These risque vintage real photo postcards feature Maud Allan (1873-1956). She was a Canadian-born dancer, choreographer, and actress, who performed in the United States and Europe at the turn of the 20th century. She was known for her performances of the “Vision of Salome”, an interpretive dance based on the Oscar Wilde play “Salome”, in which she portrayed the title character. Allan’s performances were controversial and often drew criticism for their erotic content. She also was known for her court case in 1918 against a British newspaper, the Illustrated Times, who published an article accusing her of promoting immorality and lesbianism. She sued for libel and won. In regard to Allan’s sexual orientation, she was a lesbian and was involved with women her entire life. She had a long affair with Margot Asquith, the wife of Herbert Henry Asquith, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1908 through 1916. Allan also had a long affair with Verna Aldrich, her secretary.

 Postcard 1 presents Allan dancing as “Salome”. She is wearing a sexually provocative costume. She is covered with jewelry. This postcard was published by Rotary Photo as part of a series (No.4946B). Miss Allan’s photograph was taken by the Foulsham & Banfield studio. An inscription on the card’s reverse reveals that the card is from 1908. (SOLD)

Postcard 2 This postcard also presents Allan dancing as “Salome”. Once again, she is wearing a sexually provocative costume and is covered with jewelry. This postcard was published by Rotary Photo as part of a series (No.4946Q). Miss Allan’s photograph was taken by the Foulsham & Banfield studio. This card is from circa 1908. (SOLD)




SIX LADIESThis photograph was produced by G Ewald in Cassel, Germany.  The image shows six women standing in a row. They are showing a great deal of affection toward each other and seem to be having a good time. Writing on the reverse of the image indicates that the photograph was taken in 1904. The town of Cassel became known as Kassel in 1928.

Published in: on April 22, 2013 at 12:30 am  Comments (11)  
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Two affectionate men pose for their portrait in Newton, Kansas. The men look quite dapper in their suits and with their straw hats. Note that the gentleman wearing the suit and vest has a pocket watch chain visible atop his vest. He is also holding a walking stick.The man standing, and the man sitting on the hammock are showing some shared affection. They could be friends, relatives, or even lovers. It is impossible to guess their relationship. One wonders if homophobia was much of a factor in the cabinet card era in regard to men showing affection to men in public or in photographs. Perhaps a visitor to the cabinet card gallery can competently comment on this issue. The photographer of this image is the Tripp studio in Newton, Kansas. According to print on the reverse of the photograph, the studio was located on the corner of Main Street and Broadway. The photographer, Frank D. Tripp is cited in Anthony’s Photographic Bulletin (1896) as the President of the Photographers Association of Kansas. Another source states that Tripp “flourished” as a photographer in Newton during the 1880’s. Tripp’s obituary appears in The Evening Kansan Republican (1947). He died in Denver, Colorado at age eighty. He was described in the article as a pioneer photographer in Newton. He was an officer in the Newton Masonic Lodge. At some point he moved to Pueblo, Colorado where he was a partner in the Tripp and York photography studio.

Published in: on February 24, 2013 at 12:01 am  Comments (2)  
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This cabinet card features two men dressed for work and holding some sort of tool or scraper. They appear to be wearing leather work aprons. This is a wonderful example of an occupational cabinet card but unfortunately, it is not clear what these men’s occupation happens to be. It has been suggested that the men may be textile workers. The photographer of this image is John Randolph Schaeffer. He seems to have forgotten that this studio photograph was supposed to depict an outside scene. That is unless it is common to see curtains hanging in the outdoors in Gormania, West Virginia. Schaeffer was born on a Gormania farm in 1858. His family was of German heritage. After finishing school at age twenty, he entered the teaching profession. He pursued his education career for seventeen years; during his last year (1909) he was a principal of a school. During his education career he earned a Masters Degree in Didactics and also did photography. He entered the business of photography after leaving teaching. His studio not only was a  photographic gallery, but it also sold photo supplies, jewelry, and other commodities. He was also appointed by President Woodrow Wilson to the position of postmaster for two terms. In his spare time he supported the Democratic party and was a member of Odd Fellows. He married Susie C. Miller in 1894 and the couple had seven children. The Library of Congress lists Schaeffer as holding at least two copyrights. He also published a view book entitled From Baltimore to Charleston (1906)The book was cited by one reviewer as containing “magnificent scenery” photographs. The town of Gormania has had a number of names. Its present name honors a US Senator from Maryland , Arthur Gorman. One of the towns previous names was Schaefferville, named after early settler Jacob Schaeffer (father of photographer John Schaeffer). Jacob Schaeffer and one of his sons owned and operated the town’s first tannery. The business was sold in 1889. We know a lot about the photographer of this portrait but still don’t have any idea of the occupation of the two subjects in the photograph. Lets play “What’s My Line?”. Hopefully, some cabinet card gallery visitors will leave comments with their hypotheses about the type of work the men in this portrait did. My uninformed guess is that the subjects in this photograph are tannery workers.


    Two men pose together  at the Clark studio in Albany. It is not clear which state Albany is located in, but the most likely answer is New York.  L. Wilson Clark was a photographer in Albany, New York. He may be the photographer that produced this cabinet card. The two fellows in this image seem to be well acquainted. The man on the right has a big smile, while the gentleman on the left, seems rather uncomfortable with his friend’s intimacy.  The men are wearing suits with neckties and wonderful hats. Their clothing does not seem to be of the finest quality.

Published in: on December 3, 2011 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  


This cabinet card features two well-dressed men posing for their portrait in a studio belonging to J. W. Ecker. The studio was located in Evansville, Indiana and at one time was called the Sunbeam Gallery. . The men in this photograph are wearing identical outfits. Note their striped pants, derby hats and canes. The man on the left is holding a cigar. They are posed in front of a nice backdrop depicting a forest.

Published in: on September 29, 2011 at 12:01 am  Comments (3)  
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This cabinet card photograph is a portrait of Mr. Henry Lutsch. The reverse of the photograph has an inscription stating “Henry Lutsch, a teacher of mine”. There is no other identifying information. The photographer and the studio location are unknown. Perhaps one of Cabinet Card Gallery’s visitors, will be able to provide additional information. They have demonstrated amazing genealogical detective skills in the past illustrated by their informative comments. The only information that I was able to recover, comes from the 1880 U.S. census. Henry Lutsch was born 1n 1869, in the state of Wisconsin. The head of household, at the time of the census was Jacob Lutsch, who was born in Switzerland. Jacob Lutsch was probably Henry”s father. The “Census Place” was Great Bend, Barton, Kansas. The town of Great Bend was settled in the early 1870’s and located in Barton County, Kansas.  Interestingly, this cabinet card was originally purchased from a collector in Kansas. Mr Lutsch is a handsome man and he has an admirable mustache which places him in Cabinet Card Gallery’s category of “Mustaches (Only the Best). Click on the category to view some amazing displays of  facial hair. Thinking about this cabinet card prompts the question as to why a student would want a photograph of his, or her, teacher. Is the answer to the question as simple as that the student wanted a keepsake from their education experience; like modern day students often want a yearbook upon graduation. Another possible explanation is that the student had a crush on the handsome Mr Lutsch, and wanted a portrait of him in order to hang on to their fantasy, just a little longer.

Published in: on August 3, 2011 at 12:01 am  Comments (2)  
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This cabinet card photograph captures two young men posing with their bicycles. They are wearing similar and  unusual outfits. it looks like they are wearing the predecessor to “hoodies”. However, rather than hoods, it appears that they are wearing capes. Both guys are also wearing flowers pinned to their chest. Are these fellows about to ride in a parade? Are they wearing typical bike riding outfits? Hopefully, a visitor to the cabinet card gallery will leave an informative comment concerning the subjects outfits. The photographer of this image is M. R. Cole of Peck, Michigan. Cole is listed in a 1904 Michigan directory as a photographer and a jeweler.

Published in: on June 19, 2011 at 12:02 am  Comments (2)  
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The  previous owner of this cabinet card believed that the woman in the image may be a man. Perhaps the jacket and tie that she is wearing is the predominant evidence that she/he is a cross dresser. I am not very convinced that the subject of this photograph is a man, but it certainly is a possibility. Never forget the wise words of the well respected group of philosophers known as the Kinks; “Well I’m not the world’s most masculine man, but I know what I am, and I’m glad I’m a man, so is Lola”. An interesting side note is that the photographer of this image, Will C. Fryatt, is responsible for a number of other unusual photographs taken at his studio in Montezuma, Iowa. It is entirely possible that Fryatt never took the photograph, but instead, bought the rights to sell it at his studio. There is also a possibility that the individual in this image is an actor/actress from a touring theatre company. Another mystery that this cabinet card presents is as follows: Why does a town in Iowa get named after an Aztec Emperor of Mexico? Stay tuned, research is in progress. A visitor to the cabinet card gallery commented that the woman in this cabinet card looked very  much like male impersonator, Ella Wesner (1851-1917) who was popular in the 1880’s. She was a part of the Gilded Age vaudeville circuit. You can view an image of Miss Wesner below. The assertion that the portraits of the two women in these photographs look similar, is very true. Do you think that they are one and the same person?



A very handsome man poses for his portrait at the Dana studio in Brooklyn, New York. Information written on the reverse of the photograph indicates that this good looking gentleman was named Ferdinand Clauburg. The inscription also indicates that the date of this photograph was July 2nd, 1897. Mr. Clauburg is well dressed and is wearing a pin on his lapel. The Dana studio was located at 565 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, New York. Edward Cary Dana (1853-1897) was born in Boston, Massachusetts, developed an interest in photography, and moved to Brooklyn, where he opened a studio. In time he had a great reputation as a skilled photographer and had established three galleries in New York City. He died at age 44 of kidney problems and left a widow, Miss Ada Sherman, of Staten Island, New York.