This cabinet card features three children, likely siblings, posing for their portrait at a photographic gallery in Polotsk, Belarus. The young girl in the photograph is holding a ball held inside netting. Perhaps a visitor to the cabinet card gallery can provide more details about this toy. The previous owner of this cabinet card is from St. Petersburg, Russia. He has provided the photographers location, as well as the photographers name, Bernstein. He also contends that the way that the subjects are dressed in this image, indicates that they are scouts. In addition, the previous owner also asserts that the photographer of this image was Jewish. In fact, research reveals that the population of Polotsk in 1897 was over 20,000, and more than half of those residents were Jewish. There was a strong Orthodox Jewish community there.  The “Jewish Virtual Library” indicates that in the late nineteenth century, the city became embroiled in anti-Jewish agitation.



An exquisite looking teen beauty poses for her portrait at the studio of Fieldman. Fieldman had two galleries, and they were located in Newark and Jersey City, New Jersey. This Jersey girl has a fine hat and a fine figure. The photographer of this cabinet card photograph was Isidore Fieldman (1869-?). He was born in Russia and arrived in America during 1891. He was listed as a photographer in the 1900 through the 1930 U.S. Census. He and his wife Rose (born in Poland) spoke Yiddish, indicating that they were of the Jewish faith. During at least some of their years, the couple and their family lived in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Their children included Esther (born 1890), Milton (born 1901), Margaret (born 1901), Herman (born 1906), George (born 1914). Milton and Margaret were likely twins. Herman joined his father’s photography business.

Published in: on January 5, 2012 at 12:01 am  Comments (4)  
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This cabinet card features a handsome older man. He was photographed by Louis Silverman of Cortland, New York. The gentleman has a well groomed beard and hairstyle. Louis Silverman was a native of Poland, and emigrated to England, and then, Cortland. He was married to Rachel (Gans) Silverman. He was of the Jewish faith. The photographer was known for other reasons besides his photography business. It appears that Mr. Silverman decided that there was more money to be made in banking than in photography. He became a banker; the owner of Fidelity Bank in New York City. Also of note is that Silverman’s son, Sime Silverman (1872-?), founded and published Variety Magazine in 1905. He borrowed the seed money from his father-in-law. Sime’s father did not approve of Vaudeville Reviews and refused to back his son’s venture.

Published in: on October 8, 2011 at 2:42 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A long bearded gentleman with a black hat poses for his portrait at the studio of H. O. Eichler. It is likely that Eichler was the proprietor of Eichler Artistic Portraits, located at 3 Avenue A, in New York City. However, there is no identifying information about the man in the photograph or the location of the studio. Amazingly, this gentleman could pass for a rabbi or Orthodox Jewish man living in modern day New York City.

Published in: on October 21, 2010 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  
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This family portrait cabinet card was photographed by Sorensen Bela in the city of Papa, Hungary. Due to the age of the seated man and woman, it is difficult to determine the family constellation. Is this a photograph of parents with two daughters? Perhaps its a photograph of a set of parents, their daughter, and their granddaughter? The community of Papa is a historical town in northeast Hungary. The town is noted for its baroque architecture and for being the center of the reformed faith in Transdanubia. In addition, Papa was the third to largest Jewish community in 19th century Hungary.

Published in: on March 7, 2010 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  
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Lily Hanbury (1874-1908) appears on this Cabinet Card by Sarony of New York City. Sarony was one of the celebrated photographers of Theater Stars of the day. Hanbury was an English Stage Performer. She was born and educated in London. Her theatrical debut was in 1888 when she appeared in W. S. Gilbert’s “Pygmalion and Galatea” at the Savoy Theatre. She played on most major English stages and in such productions as “The Three Musketeers”, “The Stranger”, “Lights O London”, and Ibsen’s “Enemy of the People”. She became very popular with her performances in Shakespeare, acting in plays under the management of both Wilson Barrett and Beerbohm Tree. Tragicially, Hanbury lost her life at a young age when she died of complications after delivering a still-born baby. She was cremated and buried in the Jewish Cemetery at Willieden, England.


This Cabinet card featuring a well dressed couple, offers a bit of mystery. The last owner of this card states that this couple are “Brody Yiddish Singers”. So what does that mean? First of all, Brody is a city in Lviv Oblast (province) of western Ukraine. The city was a crossroads and jewish trade center in the 19th century. Brody is considered to be Shtetls,  Brodersanger, Purim, Jewish theater, CzarAlexander III, Berl Margulis, Berl Broder, one of the “shtetls”. The city was famous for the Brodersanger or Broder singers who were among the first Jews to publicly perform Yiddish songs outside of Purim (a holiday) and wedding celebrations. These performers were the precursors of jewish theater. Due to anti Jewish regulation enacted in 1882 by Czar Alexander III of Russia and the resulting exodus of Russian Jews; throughout 1881 hundreds of Jewish immigrants arrived in Brody daily. The most famous Broder singer was Berl Margulis also known as Berl Broder (1815  -1868). It is not certain that this cabinet card really depicts Broder singers and no evidence is available to support the claim , but it is not unusual for families to pass down such information over generations and  there is a reasonable chance that the history is correct and the story is worth telling. The photographer of this cabinet card is Buscdorf.


orthodoxmanThis Cabinet card is an image of a Hasidic Jewish Man. The photograph was taken by M Puhaczevski in Ponevezh, Lithuania. Note the gentleman’s skull cap and his payot (sideburns).

Published in: on May 9, 2009 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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jew-family-in-minsk_0001This Cabinet card comes from the estate of a Jewish family.  The photograph is an image of a Jewish family in Minsk, Russia.  The parents and children are dressed up nicely for their visit to the photographers studio. Note the footwear and the young boy’s hat.

Published in: on April 29, 2009 at 12:33 am  Comments (5)  
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Jewish Family in New York (Meet the Goldberg’s)


M. Goldberg and his family are photographed by Newman’s Studio of Art Photography. The studio was located on Lexington Avenue in New York City. Perhaps the Goldberg’s were recent Jewish immigrants to America.

Published in: on January 10, 2009 at 1:08 am  Leave a Comment  
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