FOUR BLACKSMITHS, A HORSE, AND A PORNOGRAPHER IN EAST LIVERPOOL, OHIO

This cabinet photograph looks like a scene from a Clint Eastwood western feature film. It is as if the four men are looking into the street to watch Clint challenge four outlaws to a gunfight. More likely, this photograph captures a portrait of four men who work in an East Liverpool, Ohio blacksmith shop. Note that two of the men are holding  tools of their trade and also take notice that there is a tool box in the center of the image.  In additon, two of the men are wearing aprons and all four men are wearing what appears to be appropriate blacksmith garb. In the center of the photograph is a pretty horse. The photographer of this wonderful portrait is Culbertson’s Art Studio. The Culbertson studio is associated with the seamier side of photography and created quite a scandal in East Liverpool. Harry and Leon Culbertson were brothers and at one point were business partners in the Culbertson Brothers photography studio. On 5/10/1892, Harry was arrested on a charge of taking lewd and indecent photographs. His legal defense was that the photographs were “purely works of art”.The Lowell Daily Courier (Lowell, Massachusetts) reported the story on 5/13/1892. Culbertson claimed that two unknown young woman came to his studio and induced him to photograph them “undraped”.  He left town shortly after his arrest.

Published in: on February 22, 2015 at 3:18 pm  Comments (3)  
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