This cabinet card features a lovely young woman posing for her portrait at the Thomas studio at 717 6th Avenue. Although the street address is provided, there is no mention of the town/city or state where the studio is located. Apparently Mr. Thomas was not much of a businessman, or else the printer of the card left out some content. I thought that some light research would successfully uncover the name of  Thomas’s hometown but I thought wrong. Initial research revealed that Thomas’s first name was listed by his initials “S. A”. Interestingly, a visit to my fellow cabinet card collector’s site, “Forgotten Faces and Long Ago Places” (see blog roll), found a nice portrait of a couple by the Thomas studio, but once again, only the street address was given. Further, the style of the above photograph reveals that Thomas was a pioneer photographer of the cabinet card era. Hating to surrender, I made an obsessive deal with myself to give the research a bit more time.  Somehow I stumbled upon the obituary of S. A. Thomas. The Photographic Times And American Photographer (1894) reported the death of “one of New York’s oldest photographers”. The article stated that Thomas started his gallery in 1853 and it was located opposite Bryant Park in New York City. The mystery of the studio’s location was solved. The obituary also mentioned that Thomas specialized in photographing children. At the time of his death, Thomas was 71 years old.

Published in: on July 9, 2014 at 11:34 am  Leave a Comment  

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