Photographer I. A. Collins of Rochester, New Hampshie, produced this cabinet card portrait of a lovely woman. She is wearing a pretty dress and an abundance of jewelry. Note her bracelet, ring, pin and chains. Her dress has two very large buttons and hopefully one of the fashion experts who visit the Cabinet Card Gallery can explain the purpose of the buttons. It appears as if the buttons are held together by a clasp and serve to keep the skirt portion in position.Very little information could be uncovered about photographer I. Collins. He was listed in the Dover, New Hampshire business directory (1889 and 1891) as a photographer. The directories  report that the gallery was located on a street named Hanson.


Two sibling pose for their portrait at the studio of C. N. Stowell in Keene, New Hampshire. The reverse of the cabinet card has an inscription that identifies the children as Amy and Dexter Dodge. Photographer, C. N. Stowell is listed in the Keene, New Hampshire business directory of 1897.  Amy Lee Dodge (1889-?) was married in 1919 to John Elliott Cook in Keene, New Hampshire. Her father was Willie Alfred Dodge and he mother was Mary Jane Palley. According to city directories, Amy worked as a telephone operator between 1911 and 1920. The 1930 US census revealed that Amy Cook (her married name) was living with her husband, her 4 year-old son, and a few in-laws. Her husbands occupation was listed as “farmer”.  Dexter Rudolph Dodge (1896-?) In the 1917 and 1918 city directories (Keene), Dexter is listed as a member of the US Army Reserve. Note that these were the years of World War I and it is unknown whether Dexter actually went overseas and saw combat.  The 1920 US census found Dexter working as a clerk in a jewelry store and living with his parents in Keene. In 1921 he married Helen Lucy Winch. Research found a 1942 draft registration card which reported that Dexter owned a jewelry store and was living in Worcester, Massachusetts. City directories from 1951 through 1957 list Dexter as “retired”.

Published in: on June 18, 2012 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  
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Most people don’t think of Penacook, New Hampshire as the center of turn of the century fashion. However, in 1890, a new fashion trend was born in tiny Penacook. Traditional fashion centers like Paris and New York City were blindsided by the innovative dress designs coming out of Penacook. Reptilian Wear was introduced in 1890 and was overwhelmingly the most well received of all these designs. Penacook area photographers quickly were called upon to sharpen their skills in fashion photography because their services were in high demand by the rapidly growing local clothing industry. This cabinet card was produced by the studio of M. S. Lamprey who began operating in Penacook in 1858. The woman in this image is wearing an excellent example of a Reptilian Wear dress. This particular dress was sold under the Iguana label. The model in this photograph was not identified. She is wearing a necklace from which hangs a cross. If you doubt the veracity of this story; you would be correct to do so. Here is some non fiction commentary about this cabinet card. The photographer is Maurice S. Lamprey (1835-1912). The 1860 census finds Lamprey living with his parents and siblings and working as a varnisher. He enlisted in the 10th New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry in 1862 as a private and was transferred to the Signal Corp which is where he remained throughout the war. The earliest city directory found that lists him as a photographer was from 1872. The 1900 US census reports that Lamprey was 64 years old, living alone, and working as a photographer in  Concord. The town of Penacook was named after the Penacook Native American tribe which lived in the area. The town was a village located within the city of  Concord. Penacook was involved in the textile industry. The town was located along the Contoocook River. This location attracted the hydro power industry and Penacook became a mill town.


This cabinet card features a well dressed young couple posing for their portrait in the studio of Stephen Piper in Manchester, New Hampshire. The studio was located at 804 Elm Street. The husband is seated, his jacket has just the top button fastened, and he is wearing a pocket watch. His wife is standing behind the table, an ideal position for displaying her beautiful figure (enhanced by her corset). The photographer and the subjects apparently decided to use cabinet cards as props. The young woman is displaying them on the covered table. One wonders if these are cabinet card portraits of family menbers that the couple brought from home, or if they are just cabinet cards of random people that were lying around the gallery. Piper (1835-1903) was a photographer in Manchester from 1866 to at least, 1887. He was born in Sanborton, New Hampshire. His obituary in the Manchester Union Leader nearly filled the entire front page of the newspaper. Even more remarkable for the time, was the fact that his picture was also on the front page. Piper was clearly considered an important citizen of Manchester, at the time of his death.


This cabinet card features a cute little girl sitting a a table. On the table, lies a photograph. Who is the subject of the photograph lying on the table? Is it an image of a parent that passed away? This seems like a possibility because the little girl seems to be quite sullen. The photographer of this image was J. P. Haseltine of Lancaster, New Hampshire. Haseltine was listed in Lancaster Business Directories (1877,1882). He was also mentioned as a founding partner in the incorporation of the Lancaster Water Company (1891).

Published in: on August 22, 2011 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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A young girl poses for her portrait in the studio of Charles Henry Lindsay in Nashua, New Hampshire. Note her lace collar and her cute curls. She has a great half smile and is very focused on the photographer and camera. The photographer of this image had quite a journeyman career. The Granite State Monthly (1916) wrote a glowing article about his skills and described his career experiences. Lindsay learned his profession in the studio of Frank O. Everett, in Nashua. He began working for Everett around 1872 and stayed in his employ for about three years. He then moved to Concord, New Hampshire to become an operator for Benjamin Carr. He ultimately purchased Carr’s business and conducted it successfully until it was destroyed in a fire. He then worked with Stephen Piper in Manchester until 1879, when he moved to Nashua and opened his own studio. In 1889 he went to Boston and worked for some well known photographers. From 1894 until at least 1915, he operated a studio in Manchester, New Hampshire. At some point, his son, Ira Frank Lindsay, joined him in operating the Manchester studio. Lindsay’s career certainly was one that had many starts and stops, and forced him to make many relocations. This cabinet card was  produced during Lindsay’s Nashua tenure between 1879 and 1889.


This cabinet card features an adorable little girl bundled up in her winter clothing. She is wearing quite the interesting hat. The photograph is by S. A. Bowers of Concord, New Hampshire. The front of the card announces that the Aristotype printing method was used in producing this image. This method employs  collodion or gelatin chloride paper.

Published in: on October 15, 2010 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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This cabinet card photograph features a fashionable New England young woman.  However, the main focus of this photograph is the woman’s purse. The photographer ruined the photograph by forgetting to ask the woman to put her purse in a place out of range of the camera. The woman is wearing  dress gloves, a large bow, a wide brimmed hat, and is slenderized by her corset. The photographer is Bailey of Concord, New Hampshire and he probably was not really inept. However, he certainly made an error when posing the subject for this photograph. A Concord business publication (1890) writes about a photographer named H. C. Bailey. The articles states that Bailey took possession of a photographic studio in Concord in 1888 and that he had lived in Concord since 1860. The article also states that Bailey had a branch studio and art store in Woodsville, New Hampshire. Bailey was reported to have been born in Lisbon, New Hampshire. There is no confirmation that this cabinet cards photographer was H. C. Bailey but it is likely to be the case. In 1890, the Bailey studio was located on State Block, on the corner of Main and School Street.

Published in: on August 3, 2010 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  
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A very pretty woman poses for her portrait at the studio of the Davis Brothers, located at 15 Pleasant Street, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. She is wearing a bustle and tailored jacket; as well as a fabulous feathered hat. A corset presents a flattering figure. Lewis and Charles Davis were pioneer photographers in Portsmouth They recorded thousands of images between 1856 and 1903. They produced stereoscopic cards and cabinet cards. A collection of their work is archived at the Portsmouth Athenaeum and 160 of their photographs were published in the book, “Around Portsmouth in the Victorian Era”.

Published in: on August 2, 2010 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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Meet Walter Burnham, who is posing for his portrait at the studio of Langley, in Manchester, New Hampshire. The studio was located at  780 Elm Street. Burnham has movie star looks and an interesting mustache which curls upward at each end.  The mustache earns him a place in the Cabinet Card Gallery category of  “Mustaches (Only the Best)”. Click on the category for other interesting or unusual mustaches.

Published in: on June 6, 2010 at 12:01 am  Comments (3)  
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