An attractive woman with a tall fancy hat and a scarf poses for her portrait at the Clark studio in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The photographer of this image is Forester Clark. He was cited in the Photographic Times (1988) because his eight year=old daughter Eva wrote a letter to then President Grover Cleveland which included six winter and six summer views of Pittsfield street scenes. She received a reply from the President with the salutation of “My Dear Young Friend”,  and the letter went on to say, among other things, that he found the photographs very interesting. Clark is also mentioned in the Photographic Journal of America (1893) for announcing that he was leaving Pittsfield (he lived there 21 years) and moving to Montpelier, Vermont to become treasurer of the Excelsior Granite Works. The article reported that Clark had taken 31,000 negatives while in Pittsfield. Clark was a veteran of the civil war. He enlisted in 1861 and was discharged in 1862 with the rank of Private. He was a member of the 5th Wisconsin Infantry. The 1880 US census reveals that Clark was born in Vermont in 1836. He married his wife, Emma, in 1862. He had four children aged one through thirteen. The 1900 census found Clark living in the Bronx, New York with his wife and two of his children. He was employed as a granite salesman. The 1910 census indicates that Clark was living in Cheshire, Massachusetts with his wife and that at 73 years-old, he was working once again as a photographer.


This Cabinet card is an image of Sir Charles Skelton. Research about this interesting man reveals that his name shows up in all sorts of places. He was a busy man with many interests. He died in 1913 after suffering a stroke. He was considered a modern puritan. He was very engaged in and financially supportive of the Methodist New Connexion Body in Sheffield, England. He was also very active in the big spending highway committee of the Sheffield City Council. He was a major proponent of the use of granite in highway and transportation construction. This was a controversial issue and a anti-granite association was formed to oppose him. In 1895, he became Mayor of Sheffield. In 1897, during a visit from Queen Victoria, Skelton was knighted. Sir Charles Skelton is cited in many varied publications. In 1897, he was mentioned by the British Medical Journal as active in advocating the study and eradication of Tuberculosis. In 1904, The Zoophilist and Animals Defender, reports that Skelton was an active advocate of the antivivisection organization. (Vivisection is conducting surgery on animals for simply experimental purposes). Skelton was a man before his time; if alive today he would be anti animal testing and a member of PETA. It is written that “he was one of the really big men of the City” who was known for his integrity, thoroughness, and “unswerving honesty of purpose”. The man was a non conformist; he opposed militarism (the boer war), and was a teetotaller and opposed liquor traffic. The photographer of this image is J. Crosby of Rotherham, England. Rotherham is a town in South Yorkshire. Rotherham and Sheffield are about four miles apart. The reverse of this card has an inscription stating  “Uncle Sir Charles Skelton”.