A PRETTY YOUNG WOMAN FROM MT. VERNON, OHIO

This cabinet card portrait features a pretty young woman posing for a photograph at the Crowell Gallery in Mount Vernon, Ohio. Her hair is wrapped in a bun and she is wearing a lace scarf and a pin. The photographer of this photo portrait is Fred S. Crowell. The Cabinet Card Gallery (CCG) has at least two other photographs by Mr Crowell. Based on the photographs in the CCG collection, he was a talented photographer. His name can  be found in the 1880 census. He was born in 1844 and lived with his wife Ella, and their three children. Other research reveals that there was a Fred Crowell from the Mount Vernon area who enlisted in the 142nd Regiment of the Ohio Infantry during the Civil War. He served only during 1864. Crowell trained as a photographer under Anna Payne, and worked in the profession in Norwalk, Sandusky, and Cleveland, Ohio. He then opened his own studio in Fredericktown in 1866. In 1869, he moved to Mount Vernon where he established a photography studio that was in business until at least 1889. This cabinet card photo is in good condition (see scans)

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A TALENTED PHOTOGRAPHER CAPTURES A YOUNG LADY’S EMOTIONS (CARTE DE VISITE)

This original carte de visite features a wonderful portrait of a young woman. The photographer, J. E. James adeptly captured a photo of the woman as she appeared deep in thought or worry. I think she looks sad. She is wearing a crossed ribbon with a large pin just under her lace collar. Does the ribbon indicate that she is in mourning or is it just an accessory. Note the young lady’s cute curls. The photographer of this cdv image is no stranger to me. I have another carte de visite by Mr.James. This second cdv is also one of  high quality in regard to reflecting the photographer’s talent for recording emotion via photography. What do we know about Mr James?  The J. E. James studio was located in Galena, Illinois. James Edward James (1842-1878) was born in Liverpool, England. After immigrating to the United States he served in the 96th Illinois Infantry (Company A) during the civil war. He entered the service as a Private but was discharged as a Commissary Sergeant. He died while still a young man and left his wife Kitty to raise their four children and operate his photographic studio.  (SOLD)                                                                                               

PRETTY AND ELEGANT YOUNG WOMAN IN ROCKLAND, MAINE

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A pretty and elegant looking young woman poses for her portrait at the Singhi studio in Rockland, Maine. She is beautifully dressed and wearing a watch chain emanating from a watch in her dress pocket. She appears very business-like. The photographer was named John F. Singhi (1834-1906). He was a native of Maine but his father was born in Italy. Mr. Singhi was a participant in the Civil War. He entered the Union Army as a Private in the 4th Infantry Regiment of Maine. He was mustered in in April, 1861 and mustered out in July,, 1864. He was promoted to Corporal in 1862. Upon entry into the army, he was listed as a leader of the company band and Fife Major. The fourth regiment was assembled in Rockland. In all, 144o men served in the regiment during the war and 170 of them died in or from battle. Forty men died in Confederate prisons and 137 soldiers died from disease. The Fourth Regiment participated in many major battles including The First Bull Run, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg.  After the service, he worked as a photographer. He was listed in Rockland city directories as a photographer from 1877 through 1897. In addition to soldiering, music and photography; John Singhi liked to get married. He especially liked marrying younger women. The 1870 US census revealed that John lived with a woman named Frances who was presumably his wife. In 1872 he married Hannah C. Bartlett.  John and Hannah were reported in the 1880 census. John was 46 while his wife was 31. In 1898, John married Caroline Look who was 17 years his junior. In 1901, John married Georgie Dow, a woman who was 13 years younger than him. In 1906, John Singhi died at age 72. His death certificate listed his cause of death to be “Shock (Paralysis)”. From that description, one imagines he died from a stroke. Perhaps cavorting with his numerous younger wives was deleterious to his health.   (SOLD)

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PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG WOMAN ADVERTISING “NELSON SEEDS” IN MASON CITY, ILLINOIS

NELSON_0001I surrender. Who the heck is “Nelson”? The young woman in this photograph seems to be obsessed with “Nelson”. She is wearing Nelson’s name on her skirt and it appears on her fan.  Is she a Willie Nelson groupie? A second mystery in this image is the abundance of feathers. There are feathers on the floor, pinned to her blouse and decorating her hat. Take note of the daisy chain that the woman is wearing at and below her collar. This mysterious photograph is by T. H. Eulass whose studio was located in Mason City, Illinois. Mr. Eulass knows who “Nelson” is, but he’s not talking. Perhaps “Nelson” was a political candidate or the name of a local company. Thomas H. Eulass (1841-1903) was an Ohio native. Eulass participated in the America’s civil war as a member of the 146th Ohio Infantry. He entered the unit as a private and mustered out as a corporal. He appears in both the 1880 and 1900 US census as a photographer. He was married to Kate Eulass. He is buried in the Mason City Cemetery. This cabinet card portrait is in good condition (see scans).  The thin scrape on the bottom left corner of the reverse of the card does not cause any fragility or softness to the cabinet card. ADDENDUM: A helpful visitor to the Cabinet Card Gallery, has identified this photograph as being an advertisement for the “Nelson Seed Company”. Other theories can be seen in the comment section.  SOLD

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GENTLEMAN WITH MUTTON CHOPS POSING WITH HIS WIFE IN LOWELL, MASSACHUSETTS (CIVIL WAR VETERAN PHOTOGRAPHER)

This cabinet card features a well dressed couple posing for their portrait at the Hayden studio in Lowell, Massachusetts. The gentleman has wonderful mutton chops with a connecting mustache. The photographer of this photograph is Marshall M. Hayden (1847-1928). He operated a studio in Lowell between 1867 and 1900, according to one Massachusetts historical site. However, my preliminary research found that he actually is listed as a photographer in the 1880 through 1920 US census. Interestingly, he was also listed in the 1926 Lowell business directory as a photographer (he was 79 years old). Earlier in his career he worked as a bread deliveryman (1870 US Census). Hayden was a veteran of the Civil War. He served in Company H of the 6th Massachusetts Infantry. He served nine months in 1862 and 1863. He was a private and a musician.

PORTRAIT OF “MISS DIX” IN ROCHESTER, NEW YORK (CIVIL WAR VETERAN PHOTOGRAPHER)

A young woman poses for her photograph at the Gregg Studio in Rochester, New York. She is wearing flowers pinned to her dress, as well as earrings and a nice smile. An inscription on the reverse of this cabinet card photograph reveals that the subject is named “Miss Dix”. The photographer of this image is Sherman Gregg (1838-1891). He is listed as a photographer in the 1865 New York State Census. The year before, (1864), he entered and left the Union Army. During the Civil War he served as a First Lieutenant in the 3rd Regiment, of the New York Cavalry. He is cited in the Photographic Times and American Photographer (1884). Gregg was listed in Rochester Directories as a photographer until 1890. He died in 1891 and is buried in Rochester’s Mt. Hope Cemetery.

SOLD

PORTRAIT OF A WELL DRESSED MAN TAKEN IN A RAILROAD PHOTO CAR BY A CIVIL WAR VETERAN KNOWN TO BE “ECCENTRIC IN HIS HABITS”

A well dressed man poses for this cabinet card portrait taken by photographer J. B. Shane in a railroad photo car. The gentleman is dressed in his fancy clothes. He is wearing a suit with a vest and a pocket watch. He is also wearing a wide brim hat and is holding an umbrella.The photographer of this image is Captain James Boucher Shane (1840-1913). He earned the rank of captain in the Civil War where he served with distinction in the 16th Kentucky Infantry (Company D). He entered the Union Army as a Sergeant and mustered out as a First Lieutenant. After the war, he was promoted to Captain. It is my hypotheses that he suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from his experiences in the war. My reasons for diagnosing him 104 years after his death will become apparent later in this story. After the war Capt. Shane moved his family to Abilene, Kansas. He tried his hand at a number of businesses including farming, In 1878, he moved to Lawrence, Kansas and operated a photo studio from a railroad car as well as studios in the town of Lawrence. In 1902 he was convicted of murder and was sent to the state penitentiary until his parole in 1912. Shane’s daughter, Juno Belle Shane, operated the studio after Shane went to prison. Her husband, Herbert Thompson eventually took over the business and renamed it to the Thompson studio.  The gallery continued to do business until 1953. A collection of Shane’s and Thompson’s papers and photographs are kept by the University of Kansas libraries. I was curious about the details of Shane’s crime and further research found details about his offense. The Journal of the Annual Encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic (1911) has a brief article about J. B. Shane. The journal explains that the Kansas Department of the GAR had proposed and passed a resolution to appeal to the Kansas Governor (W. R. Stubbs) to get Shane out of jail. The appeal was based on the fact that Shane was not allowed to testify on his own behalf during his trial. The appeal states that if he had been allowed to testify, charges would have been lowered to manslaughter, which had a shorter prison term than murder. He would have had to serve a maximum term of ten years for the lower charge. The appeal also explained the details of Shane’s crime. The article states that after the war, Shane had bad fortune in his photography business and became “eccentric in his habits”. It seems that the young boys in the town made sport of harassing Capt. Shane. They would annoy him by putting graffiti on his building and throwing sticks into his studio. The appeal declares that Shane was “a man of irritable temper” and reports that one day the boys threw sticks into his studio and Shane reacted by fatally shooting one of them. This occurred before the invention of the term “PTSD”, but rest assured that such a condition existed among the veterans of the civil war. It is likely that Capt. Shane was a victim of this disorder.  (SOLD)

A PROFILE PORTRAIT OF A PRETTY WOMAN IN KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI (PHOTOGRAPHED BY A CIVIL WAR PHOTOGRAPHER)

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This cabinet card photograph features a profile view of a pretty young woman. She is wearing a high collar blouse and jacket. The young lady’s hair is worn up in a sweep and she is wearing earrings. The photograph was produced by the Carpenter Photographic Rooms in Kansas City, Missouri. Marion S. Carpenter was a daguerreotypist in Dayton, Ohio in 1850. He than conducted his photography business in Cincinnati at the Palace Art Studio between 1857 and 1865. During the Civil War he was a staff photographer for the United States Government. He photographed Abraham Lincoln on three occasions. After the war he went to Kansas City, Missouri where he continued to operate a photography business. The Bulletin of Photography (1913) notes his passing at age 84 while living in Kansas City. The notification indicates that he was still actively involved in business in 1913, the year of his death.

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PRETTY TEENAGE GIRL IN DETROIT, MICHIGAN

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This carte de visite portrait features a pretty teenage girl who seems to be pursing her lips to hold back a smile. She has less success hiding her “smiling eyes”. The teenager is wearing jet earrings and a jet necklace. Her hairstyle includes a braided pony tail and curly bangs. The photographer of this image is the Bigelow studio in Detroit, Michigan. The reverse of this cdv advertises that Mr Edwin Burnham Bigelow (1838-1916) was a medal winner in a number of photography exhibitions. These medals were awarded in 1872 and 1876 which obviously lets us know that this cdv was produced in or shortly after 1876. A photo of Mr. Bigelow can be seen below. He is listed in the Detroit Business Directory (1879)  as being a photographer at the same Woodward Avenue address as listed on this cdv. At the time of the directory entry he had a partner (Elmer Taylor) in the ownership of his studio. Bigelow was a civil war veteran. He served with the 5th Michigan Cavalry (Company B). He enlisted as a Sergeant and served between 1862 and 1865. He was captured by the Confederates at the Battle of Buckland Mills (Virginia). He was a prisoner for about nine months. An interesting side note is the lettering “NPA” seen on the center bottom of the cdv. NPA is the abbreviation the “National Photographic Association” which was a photographers fraternal organization that convened for the first time in Boston in the year 1869. The organization was involved in arranging exhibitions, education, and lobbying for laws that would protect their profession. In the 1870’s the organization had more than 1,000 members. The organization dissolved in 1876 due to internal disputes. In 1880 a new version of the association was born in the form of the “Photogaphers Association of America” (PAA). This Carte de Visite is the first one that I’ve seen with the “NPA” initials and I have seen many Carte de Visites.

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