STUDIO PORTRAIT OF A LOVELY COUPLE IN TERRE HAUTE, INDIANA

This cabinet card portrait features a portrait of a lovely couple by the Biel studio in Terre Haute, Indiana. The woman in this image is sitting while the gentleman is standing behind her. Cabinet photographs of couples may have only the woman sitting, or only the man sitting. I wonder how it was decided who gets to sit in the chair in the typical couple’s photograph. It is my guess that the ultimate decision is made by the photographer and it is based on creating the pose that photographs best. I imagine that the height of the man and woman being photographed is an important factor in such decisions. The photographer who took this photograph is Henry T. Biel (1855-1929). Biel’s parents were Prussian immigrants. He was married to Francinea E.Fundy in 1879. Biel was listed as a photographer in both the 1880 and 1910 US census. Biel began his photography career at the ripe old age of fifteen. At that age, he became under the tutelage of G. H. Wright, a photographer in Terre Haute. He struck out on his own  in 1886 after purchasing the John Adams studio. In time, he became a fixture in the city of Terre Haute as a photographer. In researching Mr. Biel’s background, I began to wonder what the words “Terre Haute” mean. I found the answer to be that Terre Haute was derived from the French term for “Highland”. The name likely was created by early 18th century French explorers who were noting the area’s unusual location above the Wabash River.

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Published in: on March 2, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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