Photographer, George Kidder, of the Gem Studio in Melrose, Massachusetts, produced this photograph of a young street urchin. Street urchin is truly a horrid word to describe what appears to be a homeless or poor child residing primarily in the streets of her town or city.  The little girl featured in this cabinet card may be neither homeless or poor but she certainly conveys that impression. She clearly is not dressed in fine or cute clothing like many children who posed for photographers in the cabinet card era. The photograph appears to be taken outside but may have been taken inside a studio. The previous owner of this image labelled the subject of this photograph as “Little Miss Attitude”.  The photographer of this cabinet card, George R. Kidder was found in both the 1870 and 1880 United States Census. He was listed in both censuses as being a photographer and as residing in Watertown, Massachusetts. He was married to Rebecca Kidder and had two daughters. It appears that Kidder was a veteran of the civil war. George R. Kidder was a member of Company I in the 1st Regiment Infantry of the Massachusetts Volunteers. He entered service as a private and left service with the same rank.

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Published in: on October 15, 2022 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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This cabinet card portrait features a pretty and fashionable young woman. She appears to be in her teenage years. Note that she is wearing a brooch at her collar. The young lady’s portrait was taken by Edward Lyman Jaynes at his studio in Spencer, Massachusetts. Jaynes operated his studio in Spencer between 1873 and 1920. Jaynes was born in Massachusetts 1842. He served in the Massachusetts 17th infantry regiment during the civil war. He began and finished his service as a private. One source reports that Jaynes died in 1937, at age 95. This cabinet card has gold bevelled edges. (SOLD)



This carte de visite portrait features Civil War Union Cavalry Major General, Hugh Judson Kilpatrick (1836-1881). He was a 1861 graduate of West Point and quickly rose in the ranks as the war progressed. As a General, he was considered to be reckless with the lives of his soldiers. He developed a disparaging nickname of “Kilcavalry” or “Kill-Cavalry” for his disregard of the lives of his men. After the war, he became the United States Minister to Chile. This cdv is on thinner than usual card stock. The photo has a bumped top right hand corner and is in overall fair condition.  SOLD


This original cabinet card photograph features a forlorn looking young woman. She is wearing two lovely bracelets. This image was photographed by Edgar Decker (1832-1905). He was one of Cleveland’s earliest and most renowned photographers. Decker was raised on a farm in New York. He grew up to be a shopkeeper. He developed an interest in photography. When he moved to Cleveland in 1857, he went to work in photography studios. After two years of experience, he opened his own studio, which operated for over 40 years. His subjects included many accomplished people including performers, businessmen, and politicians. In fact, Decker photographed four US Presidents, John James Audubon (ornithologist),  as well as General William Sherman. In 1862, he photographed encamped Union army soldiers before they left Cleveland to be engaged in the civil war. Decker won many awards in photography competitions. In 1887, he was elected President of the National Photographic Association. He served on Cleveland’s City Council from 1878 through 1882. Decker was succeeded by his protege, George Edmondson. Edmonson became a successful and well known photographer in his own right. (SOLD)

Published in: on December 7, 2021 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Florence Mette Young poses for her portrait at the studio of Fred S. Crowell, in Mount Vernon, Ohio. Florence is well dressed and apparently likes jewelry. She is wearing two rings, two bracelets and a necklace. Florence appears to be deep in thought. What might she be pondering about? The 1880 U.S. census reveals that she was born in 1862 and at the time of the census, she was living with her parents, Charles and Angelina Young. Her father was a farmer and her mother was a homemaker. The photographer of this cabinet card, Fred S. Crowell, can also 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 another  photography studio that was in business until at least 1889. To view other photographs by Crowell, click on the category “Photographer: Crowell”. This cabinet card portrait is in good condition (see scans).

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This cabinet card is a portrait of Reverend Albert Tyler (1823-1913) who was a publisher and historian in Worcester,  Massachusetts. Tyler was a Universalist minister. Tyler’s portrait was done by the studio of Davis & Woodward, located in Webster, Massachusetts. Tyler’s name, date of birth, and date of death are listed in an inscription on the reverse of the photograph. This image was taken in his later years and he has a long gray beard that becomes very wispy at its bottom. In the book, “History of  Worcester Massachusetts” , by Lincoln and Hersey (1862), Tyler is said to have been born in Smithfield, Rhode Island. The publication states that Tyler was ordained in 1851 from the Union Association of  Universalists in Warren, Massachusetts. He then became pastor of churches in Oxford, Ma. (2 years), Granby, Connecticut (6 years), and Quincy, Ma.. Next he moved to Worcester and entered the printing business. The Webster Times (1889) supplies an interesting story about Reverend Tyler. He was in attendance of the 28th reunion of the 15th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment (Company E) when he displayed some unusual behavior. Tyler “created a sensation” among the 25 veterans in attendance “by rising and saying he received a “spiritual communication” from Lieutenant Nelson Bartholomew who had died during the war. The message that Tyler received stated that the Lieutenant’s spirit was attending the meeting and found it “most enjoyable to him” and that he loved his comrades, just as he had in 1861. This cabinet card photograph is in very good condition (see scans).



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This cabinet card photograph features a young woman with crimped hair and wearing a beaded dress. She is also wearing a tassel and earrings. The womans photo portrait was taken by E. M. Johnson, who operated a studio in Crown Point, New York. The town of Crown Point is located on the west shore of Lake Champlain. The photographer’s full name was Elbert M. Johnson (1844-1910). He was born in Whiting, Vermont. Sometime before 1850 his family moved to Wadhams Mills (near Westport), New York. Growing up, he worked on his family’s farm. In 1864, during the American Civil War, he enlisted in Company E of the 2nd New York Cavalry Regiment. He was a private. At the war’s end, he returned to Westport and learned the art and business of running a photography studio. He opened his photography studio in Crown Point and was an active member of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR). SOLD



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. This cdv is in very good condition (see scans).  SOLD




This photograph features an interesting looking older couple. The husband stands in the background with a sullen expression while the wife, appearing quite intense, stands in the forefront. One wonders if the positioning in this image reflects their respective roles in their relationship. Written notations on the reverse of this photograph reveals that the subjects in the image are “Barclay and Sarah George”. The photo is dated “1900”. No photographer or location is indicated but research quickly discovered that this couple resided in Tonganoxie, Kansas at the time this photograph was produced. The 1900 Federal census revealed that Barclay  was born in Indiana in 1839, making him 60 years old at the time of this photograph. He had one parent that was born in Virginia while the other hailed from North Carolina. Sarah George was born in 1846 in Indiana, making her 53 years old when this picture was taken. Her parents were native to North Carolina. The couple was married in 1863. The 1895 and Kansas census reported that the pair still lived in Tonganoxie on their farm and had two teenage children. The 1905 Kansas census also found them residing in Tonganoxie. Further research revealed that Barclay was a participant in the War Between the States. He served in the 13th Iowa Infantry (Company B). Sarah filed for Barclay’s civil war pension in 1898 stating that he had become an “invalid”. In 1923 she filed for his pension upon his death. She made the death claim while living in Texas. Barclay George (1839-1923) is buried in the Fairview Cemetery in Pampa, Texas. An interesting side note concerns the origin of the name of “Tonganoxie”. “Tonganoxie” was the name of the chief of the Delaware tribe that occupied the area. The town was established in 1866. This vintage photo measures about 6 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ and is in very good condition (see scans). 

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This cabinet card photograph features a Michigan cowboy. If he is not a cowboy, he certainly is wearing a cowboy-like hat. This fellow has long hair. It is unusually long hair for the cabinet card era. The photographer of this portrait is Obadiah A. Kelley. He was a photographer in Ann Arbor, Michigan from at least 1862 and 1898. He was located at the 6 Huron Street address from 1886 until 1893. He was born in Vermont. He married Mary Elizabeth Frost in 1842. The couple had three sons. One son enlisted as a private in the First United States Sharp Shooters (Company F) and died of disease at City Point, Virginia in 1864. He served only slightly more than a month before meeting his end. Obadiah’s wife died in 1879. In 1880, he married Amelia Walker. An 1889 article in a local Ann Arbor newspaper, “The Argus” reports Obadiah’s brush with the spiritual world. A resident clairvoyant believed that the spirits were active in her community. To test her conviction, she hired Obadiah to accompany her and a friend to “one of the most romantic parts of the boulevard” and take their photograph. The newspaper reports a strange occurrence upon Obadiah removing the negative from the camera. He was shocked to see twelve figures in the photo, rather than the two figures he expected. The writer posits that Obadiah could never be convinced to take any more pictures on the boulevard again if there were any clairvoyants around. Note the chip in the top left hand corner of this cabinet card. Overall, this photograph is in good condition (see scans). (SOLD)