This vintage real photo postcard features theatre actress, Hilda Guiver. She had an active acting career between 1905 and 1917. She sat for one portrait that can be found in the National Portrait Gallery of Great Britain. Interestingly, the portrait owned by the National Portrait Gallery is the very same one as seen in this postcard image. The photographer of this photograph is Percy Guttenberg of Manchester, England. The photo was taken in about 1905. Alexander Percy Guttenberg (1870-?) came from a family that produced a number of photographers. His father, Marcus Guttenberg (1828-1891) began as a daguerreotypist in Hungary, Prussia, Poland and Germany before starting a photography business in England (1851). One source reports that he established 24 studios in England but settled in the Manchester area. Percy, like his father, was also very successful. In fact, there are fourteen of his photographs in England’s National Portrait Gallery. Percy was famous for his work photographing actors and actresses. Finding information about Miss Guiver took some effort. I did learn that she appeared in “Cinderella (1906)” at The Kings Theatre in London. Actress, Ethel Ward, also was part of the cast. Hilda Guiver is also known for her starring in “The House that Jack Built (1916)”. This patriotic show was popular during World War I. The play was written in the tradition of English pantomime so the role of the principal boy needed to be played by a woman. Hilda Guiver took on that role with great swagger and dash. Dressed as a handsome naval officer, she sang patriotic songs and received “enthusiastic reviews”. Guiver was a natural for the role as she was considered one of London’s leading principal boys. This vintage real photo postcard is in very good condition (see scans).

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kitty coyler

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The pretty actress seen in this vintage real photo postcard, is Miss Kitty Colyer (1897-?). Here are some biographical facts that I discovered in preliminary research about the English actress. She started her career at age eleven. In addition to being an actress, she was also a dancer. She has also been described as a music hall singer and a comedian. Her dance routines were varied but her favorites were acrobatic, toe, buck, and national dancing. She performed primarily in the 1920’s. She played the role of Cinderella in “Cinderella” (1920).  As the roaring twenties came to a close, her career fizzled out and she left the entertainment business. A review of Miss Colyer can be found in John Culme’s “Footlight Notes” (website). A writer from “The Era” (1911) wrote “Miss Kitty Colyer’s sensational dancing reaches its climax in some very energetic handsprings and her lissomness and activity are quite irresistible in her rendering of “By the Light of the Silvery Moon”. Look below to see an example of sheet music (1920) featuring Kitty Colyer. Now, back to the vintage postcard. It was published by Rotary Photo and is part of the Rotary Photographic Series (no. 11522 C). The photographer is unknown. The postcard is in excellent condition (see scans).

Buy this original Real Photo Postcard (includes shipping within the US) #2740

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This cabinet card features stage and film actress Mabel Trunnell (1879-1981). The reverse of the photograph is inscribed “Yours Truly, Mabel Trunnell 1898”. Therefore, this image captures Miss Trunnell at about age nineteen. Mabel Trunnell was born in Dwight, Illinois. She began her career as an actress of the stage but at age thirty-two she began to appear in films. In 1911 she appeared in “A Modern Cinderella, In the Days of Chivalry” and in “The Star Spangled Banner”. Her last film was in 1923 when she was in the movie “The Love Trap”. Her filmography on IMDb indicates that she acted in 199 different films. At the age of forty-four she returned to the stage. She was married to Herbert Prior, an early British film star. Trunnell was one of Hollywood’s first movie stars as was identified with Edison Studios. A magazine article in “The Moving Picture World” (1915) reviews one of her performance. The reviewer wrote “Mabel Trunnell becomes more attractive as the course of time silvers her hair”. An interesting sociological comment was also made by the reviewer which was in regard to the admirable strength portrayed by Trunnell’s character. The reviewer notes “most of us are tired of seeing women pictured as incurable weaklings”. The reviewer was certainly a man who was ahead of his time. This cabinet card was produced by the Barrows studio in Fort Wayne, Indiana. It appears that Miss Trunnell was photographed in a costume from one of her performances. She is dressed very much like a maid and seems a bit troubled in her pose. The photographer, Frank Rufus Barrows operated a studio in Fort Wayne between 1880 and 1900. He is considered one of the city’s most prolific photographers and had several locations while in business there. He was born in Sturgis, Michigan in 1854. He came to Fort Wayne in 1880 and partnered with Frank H. Clayton in operating a photographic studio. In about a years time he became the sole proprietor of the studio. He had many photos appear in Fort Wayne Illustrated (1897). He left Indiana for Medford, Massachusetts and operated a studio there until 1910 when he moved to Eugene, Oregon where he died in 1920.