PRETTY AND ELEGANT YOUNG WOMAN IN ROCKLAND, MAINE

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A pretty and elegant looking young woman poses for her portrait at the Singhi studio in Rockland, Maine. She is beautifully dressed and wearing a watch chain emanating from a watch in her dress pocket. She appears very business-like. The photographer was named John F. Singhi (1834-1906). He was a native of Maine but his father was born in Italy. Mr. Singhi was a participant in the Civil War. He entered the Union Army as a Private in the 4th Infantry Regiment of Maine. He was mustered in in April, 1861 and mustered out in July,, 1864. He was promoted to Corporal in 1862. Upon entry into the army, he was listed as a leader of the company band and Fife Major. The fourth regiment was assembled in Rockland. In all, 144o men served in the regiment during the war and 170 of them died in or from battle. Forty men died in Confederate prisons and 137 soldiers died from disease. The Fourth Regiment participated in many major battles including The First Bull Run, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg.  After the service, he worked as a photographer. He was listed in Rockland city directories as a photographer from 1877 through 1897. In addition to soldiering, music and photography; John Singhi liked to get married. He especially liked marrying younger women. The 1870 US census revealed that John lived with a woman named Frances who was presumably his wife. In 1872 he married Hannah C. Bartlett.  John and Hannah were reported in the 1880 census. John was 46 while his wife was 31. In 1898, John married Caroline Look who was 17 years his junior. In 1901, John married Georgie Dow, a woman who was 13 years younger than him. In 1906, John Singhi died at age 72. His death certificate listed his cause of death to be “Shock (Paralysis)”. From that description, one imagines he died from a stroke. Perhaps cavorting with his numerous younger wives was deleterious to his health.   (SOLD)

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A PORTRAIT OF ACTRESS ISLA GARNET-VAYNE BY ALEXANDER BASSANO (1910)

This vintage real photo postcard features pretty theater actress, Isla Garnet-Vayne. I just can’t refrain from saying “Isla, you’re so vayne. You probably think this blog entry is about you”. I couldn’t resist. My apologies to singer/song-writer Carly Simon. England’s National Portrait Gallery has four portraits of Miss Garnet-Vayne in their collection. One of the portraits is identical to the one seen on this photo postcard. The National Portrait Gallery reports that this photograph was taken in 1910 by Alexander Bassano. The website, Theatricalia, reports on three productions in which Miss Garnet-Vayne performed. The plays listed are ” The Prince and the Beggar Maid (1908-1909), “A Girls Temptation” (1909-1910), and “From Mill Girl to Millionairess” (1910-1911). All of the aforementioned plays were performed in Southampton, England. Further research is needed to learn more about this pretty stage actress. Postcard portraits of Miss Garnet-Vayne are rare and this is one of the nicer ones I’ve seen. It is in very good condition (see scans).                                               

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JOHN FRANKLIN FORT FOR GOVERNOR OF NEW JERSEY : CAMPAIGN POSTCARD (1907)

This vintage postcard was employed as advertising for New Jersey Governor candidate, John Franklin Fort (1852-1920). Fort was a Republican and won his race to become the 33rd Governor of New Jersey. He served between 1908 and 1911. He defeated Democrat, Frank S. Katzenbach. In 1908, Fort participated in New Jersey’s first radio broadcast. In 1910 he established New Jersey’s first Department of Education. Fort was followed by Woodrow Wilson in the position of Governor. Wilson went on to become the President of the United States. Fort was a lawyer. He obtained his law degree at the Albany Law School. Governor and ex civil war General, George B. McClellan, appointed Fort to serve as a judge in a Newark district court. In 1884, 1896, and 1912 he served as a delegate to the Republican National Convention. In 1900, he was appointed to the New Jersey Supreme Court. In 1915, Wilson, now President, appointed Fort to the Federal Trade Commission. He held the position for about four years but was forced to resign due to failing health. At one point,Wilson appointed Fort to act as US Ambassador to Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Besides featuring a portrait of John Franklin Fort, the postcard also displays a drawing of the state capital building in Trenton. It is interesting to note that John Franklin Fort’s uncle, George Franklin Fort, was the Democratic Governor of New Jersey from 1851 to 1854. This postcard was published by the Whitehead & Hoag Company of Newark, New Jersey. Benjamin Whitehead (1858-1940) was born in Newark. He received his technical information from the Cooper Union Institute in New York City. He became a printer and some of his printing samples were exhibited at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. In 1876, he opened his own firm in Newark. The business was named Whitehead & Clark. Whitehead liked to travel domestically and abroad (he visited 22 nations)  and he took many photographs as well as gathered ideas for novelties for his business to produce. Whitehouse was joined in business by Chester R. Hoag (1860-1935). They incorporated their business in 1892. Whitehead & Hoag manufactured over 5,000 different novelty advertising items. They were considered the largest business in the nation that manufactured advertising novelties. They were particularly well known for their efforts producing advertising buttons. The company opened offices around the U.S. and in some international cities. In 1959, the company was sold and shuttered it’s doors. This would be nice addition to any New Jersey politics collection. The postcard is from about 1907 and in excellent condition (see scans).             

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MISS DOROTHY FROSTICK : POPULAR CHILD ACTRESS, DANCER, AND SINGER

This vintage real photo postcard features English actress, dancer, and singer; Miss Dorothy Frostick. In 1901, Frostick made her debut in the successful musical dream play, “Bluebell in Fairyland”. The play appeared at London’s Vaudeville Theatre. The stars of the show were Seymour Hicks and Ellaline Teriss, a theatrical married couple. Frostick appeared again with the couple in “The Cherry Girl” (1903) and in a revival of Bluebell in 1905. There is a void of information about Miss Frostick until 1912 at which time she joined a pierrot group, “The Quaints”. She appeared with the group until at least 1914. Her final documented London appearance was in a musical and dance production, “The Latest Craze” (1919). The show bombed and closed after twenty-five performances. A portrait of Dorothy Frostick appears in England’s National Portrait Gallery. The photo on this postcard was produced by the International Art Company, which was based in Ipswich, England. This postcard was published by Rotary Photo (active 1897-1916) as part of their Rotary Photographic Series (no. 1617D). This postcard is in very good condition (see scans).

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PORTRAIT OF A CLERGYMAN IN WEST TROY, NEW YORK

This cabinet card photograph features a bearded gentleman. Judging by his attire; the man is a clergyman. I have seen cabinet card photos of rabbis wearing the same type of cap. However, this man’s beard is way too well groomed to be a Hasidic rabbi. The photographer who took this photo is Thomas D. Jones. He operated a photo studio in West Troy, New York. His name appears in Troy directories between 1881 and 1899. He is listed as a photographer. This cabinet card portrait is in very good condition (see scans).

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Published in: on November 27, 2019 at 6:27 pm  Comments (2)  
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A PRETTY YOUNG WOMAN WEARING A LARGE CROSS IN BATAVIA, NEW YORK (CARTE DE VISITE)

This carte de visite is a photograph of a pretty young woman wearing a large chain and cross. She was photographed at the studio of C. W. Tallman (1833-1896), in Batavia, New York. The town is located in Genesee County and is in the West Central part of the state. Charles W. Tallman operated a gallery in Batavia between the 1870’s and 1905. He began his photography business in Lockport, New York (1866-1877). A number of his early photos were railroad related. Tallman was the first photographer in Batavia,  Some of Tallman’s photographs can be found in the George Eastman Museum and the New York Public Library collections. Tallman was an amateur astronomer and wrote about the subject. This cdv photograph is in very good condition (see scans).                                                       

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THE TYPICAL RUMBA: HAVANA, CUBA: COMPARSA: SOCIAL, MUSIC AND DANCE HISTORY

 

This vintage real photo postcard captures a glimpse of latin social and dance history. This is a photograph of a Havana, Cuba, nightclub in which the patrons participate in a festival of music and dance. The featured dance is the rumba. I have seen two other postcards in this “Typical Rumba” series. This postcard is by far the nicest of the three. The photographer has signed the photo with the name “Ronay”. A sign on the wall states “La Comparsa”. A comparsa is a group of dancers, singers, and musicians that perform in carnival and other festivities in Latin America and Spain. The most well known comparsas are the ones that take part in the “Carnival of Santiago de Cuba”. Does the United States have Comparsas? The most similar carnival held in the United States, according to some writers, is Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Cuban comparsas originate in the eastern part of the island, specifically the city of Santiago de Cuba. The singers, musicians and dancers form the “conga”, the ensemble that performs the canrival music, Havana has it’s own version of carnival. Each city has specific comparsas that tend to perform there. The term “rumba” refers to a style of music and dance. The rumba was exported by Cuba to North America, much like it’s replacement, salsa. The history of the rumba, as well as Comparsas, is much too complex and detailed to be adequately presented in this description. This postcard is from circa 1950 and it is in excellent condition. (see scans).

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Published in: on November 26, 2019 at 12:00 pm  Comments (2)  
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PORTRAIT OF A FRENCH SAILOR AND HIS BATTLESHIP (THE DESTROYER COGNEE) c1909

This fantastic cabinet card photograph is truly unusual. An oval photo of a handsome young uniformed sailor is in the center of the image. Below his portrait is a photograph of two navy battleships. The name of the sailors ship is embroidered into his cap. The sailor was on the French navy torpedo destroyer, the Cognee. The ship was one of 13 Claymore-class destroyers built around 1905. The photographer of this image is Alphonse Leenaerts and his studio was located in Toulon, France. Toulon is a port city on southern France’s Mediterranean coast. The city serves as a major naval base. Alphonse’s brother Henri, was also a photographer. The pair, who were Belgian, operated in Toulon between 1871 and 1914. They worked independently. Alphonse moved to the address listed on this photograph in about 1903. The reverse of this photo has advertising indicating that Alphonse won a medal for his work in 1909. This photo was taken shortly after that date.  This cabinet card photograph is in very good condition (see scans).

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Published in: on November 25, 2019 at 5:03 pm  Comments (1)  
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OLD WOMAN WITH GLASSES IN MONTPELIER, VERMONT

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An elderly woman with a solemn expression poses for her portrait at the Harlow studio in Montpelier, Vermont. She is wearing wire rimmed glasses. Alonzo Harlow is listed in the 1880 US census as being a native of Vermont and as living in Montpelier with his wife and a boarder. Alonzo (age 32) worked as a photographic artist. His wife Lucy (age 27) kept house, and the boarder, George Dale (age 23) also worked as a photographer. Alonzo was listed in the 1890 through 1892 Montpelier city directories as a photographer. The 1900 census found Harlow living in Boston, Massachusetts and working as a real estate clerk.  To view other photographs by Harlow, click on the category “Photographer: Harlow”. This cabinet card photo is in excellent condition (see scans).

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Published in: on November 24, 2019 at 12:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
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TWO LAWMEN POSE FOR THEIR PORTRAIT IN A SMALL TOWN

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This vintage real photo postcard features two lawmen posing in front of a house or office building. Both men are wearing badges which likely indicates they represent some form of law enforcement. An inscription on the reverse of the card identifies the men as Josiah and Joel “Cade”. I am unsure that I deciphered their last name correctly. The men are nephews of the inscriber. Not quite the Earp brothers, but this is a nice portrait of two brothers serving as serving in small town law enforcement. The AZO stamp box on the reverse of this postcard, indicates that the card was produced sometime between 1904 and 1918. The postcard is in good condition (see scans).

 

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Published in: on November 23, 2019 at 3:02 pm  Comments (4)  
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