This vintage real photo postcard features soprano, actress, and philanthropist, Elizabeth Firth (1880-1960). Although she was born in Phillipsburg, New Jersey, she became an accomplished singer and actress on the English stage. When she lived in Phillipsburg, she was known as “Jimmy” Firth. The nickname, Jimmy, came courtesy of her beloved father. She went by this moniker with her most intimate friends as well as among those in her theatre world. “Jimmy” graduated from high school in New Jersey and sang as a soprano soloist in the choir of her church. She then entered the New York Conservatory of Music. At a concert at New York City’s Waldorf-Astoria, she came to the attention of a leading London musical directress. Miss Firth then appeared in a few theatrical productions, including a small part in a play starring Viola Allen. In 1903 she accepted an offer to do an English concert tour. Before she could return to the United States, she was signed to a three year contract to act and sing on the English stage. She experienced a great deal of success in Gaiety theatre productions. Among her major roles was her appearance as Natalie, in the “Merry Widow”. The production was in 1907 at the Daly Theatre. Other actors in the play included Lily Elsie and Gabrielle Ray. Five portraits of the actress can be found in England’s National Portrait Gallery. She was known as a beautiful woman. One writer described her as “tall and slender” and that she had a “clear blond complexion along with blue eyes”. She was also considered one of the best dressed women in London. While in England, the actress visited her parents in the US annually and also engaged in theatrical tours there. “Jimmy” was a charitable woman and she established the “Elizabeth Firth Wade Foundation Endowment Fund”. Among the groups work was the building a a Youth Center in Phillipsburg. The foundation is still operating. Firth was married to a widower from Cleveland, Ohio. They wed in New York City in 1931. Miss Firth’s photo portrait was taken by the Foulsham & Banfield studio. Foulsham & Banfield were well known celebrity photographers. Frank Foulsham and A. C. Banfield operated a studio from the 1900’s through the 1920’s.. The postcard was published by Rotary Photo as part of a series (no.4829 B). This postcard was postmarked in 1908 and is in very good condition (see scans). (SOLD)



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The top vintage real photo postcard features stage actress Miss Denise Orme. She is very attractive and beautifully dressed. She is wearing a fur stole and and fur muffs. She has a lovely hat and wonderful smile. Miss Orme’s given name was Jessie Smither, and was later known as Duchess of Leinster. Denise Orme (1885-1960) was an English music hall singer, actress and musician who was a regular performeer at the Alhambra and Gaiety Theatres in London during the early years of the twentieth century. Her mother was a professor of music. She trained for her theatrical career at the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal College of Music. Her stage debut was in 1906 in the chorus at Daly’s Theatre in London. Later that same year she appeared in the title role of “See See” at the Prince of Wales Theatre. In 1906 she participated in gramophone recordings of Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Mikado”. Her marital history reveals that she had a predilection to choosing husbands that were “rich and famous”. She was married to an English Baron, A Danish millionaire, and an Irish duke. She was the maternal grandmother of Aga Khan IV.who is the current Imam of Nizari Ismailism which is a denomination of of Ismailism within Shia Islam with 15 million adherents. He is also a British business magnate. Miss Orme’s photographic portrait was taken by the Foulsham and Banfield Studio. Foulsham & Banfield were well known celebrity photographers. Frank Foulsham and A. C. Banfield operated a studio in the 1900’s through the 1920’s. The postcard was published by Rotary Photo and is part of the Rotary Photographic Series (#4098 Q). The postcard has a postmark from London, England, and dated 1907. The postmark date reveals that this portrait of Miss Orme was taken at the beginning of her stage career. In the message section of the postcard, the sender asks the receiver, “What do you think of Denise?”. In addition, the sender asserts on the front of the postcard “Nice hat, isn’t it?”. I have to agree; not only is Miss Orme lovely, so is her hat…….  The second postcard shows the beautiful and well dressed Miss Orme peeking out from behind a curtain. The photographer is Alexander Bassano (1829-1913) who was a leading royal and high society photographer located in London. This postcard, like the first was published by Rotary Photo and is part of the Rotary Photographic Series (no. 1933 I)……. The third photo postcard portrait of Miss Orme presents a close-up profile view of this stunningly pretty young actress. Like the first two photo postcards, this one is also published by the Rotary Photo company and is part of the Rotary Photographic Series (no. 4098 M). The photograph was taken by “Play Pictorial” which was an English theatre magazine published in London between 1902 and 1939. The publication provided a pictorial presentation of West End theatrical productions with each issue focusing on just one play.

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