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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  1. Yup, that fur just doesn’t go with the theme…..maybe he was navigating the Titanic and the fur was to keep his feet warm ?

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