A well dressed man poses for this cabinet card portrait taken by photographer J. B. Shane in a railroad photo car. The gentleman is dressed in his fancy clothes. He is wearing a suit with a vest and a pocket watch. He is also wearing a wide brim hat and is holding an umbrella.The photographer of this image is Captain James Boucher Shane (1840-1913). He earned the rank of captain in the Civil War where he served with distinction in the 16th Kentucky Infantry (Company D). He entered the Union Army as a Sergeant and mustered out as a First Lieutenant. After the war, he was promoted to Captain. It is my hypotheses that he suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from his experiences in the war. My reasons for diagnosing him 104 years after his death will become apparent later in this story. After the war Capt. Shane moved his family to Abilene, Kansas. He tried his hand at a number of businesses including farming, In 1878, he moved to Lawrence, Kansas and operated a photo studio from a railroad car as well as studios in the town of Lawrence. In 1902 he was convicted of murder and was sent to the state penitentiary until his parole in 1912. Shane’s daughter, Juno Belle Shane, operated the studio after Shane went to prison. Her husband, Herbert Thompson eventually took over the business and renamed it to the Thompson studio.  The gallery continued to do business until 1953. A collection of Shane’s and Thompson’s papers and photographs are kept by the University of Kansas libraries. I was curious about the details of Shane’s crime and further research found details about his offense. The Journal of the Annual Encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic (1911) has a brief article about J. B. Shane. The journal explains that the Kansas Department of the GAR had proposed and passed a resolution to appeal to the Kansas Governor (W. R. Stubbs) to get Shane out of jail. The appeal was based on the fact that Shane was not allowed to testify on his own behalf during his trial. The appeal states that if he had been allowed to testify, charges would have been lowered to manslaughter, which had a shorter prison term than murder. He would have had to serve a maximum term of ten years for the lower charge. The appeal also explained the details of Shane’s crime. The article states that after the war, Shane had bad fortune in his photography business and became “eccentric in his habits”. It seems that the young boys in the town made sport of harassing Capt. Shane. They would annoy him by putting graffiti on his building and throwing sticks into his studio. The appeal declares that Shane was “a man of irritable temper” and reports that one day the boys threw sticks into his studio and Shane reacted by fatally shooting one of them. This occurred before the invention of the term “PTSD”, but rest assured that such a condition existed among the veterans of the civil war. It is likely that Capt. Shane was a victim of this disorder.  (SOLD)



young couple

A well dressed young wedding couple pose for their portrait in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Both subjects are wearing corsages and the young man is holding what appears to be a program or certificate. The photograph shows no affection or emotional connection between the groom and the bride. A fitting wedding present may have been a gift certificate for marital therapy. The photographer of this image is S. R. Page. Mr. Page appears in the US census of 1900 and the data indicates that he was born in Canada in 1865. He immigrated to the United States in 1894 and was married to a woman named Felinne. The census also indicates that he worked as a photographer. The 1897 Lawrence City Directory reports that Page worked as a photographer at the same address as seen on this cabinet card.   (SOLD)

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This cabinet card, features an actress with a tragic story. The New York Times (1887) reported a story about Maggie Arlington’s funeral. Arlington was a stage actress. Her funeral was held at her home at 106 East 54th Street in New York City. The article states that her home was full of flower arrangements including a large arrangement from her fiance, Eddie Godschalk. Miss Arlington died from pneumonia which was reported to be secondary from a fall. The fall occurred when she was leaning over a dumb-waiter shaft in her home and slipped and fell sixty five feet. She broke both of her legs as well as one of her arms. She also sustained major bruises. She developed pneumonia shortly thereafter. Arlington was born in 1853 in Lawrence, Massachusetts and was originally named Margaret Ryerson. She began professional acting in St. Louis in 1872. She married the nephew of a United States Navy admiral. Her husband objected to her continuing her acting career so she divorced him. She had one son who was ten years old at the time of her death. Maggie Arlington does not seem to have been a major theatrical star as research yielded little about her stage career. However, her profession and the unusual tragic cause of her death, earned her an obituary story in the New York Times. This cabinet card was photographed by celebrity photographer Napoleon Sarony. To view other photographs by Sarony, click on the category “Photographer: Sarony”.