sanitarium 1This vintage postcard features a picture of Dr. Turner’s Sanitarium in Colfax, Iowa. Drs. Alice and Lewis Turner were owners of the Sanitarium “where one is taught to get well by natural methods”. The sanitarium was established by the Turners in 1904. The building was previously a hotel (The Grand). The average patient stay was three weeks and the doctors only used medicine in “stubborn cases”. Instead, hot packs, formentations (hot moist substances applied to the skin), and local mineral water were the treatments of choice. A stay at the sanitarium cost between 8 and 12 dollars a week. Mineral baths cost extra.  In 1911, the Turners sold the rest home to Dr. Lewis C. M. Porter, who joined forces with a local hospital. The rest home burned down in a fire in 1928.The postcard was published between 1905 and 1910 by H. W. Wood (Colfax Postcard Company). The postcard is a color lithographic print made in Germany and is in very good condition (see scans)                                                                                                  

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Published in: on March 31, 2019 at 1:04 pm  Comments (6)  
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baraboo 1A cute little girl with curly hair poses in a studio created field of daisies for photographer Sim Mould. The studio was located in Baraboo, Wisconsin. The girl is wearing a dress wth a lace collar and has a flower pinned to the front of her dress. An inscription on the reverse of the cabinet card indicates that the child’s name is Hattie Acot. Unfortunately, no biographical information could be found about her. The photographer, Mr. Mould is mentioned in a number of photographic journals. He placed an ad for his studio in a book about Sauk County, Wisconsin (1891). The Photographic Times (1898) reports on his appointment to a lobbying committee of the Photographers Association of Wisconsin. The Encyclopedia Dubuque (1911) reveals that Sim Mould operated a photographic studio at 107 Main Street in Dubuque, Iowa. The town of Baraboo is situated on the Baraboo river. The town was settled by Abe Wood and originally called Adams. In 1852 it was renamed Baraboo. In the town’s early history it became the home of several sawmills. In the nineteenth century the town served as the headquarters of several circuses, including Ringling Brothers. Baraboo became known as “Circus City”.  This cabinet card portrait is in very good condition (see scans).

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A little girl, likely toddler age, sits on a chair, and looks at the photographer with an expression of dismay. Sitting below the child is a black dog in a protective position. The dog does not seem to be enjoying himself either. The dog has a similar appearance to a Labrador Retriever. Note the unusual and beautiful chair that is occupied by the toddler. Also note the rope on the floor which can be seen in the right side of the image. I wonder if the rope is holding the child in place or the dog in place. The photographer of this photograph is J. P. Eskildsen and his studio was located in Lawler, Iowa. An inscription on the reverse of the photo indicates that the child’s name is Mary Redman. J. Peter Eskildsen was born in Denmark in 1870. He married Emma Schlatter in Lawler (1891). The couple had at least one child. Arthur Eskildsen was born in 1893. J. P. found a path to citizenship in 1895. Research reveals that he may have had additional studios in Iowa besides the one in Lawler (Fredericksburg, Jerico, and Waucoma). Initial investigation found some information about young Mary Redman. She appears in the 1910 US census along with the rest of her family. They Redman’s were living in Stapleton, Iowa. Living in the residence was Mary’s parent’s John W. Redman (born 1860) and Trena M. Redman (born 1867). Also in the home were Mary’s (age 4) siblings; Hazel (age 19), Lee (age 18), Lowman (age 15), and Harold (age 13). The 1920 US census finds the family still living in Stapleton but the household has shrunk to include Mary’s father (worked as a carpenter), sister Hazel (worked as a teacher), and of course Mary (attended school). Mary’s mom likely had passed away and sister Hazel likely took up some parenting duties. (SOLD)




This cabinet card is a memorial card produced by the Elliott studio in Marion, Iowa. The young man in this photograph had passed away and this image served as a remembrance for his family and friends. To view other photographs by this photographer, click on the category “Photographer: Elliott”.

Published in: on August 8, 2015 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The little girl seen in this cabinet card portrait is simply adorable. Unfortunately, she seems somewhat intimidated by finding herself in front of a camera. She is wearing a simple checkered dress and a necklace. The beads on the necklace and the buttons on the chair clash and create the impression that she is chained to the chair. I wonder if the photographer did a retake? Nevertheless, the girl is a sweetheart and her expression talks for itself. This photograph was produced by the Schmitz Gallery which was located in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. The 1893 Mt. Pleasant Directory lists the gallery’s location as 133 North Jefferson. The proprietors were listed as Charles, Jno, and Mathias Schmitz.

Published in: on July 23, 2015 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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This cabinet card portrait features two adorable and identically dressed sisters posing for their portrait at the H. F. Askey studio in Elliott, Iowa. Note the girl’s puffy lacy bonnets. The girls are identified in an inscription on the reverse of the card as Marcella and Ina Hubbard. Marcella was born around 1892 and Ina was born around 1897. The 1900 US census reveals that the children were living in Sherman, Iowa with their parents Charles and Emma and three older siblings. Charles Hubbard worked as a businessman. The 1910 US census found the girls still living with their parents in Sherman. The only other child in the house was a younger sister. Charles was working as a “peddler” in the food business and Marcella had become a public school teacher. The photographer of this image was Henry Franklin Ashey. He was born in 1872 in Rock Grove, Illinois and died in 1959 in Grant, Iowa. He was married to Alice Dean Carroll in 1902 and the couple had four children. Askey was one of Iowa’s early photographers and at one time operated a studio in Red Oak, Iowa. When he left the photography business he became a farmer near Red Oak and Grant.    SOLD

Published in: on March 5, 2015 at 4:00 pm  Comments (2)  
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This cabinet card portrait features the most adorable baby ever photographed in Muscatine, Iowa. Thanks to an inscription of the reverse of the photograph, we know the name of this photogenic child. The notation states “Please give this to Cora Freddie(?) Guthrie. Taken when 3 1/2 months old. She is now over a year”. The notation is signed “Evelyn”. The photograph was taken by the Clifford & Son studio in Muscatine, Iowa. The studio was operated by Charles Clifford and his son Frederick. Charles Clifford had a studio in Newton, Iowa in the 1880’s and 1890’s. The Photographic Journal of America (1893) announces that Charles and his son opened a studio in Muscatine. The Photographic Times (1895) makes mention that the father and son had mauufactured a “flash light machine”. The Photo Beacon (1897) notes that the Clifford & Son had won some awards at a photography exhibition.


Published in: on January 4, 2015 at 12:32 pm  Leave a Comment  
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This cabinet card portrait captures a curly haired young woman posing for her portrait at the Lupton studio in Burlington, Iowa. Note the woman’s lace collar. One wonders about the meaning of her clasped hands. Is she deep in prayer? Is she overwhelmed by worry. The photographer of this image is Oscal L. Lupton who was born in 1849 in Indiana. He appears in the 1880 US census and is listed as working as a photographer in Greenville, Illinois and living with his wife Nellie. The 1900 US census finds Mr Lupton living in Burlington with his wife and three sons.

Published in: on October 14, 2014 at 11:26 am  Leave a Comment  
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EQUESTRIAN_0005This cabinet card features a dandy gentleman holding what appears to be a riding crop in his gloved hands. Is he dressed for riding? Is that a horse shoe pin that he is wearing    near the bottom of his vest? Note his pocketwatch and chain. The reverse of the photograph is inscribed by the subject. He wrote “Ever your friend, George L. Stringer”. The reverse of the cabinet card also reveals the name of the photographer. A stamp identifies the portraitist as being A. W. Adams whose studio was located on Water Street in Decorah, Iowa. Research revealed some information about George Lincoln Stringer (1862-1932). The 1880 US census indicates that he was born in Iowa but that his parents were Canadian born. In 1880, he was living in Decorah with his parents. His occupation was hard to decipher but it looked a lot like blacksmith. The 1900 census found him still living in Decorah and married (1884) to Mary Alice Kennedy. The couple had a 15 year-old son named Vernon. Once again his occupation was nearly illegible but it seemed to read “traveling salesman”. George Stringer died in 1932 and is buried in Phelps Cemetery in Decorah.  The town of Decorah was settled in 1849 and in its early history had a large number of Norwegian settlers. The Norwegian influence remains there today. The Decorah Posten was the largest Norwegian newspaper in the United States until it shut down in 1972. The town was named after Waukon Decorah, a Winnebago tribal leader, who was a US ally in the Black Hawk War of 1832. The photographer of this cabinet card, Asa W. Adams (1842-1915) operated a photo studio in Decorah between 1863 and 1884. Before moving to Decorah, Adams ran a a studio in McGregor, Iowa (1863). Early during his operations in Decorah he had a partnership with S. R. Shear in the Adams & Shear Gallery. In 1866 he married Emma J. Fuller and the couple had four children. Adams sold his studio to O. E. Borlaug. He next conducted his photography business in Waterloo, Iowa (1884-after 1900). Adams died in 1915 and is buried in Decorah.




This cabinet card photograph features a pretty young woman with long hair draped over her right shoulder. The image was produced by the Neal Brothers studio in Keota, Iowa. The Milwaukee Journal (1949) has an article about Edwin E. Neal who took over the Keota studio in 1888 and operated it until 1948. It is written that he only used one camera throughout his career. He did change lenses several times as advances were made in the field of photography. Neal’s wife assisted him with photo finishing, posing subjects, and running the business. At some point in his career, according to a different source, Edwin worked in partnership with his brother Charles. To view other photographs by Edwin Neal, click on the category “Photographer: Neal”.


Published in: on May 12, 2014 at 5:10 pm  Comments (1)  
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