An attractive young woman poses for her portrait at the Gray Studio in Boston, Massachusetts. Take special note of the detail of the subject’s face. The photographer did an excellent job with lighting and posing the subject. The image portrays her skin and facial features with accuracy and clarity. Note her bright eyes and how the photograph details the young lady’s hair. George E. Gray’s (1856-?) studio was located on historic Tremont Row.  The 1900 US census lists Gray as living with his wife Minnie and his children Stanley (age 10) and Doris (age 5). He is listed as being born in Maine, although other sources report New Hampshire. The family also had a Swedish live-in woman (age 24) who was their “servant”. The census stated that George and Minnie married in 1889 and George was working as a photographer. The 1920 US census finds 64 year-old George and 50 year-old Minnie living with their son and George was still working as a photographer. In fact, Boston business directories confirm that George worked as a photographer from at least 1882 through 1931. To view other photographs by Gray, click on the category “Photographer: Gray (MA)”. This cabinet card portrait is in good condition (see scans).

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Published in: on September 1, 2020 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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This cabinet card portrait features a well-dressed pretty young woman. Her high collared dress includes lots of lace. She is wearing a serious expression. She appears to be in her teenage years or slightly older. This photograph was taken by the Beckford Photo, a studio located in Boston, Massachusetts. David C. Beckford received mention in the book, “Boston: Its Commerce, Finance, and Literature”. His studio is described as a leading photo studio in the country. The business was established in around 1872 as the Chickering Photo Company. The proprietor, Walter E. Chickering (not to be confused with Elmer Chickering, a well respected Boston photographer of the era) was a notorious swindler. He was especially known for his dishonesty and blatant resistance to paying his bills. Walter must have been a tough boss to tolerate. Beckford took over the business in 1888. Beckford’s establishment employed four assistants. Beckford was a native of Jamaica. He came to Boston in about 1872 and worked for Chickering for several years. According to one source, Beckford operated a Hardware business in Jamaica, at least part of the time, while he ran his photo studio in Boston. A Massachusetts directory of photographers asserts that Beckford was active as a photographer until 1909. Beckford is cited in an article appearing in the “Southern Workman” (1909). The title of the article was “Improvement in Housing Negroes in the North”. The writer states that Beckford had recently returned from a business trip to Jamaica where he directed the rebuilding of his properties; and reestablished his hardware business which had been destroyed in an earthquake. The “Southern Workman” article was the first reference that I found that indicated that David C. Beckford was a Black man. Examining the 1900 US census data provided confirmation that Beckford was indeed a Black man. Census data conflicted with other legal documents in regard to where Beckford was born. It appears he was born in either England or Jamaica. He was born in 1856 and immigrated to the United States in 1872. He married Elvira P. Gott in 1881. She was a Black woman born in Massachusetts. She was close in age to Beckford. Photographs by Black photographers are not common, making this image a great find. This cabinet card portrait is in fair condition (see scans). Note the presence of peeling along the left and bottom border of the card mount. The image itself has excellent clarity and is in good condition.  (SOLD)

Published in: on August 16, 2020 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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worcester family cab

worcester family cab 1This cabinet card is a family portrait of a nicely dressed young couple and their baby. Mom and dad are wearing flowers and mom appears to be holding a cane or umbrella. The photograph was produced by the Flodin & Thyberg Photographic Art Studio in Worcester, Massachusetts. The photograph is dated 1889. Photographer, Ferdinand Flodin was born in Stockholm, Sweden in 1863.He came to America in 1883 and studied photography in Boston with a well known photographer named Ernest Ritz. He then studied under renowned Boston photographer, William Notman. He moved to Worcester in 1887 and partnered with August Thyberg in opening a gallery. After a time, Thyberg withdrew from the business. Flodin was a very productive writer. He had several articles published in photography journals. He also wrote an illustrated book on Sweden. In addition, he wrote an article which appeared in “Photographic Mosaics: Annual Record of Photographic Progress” (1895). The article was entitled “Our Reception-Room Showcase”. The Wilson Photographic Magazine (1903) reported that Flodin returned to Sweden in 1898 and operated a studio in Stockholm. The magazine article includes some excellent photographs of the Swedish gallery. August Thyberg was born in Sweden in 1863. He immigrated to the United States in 1884. His wife, Alma, was also Swedish. The United States census provides further information about Thyberg. In 1900, he was living in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and working as a merchant. In 1910, he lived in Springfield, Massachusetts and worked as a blacksmith. In 1920, he lived in Minneapolis and owned a shoe business. The 1930 census finds Thyberg retired in Minneapolis. It  is safe to say, that unlike his one-time partner, Flodin; Thyberg had  a difficult time sticking to an occupation. To view more photographs by this studio, click on the category “Photographer: Flodin & Thyberg. (SOLD)

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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”.    SOLD

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Published in: on November 24, 2019 at 12:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
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chickering 1

A handsome and well dressed young man poses for his portrait at the studio of Walter E. Chickering in Boston Massachusetts. The gentleman’s hair and mustache are well groomed and his mustache takes an interesting twist at it’s ends. To view other interesting mustaches, click on the category “Mustaches (Only the Best)”. The reverse of the photograph has a back mark that includes the statement,  “Walter E. Chickering, The Original Photographer, of that Name”. These words were a written swipe at photographer, Elmer Chickering, who was also  based in Boston. Elmer was a highly acclaimed celebrity photographer who Walter clearly perceived as a threat to his business. To learn more about both Walter and Elmer Chickering, click on the category “Photographer: Chickering, W.”. This cabinet card portrait is in very good condition (see scans).

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chickering 2

Published in: on April 16, 2019 at 12:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
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This cabinet card portrait features a little girl with an engaging smile. She is holding a wooden pail and is standing next to a shovel. She posed in front of the studio’s proverbial wall which the photographer embellished with leafy vines. The photographer of this image is Carl Joseph Horner (1864-1926). He operated a studio in Boston, Massachusetts. I have seen him advertise himself on other images as a “European Photographer”. On the reverse of this cabinet card he describes himself more precisely geographically as being “from Stockholm, Sweden”. It appears that, at least in Boston, European photographers held more status than American photographers. Interestingly, Horner developed a great reputation as a sports photographer. Some of his baseball photographs are very well known. To view more of his images, and to learn more about this photographer, click on the category “Photographer: Horner”.



Published in: on January 17, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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An attractive young woman poses for her portrait at the Warren Studio in Boston, Massachusetts. She is well dressed and is wearing a collar pin. She stands beside a bouquet of flowers resting on top of a faux wall. The photographer of this image is William Shaw Warren. He was a talented and well known Boston area photographer.  He was also a very prolific photographer during the carte de visite era.   W. S. Warren worked as a photographer at 41 Winter from 1870-1874. The cabinet card gallery has a number of images by Warren’s studio which you can peruse by clicking on the category “Photographer: Warren (William Shaw)”.




This is an unusual cartes de visite portrait because of the method utilized to hold the posing child in an optimal and safe position to be photographed. It was not unusual to restrain a young child during a photograph session but usually the restraints are hidden. The safety belt was usually hidden under clothing, a blanket or some other material. In addition, sometimes a child’s parent might hold the baby in place while being covered by a blanket or some other material. In addition, to showing the safety belt, this image is a wonderful portrait of a little girl. The photographer of this cdv is Amory Nelson Hardy (1835-1911). He was born in Cumberland, Maine. He was married to Angeline Davis (1833-1920). Early in his photography career he worked in Bucksport, Maine. He then moved to Boston and during his work there had a studio on Washington Street (1868, 1879-1887) and Winter Street (1873-1878). These dates are only a partial representation of his career. This photograph was taken at the Winter Street studio. It has been brought to my attention that it is very possible that this little girl may not be tied into her seat at all. Instead, both the black bows around her sleeves as well as the wide black band around her abdomen may be symbols of “mourning”. I certainly agree that the ribbons around her sleeves are typical mourning symbols. However, I have not seen similar mourning bands employed around a subject’s waist or abdomen. I wonder what visitors to the cabinet card gallery think about these black bands. Please feel free to leave a comment. To view other photographs by Mr. Hardy, click on the category “Photographer: Hardy”.

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Mrs M. Whitehill posed for this cabinet card portrait produced by the Cook studio in Boston, Massachusetts. She was a nicely dressed and pretty young woman. Her name was gleaned from information possessed by the previous owner of this photograph. I could not find further information about her without knowing her full first name. L. W. Cook was a prolific photographer who began his career during the cdv era. City directories reveal that Cook had various addresses in Boston over the span of his photographic career. He used the 145 Tremont studio at least between 1874 and 1884. He also occupied three other Washington Street addresses besides the Washington location listed on this image.  (SOLD)

Published in: on November 15, 2015 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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pauline hallCABINET CARD 4   (SOLD)

The top cabinet card features Pauline Hall (1860-1919), one of the most popular turn of the century prima donnas. She began her career as a dancer in Cincinnati, Ohio at age 15. She joined the Alice Oats Opera Company but left to tour in plays with famed actress Mary Anderson. By 1880, she worked for well known producer Edward Everett Rice in musical productions. Early in their association, he gave her a role in “Evangeline”. Her shapely figure allowed her to take male roles as she did in “Ixion” (1885). Her greatest success came in the title role of the first American production of  “Erminie” (1886). She played in more than two dozen Broadway operettas. Her final role was in the “Gold Diggers” (1919). This photograph was taken by famed celebrity photographer, Elmer Chickering of Boston, Massachusetts. Other photographs by Chickering can be seen by clicking on Cabinet Card Gallery’s category of “Photographer: Chickering, E.”. The second cabinet card, photographed by B. J. Falk, of New York City, captures Pauline Hall in stage costume. The photograph is #305 in a series from Newsboy. The tobacco company (Newsboy) gave away cabinet cards as a premium with the purchase of their products. This cabinet card shows a copyright date in the 1890’s. The exact date has become illegible over time. To view other Newsboy or Falk cabinet cards, click on the categories “Photographer: Falk” or “Photographer: Newsboy”. The third cabinet card portrait was also photographed by Falk. Ms. Hall looks quite beautiful in this image. She is wearing earrings and an interesting hat. The photograph is a bit risque. Much of her neck and shoulders are exposed. In addition, her dress accentuates and reveals significant cleavage. Is the material at the base of her scoop neckline part of her dress; or was it added in order to make the photograph less provocative? Perhaps a visitor to the cabinet card gallery will be able to provide an explanation. The fourth cabinet card image, once again photographed by B J Falk, features Miss Hall wearing a dark dress, long gloves, a lovely hat, and a purse. Pauline Hall certainly was a stage beauty as attested by this photograph.