The boys gather together at Snyder’s Studio in Kutztown, Pennsylvania for a group portrait. Suits and derby hats seem to be the order of the day. Someone brought their two large hounds to the gathering. The dogs appear to be hunting dogs. Examination of this cabinet card image brings up the question, “How are these men connected to each other?”.  Are they good friends?  Are they co-workers? The answer to these questions are unobtainable and we are left with only hypotheses.What do we know about the photographer? The 1880 U. S. census reveals that Charles Wanner Snyder (1852-1927) was married to Sallie A. Jackson (1858-1900) and the pair had a daughter named Lydia (born 1879). Charles Snyder was born, and later died, in Kutztown. At the time of the census, Snyder was employed as a boot and shoe maker, but he appears to have had a tendency to switch careers over time. After tiring of boots and shoes,  he worked two years as a harness maker. He learned photographic and freehand crayon work and then, became a photographer. Research reveals that he had a reputation for being an excellent scenic artist and sign painter. He also was a very civic minded man. He was credited as saving a grove from woodsmen, and establishing the Kutztown Park with the rescued property. He served six years on the Kutztown council and five years as President of the council. In 1880 he entered the bicycle business. He added a Sphinx automobile dealership to his bicycle shop in 1915. What in the world is a Sphinx automobile? The Sphinx was produced by the Sphinx Motor Car Company which was located in York, Pennsylvania. The company produced cars in 1915 and 1916. The Sphinx was a light touring car. Automobile Industries (1914) reported that the car was expected to  have an initial selling price of six hundred and ninety-five dollars.  SOLD

Published in: on April 12, 2023 at 12:01 pm  Comments (2)  
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bowlers bowlers 1 This cabinet card photograph features three well dressed young men wearing derby hats. They are wearing long overcoats over their suits. This photo must have been taken in winter. The young men appear to be in their teenage years. An interesting side note is worth mentioning about derby hats. Derbies are made of hard felt and have a rounded crown. They were created by two London hat makers in 1849. Their last name was Bowler and the hat was named after them. Bowlers (Derbies in the USA) were worn with semi formal and informal clothing. They were worn by working class men during the last half of the 19th century. In later years they were worn by middle and upper class men. Two of the men seen in the photograph are identified. They are Max and Carl Stenzel. Presumably, they are brothers. The photograph was taken by the G. J. Stage Art Photography studio in Rochester, N.Y.. George Stage was born in 1828, He appears in the New York Census (1905) as does his wife (Maggie) and their fourteen year old son. Interestingly, at the time of this census George was 77 years of age and Maggie was just 36 years old. George died in 1910. He is listed as a photographer in the Rochester 1909 directory, indicating he worked until he was 80 years-old. He is also listed as a photographer in the 1887 directory. Therefore he was a photographer for at least 22 years.   SOLD

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Published in: on January 11, 2019 at 6:27 pm  Leave a Comment  
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