BAND MEMBER AND HIS CLARINET IN SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH

CLARINET MAN

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.

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. A fantastic uniform! It looks like a standard b-flat clarinet. His handbag is a fancy version of the typical bandsman’s case for holding sheet music. A clarinet case would be larger and probably a leatheret covered wooden box. Salt Lake City was an important destination for a lot of traveling entertainers and shows. I think the white (maybe yellow?) uniform color was for a circus band despite the military style.

  2. Great website and photos. As to the photographer of this clarinet player, “Newcomb,” I’m afraid Langdon Road, has made an error in listing a “Scott Newcomb” operating out of SLC in the 1890s to early 1900s. I searched for several hours, using primary sources, (city directories, census, etc.) and determined that Mr. Marion W. Newcomb operated photo studios out of his home and at least six storefronts from about 1886 until 1906 at Salt Lake City. For the year 1890, Marion had his photo studio at “34 SCOTT” [Ave] SLC, and I think this is the source of Langdon Road’s listing error. I discovered that Mr. Marion W Newcomb has his studio at 162 S Main Street for ONLY ONE YEAR, 1893. Thus, you can safely date this photo to 1893 +/- six months, according to the SLC city directory listings. [Note: Flossie Newcomb (b. circa 1879) was a daughter of Mr. Marion W. Newcomb (b. circa 1851) and worked with her father starting in 1898 as a “photo retoucher” He had other children including a son named Allan (b 1898), but I could not find any Scott Newcomb living in SLC between the 1880s, and early 1900s.]

    • Thank you for finding the error and for doing the research to find the correct identity of the photographer. I appreciate your effort and willingness to share your research results.


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