This cabinet card features a portrait of the Shepard Family Concert Company. In this photograph, mother is playing the piano (or organ) and the five children and their father are playing violins. The photographer of this cabinet card is unknown, as is the location of the studio. A photograph of the Shepard family and their instruments appears in The Henry Sheldon Museum of Vermont (located in Middlebury, Vermont). In addition, the museum possesses a “cigar ribbon quilt” serving as a piano cover. The quilt is made from silken advertising ribbons which cigar companies used to tie cigars together for packaging purposes. This particular quilt was made by Mary Emily Shepard (“Minnie”), the matriarch of the Shepard Family. The Shepard Family was Massachusetts based, and mostly toured upper New England. The musical group venues included the Town Hall Theatre, in Middlebury, Vermont. Family Musical Troupes were popular in the 1880’s and 1890’s.  Mr. and Mrs. J. M. Shepard  and their children, Kittie, Laura, Lessie, Georgie, and Burtin were regionally well known and appreciated in the late nineteenth century. Each family member were multi instrumentalists. The family could perform as a choral group, a brass band, or a violin ensemble with the mother playing the pump reed organ. In addition, sometimes, the children would perform as a banjo quintet.



An attractive young woman is the subject for this cabinet card photograph from the studio of W. M. Jackson of Middlebury, Vermont. The studio was located on the Cobb Block of Middlebury. The Bulletin of Photography (1916) reports that Mrs. William M. Jackson of Middlebury sold her studio to A. N. Gove and Worthy Needham of Bristol, Vermont. The photographer of this image is likely the very same William M. Jackson; and perhaps Mrs. Jackson sold the studio in 1916m upon her husbands death. This photograph has been trimmed to fit into a previous owners album or picture frame.

Published in: on March 16, 2011 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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