EQUESTRIAN_0005This cabinet card features a dandy gentleman holding what appears to be a riding crop in his gloved hands. Is he dressed for riding? Is that a horse shoe pin that he is wearing    near the bottom of his vest? Note his pocketwatch and chain. The reverse of the photograph is inscribed by the subject. He wrote “Ever your friend, George L. Stringer”. The reverse of the cabinet card also reveals the name of the photographer. A stamp identifies the portraitist as being A. W. Adams whose studio was located on Water Street in Decorah, Iowa. Research revealed some information about George Lincoln Stringer (1862-1932). The 1880 US census indicates that he was born in Iowa but that his parents were Canadian born. In 1880, he was living in Decorah with his parents. His occupation was hard to decipher but it looked a lot like blacksmith. The 1900 census found him still living in Decorah and married (1884) to Mary Alice Kennedy. The couple had a 15 year-old son named Vernon. Once again his occupation was nearly illegible but it seemed to read “traveling salesman”. George Stringer died in 1932 and is buried in Phelps Cemetery in Decorah.  The town of Decorah was settled in 1849 and in its early history had a large number of Norwegian settlers. The Norwegian influence remains there today. The Decorah Posten was the largest Norwegian newspaper in the United States until it shut down in 1972. The town was named after Waukon Decorah, a Winnebago tribal leader, who was a US ally in the Black Hawk War of 1832. The photographer of this cabinet card, Asa W. Adams (1842-1915) operated a photo studio in Decorah between 1863 and 1884. Before moving to Decorah, Adams ran a a studio in McGregor, Iowa (1863). Early during his operations in Decorah he had a partnership with S. R. Shear in the Adams & Shear Gallery. In 1866 he married Emma J. Fuller and the couple had four children. Adams sold his studio to O. E. Borlaug. He next conducted his photography business in Waterloo, Iowa (1884-after 1900). Adams died in 1915 and is buried in Decorah.




This cabinet card features a young woman wearing a pair of unusual eyeglasses. The spectacles are of the pince-nez var iety and what makes the glasses odd are the dark color and the thickness of the frames. This portrait was produced by the Tuttle Studio in Belfast, Maine. William  C. Tuttle (1835-1901) was an early Belfast photographer. In addition to working as a photographer, he also wrote about the practice of the profession. Tuttle wrote an article in the journal Mosaics {1878} which was titled “Babies”. The article dispensed humorous tips on how to effectively photograph babies. A book by Joseph Williamson entitled “History of the City of Belfast” (1913) reveals that Tuttle’s studio burned down in a major fire occurring in Belfast in 1885. At one point in his career, Tuttle also had studios in other Maine towns including Winthrop, Castine, Kent’s Hill, and Northport. A classified listing  in the Bulletin of Photography (1918) advertises that Tuttle’s Belfast studio was up for sale. The advertisement stated that one of its selling features was that there was “no competition” in Belfast. Tuttle had at least one son that entered his business so it is possible that this son may have been the photographer of this cabinet card. The 1870 Federal Census reveals that Tuttle was married to Georgia Tuttle, a woman who was 14 years his junior. At the time of the census, the couple had a seven month old son named Adrian. Research also discovered that Tuttle had enlisted in the Union army during the civil was. In 1861 he joined Maine’s 13th Infantry regiment as a musician. During the war he reached the rank of full Drum Major. Tuttle is buried in the Grove Cemetery in Belfast.

Published in: on June 29, 2014 at 12:16 pm  Comments (4)  
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A pretty young girl poses for her portrait at the Criley studio in Butler, Pennsylvania. She is beautifully dressed and is holding a rolled scroll. Perhaps the paper is her graduation certificate. She looks playfully happy in this image. Her cocked head, her smile, and the gleam in her eyes are evidence of her pleasure in the moment of the taking of this photograph. To view other photographs by N. J. Criley, click on the category “Photographer: Criley and Wagner”.


handsome guy_0001This photograph features a handsome young man sporting a thin mustache. The gentleman is well dressed and handsome. The photographer of this image is Wilbur Wright. He operated a photography studio in San Jose California. To learn more about Wright and to view more of his photographs, click on the category “Photographer: Wright”.


Published in: on June 27, 2014 at 3:10 pm  Comments (1)  
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This cabinet card features two young girls participating in a religious ceremony, Note the religious symbols on the table between them. The girls are dressed in their finest clothing and adorned with flowers. The photograph was produced by John D Strunk of Reading, Pennsylvania. Several of his images can be found in the cabinet card gallery and to learn more about him, and to view the other photographs, click of the category “Photographer: Strunk”. Perusal of his other images reveal that Mr. Strunk was an excellent photographer. The image above has great clarity, the subjects are well posed, and the props are perfectly placed.

Published in: on June 26, 2014 at 9:47 pm  Comments (1)  
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The Sullivan Brothers studio produced this cabinet card featuring three very young children. These kids are very close in age but are probably siblings. They are wearing gowns and the oldest child is posed behind a wood stroller toy. The back of the cabinet card has an inscription to “Aunt Rachel”. Frederick and Alfred H. Sullivan operated their studio in Hudson, New York. To learn more about them and to view more of their images, click on the category “Photographer: Sullivan Brothers”.



Frank Becker, a photographer in Cleveland, Ohio, produced this wedding portrait. The bride is wearing a long white floral veil and the couple clearly spent some money at their local florist. The groom has a handsome mustache. As frequently seen in wedding photographs from the cabinet card era, the groom is seated and the bride stands. Perhaps the reason for this type of pose is to showcase the bride’s wedding gown. Frank Becker was an active photographer in Cleveland between 1886 and 1900 or later. He was born in Germany in 1865 and emigrated to the United States in 1881.

Published in: on June 24, 2014 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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This cabinet card portrait features a young boy wearing a sailor’s uniform at the wheel of a faux ship located at the Solano Art Studio in Vallejo, California. The photographer is Charles McMillan. The little sailor’s uniform looks very realistic and his hat and lanyard are a nice touch. The backdrop, depicting the sea, is also quite effective. However, the photographer’s use of a fur on the deck was certainly not consistent with the nautical scene he was trying to create. The book “Vallejo” (2004) by James E. Kern, includes an 1895 photograph of Charles McMillan’s studio. The building was located at 314 Georgia Street. McMillan was born in Canada in 1853. He began his photography career at the age of sixteen in Chicago, Illinois. He moved to California in 1879 and became a travelling photographer. He operated his studio out of a tent. He eventually decided to settle down and opened a studio in Vallejo. One source reports that McMillan was such a success upon opening his studio that the competing photographer in town was forced to move his business elsewhere. In 1883 McMillan married Californian Isabell Floto.

Published in: on June 23, 2014 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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This cabinet card features three adorable young siblings posing at the West End Studio in Worcester, England. The boys are wearing sailor suits. Their little sister sits between them with her hands clasped and a with a bewildered expression. Walter J. Brown’s studio was located at 9 Bridge Street in Worcester.

Published in: on June 21, 2014 at 3:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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portland beard

The subject of this portrait is quite the handsome gentleman and  has a wonderful beard. To view more interesting beards, click on the category “Beards (Only the Best). The reverse of the photograph has a printed stamp indicating that the photographer of this image was located in Portland, Oregon. In addition, the back of the cabinet card shows a medal for photography from the Oregon State Agricultural Society which was issued in 1881. Born in Illinois in 1844, Frank G. Abell moved to California with his parents in 1857. In 1862, at the age of 18, he joined the firm of William Shew in San Francisco, where he spend four years learning the art and business of photography. He opened his own gallery, Abell’s Star Gallery, in Stockton, California in 1866. The next year he moved back to San Franisco and then worked in such towns as Grass Valley, Red Bluff and Yreka. In 1877 he pursued his craft in Roseburg, Oregon and from 1878 to 1888 he was based in Portland. He must have left his heart in San Francisco because he returned there once again. His indecisiveness was evident when he returned to Portland where he worked between 1897 and 1907. When his health failed, he moved to Tacoma, Washington where he died in 1910.