photo express

This cabinet card features a well dressed and attractive couple flanking their young daughter in a family portrait produced by the Photo Express gallery in Geneva, Switzerland. Dad seems to be a pro at posing for a photographer judging by the air of confidence that he exudes in this photograph. The gentleman’s daughter seems a bit apprehensive about her day at the photography studio. It is interesting to note the name of the studio that produced this image. “Photo Express” is a name we might expect to see in today’s time rather than around the time of the cabinet card era. We live in a time which has an “instant gratification” mentality. I suppose that the “Photo Express” name tells us that people have had an “on demand” type of impatience long before present times. This cabinet card joins a number of other Swiss images in the Cabinet Card Gallery. To view these photographs, click on the category “Switzerland”.

Published in: on February 12, 2016 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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GENEVA COUPLE_0003 A handsome young Victorian couple pose for their portrait at the Wood studio in Geneva, New York. The gentleman in the photograph has a long mustache, a handkerchief rises from his jacket pockent, and he is displaying the chain to his pocket watch. He sits in a interesting chair that seems to be braided and designed with just one arm. The young woman is wearing a lot of jewelry including a ring, pin, and earrings. Her figure appears to be enhanced by a corset. The reverse of the cabinet card reveals some information about the photographer. Theo. H. Wood’s studio was located at 4 & 6 Seneca Street in Geneva.   Theodore Wood was born in England in 1844 and immigrated to the United States in 1850. He is listed as a  photographer in Geneva City directories from 1901 until 1905. The 1907 directory reports his occupation as “retired”. Wood also makes appearances in the 1900 and 1910 US census. In both surveys he is listed as single and as living as a lodger in a boarding house.


Published in: on April 14, 2014 at 9:41 am  Comments (1)  
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lovelyladThis cabinet card features a portrait of a very lovely lady posing in the studio of  Blakeslee & Moore in Ashtabula, Ohio.  The town of Ashtabula was the site of a major train wreck in 1876 and one of the firemen who responded to the resulting blaze was Frederick W. Blakeslee. Besides being a firefighter, he was also a photographer and he used his camera to record the aftermath of the disaster. The image he made has become legendary in the history of disasters and the history of Ashtabula. He sold thousands of prints of the scene. Fred W. Blakeslee  was in business in Ashtabula from 1870 to 1897. Blakeslee was born in Ohio in 1843. He was a lifelong resident of Ashtabula. At the end of the civil war he opened a photography studio in the town. Beginning the 1870’s he was joined by Frank C Moore (1851-1907). For a time, they operated a branch in Geneva, Ohio. Moore began his photography career as an apprentice in Ashtabula and then ran his own studio in Lima, Ohio between 1870 and 1875. Moore’s partnership with Blakeslee ended in 1894. Blakeslee’s son Frederick K Blakeslee (1880-?) also became a photographer in Ashtabula. The story of the “Ashtabula Train Disaster” is immensely tragic. The accident is thought to have been caused mainly by the collapse of a bridge owned by the Lake Shore and Michigan Railroad. The bridge was a joint creation by Charles Collins (engineer) and Amasa Stone (architect and designer). On a winter night in 1876, a train carrying 159 passengers and crew crossed over the bridge and when the first engine just passed the far side of the bridge, the bridge began to collapse and the rest of the train fell into the ravine. Ninety-two people were killed in the accident and most died from fires that were started from the train car’s oil lamps and stoves. The passengers were trapped in the burning crushed cars. The accident happened after a heavy snow storm and the rescuers were ill prepared and not equipped to help the poor victims of the train wreck. Charles Collins testified about the bridge design to an investigative jury and after finishing his tearful testimony, went home and shot himself in the head. Amasa Stone was held partially responsible for the accident, but he refused to accept blame. He theorized that the train jumped its tracks and destroyed the bridge. However, it is probable that he suffered severely from the incident, and about seven years later, he shot himself in the heart.


UThis cabinet card features Charles James Folger (1818-1884) who was an American lawyer and politician. He served as Secretary of the Treasury under President Chester Arthur. Folger was born in Nantucket, Massachusetts but lived most of his life in Geneva, New York. He attended Hobart College. His political career includes judgeships and some terms in the New York State Senate (1862-1869). While in the state senate, he served four years as President Pro Tempore. In 1869 he left state government after being appointed by President Ulysses Grant as the Assistant U.S. Treasurer. In 1870, he became a judge of the New York Court of Appeals and eventually became the Chief Judge. H eft the judgeship in 1881  to serve as Secretary of the Treasury, and during that tenure, he ran for Governor in New York against future U.S. President, Grover Cleveland. Folger had many accomplishments and he has just added a new honor to his legacy. Folger’s wonderful muttonchops, qualifies him to join the facial hair elite in the category of “Beards (Only the Best)”. Click on the category to view unusual styles of facial hair. This portrait was photographed by Falk, a well known New York City, celebrity photographer. To view other photographs by Falk, click on the category “Photographer: Falk”. A stamp on the reverse of  this cabinet card reveals that it was formerly owned by Culver Pictures of New York City, New York. Culver Pictures has been collecting photographs and illustrations from the 19th and first half of the 20th century, since 1926. These pictures are used in books, films, and other forms of media. At the time that this cabinet card was stamped by the company, Culver Pictures was located in New York City.


Two beautiful young woman pose for their portrait. Lillian and Ella look so much like sisters that it is possible that they may have been twins. The photographers name and location were excised by a previous owner of this cabinet card who trimmed it to fit into an album or frame. Fortunately the reverse of the photograph reveals that the photographer of the image was named Vail.  Research provides further information. John P  Vail (1836-?) was the photographer and he operated out of Geneva, New York. Vail’s father was a farmer and Vail stayed on the family farm until age twenty. In 1859 he went to Penn Yan and learned the art of photography. From 1860 until 1871 he ran a photography business in Palmyra, New York. He then moved to Geneva where he owned a nursery for four years and in 1876 opened a photographic gallery there.

Published in: on June 9, 2011 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  
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This cabinet card is an image of three grand ladies gathered around a table. Atop the table is one closed and one open book. This meeting of the Geneva Ladies Book Club was the forerunner of the modern day version of women’s book clubs. The previous statement may be false, but it does raise the value of this cabinet card. The photographer of this image is Woodworth, of Geneva, Ohio. James P. Woodworth (1845-?) was born in Kingsville, Ohio. He was active as a photographer in Geneva by 1869. He and his wife (Ruby M. Thorp) operated Woodworth’s Fine Art Gallery in Geneva until 1886.

Published in: on November 13, 2010 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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