This cabinet card photograph features a lovely couple posing for their photograph at the Harnish & Marquart studio in Marion Indiana. The pair are well dressed and likely are financially well-to-do. The gentleman is wearing a three piece suit, a wide neck tie, and a shirt with a formal collar. He appears to be quite intense and probably wasn’t pleased that some of his hair when he learned that some of his hair was out of place in this photograph. The woman is wearing a ruffled top, fingerless gloves, a high collar, and a “busy” hat. She is holding a black parasol. Her clothing gives her a “bell shape”. Like many portraits of couples in the cabinet card era, the man is sitting and the woman is standing. It likely would be a project for the woman to take a seat, never mind, look attractive and comfortable. This image is crisp and clear. The photographers were evidently talented. Information about Mr. Harnish was readily available but that was not the case for Mr Marquart. Harnish was born in Pennsylvania in 1847 to a family of German descent. He left the family farm at age nineteen and learned photography in Myerstown, Pa. He moved to Bluffton with his family in 1867. In 1871 he married Miss Laura Myers (born 1850). George Adam Harnish opened his first photography studio in Bluffton, Indiana in 1872. In 1881 he became a town councilman in Bluffton. He sold his photography business to Benjamin Ashbaucher in 1889. Marion is about 35 miles west of Bluffton. It is my hypotheses that Harnish began working in Marion after selling his first studio. Clearly that is where he partnered with Marquart. There is a photograph in the American Museum of  Photography that was taken by Harnish & Marquart in 1899.   SOLD

Published in: on October 4, 2016 at 12:00 pm  Comments (3)  
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This cabinet card features a family portrait taken at the Lenhart’s studio in Allentown, Pennsylvania. There is a real contrast of facial expressions between mother and father in this image. The mother of this family appears calm and bright eyed; and she has a pleasant smile. The father is looking quite haggard, depressed, and disoriented. Maybe he is finding the children exhausting, or perhaps; he has fallen upon hard economic times. Writing on the reverse of the photograph provides the answer. “Well I’m living here in Allentown. And it’s hard to keep a good man down. But I won’t be getting up today. And its getting very hard to stay. And we’re living here in Allentown”. Ok. These words are not really on the back of the image. The words are actually lyrics to Billy Joel’s hit song, “Allentown”. Sorry, I couldn’t resist the temptation. The photographer of this cabinet card is Thomas Lenhart. He was a talented photographer and one of his photographs is exhibited in the American Museum of Photography. The cabinet card displayed is a double self portrait. It is called a double self portrait because the image captures Lenhart taking a photograph of himself. In other words, he assumes two different poses in the same photograph. Lenhart is known to have operated in Allentown between 1894 and 1899. It is very possible that he was located there before and after those years; but no documentation for other years has been found. To view other photographs by Lenhart, click on cabinet card gallery’s category “Photographer: Lenhart”.


This cabinet card features five adorable children posing together at the studio of W. F. Koester in St. Paul, Minnesota. The children may be siblings, at least three of them have a strong family resemblance. In 1890, photographer, William F. Koester, took a photograph that was fascinating and historic and brought him a great deal of attention. Koester was out photographing “views” from a St. Paul bluff when he fortuitously saw and photographed a tornado approaching the city and touching down on it. The firm of Fredericks & Koester published  5×8 souvenir cards for sale. A local housepainter who aspired to be an oil painter, painted over the photograph, and it became an important work of Minnesota art. A photograph by Fredericks & Koester can be found in the American Museum of Photography (Couple on Toboggan).