SF CHILD 1888_0006A very young child, holding a box by the handle, poses for his portrait at the Morse Studio in San Francisco, California. The child is standing in front of a small house. The faux house is a studio prop. Note that that the number “1888” is above the open window. The number likely indicates the year that this portrait was taken. The reverse of the cabinet card has inscription with the name “Lloyd Brundage” and a note that states that Master Brundage was 21 months old at the time he was photographed. Research reveals that the subject of this image, Lloyd Jeffers Brundage was born in San Francisco on New Years day in 1887. He appears in many US censuses. In 1900 he was thirteen years old and living in Bridgeport, California with his father and mother. His father was named Marshal and was a 46 year-old laborer who was a native Canadian. Lloyd’s mother was named Nillie and she was 31 years old and a native Californian. Her maiden name was Smallwood. Lloyd had a five year-old sister named Delphine. The 1920 census found Lloyd living in Chico, California, with his wife Anna. He was employed as an “agriculturist”. Ten years later he was working as a mechanic in an industiral plant. He and his wife remained in Chico. The 1940 census discovers Lloyd working in a governmental general maintenance position. Lloyd died in 1955 in Butte, California. To learn more about the photographer, George Daniels Morse,  and to see other examples of his work, click on the category “Photographer: Morse”.



BRIDGEPORT DOG_0007Photographers Seeley & Warnock took this photograph of a cute dog posing in their studio in Bridgeport, Connecticut. What a pose?  The photographers have captured this adorable canine exhibiting a smile (with his/her mouth open). The lighting utilized in this photograph could have been better, but lets remember that dogs are tough customers for a photographer. On the reverse of the cabinet card is advertising that states “Instantaneous Portraits of Children A Successful Specialty”.  Note that photographing children is not only a “specialty” but it is a “successful specialty”. Additional printing on the reverse of the cabinet card indicates that it was produced in 1892. Preliminary research found no information about Mr. Warnock but there is an abundance of information about Mr. Seeley. Henry James Seeley was well known in Grand Army of the Republic circles. He was a department commander (Connecticut) and served in national offices of the organization. He was born in Jericho, Vermont in 1849. At the age of fifteen he enlisted in the 10th Indiana Battery, Light Artillery. After serving with the unit he was transferred to the gunboat Stone River which was operating on the Tennessee River. His next post was Fort Johnson in Huntsville, Indiana. Seeley entered and left the military as a private. After mustering out of the military in 1865, he taught school in Carbondale, Illinois. He then went to Vermont to further his education and then had teaching stints in Rome (NY), Worcester, Fall River and Bridgewater (MA). In 1872 he moved to Bridgeport where he studied photography and finally settled down. He opened a photography studio there in 1872 at 922 Main Street. He spent the next forty-five years or more working as a photographer.


A fireman poses for his photograph at the studio of Montignani of Bridgeport, Connecticut. The fireman’s cap has a badge with the insignia of “50”. He is holding a pair of gloves. The location of Montignani’s studio is listed on the bottom of the card as being “over Pequonock Bank”. The bank was loctated at 304 Main Street. An interesting irrelevant fact is that circus man, P. T. Barnum,  was once President of the Pequonock Bank. The photographer is Frank M. Montignani. An 1888 photography journal praises Montignani as taking some of the most “perfect” photographs of Barnum’s circus processions. An 1892 photography journal advertises Montignani’s photographic studio for sale.

Published in: on October 30, 2010 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  
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Bernard Roelker: Esteemed Lawyer and Friend of Longfellow


Bernard Roelker (1816-1888)) led an active life in Literature and Law. He attended the University of Bonn on the Rhine where he studied law. He came to the United States in the late 1830’s. He settled in Bridgeport, Connecticut and privately taught German and Music. He then went to Harvard and became friends with Henry Longfellow who was a professor there. Roelker  became friends with a number of  literary luminaries.  He taught at Harvard and renewed his study of the law. He then practiced law in Boston and later moved to New York City where he started the law firm of Laur and Roelker. He built a large practice, especially among the Germans of the city. He was expert at wills and contracts. He argued an important case, Meyer vs Roosevelt, in front of the United States Supreme Court in 1863. It was the first legal tender case heard before the court and Roelker won the decision. Roelker and his friend Samuel Tilden organized the Prairie du Chien Railroad in Wisconsin. Tilden ran for President in 1876. Roelker never married. The photographer of this Cabinet card portrait is the famous photographer Sarony of New York City. The photograph is dated November, 1879.