This cabinet card photograph features a profile view of a pretty young woman. She is wearing a high collar blouse and jacket. The young lady’s hair is worn up in a sweep and she is wearing earrings. The photograph was produced by the Carpenter Photographic Rooms in Kansas City, Missouri. Marion S. Carpenter was a daguerreotypist in Dayton, Ohio in 1850. He than conducted his photography business in Cincinnati at the Palace Art Studio between 1857 and 1865. During the Civil War he was a staff photographer for the United States Government. He photographed Abraham Lincoln on three occasions. After the war he went to Kansas City, Missouri where he continued to operate a photography business. The Bulletin of Photography (1913) notes his passing at age 84 while living in Kansas City. The notification indicates that he was still actively involved in business in 1913, the year of his death.





The gentleman in this cabinet card portrait looks amazingly like Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), the 16th President of the United States. As much a I would like this to be an early photograph of Lincoln, it most certainly is not. This photograph was produced several years after Lincoln’s death. The photographer of this image was George Pine (1840-1906). For part of George’s photography career he operated a studio with his brother Robert G. Pine. Records indicate that Pine conducted his business at the 27 & 29 East State between 1878 and 1888. He operated out of several addresses over the course of his career and all of his galleries were located in Trenton, New Jersey. I was able to confirm that he ran the studios from at least 1872 through the early 1900’s. George was born in New Jersey. An 1867 business directory indicates that he and his brother had a gold and silver plating business before entering the field of photography. The 1880 US census reveals that George lived in Trenton with his wife Theodosia Burroughs Pine (1842-1900). The couple were living alone. The Trenton Evening Times (1906) ran George’s obituary. He died in Trenton although he did spend some years in Florida where his wife passed away. At the time of his death he was the curator of the Cadwalader Park Museum. The article states that after a successful photography career, George had become a “prominent naturalist”. Cadwalader Park is located in Trenton.The park is nearly 100 acres and is the city’s oldest park (construction began in 1887). The park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted (creator of New York City’s Central Park).



maggie mitchell

Maggie Mitchell (1832-1918) was a famous American actress, born in New York. Her first regular stage appearance was in “The Soldier’s Daughter” at the Chambers Street Theatre in 1851. Her first major success was as star of  “Oliver Twist”. She has been described as small, agile and energetic, with a special talent for comedy. In 1860, she appeared in “Fanchon, The Cricket” which was adapted for her from a George Sand novel. She performed in this and other plays in front of  President Abraham Lincoln. The photographer of the top image was celebrity photographer, Mora, of New York City. To view other photographs by Mora, click on Cabinet Card Gallery’s category, “Photographer: Mora”. The second portrait of Miss Mitchell was taken by the esteemed Philadelphia photographic studio, Gilbert & Bacon. This cabinet card image shows Maggie displaying a “come hither” expression. To view more photographs by this studio, click on the category “Photographer: Gilbert & Bacon”. ADDENDUM: A knowledgeable visitor to Cabinet Card pointed out that the second photo of Miss Mitchell is actually actress Lotta Crabtree (see comment below). A bit of research confirmed his astute observation. Lotta Crabtree, a woman who led a very interesting life, will receive her own entry in the cabinet card gallery in the next few days.



This cabinet card portrait features a well dressed handsome older gentleman with a wonderful long white beard. The man has striking eyes. They are bright and soft and he projects a certain sweetness and friendliness.  This photograph was produced by the Dabbs gallery in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Benjamin Lomax Horsley Dabbs was born in London in 1839. He immigrated into the United States while still in his childhood. His father was a pioneer in the American photographic supply trade. Dabbs learned the photography field from his father, George Dabbs. Benjamin came to Pittsburgh in 1861 and opened a business selling photography supplies. That same year he also bought a gallery from a Mr. Rorah. He grew the business dramatically and in 1869 he sold his supply business to concentrate on being a photographer. During his tenure as a photographer in Pennsylvania, he was considered by many to be the best photographer in the state. In 1868 Dabbs married Sadie Dickson and the couple ultimately had nine children. Dabbs was a close personal friend of Abraham Lincoln and steel magnate Andrew Carnegie. Dabbs drew some attention for his stance on free resittings for customers who were not satisfied with the portraits taken by his studio. Unlike many other photographers, he refused free resittings because “the public do not value what they can get for nothing”. In his later years, Dabbs was debilitated by rheumatism and other illness. He died at age sixty in 1899. His celebrated portrait of Andrew Carnegie can be viewed today at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum of Art.


LINCOLN BETHROVEDA couple pose for their wedding portrait in Lincoln, Illinois. The photographer is E. B. Core. The bride is wearing a dark wedding dress and the groom is wearing a corsage. The story behind how Lincoln, Illinois received its name is quite interesting. The town is the only town named for Lincoln before he became President of the United States. He worked as an attorney in the town between 1847 and 1859. The town was named Lincoln in 1853 and during the ceremony, Abe Lincoln christened the town by pouring watermelon juice on the ground. When it was originally proposed to name the town after Lincoln, Mr Lincoln stated that he was against the idea and that in his experience, “Nothing bearing the name of Lincoln ever amounted to much”.

Published in: on July 14, 2013 at 12:00 am  Comments (1)  
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LINCOLN FAMILYThis cabinet card features a family portrait of a mother and father with their two adult sons and their young daughter. The family is well dressed. The father has a terrific beard and mustache.  All three men in the image display the chains from their pocket watches. The photograph was produced by the Tandy studio in Lincoln, Illinois. An inscription on the reverse of the image identifies one of the subjects as “Mr Fred Kemmer, 612 College Avenue, Lincoln, Illinois”. Research has provided some information about the family pictured in this cabinet card photograph.The father in this image is Mr.Fred Kemmer (1846-?). He was born in Germany. The mother in the photograph is Hannah Kemmer and she was six years the junior of her husband Fred. The 1880 US census finds Fred and Hannah living in Mount Pulaski, Illinois with two sons and a daughter. The children were named Fred (age 6), Ella (age 3) and Charles (age 2). The 1900 census notes that Fred and Hannah were living in Lincoln with a daughter named Lucy (age 14) and that Fred Sr.was listed as working as a “landlord”. The children seen in this photograph are likely Fred, Charles and Lucy. Research also revealed information about Fred W. Kemmer Jr. (1873-1944). He was born in Lincoln and died in Mt. Pulaski at age 71. He was educated  through the fourth grade. He was married in 1899 to Carrie Backle (1877-1951), who was a Nebraska native. Fred was a farmer. The 1900 census revealed that he lived in Mt. Pulaski with his wife and 8 month old daughter, Beattrice. He still lived in Mt. Pulaski at the time of the 1940 census. The photographer of this image is Walter S. Tandy. A large collection of glass plate negatives taken between 1880 and the early 1900’s is curated by the Lincoln Heritage Museum at Lincoln College in Lincoln. Tandy’s death, at age 83, is announced in the Bulletin of Photography (1918). Most people would guess that Lincoln, Illinois was named after Abraham Lincoln but few would surmise that the town received it’s name before Lincoln became President. The town was named Lincoln in 1853.  Abe Lincoln had practiced law in the town between 1847 and 1859.


This cabinet card features celebrated English actor Edward Askew Sothern (1826-1881). Sothern was known for his comic roles in Great Britain and America. He is often associated with his role in “Our American Cousin (1858 ). Sothern complained to his friend, actor Joseph Jefferson, about the smallness of his part in that play. Joseph Jefferson responded with the classic line “There are no small roles, only small actors”.  Incidentally, “Our American Cousin” was the play that President Abraham Lincoln was watching when he was assassinated. He began acting as an amateur in 1848. He made his debut in America in 1852. In 1854 he joined the company at Wallack’s Theater and in 1856 he became a member of Laura Keene’s company. He gained fame starring in “Camille (1856) at Wallack’s theater. In 1864 he created the title role in Tom Robertson’s “David Garrick” (1864) at the Haymarket Theater.This comic play was about eighteenth century actor and theater manager, David Garrick.  This cabinet card photograph captures him in this role in which he had much success. This image was produced by Napoleon Sarony, famed celebrity photographer. To view other images by Sarony, click on the category “Photographer: Sarony”.


A very cute baby poses for a photographer, artistically placed in a washbowl. The baby appears inquisitive about the proceedings. Bachrach & Bro. is the studio that produced this portrait. The gallery was located in Baltimore, Maryland. Kudos for the photographer for this creative close-up image. The Bachrach studio was nationally known and is still known today. David Bachrach (1845-1921) was an American commercial photographer based in Baltimore. He made significant contributions in technical, artistic and professional advancements in the field of photography. He was a national spokesperson for photographers and published many articles and photographs in photography journals. He experimented with self toning papers and developed the first practical process of photographic printing on canvas, a precursor to photo engraving. Bachrach Inc., founded in 1910, is still headed by the Bachrach family. The company owned studios in all major east coast cities. One of Bachrach’s earliest photographs was taken on assignment to cover the dedication of the Soldiers National Cemetery at Gettysburg in 1863. He photographed President Lincoln delivering what would become, a very famous speech. Bachrach’s home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. He once shared the home with a celebrated relative, Gertrude Stein. Among his famous portraits are images of Ulysses Grant, Theodore Roosevelt,Mark Twain, and Alexander Graham Bell. Bachrach’s business was truly a family business. Among the relatives who were involved  in the business was a brother,  a son, and two grandsons.


This cabinet card features two woman dressed in their winter cloaks and hats. They are in the studio of G. N. Barnard in Painesville, Ohio. The photograph has some special effects in the form of fake falling snow. The factor that makes this photograph most special, is the photographer’s life story. George N. Barnard (1819-1902), was a pioneer of nineteenth century photography. At age 23 he was producing daguerrotypes and four years later he opened his first studio in Oswego, New York. An 1853 grain elevator fire occurred in Oswego, and Barnard captured the fire with his camera. Some historians consider these photographs the first news photography in history. In 1854 he opened a short lived studio in Syracuse, New York. He then moved to New York City where he worked on stereoscopes for Edward Anthony’s Studio in 1859 .Soon, he was hired by Matthew Brady as a portrait photographer and Brady sent him to Washington D.C. to photograph Abraham Lincoln’s 1861 inauguration as President of the United States. He later became part of “Brady’s Photographic Corps” to photograph the Civil War. Barnard is best known  for his work in the civil war (1861-1865). He was the official army photographer for the Military Division of the Mississippi, commanded by Union General William T Sherman. Barnard’s book “Photographic Views of Sherman’s Campaign” is a photographic record of Sherman’s destructive Atlanta Campaign and subsequent March to the Sea. After the war, Barnard opened a studio in Chicago in 1869. The studio was destroyed in the “Great Fire” of 1871. He proceeded to take photographs of the rebuilding of Chicago over the next few years; providing a terrific record of that process. In 1884, Barnard opened his Painesville, Ohio studio; which brings us back to the cabinet card image of the two ladies in the snow.


Ok. So, he’s not exactly standing next to Abraham Lincoln but he is standing next to Abe’s picture on the binding of a very well known book of the time. The title of the volume is “Giants of The Republic”. The book was written by a “Corps of Competent Biographers” and covers the “lives, deeds and personal traits of eminent men and women” in American history. Some of the subjects profiled are Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, Charles Sumner, William Sherman, Robert Fulton, John Jacob Astor, and Edgar Alan Poe. The well dressed gentleman in this cabinet card photograph must have thought that the book had historic potential or at the least, was worth remembering. It is unusual to see someone posing with a specific book title (unless its the bible). The book in this photograph is clearly meant to play a prominent role in the photograph. The photographer of this cabinet card is G. H. McElroy of Hayward, Wisconsin.