This cabinet card portrait features a young man in uniform and a young woman wearing a uniform type dress. The man’s cap has a patch that appears to show a horse and rider. The woman is wearing glasses as well as jewelry. Note her large watch. What is the story that goes with this lovely couple. Are they even a couple? They could be siblings. Is the young man wearing a military uniform? The previous owner of this photograph stated that this is a portrait of two telegraph workers. The man in uniform was described as a telegraph delivery boy (man). The website “Photographers of Great Britain and Ireland 1840-1940” tells the story of the photographer who produced this photograph. Henry Bown (1841-1921) began his career as a photographer sometime between 1871 and 1876. At the time that he produced this cabinet card, he had six photo studios around London. This photo came from his studio on New Kent Road. Henry had five sons involved in his business. In 1919, his son Charles Bown took over the business. A photograph of the New Kent Road studio can be seen below. This cabinet card has excellent clarity and is in very good condition (see scans).

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                                                                                                                          Henry Bown’s New Kent Road studio

Published in: on November 4, 2018 at 1:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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This vintage real photo postcard features a World War I era ambulance and two members of it’s crew. This postcard presents a number of questions. Is this a military or civilian ambulance? The attendants are wearing uniforms but are they military uniforms? The windshield of the ambulance has a cover and two very small windows. Is this windshield military issued? After doing some research, it is clear that this postcard pictures a civilian ambulance. A box on the running board of the vehicle has printing which states that the ambulance (or the box) was “presented by Messrs. Dorman Long & Co. Ltd.”. Dorman Long is an engineering company which does consulting as well as manufactures equipment for the construction of long-span bridges, power stations, and other large building structures. At it’s creation, the company was based in Middlesbrough, in northeast England. The company was founded in 1875. A logo on the the side of the ambulance indicates that the emergency vehicle was part of the St. John Ambulance Association. This group was founded in 1877. In 1887 they began it’s first uniformed first-aiders brigade. The organization continues today and has become international. There are 40 national organizations and 500,000 volunteers worldwide. The eight pointed Maltese Cross is a component of all the different national logos. This historic postcard has excellent clarity and is in good condition (see scans).  SOLD

Published in: on August 4, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Comments (4)  
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MILLARD 4                                                                                                                                                                                                                               POSTCARD 4  #2466

                                                         The top vintage real photo postcard (#1) features  a portrait of English stage actress Evelyn Millard (1869-1941). She was well known for her acting in Shakespearian theater as well as for her beauty. She is also noted for creating the role of Cecily Cardewin in the premier of Oscar Wildes play “The Importance of Being Earnest” (1895). This postcard was produced by the Rotary Photo Company of London, England.

    The second postcard is a portrait of Miss Millard taken by the Davidson Brothers studio in London, England. The postcard is part of a series (“Real Photographic Series” no. 2195). Davidson Brothers was located in both London and New York City. The firm operated between 1901 and 1911. Some of their theatrical postcard portraits have the same format as many of the Rotograph photo cards.  This postcard was postmarked in South Lambeth in 1907. Lambeth is a district in Central London. The writer of the message on this postcard starts the communication with “Dear Lizzie, I think this is one of your favorites”. Most likely the writer was stating that Evelyn Millard was one of the favorite actresses of the recipient of the postcard. Collecting postcard images of theatrical stars was certainly quite popular at the time this postcard was written.

The third postcard is color tinted and was produced by the Rotary Postcard Co. as part of the Rotary Photographic Series ( no. 191G). The photographer was T. C. Turner who operated studios in London and Hull, England. Thomas Charles Turner (1839-1896) operated his London studio between 1870 and 1900. Millard is clearly in costume for this portrait. Note her unusual pin. It looks like a multi-eyed horror movie insect. This vintage postcard is in very good condition (see scans).

Postcard number four is rare. Miss Millard looks quite beautiful and is dressed in an exquisite gown. Note, that unlike most of her other portrait postcards, Evelyn has blonde hair. Most of her photo postcards show her with dark hair. It is very possible, even likely, that she is wearing a wig in this portrait. The photographer of this image was the Lafayette studio. The firm was founded in Dublin in 1880 by James Stack Lauder. His father, Edmund Lauder was a pioneering and successful photographer. The elder Lauder used the name “Lafayette’ to give the company a touch of Paris, which was a a city considered the center of the art and photography world. James was joined in business by his three photographer brothers. By the 1900, the company had studios in Glasgow, Manchester, London and Belfast. The studio also was invited to photograph Queen Victoria. The company still exists today. This postcard was published by J. Beagles & Co. of London, England. The postcard is part of a series (no. G 511.P). The “G” is an abbreviation for “glossy”. There was also a matte version of this postcard portrait. John Beagles (1844-1909) was born in England. At age 17 he was a “pupil teacher”. In the census of 1891, he is listed as a “photographic publisher” in Nottingham. Later he established J. Beagles & Co. in London. He and his successors produced a variety of postcards including an extensive catalog of celebrity (stage and screen) portrait postcards. The firm also published topographic and view cards, as well as a series called “Matrimonial Cats”. After Beagle’s death, the business continued as J. Beagles & Co. until it closed in 1939. This postcard has great clarity and is in excellent condition.                                     


    POSTCARD 4         


Buy this original Real Photo Postcard (includes shipping within the US) #2466

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                                                                   POSTCARD  1

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                                                                       POSTCARD 2

millard3                                                                   POSTCARD 3

                                                                                                MILLARD 4 2        POSTCARD 4


Mollie Lowell, a stage actress, is featured in this vintage real photo postcard. According to the Internet Broadway Data Base (IBDB), she appeared in one Broadway play. The play was a musical comedy and entitled “Our Miss Gibbs” (1910). Sketch (1899) reports that Lowell was born in Newcastle-on-tyne and was of Irish descent. She joined the Carl Rosa Opera Company and played small parts. Next, she was signed by George Edwardes and she appeared in “The Geisha” (1896) and “A Greek Slave” (1898). She then had great success in the production of “Her Royal Highness”. Play Pictorial (1906) cites her appearance in “The Beauty of Bath”. This photo postcard, published by Rotary Photo, was part of the Rotary Photographic Series (no.1964B) and was printed in England. The photographer of Miss Lowell’s portrait is listed as Play Pictorial magazine, indicating that the photo likely appeared in that publication.

Buy this original Real Photo Postcard (includes shipping within the US) #2421

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This cabinet card portrait features a little boy holding the reigns of his toy horse in one hand and a whip in the other hand. The child is adorably dressed from head to toe. The toy horse beside him is nearly as tall as he is, and is very realistic looking. The horse even has a mane with real hair. E. I. Ellery is the photographer of this lovely image. His studio was located in the city of Truro which is located in Cornwall, England. On the reverse of the photograph is a very elaborate logo advertising Mr. Ellery’s services. An inscription on the reverse identifies the child as being “Percy Rogers” at two years and two months of age.

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Published in: on May 12, 2018 at 4:15 pm  Comments (2)  
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An Arlo Guthrie song has the following lyrics. “I don’t want a pickle. Just want to ride on my motorcycle. And I don’t want a tickle. Cause I’d rather ride on my motorcycle.” Motorcyclists often have a passionate relationship with their bikes and riding, Perhaps the chap in this vintage snapshot shares that same enthusiasm. This photo features a middle aged or older motor cyclist. His bike has a British (Bristol) license plate and was manufactured by the Douglas company. Douglas was a British motorcycle manufacturer that operated from 1907 through 1957. The company was based in the city of Bristol.  Interestingly, the company also built cars in its early days (1913-1922). This photograph measures about 3 3/8″ x 2 3/8″ and is in good condition (see scans). I believe that this photograph is from the 1920’s.

Published in: on April 1, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Comments (7)  
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This cabinet card portrait features a mother and her young daughter. The mother is wearing a dark dress while the daughter is dressed in white; creating a nice contrast in this family photograph. This photo was taken at Sargent Brothers studio in Cardiff, Wales. Cardiff is a port city on the coast of South Wales. I found another cabinet card image at an internet site that reveals that the Sargent Brothers also had studios in the cities of Bristol, Newport, and Penarth.

Published in: on March 10, 2018 at 12:00 am  Comments (1)  
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This vintage real photo postcard features beautiful music hall actress Miss Hilda Hammerton. Hammerton was known for being one of the “Cozy Corner Girls”. She and Gertrude Thornton, and Clare Richards appeared as the Cozy girls in the musical comedy, “The Earl and the Girl” (1903) which was produced at the Adelphi Theater. “Weekly Magazine” (1904) article reports that Hammerton performed a very heroic act. She risked her life to save the life of a little child. While out walking, she heard people screaming about a little girl in danger who had strayed into the roadway and was in “imminent danger” of being run over by a fast approaching vehicle. The actress ran to the scene and scooped up the child, and barely avoided being hit by the speeding truck. It was reported that witnesses to the scene gave her an ovation for her quick actions. There are three portraits of Miss Hammerton in England’s National Portrait Gallery. The talented photographer responsible for this lovely portrait is Bassano. Two of the three portraits of Hammerton in the National Portrait Gallery are by Alexander Bassano. Bassano  (1829 –1913) was a leading royal and high society photographer in Victorian London. This postcard was published in England by the Davidson Brothers. Davidson Brothers was located in both London and New York City. The firm operated between 1901 and 1911. This postcard is part of the “Real Photographic Series” (no. 2253). The message on this postcard is written in French, but the sender mailed it from England. The postmark indicates that it was stamped in Edinburgh, England in 1907. The postcard was mailed to someone in Paris, France.





betty balfour




Have you ever heard of Betty Balfour? You would definitely know who she was if you lived in England during the silent film era because she is considered the most popular actress there during the 1920’s. She was known as the “British Mary Pickford” and “Britain’s Queen of Happiness”. Her fans knew her best for her “Squibs” series of films. Betty Balfour (1903-1977) was also known for her stage career. She made her stage debut in 1913 and worked in theater for several years before entering the film industry. She did not attempt to extend her career to Hollywood  but she did star in a number of German films. In Britain she starred in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Champagne” (1928). Her sound era debut was in “The Nipper” (1930), Her popularity began to drop in the 1930’s though she still was getting film roles. In all, she appeared in more than 35 films. Balfour was married to composer Jimmy Campbell but the marriage fell apart in 1941 after a ten year run. She attempted a theater comeback in 1952 but it failed. She died in Weybridge, Surrey, England at the age of seventy-four. This vintage real photo postcard was produced by Picturegoer as part of a series (no. 2a). The company was based in London. Picturegoer was a British fan magazine focussing on contemporary films and the actors and actresses who performed in them. Picturegoer also published postcards. In fact, they produced over 6500 different real photo postcards on 2000 actors and actresses.

The second real photo postcard see here is of unknown origin. The publisher is not identified nor is the photographer. Interestingly, just as in the first image, Miss Balfour is wearing pearls. She certainly was quite pretty.

The third real photo postcard features Miss Balfour in costume wearing a headpiece with very large feathers. Her v-neck dress is very beautiful. The portrait of Miss Balfour was taken by the Maull and Fox studio. The postcard was published by Cinimagazine and was part of a series (no. 84). Henry Maull (1829-1914) was a British photographer known for his portraits of famous individuals. He became a member of the Royal Photographic Society in 1870. During his career he had several partnerships. One of these partnerships (c1856-1865) was with George Henry Polyblank and the pair were very talented and produced great photographs. Between 1879 and 1885 Maul partnered with John Fox (1832-1907). The partnership with Fox was ended due to bankruptcy. However, the studio’s name was maintained after the bankruptcy by Fox’s son Herbert. Examination of the date of Maull and Fox’s partnership, it is clear that this photograph was produced by a photographer operating after the reign of Maull and Fox. Much of Maull’s work can be seen at the National Portrait Gallery in London, England.

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This vintage real photo postcard features Edwardian theater actress Miss Dorothy Chard. Preliminary research yielded little information about her life and her career. More intensive research is required to uncover biographical information. The Internet Broadway Data Base (IBDB) notes that Miss Chard appeared in eleven Broadway shows from 1926 through 1930. She played in musicals but she primarily appeared in comedies. Among her credits are “Merry-Go-Round” (1927) and “Cinderelative” (1930). The dearth of information about Miss Chard reveals that she certainly was not a leading actress of her time but she certainly was beautiful and well known enough to merit the publishing of a photo postcard by the Rotary Postcard company. This postcard was part of the Rotary Photographic series (no. 4353 A). The photograph of Dorothy Chard appearing on this postcard was taken by the Foulsham & Banfield Studio.The pair were well known celebrity photographers. Frank Foulsham and A. C. Banfield operated a studio from the 1900’s through the 1920’s. The postcard is postmarked 1909 from Edinburg, Scotland. Edinburg is Scotland’s capital city. The content of the message on this postcard mentions “fresh cards” referring to newly released photo postcards. Collecting such cards was a popular hobby during this era. I guess this hobby was a precursor to collecting pokemon. I prefer collecting photo portraits. Call me “old school”.                                                             The second vintage postcard features a portrait of Dorothy Chard from the same series as the top postcard. This Rotary postcard (no. 4353 K) presents a more complete view of the actress. Miss Chard was dressed in different clothing and accessories for the two portraits. She looks very friendly in card 1 but has an arrogant expression in card 2. The message on the reverse of this postcard states “Dearest Lil, Have you been feeling well today. I have. M. has not spoken to me yet. Wish I was going to see you tonight. –?– on saturday night. Have you had your chocolates? Hope you will like the P-C (postcard). I think it is very good. With fondest love. I remain yours forever.  (JM?)  My- Word -” It is interesting that the writers of postcard 1 and 2 both mention the photo postcard that they are sending. It would be interesting to know what “My-Word-” means. Does it mean “I will remain yours forever, you have my word”. Hopefully, a Cabinet Card Gallery visitor will be able to offer an explanation,



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