This cabinet card features a handsome young man dressed in his railroad uniform. His cap identifies his occupation as a brakeman. A brakeman’s job was to assist in the braking of a train when the conductor wants the train to slow down or stop. Among the job’s other duties was to ensure that all couplings between cars were set properly. It was a dangerous job. The cap also identifies the railway abbreviation as being “M. C. R. ?.”. The photographer of this image was George F. Sterling. His business was based in Bay City, Michigan. The reverse of the photo has an advertisement for Sterling’s business. The ad includes a drawing of his photographic studio rail car. Attatching the studio to a train gives the photographer the advantage of having the opportunity to gain business in more than one town. Sterling’s studio car was attatched to a train belonging to the Michigan Central Railroad. The railroad was established in 1846. In time, the railway served Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Ontario (Canada). In 1867 the Michigan Central was taken over by the New York Central Railroad company. (SOLD)



The handsome young man in this photograph is named Howard Briscoe. His name is inscribed on the reverse of this cabinet card photo. Briscoe lived in Baraboo, Wisconsin. He lived there all, or most of his life. Briscoe was born in 1878. His father was a miller by trade, Briscoe’s wife was named Julia Simon Briscoe. Howard Briscoe worked as a carpenter for a railroad company. The photographer of this image, Mr. Mould, is mentioned in a number of photographic journals. He placed an ad for his studio in a book about Sauk County, Wisconsin (1891). The Photographic Times (1898) reports on his appointment to a lobbying committee of the Photographers Association of Wisconsin. The Encyclopedia Dubuque (1911) reveals that Sim Mould operated a photographic studio at 107 Main Street in Dubuque, Iowa. The cabinet card gallery has other photographs by Mould, Place his name in the search box to view these other images. The town of Baraboo is situated on the Baraboo river. The town was settled by Abe Wood and originally called Adams. In 1852 it was renamed Baraboo. In the town’s early history it became the home of several sawmills. In the nineteenth century the town served as the headquarters of several circuses, including Ringling Brothers. Baraboo became known as “Circus City”. This cabinet card photo is in excellent condition (see scans).

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Published in: on February 8, 2020 at 12:00 pm  Comments (2)  
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This is quite a rare cabinet card. What makes the photograph unusual is the railroad themed backdrop. The young girl is standing in front of a faux railroad bridge. I have seen thousands of cabinet cards and I have never seen a similar backdrop. The little girl is wearing a dark dress with a collar pin. She is holding a fan. This photograph was taken at the Buchenau & Giegerich studio in Prairie Due Sac, Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Photographers Index reports that Hugo Buchenau operated a photography studio in Sauk City between at least 1891 and 1896. The 1870 US census reveals that Buchenau was born in Wisconsin in 1865 to immigrant parents. His father was a saloon keeper. The directory also states that he was partners with Mr Giegerich in 1887 through 1888 and possibly in other years. Mr. Giegerich’s first name was likely Bertrand (aka Bert) based on the fact that local directories report a man with this name was a printer and newspaper publisher during this era.

Published in: on July 29, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Comments (4)  
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