STAGE ACTRESS MATTIE VICKERS COYLY POSES IN NEW YORK CITY

MATTIEVICKERS_0001Stage actress Mattie Vickers poses for this cabinet card image at the Anderson studio in New York City. Anderson photographed many celebrities and more of his photographs can be seen by clicking on category “Photographer:  Anderson (New York)”. During the early 1900’s, Vickers was one of the the sweethearts of American musical comedy. Her father was a retired actor who ran a boarding  house. She made her theatrical debut in vaudeville in the mid 1870’s. In 1877 she married her manager, Charlie Rogers. He died in 1888 after which she toured the country playing starring roles in plays such as “Circus Queen” and  “Edelweiss”. A portrait of Mattie Vickers ran in The National Police Gazette (1886). The accompanying text described her as the “sprightly and vivacious young American soubrette” and “the cleverest rough-and-tumble soubrette on the American stage”. No need to visit a dictionary to discover the definition of the word “soubrette”.  A soubrette is simply someone who plays a minor female role in a comedy. The reverse of the cabinet card has been stamped by George D. Russell of  Tremont Street in Boston, Massachusetts. Research reveals that Mr. Russell was a well known music publisher in Boston. Perhaps he also was involved in the sale of theatrical cabinet cards.

EVA McGINLEY: CHARACTER CHANGE ARTIST

mcginley_0004This composite cabinet card features Eva McGinley and is subtitled indicating that she was  a “character change artist”. The central portrait on the card shows a prim and proper lady but the image is surrounded by other images displaying Miss McGinley’s versatility and talent to play disparate character roles. Eva McGinley was not a major actress which is apparent by the dearth of information readily available in my preliminary research. However, two newspaper articles were found pertaining to Miss McGinley.  The New York Dramatic Mirror (1900) reported that “Eva McGinley’s voice failed her at Greenfield, Iowa last week” and she and her husband Bob went to Omaha to recuperate. A second article appeared in the New York National Police Gazette (1900) which proclaimed that Miss McGinley and her husband were enjoying themselves in Lakeview, Iowa and that she had shot and killed the largest pelican ever killed on Wall Lake. Imagining Miss Mcginley hunting pelicans with a rifle is distasteful to me but it certainly indicates that she really was quite a “character”. The photographer of this image is unidentified.

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”.