patient. The article asserted that patients had to pay their doctors even when they were not cured by the doctors efforts. Research revealed two interesting side notes. Pearsall was the President of the Brooklyn Archery club and in 1881 was the Secretary and Treasurer of the National Archery Association. A second bit of trivia is that Pearsall’s brother, Alva Pearsall, was a camera operator for Matthew Brady in 1871.