josiah bennet_0001

This cabinet card features a portrait of Massachusetts Senator Josiah Bennett. His mustache is very notable and earns him a spot in the cabinet card gallery category “Mustaches (Only the Best)”. Be sure to check out the collection of extraordinary mustaches. This portrait was taken in 1885 by the Bushby & Macurdy studio located on Washington Street in Boston. Asa Bushby was born in South Danvers, Massachusetts in 1834. He was a self taught portrait painter and after returning from the Civil War, he became a photographer. He opened a studio in Peabody, and then moved to Lynn, and later to Boston, Massachusetts. At some point in his career, he partnered with George W. Macurdy. He is listed in the 1889 Boston business directory.  At the end of the 1880’s he moved to Tacoma, Washington and died there in 1897. Civil war buffs may be interested to know that Asa Bushby served in the 1st Regiment Massachusetts Heavy Artillery (company D). He entered, and later left the regiment as a private.  To view more photographs by Bushby & Macurdy, click on the category “Photographer: Bushby & Macurdy”. Josiah Bennett served as a state senator. He was served on a committee that addressed state prison issues. Hopefully, further research will yield more information about Mr. Bennett.



This cabinet card captures the beauty of actress Kate Everleigh. The image is risque for the cabinet card era. Preliminary research reveals no personal details of the life of Miss Everleigh. However, there are many articles citing her theatrical appearances.  In fact, her portrait appears on the front page of  “The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News” in both 1885 and 1886 editions. She is also referenced in the book “A History of the New York Stage” (1903) for appearing in Reese and Farnie’s burlesque production of  “Oxygen” and Lydia Thompson’s Company’s production of “Bluebird”. Everleigh also appeared in the original London cast of  “Erminie” (1885). The magazine “The Theatre” (1885) cites her appearances in “Nemesis” and “Family Ties”. Miss Everleigh also performed in the United States. She is mentioned as a performer in a burlesque show in San Francisco called “The Mother, The Maiden, and The Musicianer” (1880). This is a high quality photograph and not surprisingly, comes from a well respected studio in Boston, Massachusetts. The studio is Warren’s Portraits and it was located at 465 Washington Street. The photographer was George K. Warren. Warren’s Studios photographed many celebrities and notable people in Boston. To view other photographs by Warren, click on the category “Photographer: Warren”.


A pretty woman wearing a mink stole over her long winter coat, poses for photographer Walter E. Chickering in his Boston, Massachusetts studio. The woman is wearing a nice winter hat and is holding a fur muff. She is also wearing gloves. Note the pom pom’s on the front of the stole. Advertising on the reverse of the cabinet card reminds the public that “Walter E. Chickering is the original photographer of that name”. To view photographs by both of the Chickerings (Walter and Elmer), click on the category “Photographer: Chickering, W.”.

Published in: on August 14, 2012 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  
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A pretty young woman poses for her portrait at the studio of Walter E. Chickering in Boston, Massachusetts. The woman is wearing a winter coat which appears to be made from fur. Her sleeves are definitely fur trimmed. She is wearing gloves and a lovely hat. The subject of this portrait is unidentified. Walter E. Chickering was a well known Boston photographer. He was concerned about being confused with a photographer named Elmer Chickering, who also operated a studio in Boston. The reverse of this image has a printed advertisement describing Walter Chickering as “the original photographer of that name”. The ad is a bit grandiose in its description of Walter Chickering’s studio as being “mammoth” in size. To view other photographs by the Chickering (both Walter and Elmer), and to learn more about them,  click on the category “Photographer: Chickering, W.”.

Published in: on June 14, 2012 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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A pretty woman stands among some plants at the photographic studio of Patten, Perkins and Stratton in Boston, Massachusetts. The studio was located at 47 Hanover Street in Boston. The woman is wearing a pretty hat and a large bow on her blouse. She is wearing a pattern dress and a collar pin. Note the woman’s fingerless gloves.

Published in: on March 8, 2012 at 12:01 am  Comments (2)  
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Boston was known for a lot of things at the turn of the century, but fly fishing was probably not one of those things. Fly fishing on the Thames River wasn’t  likely a destination vacation. This photograph features a handsome gentleman who appears dressed for an adventure. He is wearing a hat with fishing lures hooked into it. He is also wearing a tie, tucked into his shirt. The gentleman was photographed by McCormick, who had a studio located in Boston, Massachusetts. The Boston Directory (1873) lists a John L. McCormick who operated as a photographer in Boston. The 1880 United States Census finds McCormick (age 32)living in Boston and married to Elizabeth McCormick (age 26). He is listed as a photographer. The 1900 census does not list his occupation but reports that the couple were living with their five children and an eighteen year-old female servant (nanny?). The 1910 census includes McCormick, but once again, does not list his occupation.

Published in: on February 28, 2012 at 12:01 am  Comments (4)  
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This cabinet card features a woman in chains. The previous sentence, and the title of this blog entry, may be misleading because the woman isn’t exactly in chains; instead, she is wearing a chain necklace. Don’t you hate those sensational headlines that are aimed to manipulate you to watch a particular news show, or read a certain newspaper? Sorry! This lady’s name is “Emmie” according to a notation on the reverse of the cabinet card. She is thin, pretty and curly haired. The chain she is wearing has a pin attached to her collar and also has a charm or locket. Ironically, the charm resembles a  modern day pet identification tag. This image was photographed by Batchelder of Stockton, California. Perez Mann Batchelder (1818-1873) was a daguerreotypist, ambrotypist, and photographer active in a number of areas in California, including Sonora, Stockton, Vallecito, Murphy’s Camp, and Mokelumne Hill. He also operated studios in Melbourne, Australia (he followed the gold rush occurring down under) and Boston, Massachusetts. He worked in all of these locales over a short period of time. He clearly did not let moss grow under his feet. Batchelder with his brothers Nathaniel, Freeman, and Benjamin Pierce founded a daguerreian dynasty which in the 1850’s and 1860’s established dozens of galleries on both coasts of the United States and in Australia. Batchelder travelled incessantly and operated many enterprises simultaneously. He was born in Massachusetts and entered photography as a career in 1844. The book, “Pioneer Photographers of the Far West: A Biographical Dictionary” (2000) was the source of much of the information about Perez Batchelder.


This cabinet card portrait features a portrait of a pretty woman dressed in black. Possibly, she is wearing a mourning dress. She is wearing smooth black leather gloves and holding her purse. The young lady appears to have had trouble looking at the camera. She seems unfocused and is staring blankly away from the camera. This posed portrait would not make great advertising for the photographer who took this photograph. The studio that produced this image was operated by  Walter E. Chickering, who was located in Boston, Massachusetts. Mr. Chickering was a well-known Boston photographer and some of his images can be viewed by clicking on the category “Photographer: Chickering, W.”. Please note that a second photographer, who shared the name Chickering, was also a well known Boston photographer. His full name was Elmer Chickering.

Published in: on February 2, 2012 at 12:01 am  Comments (2)  
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This photograph presents a bit of a mystery. What organization does this couple represent? Their uniforms appear to be salvation army garb. However, many salvation army workers wore the letter “S” on their collar while this couple has the letter “F”  on their collars. Many salvation army members wore a collar badge with “Salvation Army” written on it. The gentleman in this image doesn’t appear to be wearing such a badge, but the woman may have one,  but it is unreadable. The individuals each have a bar on their shoulders which may indicate a higher than basic rank. Note the wire rim glasses that the gentleman is wearing and the magazine that he is holding. The reverse of the photograph has the name Swanson written on it.  The photographer who produced this image is James E. Purdy.The reverse of the photograph indicates that Purdy was the successor to Hastings, the former operator of the studio.  Purdy’s studio was located at 146 Tremont Street, in Boston, Massachusetts. He operated his studio in Boston between 1896 and 1930. He was a popular photographer in Boston. He was considered to be in the same caliber as the celebrated photographer, Chickering (to view photographs by Chickering, click on cabinet card gallery’s category “Photographer: Chickering”). One of the many famous people he photographed was Winston Churchill, who was in Boston (1900) lecturing about the Boer War. This is not the same Winston Churchill who so ably led Great Britain.


This cabinet card features actress, Lizzie Burton.  Research yielded little information about her and the search was hampered  because references to Elizabeth Taylor Burton kept surfacing. The few articles about Lizzie Burton that were found, seem to indicate that she was a minor comic opera actress. She appeared with the Boston Ideal Opera Company which existed between 1879 and 1904. A review of  “The Musketeer”, which appeared in tNew York Times (1885), offered praise for her performance in a minor role.  The “Musketeer”, Varney’s comic opera, had been performed at New York’s         Fifth Avenue Theatre. This cabinet card was published by Wells & Co., a New York City photographic studio.

Published in: on September 10, 2011 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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