This vintage photograph was found in a Long Island, New York, antique store. The image traveled a long way to get to New York and there is probably a very interesting story attached to this photograph. The young man in the photo is impeccably dressed. He looks very cool in his light colored suit, vest, high collared shirt, and bow tie. His hat is strategically tilted and he is posing with an open jacket and with his hand in his pants pocket. He looks like he is ready to model for Gentlemen’s Quarterly. This good looking young man appears to be in his late teen years or his early twenties. The web site for the Afrika Tropen Museum (the actual museum is located in Amsterdam, Netherlands) provides helpful information in ascertaining the origin of this photograph. If one looks under the image on this photograph one finds the words “NV Charls & Van Es & Co”. Also printed below the image are the words  “Ned. Indie”. The museum site reveals that Charls & Van Es & Co. was a photography studio located on Rijswijk Street in Batavia (Jakarta). The studio was founded in 1884 by Messrs F. Charls and JC van Es. and was in business for more than fifty years. Batavia was the de facto capital of the Dutch East Indies. Today Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia which gained it’s independence in 1945. “Ned Indie” or Netherlands Indies is a term that was used to describe the many islands that eventually combined to become Indonesia. I wish I knew the story behind this intriguing image. 

Published in: on April 9, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The subject of this portrait is Charlotte Casterline of Hammondsport, New York. Her name is pencil written on the reverse of the photograph along with the initials “G. S. N. S.”. The image is dated “1898”. The photographer of this portrait is Ada Houseknecht of Batavia, New York. Research found a cabinet card photographed by Houseknecht Brothers studio located at 106 Main Street in Batavia. The studio was active from 1880 until 1949. A separate investigation revealed that Batavia was the home of a studio operated by Beecher (1858-1930) and Ada Houseknecht (1871-?). Beecher went to work for photographer William Wilson in 1880 and bought out the studio. Ada started as a photo retoucher but became a full time photographer with her husband, Beecher. She was one of the first female professional photographers in the state of New York. She took over the studio when Beecher died in 1930. Little could be discovered about Charlotte Casterline. The 1899 Annual Report of the Superintendent (New York) notes that Charlotte graduated from the Normal School in Geneseo, New York. She was 0ne of the few students in the school who majored in science. After completing some research about Miss Casterline, it seems likely that this photograph was taken at her graduation from the Geneseo State Normal School (G. S. N. S. ?).