DAPPER EIGHT YEAR-OLD AUGUSTUS DAVIES IN POUGHKEEPSIE, NEW YORK (PHOTOGRAPHED BY G. W. PACH)

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This cabinet card portrait features an eight year-old boy named Augustus Davies. An inscription on the reverse of the photograph provides his name and age. The young boy is well dressed and well groomed and exudes an air of confidence. The photograph comes from the studio of G. W. Pach in Poughkeepsie, New York. At the time of this photograph, Pach also had studios in New York City, West Point, and in Long Branch (New Jersey) and Ocean Grove (New Jersey). Pach is a celebrated name in Cabinet Card era photography. Pach Brothers was a famous New York City photographic studio located on Broadway and many celebrities had their photographs made at that location. The founder of the studio was Gustavus Pach who died in 1904. His two brothers, who were his partners, were Oscar (predeceased Gustavus) and Gotthelf. The studio was so successful that it opened branches in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. To view other photographs by G. W. Pach and Pach Brothers studios, click on the category “Photographer: Pach Brothers”. The child in this portrait grew up to become an established painter and craftsman. He was born in Poughkeepsie in 1867 and died in 1951 in Almeda, California. The 1900 US census found Augustus living in Poughkeepsie with his 72 year-old mother, Fran Davies and two servants. His occupation was listed as “painter”. The 1910 US census revealed that Augustus still lived in Poughkeepsie with his mother but that he had added a 35 year-old wife (May Elton Morrow) and a two year-old son (Elton Davies). He had jettisoned the two servants and had hired a cook. This time his occupation was listed as “artist”. Davies studied art at the ASL (Art Students League) of New York City. In 1910 he settled in Pasadena, California and established a studio. He also worked as a school administrator. His artistic specialty was religious paintings.

PRETTY AND AUSTERE: A YOUNG WOMAN IN NEW YORK CITY (PHOTOGRAPHED BY PACH, 1879)

pretty austere_0004This cabinet card portrait of a pretty and fashionable young woman is the work of G. W. Pach. The woman in the photograph appears quite austere but of course sometimes appearance can be deceptive. Pach, and the Pach Brothers, were celebrated photographers of their era. G. W. Pach’s studio at the time of this photograph was located at 841 Broadway at the corner of 13th Street in New York City. Pach also had branch studios at Harvard and Yale Universities as well as in Poughkeepsie and West Point, New York. In addition, there were branch studios in Long Branch and Ocean Grove, New Jersey. The aforementioned studios are all mentioned in print on the reverse of the cabinet card. Also on the back of the image is a pencilled date indicating that this photograph was taken in 1879. To learn more about the Pach Brothers and to view additional photographs taken by them , click on the category “Photographer: Pach Bros”.

MAE BRANSON: PROVOCATIVELY POSES IN CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

A sexy, busty, and leggy, blonde Mae Branson poses for celebrity photographer, William McKenzie Morrison, in Chicago, Illinois. The photographer’s studio was located in the Haymarket Theatre Building. To learn more about this well known photographer, click on the category “Photographer: Morrison”. A stamp on the reverse of this photograph indicates that the cabinet card  was formerly owned by Culver Pictures. Culver was located in New York City, and for a fee, provided images to newspapers, films, and other forms of media. Research yielded little biographical information about stage beauty, Miss Branson. The National Police Gazette (1892) reports the bathing exploits of four actresses at Long Brauch. The article was written in poetry form and the verses included the following lines: “and in the surf she daily dips in jaunty bathing dress; That fits her like a glovelet – not an inch the more or less”. The actresses described were Minnie Seligman, Geraldine McCann, Della Fox, and Mae Branson. The site of the sexy swimming exhibition was likely Long Branch, New Jersey;  “Long Brauch” was likely a misspelling. It appears that MTV’s reality TV show, “Jersey Shore“, is a remake; because there seems to have been plenty of provocativeness at the Jersey Shore in 1892.  Mae Branson’s name also appears in an article in a Maine newspaper,  The Lewiston Daily Sun (1893). The article appeared in the Music and Drama section. A review of the play “1492” describes Miss Branson as exhibiting “agreeable singing and artistic work” which obtained “prompt and hearty recognition”.