ATTRACTIVE YOUNG COUPLE IN NORWICH, NEW YORK : A POSSIBLE CASE OF MISTAKEN IDENTITY

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This cabinet card portrait features a well dressed young man and young woman. Are they husband and wife or are they siblings. The pair look quite young to be married, but it certainly is possible that they are a wedded couple. The woman is wearing a cross and a collar pin. Her dress is very stylish. The young man is wearing a fashionable hat, a pocket watch, and has a handkerchief peeking out of his sport jacket’s top front pocket. He is holding a long stick. It is too thin to be a cane. Perhaps it is a crop used to control horses. I would appreciate some help from cabinet card gallery visitors to identify what exactly the gentleman is holding. An inscription on the reverse of the photograph identifies the subjects as “Emory and Effie in their younger days”. The note adds that at least, one of the pair, were married at age 20. I have difficulty resisting a challenge so I became determined to further identify this lovely couple. I am uncertain if I succeeded. Effie Mae Lafler (1875-1955) married Emory Grant Speers (1869-1964) in 1894. They were married in Canandaigua, New York. Effie was about 20 years old at the time of her marriage, which is consistent with the inscription. The pair had three children. Emory was a farmer. Before I could congratulate myself on a job well done, I realized that there was “a fly in the ointment”. Printed on the bottom of the reverse of the photo is the date 1884. If this is the date that the photograph was taken, Effie would have been nine years old. Clearly, she is much older than 9 in the photograph. However, the photo could have been made on old card stock, and that accounts for the date discrepancy. Although there is uncertainty about the identification of this couple, I was able to learn much about the photographer of this image.  The photographer of this cabinet card is Alston E. Hotchkiss ( c 1846-1907) of Norwich, New York. A. E. Hotchkiss came to Norwich in 1872 at the age of twenty-six. He ran the most popular photo gallery in town and it is reported that he took on the persona of an artistic and cultured gentleman. His wife played a major role in his running the studio and at one point, he employed at least twenty workers. At this point in time, the Cabinet Card Gallery has three other photos by this excellent photographer. This trimmed photograph is in very good condition (see scans).

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BESPECTACLED YOUNG GIRL POSES WITH BOOKS AND STEREOSCOPE IN NORWICH, NEW YORK (1887)

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hotchkiss 4 The young girl posing in this photograph has the appearance of a very intellectual child. She is standing next to two books atop a table and her hand rests upon a stereoscope. She is wearing a pair of glasses. The photograph was published in 1887. The girl is identified on the reverse of the photograph as  Lena Sage, age 12. According to census data, Lena A. Sage was born around 1876. Her father, George, was a farmer. Her mother, Harriet, kept house. Lena was still living at home with her family at the time of the 1905 New York census. She was 28 years old and unemployed. Her younger brother, Daniel also lived in the household. He worked as a telegraph operator. As stated earlier, this photo includes a fantastic view of a stereoscope. Stereoscopes were a popular way to view photographs in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. A popular later version was invented by Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.. Stereoscopes are used to view stereographic cards. These cards have two separate images printed side by side. When viewing these images through the stereoscope, the focal points becomes more distant, the card image is magnified allowing the viewer to see more detail, and the resulting image is 3-D. The photographer of this cabinet card is Alston E. Hotchkiss ( c 1846-1907) of Norwich, New York. A. E. Hotchkiss came to Norwich in 1872 at the age of twenty-six. He ran the most popular photo gallery in town and it is reported that he took on the persona of an artistic and cultured gentleman. His wife played a major role in his running the studio and at one point, he employed at least twenty workers. At this point in time, the Cabinet Card Gallery has three photos by this excellent photographer. This cabinet card portrait is in very good condition  (see scans) and is quite special. The child’s glasses and the stereoscope are enhance the photograph and the fact that the girl is identified is definitely a bonus.           

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LOVELY COUPLE IN NORWICH, NEW YORK: WIFE IS HOLDING A CABINET CARD (1889)

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A lovely couple poses for their portrait at the Hotchkiss studio in Norwich, New York. The gentleman has a terrific mustache and is holding a cane. The woman is wearing a lovely dress and is holding a cabinet card. The cabinet card is bent in the same fashion as collectors often find them today. The cabinet card that she is holding is a portrait of a nicely dressed woman photographed by Hotchkiss. The photographer is A. E. Hotchkiss ( c 1846-1907) of Norwich, New York. Alston E. Hotchkiss cane to Norwich in 1872 at the age of twenty-six. He ran the most popular photo gallery in town and it is reported that he took on the persona of an artistic and cultured gentleman. His wife played a major role in his running the studio and at one point, he employed at least twenty workers. The reverse of the cabinet card has the printed date 1889. To view other photographs by Hotchkiss, place his last name in the search box. This cabinet card portrait is in very good condition (see scans).

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Published in: on May 27, 2019 at 12:01 pm  Comments (1)  
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PORTRAIT OF A BEARDED OLD MAN IN NORWICH, CONNECTICUT

This cabinet card portrait features a well dressed older man with a long mustache and wiry beard. He has the expression of a person who has seen and experienced a lot in his many years. He looks a bit drawn and tired. The gentleman was photographed by Laighton Brothers studio in Norwich, Connecticut. The Laighton Brothers are cited in the book, “Leading Business Men of Norwich and Vicinity” (1890). At the time of the directory’s publication, William S. Laighton had become sole proprietor of the studio upon the death of his brother John. William was a native of Farmington, New Hampshire. William’s obituary appears in the Bulletin of Photography (1915). The brief article reports that he had died as a result of a fall in his studio. At the time of his death he was 76 years old. The article also mentions that he had been living in Norwich since 1874.

Published in: on February 21, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A PROFESSIONAL LOOKING GENTLEMAN IN BINGHAMTON, NEW YORK

The man in this cabinet card photograph appears to be a professional gentleman. He is wearing an overcoat and a nicely trimmed beard. He is standing next to his derby hat and has a pocket watch. Perhaps the well dressed gentleman is an attorney. Maybe its not a coincidence that the Binghamton, New York based photographer, Singhi, was located on Court Street. The reverse of the photograph has an inscription which identifies the gentleman as “Adelbert Harroun”. Research reveals that Mr. Harroun was not a lawyer but instead, he was an accountant. The 1870 census notes that Thomas Adelbert Harroun (1851-?) was the 19 year-old son of  Thomas Harroun (1824-1907) and Salina King Harroun (1824-1903). His father’s occupation was listed as a “Presiding Elder”  and further research found that he was a Methodist clergyman. His mother was a homemaker. Adelbert lived with his parents and two siblings in Norwich, New York. Sister Flora (age 22) was a music teacher and brother Arthur (age 11) was a student. He married his wife, Mary Winton, in 1888. The couple had two children. The 1900 census finds the 47 year old Harroun living in Dunleith, Illinois. He was living with his wife, Mary, their son N. Winton (age 10), and daughter Anna Augusta (age 9). Harroun was working as a railroad yard clerk. Further investigation revealed that daughter Anna Augusta died in 1904 in Dubuque, Illinois. The 1920 census reports that the 67 year-old Harroun was widowed and living in Waukegan Lake, Illinois with his sister Flora. He was working as an accountant. The 1930 census locates Harroun in Prineville, Oregon and living as a boarder. At 79 years of his age, he was still working (bookkeeper). The photographer of this image is Will G. Singhi. He worked in Binghamton, New York between 1872 and 1886. His albumen print “A Winter Scene” is exhibited in the online “American Museum of Photography”. Singhi had taken a photograph that appeared to capture a snowball in mid flight heading toward a newsboy who was prepared to deflect it. The museum also has on display a funny cartoon self portrait caricature that Singhi used as an advertisement. The Photographic Times and American Photographer (1883) comments on Singhi’s wonderful sense of humor.

NILES AND GRACE AND THEIR PET PUG IN LOWVILLE, NEW YORK (1889)

This cabinet card portrait of two children and their pet pug, illustrates the power of the internet in identifying subjects in antique photographs. The reverse of this photograph has some identity clues in an inscription that states “Niles 3 years  Grace 6 years  Jan 3rd 1889”.  Since the photographer of this image (W. G. Mandeville) worked out of Lowville, New York, it was assumed that  the children in the photograph lived in, or around, Lowville (located in the western foothills of the Adirondack Mountains). A search of the 1900 U.S. census (Lowville) was done for siblings named Niles and Grace. A listing for Niles and Grace Bateman was found and their ages were a match for the age information on the reverse of the cabinet card. Once establishing their identity, additional biographical data was obtained. At the time of the 1900 census, Grace was seventeen years old and Niles was thirteen. Their father was Carroll Bateman and he was a proprietor of a hotel. Their mother was named Jennie Ruggles Bateman. The 1910 U. S. census found Niles working as a clerk in his father’s hotel. The 1920 U.S. census reveals that Niles had become an “Automobile Agent” and was married to a woman named Vera. The 1930 census discloses some major changes in the life of Niles Bateman. He had two children (Walter and Barbara) and had become an “Automobile Dealer”. The photographer of this image, William Garrett Mandeville (1865-1944), is one of the subjects of Robert Ogden’s book, “Exposing the Wilderness: Early Twentieth Century Adirondack Postcards” (1999). Ogden considers Mandeville one of the best photographers of the genre of scenic postcards. Mandeville was born in New York, dropped out of school at sixteen years of age, and in 1883 went to work for photographer, Ogden Hotchkiss. Hotchkiss had a studio in Norwich, New York. To view photographs by Hotchkiss, click on Cabinet Card Gallery’s category of  “Photographer: Hotchkiss”. In 1886 Mandeville joined George W. Carter in operating a photography studio but he left the partnership that same year to run his own gallery. He married his wife, Bertha in 1886 and had a daughter (Dorothy). In the 1930 U. S. census, Mandeville, at 65 years of age,  was still listed as a photographer.

PRETTY YOUNG WOMAN IN NORWICH, NEW YORK (1884)

This cabinet portrait captures a pretty young woman with wonderful deep dark eyes. The photographer is A. E. Hotchkiss ( c 1846-1907) of Norwich, New York. Alston E. Hotchkiss cane to Norwich in 1872 at the age of twenty-six. He ran the most popular photo gallery in town and it is reported that he took on the persona of an artistic and cultured gentleman. His wife played a major role in his running the studio and at one point, he employed at least twenty workers. To view other photographs by Hotchkiss, click on the category “Photographer: Hotchkiss”.

Published in: on April 8, 2011 at 12:01 am  Comments (2)  
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