MAN WITH THE THICKEST BEARD IN READING, PENNSYLVANIA

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Photographer J. S. Fritz photographed this portrait of a man with a beard. This beard is no ordinary beard. This beard is extraordinarily thick. His mustache is also not ordinary. This mustache is extraordinarily long. The photographer of this cabinet card hotograph is John S. Fritz. He was born on his father’s Pennsylvania farm in 1861. He left home at 15 to work in Philadelphia and while there, learned photography. He then worked with his brother in law as a traveling photographer. He left the business to pursue other occupations and he worked in both Atlantic City, New Jersey, and Philadelphia. He returned to photography and at some point operated a photography studio located at 852 Penn Street in Reading. He was married to Elizabeth Apffel  and had at least three children. This cabinet card photo is in very good condition (see scans)

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DISTINGUISHED LOOKING OLDER MAN IN BLOOMINGTON, ILLINOIS

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A distinguished looking older man with a white eard and mustache poses for his  portrait at the Fenwick studio in Bloomington, Illinois. The man is dressed in his finest clothing for his day at the photographer but it seems he had no time to see a barber to tame his beard and longish hair. The photographer of this image is Richard Fenwick. He was born in England in 1845. He appears in the U.S. Census in 1870. He was living in a Bloomington boarding house and working as a laborer. The 1880 census finds Mr Fenwick (age 35) married to Alida Fenwick (age 30). The couple was married in 1875 and were living with their two children. Richard Fenwick had a 1 year-old daughter (Adda) and a 9 year-old step son (Rush Downey). Fenwick was working as a photographer. The 1900 census reveals that Fenwick still worked as a photographer and his step son, Rush, filled the manager role in the photography studio. Research reveals that between 1866 and 1875, Fenwick was associated with the Cook and Fenwick studio. This cabinet card is in good condition (see scans).

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Published in: on October 18, 2019 at 12:01 pm  Comments (2)  
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PORTRAIT OF A HANDSOME WORLD WAR I ERA SOLDIER (FRENCH FOURRAGERE)

This vintage real photo postcard features a handsome French soldier. The previous owner of this photo postcard reports that the soldier is from the era of World War I. The most notable aspect of this postcard is that the soldier is wearing a French Fourragere decoration. If you look at the soldiers left shoulder, you will see a braided cord which is a Fourragere. This decoration was initiated by Napoleon I and it was given to units that distinguished themselves in battle. The award was revived during World War I. Note that the soldier’s collar holds pins indicating his honored unit was the 150th. This vintage real photo postcard is in very good condition (see scans)

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PORTRAIT OF A NEW ENGLAND GENTLEMAN

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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).

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AN EDUCATED MAN IN SARATOGA, NEW YORK

SARATOGA BEARD_0001The gentleman in this cabinet card portrait gives the appearance of an educated man. His long beard and wonderful spectacles contribute to his intellectual look. For an undisclosed reason, the previous owner of this photograph believed that the subject was a teacher at Smith College. The Record and Epler studio of Saratoga, New York, produced this image. View other photos by this studio by placing the word “Record” or “Epler” in the search box.  (SOLD)

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DISTINGUISHED ELDERLY COUPLE- MAN HAS AN INCREDIBLE BEARD

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elderly couple distinguished 1 This vintage real photo postcard features a distinguished looking elderly couple posing for a studio photographic portrait. The woman is holding a bouquet of flowers and the man is wearing an awesome massive beard. (SOLD)

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Published in: on January 14, 2019 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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WIDE-EYED MAN WITH A HANDSOME BEARD IN LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY

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The gentleman seen in this cabinet card photograph possesses a fine beard. Although I have seen his beard style in other cabinet card images, it still is an uncommon beard style for the time. The beard is very thick on each side but sparse in the middle. It has a similar appearance as a bushy mustache. This gentleman and his beard have earned a place in the Cabinet Card Gallery’s category of “Beards (Only the Best). The subject of this photograph is well dressed in a three piece suit and is wearing a pocket watch attached to one of the buttons on his vest. The photographer of this cabinet card portrait was employed by the Johns & Faught studio in Lexington, Kentucky. In the book “History of Fayette County, Kentucky” (1882), it is stated that W. E. Johns was born in Lexington in 1843. He began his photography business in Lexington in 1870 and by 1876 opened a new studio at the address (56 East Main Street), which was where he photographed this cabinet card. By at least 1886, James Faught worked for Johns as an operator in his studio. At a later date, the pair became partners in the business. To view other photographs by this studio, click on the category “Photographer: Johns & Faught”. This cabinet card has excellent clarity and is in very good condition (see scans).

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PORTRAIT OF AN OLD MAN WEARING A “NECK BEARD”

This carte de visite features an old man wearing a “neck beard”. This style of beard was popular in the 19th century. This gentleman is in good company. Other neck bearders include Richard Wagner (composer), Henry David Thoreau (Essayist, Poet, Philosopher), and Horace Greeley (Author, Statesman, Newspaper Editor). It is interesting to note that in today’s culture, “neck beard” is a perjorative term for social awkwardness or pretentiousness. The subject of this cdv photo is well dressed. He gives the appearance of a kind good humored man. The photographer of this image is the Rodgers studio, which was located in Hartford, Connecticut. The Connecticut Historical Society’s online site provides some information about Hart J. Rodgers (1831-1905). During the 1850’s he worked as a daguerreotypist in New Haven, Connecticut. In 1855, he married Grace A. Rodgers. By 1871, he was operating a photo studio in Hartford. Interestingly, in the 1880’s he was the owner of a skating rink. This cdv image is in very good condition.

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Published in: on August 13, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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FOREVER PLAID: CABINET CARD PORTRAIT OF A NEW ENGLAND GENTLEMAN

This cabinet card features a handsome middle aged man wearing a plaid vest and jacket. He has a longish but styled beard and he has piercing eyes. This gentleman was photographed by the Dunklee & Bau studio. The photographers operated studios in Northampton and Greenfield (Massachusetts as well as in Brattleboro, Vermont. Note the reverse of this cabinet card; it is quite ornate. The reverse of the photograph advertises that the photographers had won an award at a  1890 exhibition. Therefore we know that this photograph was taken during 1890 or later. Charles Dunklee was born in Rockingham, Vermont in 1842. He served four years in Company I of the 4th Vermont Infantry during the civil war. He entered the war as a private and mustered out as a private. He was the Vice President of his regiments veteran group according to an 1887 news article. In 1865 he married May C. Billings and they were married 54 years until her death. Dunklee’s 90th birthday was marked in the Lewiston Daily Sun (1932). This cabinet card was produced by Dunklee while in partnership with Charles Bau. The Bulletin of Photography (1914) notes that Bau sold his studio in Brattleboro, Vermont in order to return to Greenfield to open a new photographic gallery. To see other images by Dunklee and Bau, click on the category “Photographer: Dunklee”.

PORTRAIT OF A BEARDED OLD MAN IN NORWICH, CONNECTICUT

This cabinet card portrait features a well dressed older man with a long mustache and wiry beard. He has the expression of a person who has seen and experienced a lot in his many years. He looks a bit drawn and tired. The gentleman was photographed by Laighton Brothers studio in Norwich, Connecticut. The Laighton Brothers are cited in the book, “Leading Business Men of Norwich and Vicinity” (1890). At the time of the directory’s publication, William S. Laighton had become sole proprietor of the studio upon the death of his brother John. William was a native of Farmington, New Hampshire. William’s obituary appears in the Bulletin of Photography (1915). The brief article reports that he had died as a result of a fall in his studio. At the time of his death he was 76 years old. The article also mentions that he had been living in Norwich since 1874.

Published in: on February 21, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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