PORTRAIT OF A PRETTY JAPANESE WOMAN IN SAGA, JAPAN

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A pretty young woman poses for her portrait at the Y. Sagara studio in Saga, Japan. She is wearing a kimono and holding a folding fan. The image is from around the 1910’s. Saga is the capitalof Saga Prefecture, located on the island of Kyushu, Japan.

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Published in: on January 12, 2017 at 12:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
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LOVELY MEXICAN AMERICAN FAMILY IN THE TEXAS HILL COUNTRY

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This vintage real photo postcard features a portrait of a lovely ethnic family. A father and mother and their son and daughter are all wearing dressy clothing for their day at the photographer. The photographer’s studio provided a lovely homey background in which to take this photograph. This postcard image was found in an antique shop in the Texas hill country. It is likely that this family is of Mexican American origin but that hypothesis can not be confirmed. The AZO stamp box indicates that this photo postcard was created sometime between 1910 and 1930.  (SOLD)

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PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG WOMAN IN PORTSMOUTH, NEW HAMPSHIRE

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This cabinet card portrait features a lovely young woman with curly hair. She is wearing a ribbon around her neck as well as earrings and a collar clasp. The photographer’s use of lighting makes this image notable. The dark background against the woman’s white clothing makes a contrast which highlights the portrait. The young lady sort of “pops out” of the darkness. The photographer of this photograph is L. V. Newell & Company. The studio was located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. To learn more about Mr. Newell and to view more of his images, click on the category “Photographer: Newell”. His other work in the Cabinet Card Gallery also demonstrates his mastery of lighting and his ability to create crisp and clear images.

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Published in: on January 9, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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PRETTY AND CEREBRAL YOUNG WOMAN IN DES MOINES, IOWA (PHOTOGRAPHER MURDERED AND SENSATIONAL CRIMINAL CASE FOLLOWS)

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The young woman featured in this cabinet card portrait isn’t just another pretty face. She is also cerebral. Her pose indicates that she’s deep in thought. She is reasonably well dressed and wearing a necklace, ring, and a pair of earrings. Wearing all that jewelry when your standing next to a bale of hay seems a bit incongruent, but at least she is holding a handkerchief to wipe away sweat from any farm yard labor she may encounter. This cabinet card was produced by Pearson & Nesbit who operated a studio in Des Moines, Iowa. Research revealed a tragic story associated with one of these photographer partners, Oliver E. Pearson (1857-1896). The website iowaunsolvedmurders.com features an article providing details of Mr. Pearson’s murder. Nancy Bowers is the author of the article. Pearson was pushed from a height at his studio in Des Moines.  The motive for his murder was related to a business dispute. First, some biographical details about Mr. Pearson. As a boy, Oliver Pearson showed much interest and talent for drawing and photography. After high school he obtained a two year apprenticeship with Des Moines photographer George Washington Stiffler. By 1880, Pearson established his own gallery which he named Pearson’s Portraits. In addition to being a talented photographer, he also drew. Some of his art and photos were entered and won honors in art competitions. His most noted photo was that of a small dog named “Doc”. This dog was the mascot of the 23rd Iowa Infantry regiment during its participation in the civil war. In 1895, Pearson joined brothers Charles F. and Henry W. Wilcox in a business deal. Henry sold ads for a local newspaper while Charles managed the Iowa Historical Illustrative Company. The pair published the “Des Moines Illustrated Souvenir”, an elaborate pictorial volume that celebrated the people and the city of Des Moines. A page in the book was devoted to Pearson. The text begins by praising him and his work but than the writer began to denigrate him. For example, some of his work “bearing his name do not do him credit as they were made by his assistants”. It seems that there was some trouble between Pearson and the Wilcox brothers. Just months after the publication of the volume, the Wilcox brothers climbed the outside steps to enter Pearson’s second floor gallery. Pearson was the only one in the gallery to greet his visitors. The reason for the visit and what exactly happened is unknown. However, witnesses did view the end of the meeting because a pushing and shoving match occurred on the second floor landing outside the photography studio (see photo below). Oliver Pearson was seen falling over the railing down to the concrete below. He fractured his skull in the fall and witnesses carried him home and called for medical assistance. Pearson died from his injuries. Charles and Henry Wilcox were immediately arrested. The businessmen and other associates of Pearson were in an uproar about his violent demise. He was a well liked and well connected citizen. His family received much support from the community. The Des Moines Daily News reported that it was amazing that angry community members didn’t raid the jail and lynch the Wilcox brothers. What caused Pearson’s murder? Some local papers reported that the brothers had gone to visit Pearson because the photographer believed that the pair owed him money and they wanted to settle the matter. The Des Moines Daily News interviewed the brothers who claimed that Pearson started the violence and that he had lost his balance, slid down the rail and fell off the landing. Although the coroner believed that Pearson was murdered, a grand jury did not indict the Wilcox brothers due to lack of evidence. The jury could not rule out that his death may have been accidental. Pearson left behind his wife Susie and three young daughters. His widow sued the Wilcox brothers for twenty-five thousand dollars but lost the case. Research concerning Carroll E. Nesbit (1859-1949), Pearson’s partner in the studio that took this cabinet card photograph, tells a pretty tame story compared to Pearson’s sensational story. Nesbit appears in the 1880 US census as a young photographer working in Des Moines. His name also appears in several Des Moines business directories as late as 1903. By 1910 he had moved to South Hood River, Oregon where he worked as a farmer. The 1940 US Census also finds him farming in Oregon. Upon Nesbit’s death, he was buried in Idlewild Cemetery in Hood River.

 oliver-pearson-6th-and-walnut1                                                                                                 Second Floor Landing: Site of Pearson’s Murder

PORTRAIT OF A SEDATE FAMILY IN ELMIRA, NEW YORK

whitley 2This cabinet card portrait shows three, or possibly four generations of one family. The lone standing woman is wearing a winter coat with a fur collar as well as an unusual hat. The older women are wearing dark colored dresses. The young boy is attired in what can be described as a “Little Lord Fauntleroy” style. This family appears to be quite staid. The reverse of the photograph has an inscription “To beloved Nephew and Niece, Olin and May Davenport”. The inscription is signed by Aunt “?” (the name in undecipherable) and Seth (?). Perhaps a visitor to this Cabinet Card Gallery entry will have better luck interpreting the signers names and will leave a comment with their findings. The photographer of this image is John H. Whitley. The technical quality of this photograph is excellent but this family’s lack of enthusiasm detracts from the overall quality of the portrait. During Whitley’s career as a photographer, he worked in Oswego, New York and then in Elmira, New York. To learn more about him and to view more of his photographs, click on the category “Photographer: Whitley”.   SOLD

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Published in: on January 7, 2017 at 9:01 pm  Comments (3)  
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MEET THE NIGHT CREW: THREE MILITARY RADIOMEN IN HAWAII

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Three handsome military men pose in front of the radio shack for this snapshot portrait. The soldiers look like their having a great time. The man in the middle has a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. He looks like he’s playing a part in a World War II movie. Judging by the inscription on the reverse of the photograph, these guys are not in a war zone. In fact, the use of the word “Aloha” probably indicates that they are located in Hawaii. They are likely radiomen who worked the night shift which is logical since they are posing by the “Radio Night Crew’ sign seen above the shack’s door. This photograph was likely inscribed to, and sent to, “Arnolds” girlfriend. Along with the snapshot, the inscriber sent his “smiles” and “love and kisses”.  SOLD

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Published in: on January 5, 2017 at 1:28 pm  Comments (1)  
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DAPPER YOUNG MAN HOLDING A WAND IN WORCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS

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This carte de visite features a dapper young man wearing a corsage, derby hat, and a bit of a bewildered expression. Take note of his wand. I call it a wand for lack of a better description. One thinks of wands as being related to magic. However, not all wands are associated with magic. In fact, wands also are symbolic objects of power. The photographer of this cdv image is George Evans who operated a studio in Worcester, Massachusetts. ADDENDUM: Since this entry, an observant visitor to the Cabinet Card Gallery left a comment informing me that the location of Mr Evans studio was actually in Worcester, England. Further research confirms her observation.

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Published in: on January 4, 2017 at 3:05 pm  Comments (2)  
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A NERVOUS YOUNG MAN AND HIS BICYCLE

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This vintage real photo postcard features a young man standing beside his bicycle. The look on his face can be described as similar to a “deer in the headlights”. One could also describe his expression as nervous. It is as if he just got caught doing something wrong. Maybe it has something to do with the cigarette that he is holding in his right hand, though I doubt it. He is wearing a great outfit and cap but I would surmise that his boots don’t make pedaling a bicycle particularly easy. Note that the backdrop in this studio photo is quite pretty and detailed despite that it is obviously fake. This postcard was produced in the very early 1900’s.  (SOLD)

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Published in: on January 3, 2017 at 5:52 pm  Comments (2)  
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FASHIONABLE WOMAN IN BLACK BEADED DRESS IN URBANA, OHIO

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The lady is in black, possibly in mourning. She is wearing a pretty black lace heavily beaded dress. A hair ornament in her hair, a corsage on her dress, and fingerless gloves complete her ensemble. The woman wears a serious expression and has piercing eyes. The lighting in this portrait is well done and highlights the woman and her dress. The photographer of this interesting cabinet card image is F. G. Wilhelmi who operated a photography studio in Urbana, Ohio. Fred G Wilhelmi, like many of photographer colleagues, got around. He appears to have begun his photography career in Cumberland, Maryland (1871-1880). He then practiced his trade in Urbana (1885-1889) and Cleveland (1890- 1900 or later). The dates provided are approximate and come from two guides about early Ohio photographers.

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Published in: on January 2, 2017 at 12:15 pm  Comments (3)  
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MEMBER OF A FRATERNAL ORGANIZATION IN FULL UNIFORM IN MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA

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This cabinet card portrait features a gentleman in the full uniform of his unidentified fraternal organization. He is wearing a plumed hat and white gloves. He is holding a sword. The man, like many of his era, was likely proud of his participation in the organization. Proud enough to want to be photographed in his uniform. He likely displayed the image at home and shared copies with friends and family. The photographer of this cabinet card image, Arthur Rugg, has a number of other photographs that can be seen in the Cabinet Card Gallery. Click on the category “Photographer: Rugg” to view the images and to learn more about him. Mr. Rugg was a scoundrel. Judging by Rugg’s images in the gallery, he was also a talented photographer who had a propensity to take relatively close-up photographs.

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Published in: on January 1, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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