A young woman poses wearing her bonnet at the studio of Holgenson, in Chicago, Illinois. The photograph raises the question of whether the bonnet is simply meant to be fashionable, or does the bonnet indicate that she is a member of a certain ethnic or religious groups. Please leave a comment with any hypotheses about this question.   (SOLD)

Published in: on May 18, 2022 at 12:01 pm  Comments (2)  
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This vintage real photo postcard provides a “feel good” impact on it’s viewers. A young well-dressed boy rides a tired looking donkey and he is wearing a smile that extends from ear to ear. He seems to be having the time of his life and his smile is infectious. A nice smile serves people well in life. Marilyn Monroe must have been in agreement about the importance of smiling when she said “A smile is the best makup any girl can wear”. Note that the donkey has a pennant hanging on his forehead. The pennant has “Illinois” printed on it. We can probably posit that this photo was taken in the “Land of Lincoln” (Illinois). This postcard has an “AZO” stamp box indicating that it was produced sometime between 1904 and 1918. The postcard is in very good condition (see scans).

Buy this Vintage Real Photo Postcard (includes shipping within the US) #3144

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Published in: on October 20, 2021 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A distinguished looking older man with a white eard and mustache poses for his  portrait at the Fenwick studio in Bloomington, Illinois. The man is dressed in his finest clothing for his day at the photographer but it seems he had no time to see a barber to tame his beard and longish hair. The photographer of this image is Richard Fenwick. He was born in England in 1845. He appears in the U.S. Census in 1870. He was living in a Bloomington boarding house and working as a laborer. The 1880 census finds Mr Fenwick (age 35) married to Alida Fenwick (age 30). The couple was married in 1875 and were living with their two children. Richard Fenwick had a 1 year-old daughter (Adda) and a 9 year-old step son (Rush Downey). Fenwick was working as a photographer. The 1900 census reveals that Fenwick still worked as a photographer and his step son, Rush, filled the manager role in the photography studio. Research reveals that between 1866 and 1875, Fenwick was associated with the Cook and Fenwick studio. This cabinet card is in good condition (see scans).

Buy this original Cabinet Card Photograph (includes shipping within the US) #2886

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Published in: on October 18, 2019 at 12:01 pm  Comments (2)  
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This family portrait features adorable identical twin sisters and their younger sibling. The three children share the same face and hairstyle. Like many twins of today, these twins are dressed identically. The twins are holding hands and are standing in front of their sibling who is posed in a prominent position, centered and standing on a chair peering over her sisters shoulders. The photographer who created this photograph was Miss Trumbull of Carlinville, Illinois. The precious children in this photograph are identified on the reverse of the image. Their names are, from left to right, Lila, Georgia, and Lela Loveless. The U.S. census of 1920 sheds some light on the Loveless family. First of all, the family was probably far from loveless.  Cyness and Sarah Loveless had five children. The twins, Lila and Lela, and their little sister, Georgia, had an older brother named Lincoln and a younger brother (Mack) and younger sister (Sadie). It is interesting to note that the Loveless parents named a son Lincoln. The boy was born in 1896, and that despite the fact that three decades had passed since the civil war, the Loveless’s honored their native son assassinated President. After considering the census data, it is likely that this photograph was taken approximately 1904. By 1920, Lincoln Loveless, age 24, had joined his father working as a farmer. Unfortunately, research has not yet uncovered any information about the photographer of this image. Female photographers during this era were not common. Hopefully, a visitor to the Cabinet Card Gallery will be able to supply biographical information concerning Miss Trumbull.   SOLD

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Published in: on August 17, 2019 at 12:01 pm  Comments (3)  
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The gentleman featured in this cabinet card is clearly a member of a band. He is wearing a band uniform and holding his trombone. Note his cap and bow tie. The studio which produced this image was Babb’s Ground Floor Gallery in Shelbyville, Illinois. James A. Babb (1855-?) and Jacob P. Babb (1857-1908) were the proprietors of Babb’s photographic studio. James was a native of Missouri and worked on a farm until 1879  when he came to Sullivan, Illinois and worked in a photographic gallery. He then returned to Missouri (Jefferson City) and worked for a photographer named S. Winans. He then moved to Shelbyville where he worked several years in the grocery business until he and his brother Jacob, established a Photography business. James Babb married Miss Mollie E. Oliver of Shelbyville. Jacob Babb was also a Missouri native and started his work life as a farmer. At age twenty-four he began working in the lumber industry and in 1883 he began a career in photography with the same S. Winans previously mentioned. His next job change occurred when he partnered with his brother in the Shelbyville gallery. In 1887 Jacob married Miss Anna Sampson of Shelbyville.  The major source of information concerning the Babb brothers was the “Illinois Genealogy Trails” section on Shelby County.   SOLD

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Published in: on May 21, 2019 at 12:01 pm  Comments (4)  
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This photograph features a pretty woman wearing a very fancy white lace dress. Hopefully, some of the cabinet card visitors with fashion interest and expertise will make some informative comments about this fashionable woman’s attire. The woman’s hairstyle is interesting. She is wearing her hair up and its in a puffy, but neat, pile. This photograph was produced by the Wilkins studio in Freeport, Illinois. Charles E. Wilkins was born in 1859 in Red Wing, Minnesota. He lived in Freeport for forty-two years and operated his photography studio there for twenty-five years. His studio was located at 123 Stephenson Street for an unknown number of years. He retired about 15 years before his death.  At age seventy-two he took up golf and “played a remarkable game” according to his obituary which appeared in the Freeport Journal Standard (1940). SOLD

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Published in: on January 30, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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A young mother and her two children pose for their portrait at the Johnson studio in Pullman, Illinois. It is interesting that the children are not in closer proximity to their mother. The distance may be due to the photographer’s direction or perhaps a more intimate pose was not part of this family’s makeup. Mom seems disconnected from her kids. The child furthest back in the image does have his hand lightly resting on his mom’s shoulder. Mom is wearing a pretty patterned dress and a wonderful hat. She is looking at the camera in an untrusting manner. One must also consider the possibility that the woman in this picture is actually the children’s older sister and not their mother. There is no information available to clarify this family’s constellation. The photographer of  this cabinet card, Thomas S. Johnson,  has an interesting biography which is very much connected to the history of the town of Pullman. Johnson was born in Chicago in 1850.He was raised on a farm in Thornton, Illinois. At the age of fifteen he attended Chicago University. He studied there until 1867. He then studied painting for a short time but in 1869 became a photographer. He married E. I. A. Fortier in 1874. She died in 1877 and he returned to farming. In 1879, while in Thornton, he reentered the field of photography. In 1880 he moved his business to Crete, Illinois and by 1882 established his business in Pullman. In 1881 he married Mary C. Whalen of Indiana. In Pullman, Johnson worked for George Pullman and he was tasked with using his photography skills to document Pullman’s factory, town and workers. Thomas Johnson was the first known photographer hired by Pullman to photograph his town and railcars. A number of photographers besides Johnson worked in the same capacity on a part time basis. Johnson published a book about Pullman; “Picturesque Pullman”. Obviously, Pullman, Illinois was named after George Pullman. The community was located in the south side of Chicago. It was built in the 1880’s by Pullman to provide housing for the employees of his company, “The Pullman Royal Palace Car Company”. The business manufactured railcars. Pullman created behavioral standards that residents of his houses had to meet in order to live in the houses that he rented to them.  (SOLD)


LADY BROWN MOUNT_0006A striking young woman poses for her portrait at Shively’s Tower Art Gallery in Decatur, Illinois. The studio was located on the corner of Water and Park Streets. She is wearing a wide necklace with a hanging charm.

Published in: on July 29, 2013 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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LINCOLN BETHROVEDA couple pose for their wedding portrait in Lincoln, Illinois. The photographer is E. B. Core. The bride is wearing a dark wedding dress and the groom is wearing a corsage. The story behind how Lincoln, Illinois received its name is quite interesting. The town is the only town named for Lincoln before he became President of the United States. He worked as an attorney in the town between 1847 and 1859. The town was named Lincoln in 1853 and during the ceremony, Abe Lincoln christened the town by pouring watermelon juice on the ground. When it was originally proposed to name the town after Lincoln, Mr Lincoln stated that he was against the idea and that in his experience, “Nothing bearing the name of Lincoln ever amounted to much”.

Published in: on July 14, 2013 at 12:00 am  Comments (1)  
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UGLY BEARD_0003The gentleman pictured in this cabinet card photograph was clearly experiencing “a bad beard day”. The previous owner of this photograph stated that “this is what happens when you shave with a hangover”. This scraggly bearded man seems to have chopped the left side of his beard shorter than the right side. The beard seems to have been styled to look like a muskrat. The photographer of this image is C. H. Hanchett of Arlington Heights, Illinois. He also had studios in Richmond and Wauconda, Illinois. The Arlington Heights studio was at Dunton Avenue and Miner Street. To view other interesting beards, click on the category “Beards (Only the Best)”. If there was a category “Beards (Only the Worst)”, I would have placed it there.

Published in: on June 19, 2013 at 12:01 am  Comments (2)  
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