dr anna kugle_0006It is not the quality of the image that makes this photograph special. This is a unique photograph because of the identity of the subject. Meet Dr. Anna S. Kugler. Anna Sarah Kugler (1856-1930) provided 47 years of service ministering to the spiritual and physical health of the people of southern India. She was the second female missionary and the first female medical missionary sent by the General Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the United States. She was born in Ardmore, Pennsylvania in 1856. In 1879 she graduated from Women’s Medical College in Philadelphia. She did her internship at Norristown State Asylum in 1880. Two years later, after receiving a cleric’s invitation to come work in India to help resolve the major health issues faced by poor Indian women, Kugler decided to take on the challenge. She sailed for India in 1883 and was disappointed that her appointment as a missionary was directed at teaching, not providing medical care. She hoped to change the church’s mind on that matter. During her first year in India she found time to see over 400 patients and still take care of her teaching responsibilities of the Muslim harem women. In 1884 she became the director of the Hindu Girls School, a post she kept for three years. Finally, in 1885, she was appointed a medical missionary. In 1893 she opened a hospital and dispensary in Guntur, India. Over time she established specialized pediatric, maternity, and surgical units in the hospital. After Kugler’s death, the hospital was named after her. Have you heard this quote? “Well behaved women seldom make history”. Women who went to medical school in the 1870’s were likely not considered well behaved because they were entering into a man’s profession. Going to India and working with the poor was also probably seen as outside the realm of being a woman. Thank goodness Dr Anna S Kugler ignored gender boundaries because she accomplished great things and certainly “made history”. This photograph was produced by the Phillips studio in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. To view other photographs by Mr. Phillips, click on the category “Photographer: Phillips”. Phillip’s subjects among his images in the Cabinet Card Gallery include theater great, Ethel Barrymore. At the time of this photograph, Phillips operated his studio at 1206 Chestnut Street. A biographer called Henry C. Phillips (1843-1911)  “A pillar of photography in Philadelphia”. He began working as a photographer while still in his teens. He opened his first studio on Chestnut Street in 1862. He partnered with Samuel Broadbent between 1868 and 1874. (To view other photographs by Broadbent, click on the category “Photographer: Broadbent). After that partnership and another brief one, he opened his 1206 Chestnut studio and it operated for 36 years under Henry and than his two sons, Howard and Ryland. Henry Phillips was a portrait artist and on the side, he was a celebrity photographer. He did not like to use painted backdrops in his portraits. He preferred to photograph faces and figures against neutral or blank backgrounds. Photographs from the studio that utilized painted backgrounds were usually the work of Ryland.


BOWLING GREEN COPLS_0004Two sportily dressed couples pose for their portrait at the Morrison studio in Bowling Green, Ohio. To learn more about Robert Prescott Morrison and to view more of his photographs, click on the category “Photographer: Morrison (Bowling Green). The couples are dressed as if they are about to embark on an outside adventure. The standing woman is holding a fan. The standing gentleman has something that appears to be pinned to his vest. Perhaps a visitor to the cabinet card gallery can identify the mystery object. Guesses are welcome so please feel free to leave a comment with your hypotheses.

Published in: on November 17, 2013 at 12:30 pm  Comments (1)  
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marie legault_0001French theater actress, Marie Legault, is the subject of this cabinet card photograph by internationally acclaimed celebrity photographer Charles Reutlinger. This image was produced in Reutlinger’s Paris studio in 1880. To view other Reutlinger photographs, click on the category “Photographer: Reutlinger”. Marie Francoise (Maria) Legault (1858-1905) entered the Paris Conservatory in 1872. That same year she finished second in the comedy competition. She was just fourteen years old at the time. She was awarded a stipend to continue her studies and she won the competition the following year. During her theatrical career she appeared at a number of venues including the Gymnase, the Palais-Royal, the Vaudeville, the Comedie-Francaise, and the Theatre Michel in St. Petersburg. Legault created the role of Roxane in Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac (1872) and of Marie Louise in L’Aiglon (1900) with Sarah Bernhard. Her obituary appears in the New York Times (1905).



A pretty young woman wearing a grin and ethnic/national attire poses for her portrait in Unterach, Austria. Note the painted mountains in the background provided courtesy of photographer Arthur Floeck. An inscription on the reverse of the photograph reveals that the image was produced in 1904 in Unterach. Floeck was an official photographer of Kaiser Franz Josef. The front of this photograph indicates that Floeck had an additional studio in the Austrian town of Vocklabruck.


Published in: on November 15, 2013 at 11:53 am  Leave a Comment  
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The Van Woert studio in Oneonta, New York produced this wonderful portrait of an adorable wild haired little girl sitting on a wicker chair. The child’s combed back hair gives full display to her facial expression which seems to reflect a frowning disinterest. She doesn’t appear to be having a good time at Mr. Van Woert’s studio. She is wearing a white lace dress and a necklace and hair band. The cabinet card has a gilded gold border.

Published in: on November 14, 2013 at 12:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
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In writing about Mrs James Brown Potter, an author stated “She was singularly beautiful with her pale delicate chiseled face, long dark eyes, and hair like burnished bronze with copper lights”. Mrs Brown Potter (1859-1936) was born Mary Cora Urquhart,  the daughter of a wealthy  New Orleans Colonel. She was one of the first American society women to join the stage. In 1877 she married a very wealth New York socialite, James Brown Potter. That same year she made her stage debut at Theatre Royal in Brighton, England. Soon thereafter, she partnered with actor Kyrle Bellew and they frequently performed together over a ten year period. She performed in the United States and in Europe. She retired from the stage in 1912. She was active in raising money for war charities during the Second Boer War. Mrs Brown Potter was considered a competent actress, but not an outstanding performer. In this photograph, Mrs. Potter looks very beautiful as she peers through a curtained doorway. Her gown was likely made by the best dress makers of the time and was assuredly very expensive. Falk, the photographer of this cabinet card, was a famous celebrity photographer in New York City. To see other photographs by Falk, click on the category “Photographer: Falk”.

The second photograph of Cora Potter was photographed by Kuebler of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She appears to be in costume and is clearly a beautiful woman with fetching eyes. To view other photographs by and to learn more about Kuebler, click on the category “Photographer: Kuebler”.

The third photograph of Mrs Potter was produced by Jose Maria Mora, a celebrity photographer based in New York City. The image was part of a series (#7). To view other photographs by this photographer, click on the category “Photographer: Mora”. Mrs Potter looks quite elegant in this cabinet card portrait. Her hat can best be described as “floral”. The photograph is stamped on the reverse with the name of the gallery that originally sold it (“John Hoch Art Store, 118 Court Street, Boston”). Hoch’s obituary appears in the Bulletin of Photography and the article reports that he was the first among Boston’s photographers to sell photographs of celebrities. He had been engaged in the photography and picture frame business in Boston for more than fifty years. The obituary mentions that he was of German heritage and was 84 years old at the time of his death. His cause of death was cerebral hemorrhage.



A young couple pose for their portrait at the Wheeler studio in Binghamton, New York. The attractive and shapely young woman in this image has beautiful saucer sized eyes. She is wearing a necklace holding a pendant or coin. The well dressed gentleman’s eyes are less attractive. He seems to be looking at something out of the corner of his eyes. The photographer of this image is Sheldon S. Wheeler. The 1880 US census reveals that Wheeler (age 26) was born in 1854. He was married to Kate Wheeler (age 23). He was working as a photographer. The couple was living in Ostego, New York. The 1910 US census found Wheeler still working as a photographer and he and Kate had divorced. Wheeler is listed as a photographer in a number of Binghamton city directories from 1906 through 1915. The 1920 census indicates that Wheeler had married a woman named Belle and that she was seventeen years his junior. He had left the field of photography and was working in Real Estate. His Real Estate business was listed in several Binghamton directories from 1921 through 1929. Wheeler retired by the time the 1930 US census was taken and he died in 1936. He is buried in Binghamton.


Published in: on November 9, 2013 at 12:01 pm  Comments (1)  
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littleredhoodG. E. Butler, a photographer in Cortland, New York was walking in the woods one day when he happened upon a young girl who seemed to be on a mission. He said “Hey little girl, where are you headed in such a hurry”? She replied that she was bringing her ill grandmother some chicken soup. The photographer asked the little girl her name and she said “Little Red Riding Hood”. Butler told the child that she was doing a great deed and that she should come by his photography studio with her parents and he would provide her with a free portrait. Their conversation in the forest scared off the “big bad wolf” so Little Red Riding Hood’s trip to her grandmother’s cottage was uneventful. That is enough fantasy for now. In reality, the photographer of this cabinet card photograph was George Edwin Butler. Butler succeeded George I. Pruden as the proprietor of a Cortland photography studio in 1893. Butler is cited in a New York Court of Appeals (1910) volume. He participated in a trial as a forensic photographer of the location of an accident involving an automobile and a child on a bicycle. This citation is the first mention I have found of a cabinet card era photographer being employed by a plaintiff or a defendant in a court case.

Published in: on November 8, 2013 at 11:32 am  Leave a Comment  
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DALMATIONA well dressed man and his pet dog pose for their portrait at the Hopson studio in an unknown locale. The bespectacled gentleman stands with a hand on his hip and the dog assumes a wonderful pose while standing on a chair. The reverse of the photograph has a written inscription stating “To Lilla, From Brother Ernest and Trixy”. Due to insufficient information, the identities of the subject and the photographer must remain a mystery. (SOLD)

Published in: on November 7, 2013 at 12:00 pm  Comments (2)  
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ENGLISHINDIA_0003S. Boesinger photographed this young family and their Indian servant at a studio in Tamil Nadu, India. To the right of Boesinger’s name on the bottom of the photograph is the name “Wellington”. Boesinger may have had a partner named Wellington, or perhaps had another studio in Wellington, England. The gentleman in this image appears to be a member of the British military. Note the servants jewelry. She is wearing a necklace, earrings and wide bracelets. She is also wearing nose ring. She was clearly a pioneer in nose jewelry, a practice which has made a comeback in present day times.

Published in: on November 6, 2013 at 11:58 am  Comments (6)  
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