PORTRAIT OF TWO WORLD WAR l INFANTRY SOLDIERS SERVING AS TELEGRAPH OPERATORS

This vintage real photo postcard features a portrait of two French World War I infantry men. The French often informally referred to World War I infantry men as “Poilu”. The term can be translated as “hairy ones” and it was used as a form of endearment. Many of these men came from rural background and sported beards and bushy mustaches. They were known as tough and brave but not exactly obedient to their officers.The men in this photo are wearing pins on their collars which indicate that one soldier is from the 24th and the other is from the 36th infantry regiment. One soldier has a patch on his upper left sleeve. What does the patch represent? The previous owner of this photo postcard asserted that the patch indicates that the men were members of the telegraph corps. I can not confirm that claim. This vintage postcard is in good condition (see scans).

Buy this original Vintage Real Photo Postcard (includes shipping within the US) #2795

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Buy this original Vintage Real Photo Postcard (includes International shipping outside the US) #2795

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Published in: on July 15, 2019 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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PORTRAIT OF A TRAIN CONDUCTOR (RAILROAD OF NEW JERSEY)

NJ CONDUCTOR_0001J. C. Sunderlin produced this portrait of a train conductor in full uniform. Sunderlin operated a studio on Main Street in Flemington, New Jersey. The subject of this photograph is wearing a cap that has a plate tag which states “Conductor”. The patches on the lapel of his jacket indicate that he was employed by the “Railroad of New Jersey”. It is likely, but not certain, that this gentleman worked for the Central Railroad of New Jersey. This railway line has its roots in the 1830’s but adopted the Central Railroad name in 1849.  Note this gentleman’s terrific bushy mustache. The photographer, John Corbin Sunderlin was born in 1835 at Fort Anne, New York. His birth name was John Corbin Vorce but his mother died during his infancy and he was adopted at nine years of age. He married Harriet A. Penny in 1855 and the couple had five children. In 1856 he left farming for photography. He became an itinerate photographer and his studio was located on a horse drawn wagon. During the civil war he enlisted in the 5th Vermont Volunteer Infantry where he reached the rank of sergeant. His obituary states that he served three years in participated in eight major battles until he was wounded at Fredericksburg. After the war he settled in Fort Edward, New York. While living in Fort Edward he was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, the Masons, Odd Fellows, and the New York State Prohibition Party. He worked as a photographer until 1870 when he was ordained by the Methodist Church. In 1880 he left his ministry work and returned to his career in photography. He operated a studio in Flemington until 1902 when he bought a studio in Blairstown, New Jersey from William C. Walters. He remained in Blairstown until his death from pneumonia in 1911.

MILITARY MARKSMAN IN MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN

This cabinet card features a young soldier in his uniform. He is a member of the Wisconsin 4th Infantry, Company D. He is wearing a kepi on his head and a fatigue coat. His uniform displays a number of marksman badges. The photographer is Herman  A. Feiker of Milkwaukee, Wisconsin. Research is incomplete, but, reveals that he operated a photography studio during 1889 and 1890. In 1889  he was partners with George Raab in running a studio at 1102 Walnut, in Milwaukee. Records indicate that Feiker married Mina Horstman in 1887.

Published in: on June 18, 2011 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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CAPTAIN WILLIAM J WILLIAMS: AFRICAN AMERICAN SPANISH AMERICAN WAR VETERAN

This cabinet card creates a historical mystery. Is this image really a portrait of Captain William James Williams? Captain Williams was among the first African American officers to serve in a state volunteer regiment during the Spanish American War. He served in the 6th Massachusetts Infantry, Company L. This company was probably the first and possibly only African American company to be attached to a white regiment. Williams commanded Company L and was the first African American to enter the US Volunteer army with a captain’s commission. He was six feet tall. He was a product of Boston schools  and was a lawyer. He joined the Massachusetts Militia in 1891. The reverse of this card is inscribed “William James Williams, Captain, Spanish American War”. A photograph of Captain Williams found from another source, has resemblance to the man in this image, but does not confirm the identity. The photographer of this image is William G. Hussey of Salem, Massachusetts. A photographic journal (1900) reported that Hussey sold his Salem studio in 1900.

INFANTRYMAN IN SYRACUSE, NEW YORK (SPANISH AMERICAN WAR ERA)

This cabinet card features a soldier posing in uniform at the studio of  Edward E. Coatsworth (1841- ?) in Syracuse, New York. The soldier is from the era of the Spanish American War. It is my hope that the vast unpaid research department of the Cabinet Card Gallery will be able to provide more exact information about the time period of this photograph as well as specific information about his unit. Based on his badges,  it is my guess that he served in the infantry and that he was in the 203rd regiment and company K. The 203rd Infantry Regiment of the New York Volunteers was a Spanish American War unit. It served its term of service within the continental United States. Company K was formed from the 16th Separate Company of Catskill, New York The crossed rifle insignia was the cap badge of the U.S. Army Infantry. In 1898, the badge was moved to the collar of the military uniform. Underneath the crossed rifles badge on his hat is another badge and hopefully someone can identify it and leave a comment with an explanation. It is interesting to note the polka dot handkerchief the infantryman is wearing around his neck. Coatsworth was once partners with Frank G. Smith in operating a photographic studio in Syracuse (1889-1894).