PAULINE HALL (1860-1919): BEAUTIFUL MUSICAL THEATRE STAR

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The top cabinet card features Pauline Hall (1860-1919), one of the most popular turn of the century prima donnas. She began her career as a dancer in Cincinnati, Ohio at age 15. She joined the Alice Oats Opera Company but left to tour in plays with famed actress Mary Anderson. By 1880, she worked for well known producer Edward Everett Rice in musical productions. Early in their association, he gave her a role in “Evangeline”. Her shapely figure allowed her to take male roles as she did in “Ixion” (1885). Her greatest success came in the title role of the first American production of  “Erminie” (1886). She played in more than two dozen Broadway operettas. Her final role was in the “Gold Diggers” (1919). This photograph was taken by famed celebrity photographer, Elmer Chickering of Boston, Massachusetts. Other photographs by Chickering can be seen by clicking on Cabinet Card Gallery’s category of “Photographer: Chickering, E.”. The second cabinet card, photographed by B. J. Falk, of New York City, captures Pauline Hall in stage costume. The photograph is #305 in a series from Newsboy. The tobacco company (Newsboy) gave away cabinet cards as a premium with the purchase of their products. This cabinet card shows a copyright date in the 1890’s. The exact date has become illegible over time. To view other Newsboy or Falk cabinet cards, click on the categories “Photographer: Falk” or “Photographer: Newsboy”. The third cabinet card portrait was also photographed by Falk. Ms. Hall looks quite beautiful in this image. She is wearing earrings and an interesting hat. The photograph is a bit risque. Much of her neck and shoulders are exposed. In addition, her dress accentuates and reveals significant cleavage. Is the material at the base of her scoop neckline part of her dress; or was it added in order to make the photograph less provocative? Perhaps a visitor to the cabinet card gallery will be able to provide an explanation. The fourth cabinet card image, once again photographed by B J Falk, features Miss Hall wearing a dark dress, long gloves, a lovely hat, and a purse. Pauline Hall certainly was a stage beauty as attested by this photograph.

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RISQUE PORTRAIT OF BURLESQUE ACTRESS KATE EVERLEIGH BY WARREN’S PORTRAITS IN BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS

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This cabinet card captures the beauty of actress Kate Everleigh. The image is risque for the cabinet card era. Preliminary research reveals no personal details of the life of Miss Everleigh. However, there are many articles citing her theatrical appearances.  In fact, her portrait appears on the front page of  “The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News” in both 1885 and 1886 editions. She is also referenced in the book “A History of the New York Stage” (1903) for appearing in Reese and Farnie’s burlesque production of  “Oxygen” and Lydia Thompson’s Company’s production of “Bluebird”. Everleigh also appeared in the original London cast of  “Erminie” (1885). The magazine “The Theatre” (1885) cites her appearances in “Nemesis” and “Family Ties”. Miss Everleigh also performed in the United States. She is mentioned as a performer in a burlesque show in San Francisco called “The Mother, The Maiden, and The Musicianer” (1880). This is a high quality photograph and not surprisingly, comes from a well respected studio in Boston, Massachusetts. The studio is Warren’s Portraits and it was located at 465 Washington Street. The photographer was George K. Warren. Warren’s Studios photographed many celebrities and notable people in Boston. To view other photographs by Warren, click on the category “Photographer: Warren”.

Jessie Bartlett Davis: American Actress and Opera Singer

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Jessie Bartlett Davis (1859?-1905) was an American actress and operatic singer from Illinois who was billed as “America’s Representative Contralto”.  Her father was a farmer and country school master and she was one of ten children. She was discovered when she was performing locally and was taken by traveling managers to perform on the west coast.  In 1879 she made her debut in the opera H.M.S. Pinafore. She performed with several opera companies before joining the new Boston Ideal Opera and remained with this troupe until 1901 performing as their prima donna. She is most well known for her role as Alan a-Dale in the 1890 opera Robin Hood. She also toured performing opera in Europe one season and in 1897 she opened on Broadway in The Serenade. She played Broadway again in 1903 in Jakobowski”s operetta Erminie. This versatile performer also performed vaudeville, wrote songs, stories and poems. She had a home in Chicago and summer home in Indiana where she raised horses, collies and fox terriers. In 1905 she died of Brights disease and is buried in Chicago. The photographer of this portrait is renowned theatrical photogarpher Benjamin J Falk of New York City.