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)


Young parents pose with their two children at the James Haus studio in Mifflinburg, Pennsylvania. Dad is wearing a three piece suit with a bow tie. Mom is wearing a dress with many buttons and a collar pin. Both Dad and Mom are wearing very serious expressions like so many photographer subjects did during the cabinet card era. Dad has a bushy mustache and Mom has wavy or curly hair. She holds her baby securely on her lap. The older child is making sure he is standing close to his father and has his hand resting lightly on father’s leg. The photographer of this portrait is James Haus. He appears in both the 1870 and 1880 US census as a photographer. He was born in 1842 and married to Mary Haus. The 1880 census indicates that the couple had two children. Haus served as a private in the civil war and he served as a musician. Part of his service was with the Fifth Pennsylvania Infantry. This cabinet card portrait is in very good condition (see scans). Note the butterfly design on the reverse of the photograph. 


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Published in: on April 11, 2021 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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This post cabinet card era portrait features a profile view of a pretty woman. She looks quite proper in her fashionable clothing and with her hair gathered atop her head. She is wearing flowers as well as a lace-like necklace hanging down the front of her dress. I can’t decide it’s purpose but perhaps it is to hold a pocket watch. In fact, I believe I may see a timepiece peeking out from the top of her skirt. This image comes from the A. N. Donaldson studio in Logansport, Indiana. He did a terrific job with the soft backlighting seen in this photograph. Research revealed some biographical information about the photographer Albert Newton Donaldson (1841-1906). He settled in Logansport in 1867. Earlier, he had participated in the civil war. In 1861 he entered the service as a private and after some time left the service as a corporal. He served in Indiana’s 10th Infantry (Company H). One source reports that Donaldson deserted from his unit on 6/15/1862 at Corinth, Mississippi. A second source never mentions the desertion. The 1880 US census revealed that he was married in 1865 to Susan E Donaldson. The 1880 census, as well as the 1900 census, listed his occupation as being a photographer. This vintage photograph is in very good condition (see scans).

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A young woman poses for her portrait at the Bishop studio in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. The woman appears pleasant and quite relaxed. Unlike most cabinet card subjects, she is actually displaying a bit of a smile. The photographer, Henry Bishop, is mentioned in some accounts of the Confederate incursion into Pennsylvania during the civil war. According to Historical Reminiscences of the War  (1884), published by the Kittochtinny Historical Society, it seems that Bishop met southern General A. P. Hill in the street near his studio. They had a conversation in which General Hill asked Bishop about some of the people he had known in the area while Hill was stationed at nearby Carlisle Barracks before the war. Hill told Bishop that General Lee was on his way to town to meet with him. While he was telling Bishop that Lee was coming, Lee’s approach was seen in the distance. Bishop hurried back to his studio to prepare to  capture a picture of General Lee. He opened the studio’s windows and pointed the camera lens out the window. Unfortunately for Bishop, Lee and Hill’s meeting on the street was a brief one, and he was unable to capture the historic scene. This cabinet card portrait is in good condition (see scans).

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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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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)                                                                                               


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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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