PORTRAIT OF A NEW ENGLAND GENTLEMAN

brattleboro

brattleboro 1The identity of the gentleman pictured in this cabinet card portrait is Caleb Lysander. The previous owner of this image reported that it comes from an album that makes this positive identification. The subject has an interesting billy goat beard. To view other notable beards, click on the category “Beards (Only the Best)”. The cabinet card was produced by the Howe studio which was located in Brattleboro, Vermont. A Brattleboro history internet site includes a biography and obituary of Mr. Caleb Lysander Howe. The article states that upon his death, his daughter, Mrs Mary Howe-Lavin was informed via cable to Paris where she was performing as a singer. Howe was born in Dummerston, Vermont, in 1811. At age two, he moved with his parents to Dover, Vermont. His father worked as a farmer and had a second business providing transportation between Dover and Boston. Howe worked on the family farm until he was about sixteen when he went to learn a trade as a machinist. At age eighteen he moved to Brattleboro to work in a machine shop. While in the role of machinist, he worked as a watchmaker and producer of jewelry. He married Miss Cynthia Sherman who was from Dover. In 1838 he leased a farm in Dover. He became interested in photography in about 1846 and soon purchased a photography studio where he started out producing daguerreotypes. He then purchased a four wheel car for three hundred dollars and added traveling photographer to his job description. He did most of his work within his county. It is reported that he made a profit of between one hundred and two hundred dollars a month. He came to Brattleboro in 1856 and purchased a photography gallery. He became quite successful as a photographer. In 1880 his son, John C. Howe became associated with the business and the studio became known as  C. L. Howe & Son. The senior Mr. Howe was highly regarded throughout the county as a teacher of vocal music and as a tenor singer. He died in 1895. There is a possibility that this is a self portrait. In other words, Caleb Lysander Howe may be the subject and the photographer.  Research found an engraved portrait of Howe that looks similar to this cabinet card image. As a side note, research found a number of references to C. L. Howes prima donna daughter. The book “Picturesque Brattleboro: With Over Two Hundred Illustrations (1894) describes Mary Howe-Lavin as a “beautiful songstress” and states that “there is something indescribably fascinating in the singing and personal appearance of this charming woman”. References reveal that she performed in a number of major cities in Germany. Her second wedding was announced in the New York Times (1905). This cabinet card is in very good condition (see scans).

Buy this original Cabinet Card Photograph (includes shipping within the US) #2676

To purchase this item, click on the Pay with PayPal button below

$35.50

Buy this original Cabinet Card Photograph (includes international shipping outside the US) #2676

To purchase this item, click on the Pay with PayPal button below

$43.50

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I always like to drop by and see if I could not find some ancestors.

  2. The Brattleboro history website referred to in this article is my own work at brattleborohistory.com. I make additions to the Caleb Lysander Howe page every once in a while with new discoveries. Could anyone here tell me anything more about this cabinet card? Is it a photograph of an earlier image?

    • The photograph of Caleb Lysander is a cabinet card and measures 4 1/4 ” x 6 1/2 “. The image is original. Please leave the name and address of your Brattleboro history site so cabinet card gallery visitors can visit it. Thanks for your work in developing and maintaining the site.


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