A MAN AND HIS WALRUS MUSTACHE IN CHARLESTON, WEST VIRGINIA

WALRUS_0005The Proctor studio produced this cabinet card portrait of a man with a walrus mustache. This admirable facial hair places this image in the category “Mustaches (Only the Best”). Click on the category to view an array of notable mustaches. A. T. Proctor’s studio was located on Capitol Street in Charleston, West Virginia. He was the successor to the Becker & Fell studio. Alfred Tobert Proctor was born in 1864 in Catalpa, Virginia.  Sometime about 1888 he began his photography career in Charleston. He originally partnered with Elmer B. Tully (Proctor & Tully). In 1894 they moved their business to Huntington, West Virginia leaving photographer William Erskine to run the Charleston studio. In 1897 Erskine joined the two partners in Huntington. Ultimately the partnership ended and the three photographers operated independent businesses. Proctor was very active in the photography community. He served as President of the American Photographers Association for several years beginning in 1910. He competed in many exhibitions and Eastman Kodak used his portrait in its national advertising. He died of a heart attack in 1933. Much of his work now resides in the special collections library at Marshall University.

PAULINE MARKHAM: TURN OF THE CENTURY BURLESQUE ACTRESS

This risque (lots of cleavage shown for this era) cabinet card is a portrait of Pauline Markham (1847-1919), a singer and burlesque dancer during the civil war period in the United States. She was born in England where she made her stage debut as a child. She came to New York and appeared in “Black Crook” and “Pinafore”. She was a member of the Lydia Thompson troupe (British Blondes). After the civil war, she had relations with Northern Generals and Reconstructionists In the 1870’s she formed her own stage company and in 1879 she took her company on a tour of the West during which they performed Gilbert and Sullivan. A member of that troupe was Josephine Marcus, who later married lawman, Wyatt Earp. She retired from the stage in 1889 after breaking her leg. She must have taken the old show business saying of “break a leg” literally. This cabinet card was photographed by Fredricks, of Brooklyn, New York. It is possible that the photographer is Charles DeForest Fredricks (1823-1894) who was an innovative American photographer. Fredricks learned the art of daguerreotypes from the great photographer , Jeremiah Gurney (see category “Photographer: Gurney”). Fredricks worked in South America through the early 1850’s and then he operated out of Charleston, South Carolina; and Paris, France. He was the first photographer to make life-size portraits, which he then hired artists to color them using pastel. He then returned to New York City and rejoined Gurney. In 1854 he developed a new enlarging process and in 1855 he ended his association with Gurney. In the late 1850’s Fredricks ran his studio in Havana, Cuba, and in the 1860’s he opened a studio on Broadway, in New York City. He retired in 1889. Research has not confirmed that Fredricks ever had a studio in Brooklyn, so it is quite uncertain whether the Fredricks who photographed Markham is actually Charles D. Fredricks.

BEAUTIFUL WOMAN POSES IN HER MOURNING ATTIRE IN LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY

MOURNINGWOMAN_0005A beautiful woman poses for her portrait for a photographer in the studio of Klauber in Louisville, Kentucky. The woman’s name is J. T. Lane. She is wearing a black mourning dress with elaborate beading and ribbons. She is wearing an interesting black hat and black gloves. Ms Lane is holding a hankie and a book. The photograph comes from a collection of photographs which belonged to a Charleston, South Carolina family. The same collection featured a number of photographs of a woman named Effe May Blanchard who married prominent Charlestonian Julian Hazelhurst Walter. A portrait and description of the life of the attractive Ms  Blanchard-Walter can be found by clicking on the tag found below this entry. The relationship between J. T. Lane and Ms Blanchard-Walter is unknown. The photographer of this portrait, Edward Klauber was considered by many to be one of the best photographers of his time. He was a native of Bohemia who came to the United States at age eighteen. His large and elegant studio was compared to the studio of Matthew Brady in New York City. The studio was lavishly furnished. Stage personalities like Mary Anderson enjoyed having portraits done by Klauber when they were in Louisville performing at the Macauley theatre. Klauber’s studio closed in 1913 and he died in 1918.

BEAUTIFUL BELLE IN CHARLESTON: EFFE MAY BLANCHARD-WALTER

SOUTHERN BELL_0003

This Cabinet card is a portrait of a beautiful woman named Effe May Blanachard-Walter. Effe was from Newark, New Jersey where her father, Noah Farwell Blanchard ran a successful leather business. His company made knapsacks, haversacks and other leather goods for the Union Army during the civil war. In 1879  he became the President of a start-up company that became Prudential Life Insurance Company. He also was a religious man who served as President of the Board of Trustee at Trinity Church in Newark, New Jersey. Effe married Julian Hazelhurst Walter in about 1896. Interestingly, a book on the history of Newark, New Jersey, spells her name as Affie rather than Effe. Another source reveals that Julian H Walter (1870 – ?) was born in New Jersey but  at age 2 he and his family returned to their native South Carolina. As a young adult he worked in his fathers cotton business and then at age 26 moved to New York where be became a prominent businessman. He worked in the seed business founding the firm Stumpp and Walter Company. Now, back to the Cabinet Card. This photograph captures Effe in a beautiful white dress with  much lace and puffed sleeves. The photographer is Leidloff of Charleston, South Carolina. Herman Leidloff came to the United States from Berlin, Germany in 1872. After living in New York, Boston and Baltimore he came to Charleston in the late 1870’s and by 1881 had begun operating his photographic studio.