The Cabinet Card Gallery has discovered another mouthless man. This gentleman posed for his portrait at the McGillivray studio in Ithaca, New York. The studio was located at 28 & 30 East State Street. Those that know Ithaca winters can imagine this gentleman trudging through mounds of snow in frigid temperature with a frozen beard and mustache. To view other interesting beards an mustaches, click on the category “Beards (Only the Best)”. Research found some information about the photographer of this image. Ellsworth McGillivray was born in Caroline, NY in 1862. He attended the Ithaca school system and after he left school he became a painter. In 1881 he began his career as a photographer. He worked for photographer George Stanley for two years and then was employed by E. D. Evans for six years. He then worked in Cortland, NY for one year before returning to Ithaca in 1890 and buying the Forest City Art Gallery. McGillivray was married to Jessie L Shaw of Albion, NY.

Published in: on October 13, 2014 at 8:00 am  Comments (1)  
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This cabinet card portrait features stage actress Jennie Calef. Variety (1917) offers a brief obituary for the actress. She was described as a noted soubrette who became a melodrama star in her later years. There are many articles about Jennie Calef in the newspaper archives. Most are brief and are concerned with announcing her appearances and providing reviews. Many of the articles mention Calef’s beauty. The Cornell Daily Sun (1883) hawks her appearance in M’liss at the Wilgus Opera House in Ithaca, New York. The newspaper quotes a review from the Richmond Sentinel, “Jennie Calef secures the enthusiasm of her audience from her first appearance, and retains it to the end. She is a charming actress”.  A negative review can be found in The Daily Gazette– Fort Wayne Indiana (1885). The newspaper reports that “Jennie Calef, the actress who afflicted the people here in a bad play called Little Muffets is (now) devastating the Ohio towns.” It further reports that finances were becoming a problem for the theater company and that one of the “ham fat” actors of the company had taken legal action, attaching the shows baggage for his salary due. Another story concerning the actress is reported by Ohio’s Newark Daily Advocate (1886). The newspaper states that Jennie hurt one of her “beautiful limbs” while rushing onto a Sandusky, Ohio stage. The injury appears to have been to her knee. The article also asserts that she was confined to a Dayton, Ohio hotel room for two months in order to recover. She and a lawyer spoke to a judge about filing suit but the judge advised her not to pursue a law suit against the theater. An unconfirmed story was that the accident occurred when she slipped on some flowers that were given to her by her manager. Further articles indicate that she eventually did file a ten thousand dollar suit against the theater. The Sporting Life (1890) reports Calef’s marriage to Andrew Waldron who was her manager and an actor. Preliminary research failed to uncover details about the latter years of  Jennie Calef’s life. This cabinet card portrait was produced by the studio of Gilbert & Bacon. To read more about the Philadelphia studio and it’s history, click on the category “Photographer: Gilbert & Bacon”.


A pretty woman wearing pinned roses on her dress poses for her portrait at a photographic studio in Groton, New York. The photographer’s name is M. W. Cooper. One source reports that he operated as a photographer in Groton in the 1890’s through 1900. Cooper is listed in the Ithaca (NY) city directory of 1890 under the category of Photographers. The directory confirms that his business was located in Groton.

Published in: on August 2, 2012 at 12:01 am  Comments (2)  
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