This cabinet card portrait features a well dressed young man and young woman. Are they husband and wife or are they siblings. The pair look quite young to be married, but it certainly is possible that they are a wedded couple. The woman is wearing a cross and a collar pin. Her dress is very stylish. The young man is wearing a fashionable hat, a pocket watch, and has a handkerchief peeking out of his sport jacket’s top front pocket. He is holding a long stick. It is too thin to be a cane. Perhaps it is a crop used to control horses. I would appreciate some help from cabinet card gallery visitors to identify what exactly the gentleman is holding. An inscription on the reverse of the photograph identifies the subjects as “Emory and Effie in their younger days”. The note adds that at least, one of the pair, were married at age 20. I have difficulty resisting a challenge so I became determined to further identify this lovely couple. I am uncertain if I succeeded. Effie Mae Lafler (1875-1955) married Emory Grant Speers (1869-1964) in 1894. They were married in Canandaigua, New York. Effie was about 20 years old at the time of her marriage, which is consistent with the inscription. The pair had three children. Emory was a farmer. Before I could congratulate myself on a job well done, I realized that there was “a fly in the ointment”. Printed on the bottom of the reverse of the photo is the date 1884. If this is the date that the photograph was taken, Effie would have been nine years old. Clearly, she is much older than 9 in the photograph. However, the photo could have been made on old card stock, and that accounts for the date discrepancy. Although there is uncertainty about the identification of this couple, I was able to learn much about the photographer of this image.  The photographer of this cabinet card is Alston E. Hotchkiss ( c 1846-1907) of Norwich, New York. A. E. Hotchkiss came to Norwich in 1872 at the age of twenty-six. He ran the most popular photo gallery in town and it is reported that he took on the persona of an artistic and cultured gentleman. His wife played a major role in his running the studio and at one point, he employed at least twenty workers. At this point in time, the Cabinet Card Gallery has three other photos by this excellent photographer. This trimmed photograph is in very good condition (see scans).

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This cabinet card captures the image of a pretty young woman dressed in a fur trimmed winter coat and wearing a fancy hat. She is also wearing a necklace. The photographer who produced this image is Finley & Sons. The studio was located in Canandaigua, New York. This cabinet card likely dates back to the 1870’s. The Finley & Sons studio was established by Marshall Finley as a daguerreotype gallery. His son, Horace M. Finley (1839- ?) joined his father in business in the early 1860’s. The 1870 Ontario County Directory has an advertisement for the gallery. The ad reveals that in addition to “photographic work”,  Finley & Sons (172 Main Streeet) was “Canandaigua’s Music Store”. The Finley’s sold pianos (including Steinway and Chickering brands) as well as other instruments and music supplies.  In 1888, Horace Finley took on a partner named William N. Freeman. There are many stereoview cards, cdvs, and cabinet cards produced by this studio that can be found today as the Finleys were known to run a prolific studio. To view other photographs by Finley, click on category “Photographer: Finley”.

Published in: on August 7, 2012 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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This cabinet card captures a gypsy woman with her tambourine held above her head. She is wearing multiple bracelets and necklaces, as well as linked chains. She is wearing what appears to be a head scarf, stockings, and a very interesting cloth belt. She may be an actual gypsy, or perhaps an actress in costume. The photographer is H. M. Finley of Canandagua, New York. Canandaigua is located in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Horace M. Finley (1839-?) was born in Canandaigua and educated in local schools. After completing school he worked for his father’s photographic studio. His father, Marshall Finley, was a co author of one of the first American photography books (1849). Horace Finley worked as a photographer for many years; he was listed as an artist, or photographer, in the census’s  of 1860 through 1900. To view other photographs by Finley, click on category “Photographer: Finley”.

Published in: on October 17, 2010 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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