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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.   SOLD         

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