PORTRAIT OF A BEARDED OLD MAN IN NORWICH, CONNECTICUT

This cabinet card portrait features a well dressed older man with a long mustache and wiry beard. He has the expression of a person who has seen and experienced a lot in his many years. He looks a bit drawn and tired. The gentleman was photographed by Laighton Brothers studio in Norwich, Connecticut. The Laighton Brothers are cited in the book, “Leading Business Men of Norwich and Vicinity” (1890). At the time of the directory’s publication, William S. Laighton had become sole proprietor of the studio upon the death of his brother John. William was a native of Farmington, New Hampshire. William’s obituary appears in the Bulletin of Photography (1915). The brief article reports that he had died as a result of a fall in his studio. At the time of his death he was 76 years old. The article also mentions that he had been living in Norwich since 1874.

Published in: on February 21, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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SPORTSWOMEN OR SPORTSMEN IN PLAINVILLE, CONNECTICUT (TENNIS)

TENNIS GIRLS_0002Two women pose for their portrait at the studio belonging to W. Allderige in Plainville, Connecticut. One of the ladies is holding a tennis racquet but she is holding it in a way that may indicate that she was not a tennis player. Since she is not displaying a proper grip of the racquet, the tennis racquet may just be a prop in the photographers studio. The previous owner of this photograph contended that the two women in this image are actually cross dressing men. Perhaps the former owner was just trying to increase the sales value of the photograph. I would be interested in hearing the opinion of  some of the visitors to the cabinet card gallery on this matter. Research discovered some information about photographer William Allderige. He was born in Birmingham, England in 1854. He worked as a shipping clerk for a carrying company and then as a cashier and bookkeeper for a railway company. In 1856 he immigrated to the United States and settled briefly in Northampton, Massachusetts. He then moved to New York City where he studied photography and when proficient, he returned to Northampton and became a traveling photographer. His next business move was to open photography studios in Connecticut. In 1859 he opened a studio in Plainville which he operated for over forty years. He ran a studio in New Britain from 1870 through 1877 which his son took over and operated until 1898. In 1886 he started a studio in Farmington. Allderige was very busy conducting business but he still found time to marry Sarah Dawson in 1848.

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Published in: on April 23, 2014 at 1:14 pm  Comments (2)  
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OLD MAN AND HIS HORSE AND BUGGY IN NUNDA, ILLINOIS

horse buggy_0001This cabinet card photograph features an old man sitting in his horse drawn cart. Note that the cart has only two wheels. The cart seems to be on a road in front of a fenced house. The gentleman is wearing a derby style hat. The photograph was produced by the Cone studio in Nunda, Illinois. The township of Nunda was established in 1849 and was originally called Brooklyn. In 1850 the name of the town was changed to Nunda to honor a community leader whose birthplace was Nunda, New York. The photographer of this photograph may be Joseph C. Cone. The Portrait and Biographical Album of Fulton County, Illinois (1890) reports that Cone was a Union soldier for three years in Company C of the 103rd Illinois Infantry and became a photographer in Farmington, Illinois. The book also states that he was married to Maria Union. Farmington and Nunda are 190 miles apart and it was not uncommon for photographers of the era to frequently move their businesses from community to community in order to find better economic opportunities. However, Joseph Cone’s identity as the photographer of this image is purely speculative.

Published in: on February 10, 2013 at 12:01 am  Comments (2)  
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