A SAILOR AND HIS GUN ON DECK IN NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND

A nice looking young sailor poses for his portrait at the Rembrandt Studio in Newport, Rhode Island. Newport is a seaport and the sailor was likely in town on leave. While visiting the area he decided to capture his likeness at the studio. Perhaps he sent the resulting photograph to his family or girlfriend. He, or the photographer, chose an appropriate background for the portrait. The sailor is depicted aboard a ship, in uniform, and holding a rifle with a bayonet. The lettering on his sailor cap can only be partially  read. The word “squadron” is proceeded by an unknown word which probably is the name of an area of the world where his ship was assigned. Perhaps a visitor to the cabinet card gallery can identify the sailors naval unit and rank. Research yielded no information pertaining to the Rembrandt Studio. This cabinet card is in fair condition. Note the fissure on the lower left quadrant of the image (see scans).

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REVERSE OF CABINET CARD
FISSURE : LOWER LEFT QUADRANT
Published in: on September 30, 2021 at 12:01 pm  Comments (2)  
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SARAH RAMODEL AT 89 YEARS OLD IN PROVIDENCE RHODE ISLAND

An elderly woman suspiciously eyes the photographer as she poses for her portrait at the Rose Studio in Providence, Rhode Island. The photographer did an excellent job of capturing the woman’s face and it’s lines of aging. I would be remiss to not mention that she looks younger than her years. The subject of this photograph is identified in penciled script below the photographer’s name. “Sarah Ramodel” was 89 years old at the time of this portrait. Research yielded no information about this subject. The photographer, P. H. Rose operated his studio inside the Conrad Building. Advertising on the reverse of the cabinet card indicates that Rose opened his studio in 1886. A sketch of the Conrad Building can be found below. This cabinet card portrait is in very good condition (see scans).

              

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Published in: on February 15, 2021 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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PORTRAIT OF A GROUP OF TEXTILE STUDENTS IN PAWTUCKET, RHODE ISLAND (FASHIONS OF 1938)

This vintage snapshot features a group of students holding their books and wearing name tags. At least two of the young men are wearing sweaters with an emblem stating “Textile”. Is textile the name of their school? Rhode Island is, and was, known for its textile industry. Do the students attend Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in Providence? The school is a private art and design college and offers a major in Textiles. The school has been in existence since 1877. In the background of the photograph is a Taxi business sign revealing that the location of the photo is Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Writing on the reverse of the photo declares that the photograph was taken in the fall of 1938. The boys are unintentionally making a fashion statement. Note their rolled up pants legs. This fashion strategy even applies to the students wearing sport jackets. The boy on the far right has the same affliction that I experience. He too, can’t keep his shirt tucked in. The reverse of the photo reports that the young man in the center of the photo is named Armand Blanchard. This snapshot photograph is in very good condition (see scans).

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DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMAN IN PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND

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The photographic studio of  Heald and Giles produced this portrait of a distinguished older gentleman. The man is wearing a nicely groomed graying beard and mustache. He is displaying a serious expression on his face. Research reveals that Mr. Heald had a number of partners during his photography career. Among the names he operated his business under was Wright and Heald, and Heald and Erickson. The law journal, “Open Jurist” and several other turn of the century law journals, cite Mr. Heald in an important legal case. The case was “Corlis et. al. versus E. W. Walker Company et. al. (1894). Emily Corlis sued the Walker Company for inserting a portrait (photographed by Heald) of George H. Corlis in a biographical sketch about to be published. A photograph of the late Mr. Corlis had been submitted to the company by Emily Corlis but she had withdrawn her permission for them to use it after they had not complied with some of her demands. The Walker Company returned the photograph to her but then turned to Mr. Heald and purchased a copy of an original photograph Heald had taken of George Corlis. Emily Corlis was outraged and took Walker to court. The general policy of the courts, based on precedence. was that negatives of photographs belonged to photographers but the right to print negatives belonged to the customer (subject of the photograph).   The court in this case, however, ruled that this case was an exception to precedence because the rule applies only to “private persons”, and not “public characters”. The court stated that Mr. Corlis was a “public character” because of his status as the inventor of the Corlis Engine. It seems that his portrait had already appeared in a number of magazines and other publications. Stated simply, pubic characters had no right to privacy. In addition, the court stated that Walker could not be sued because  he was not the photographer. Only the photographer had a contractual obligation not to publish the subjects photograph without consent from the subject. To view the work of another photographer involved in an interesting court case  related to the business of photography, and to learn about that case, click on the category “Photographer: Rugg”. This cabinet card photograph is in very good condition (see scans).

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PORTRAIT OF HARLEY PLACE: FARMER AND WEARY RESIDENT OF GLOCESTER, RHODE ISLAND

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This vintage photograph features a portrait of a fine looking elderly man named Harley Place (1825-1913). His name appears in a number of state and federal census reports. The 1870 US census indicates that he and his wife Amanda E. Place were living with ten of their children in Glocester, Rhode Island. The 1880 US census indicates that Harley was a farmer. It appears that he lived all or most of his life in Glocester. He is also buried there. His grave is located in Acotes Hill Cemetery in Glocester. The photographer of this image is unidentified. An inscription on the reverse of the image states “Harley Place. Dad’s grandfather. This is the one big picture was made from.”. In this image Harley has the appearance of a wise but weary man. His clasped hands may indicate some tension or impatience. He is wearing work clothing with terrific looking suspenders. Visitors to the cabinet card gallery will notice that this image also appears in the previous blog entry. The previous blog entry was actually blogged in May of 2014 but I moved it so it would follow this entry. I believe that the biographical information in that entry actually belongs to Harley Place’s son who was also named Harley Place. The image is likely not Harley Place, the son; but Harley Place, the father. I am leaving the incorrect information as an illustration of how difficult this type of research can be and to remind me and others to be very careful in our investigative work.

Published in: on February 3, 2015 at 11:36 am  Comments (3)  
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JULIA MARLOWE: ESTEEMED AMERICAN STAGE ACTRESS

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Julia Marlowe (1865-1950) was born in England and as a young child moved to the United States with her family. In her early teens she began her theatrical career with a juvenile opera company. She began playing Shakespeare in her home town of Cincinnati, Ohio. She made her Broadway debut in 1895 and by the end of her career, had appeared in more than 70 Broadway productions. Her first husband was actor, Robert Tabor. Their marriage lasted six years. In 1904 she appeared in “When Knighthood was in Flower”. Great success in this play brought her financial independence. Earlier, in 1903, she appeared in ‘The Cavalier” and “Ingomar”. The New York Sun wrote about her performance in “Ingomar”; “There is not a woman player in America or in England that is – attractively considered- fit to unlace her shoe”. In 1904 she began a partnership with actor E. H. Sothern. They toured the United States performing various plays of Shakespeare. They were managed by Charles Frohman and later, the Shubert brothers. They were considered to be among the major Shakespearian actors of the day. In 1906, Marlowe played in “Jeanne d’Arc” and also as Salome in “John the Baptist”. Later, Sothern and Marlowe played in London but were not terrific box office successes there. In 1911 Marlowe and Sothern married each other. In 1920 and 1921, they made eleven phonograph recordings for the Victor Company. The top Cabinet Card was produced by Newsboy as a premium for their tobacco products. The photographer was Falk and the image is from 1892.

The second portrait of Julia Marlowe has a notation on the reverse of the card stating “Julia Marlowe Tabor”. Therefore, this photograph was likely taken during the time of her marriage to Tabor (1894-1900). The photographic studio that produced this portrait is  Klein & Guttenstein of 164 Wisconsin Street, in Milwaukee,  Wisconsin.  Klein and Guttenstein were leading photographers of their time. Wilson’s Photographic Magazine (1902) reveals that the two men  were very active in the Photographers Association of Wisconsin and other photography organizations. The photographers were considered part of a network of photographers skilled at producing publicity images of theatrical and vaudeville stars to be used in national magazines and other publications. The New York Public Library has a collection of portraits of actress Blanche Bates; produced by Klein & Guttenstein. The University of Pennsylvania Library has one of Klein & Guttenstein’s portraits of Julia Marlowe.

The third portrait of Julia Marlowe in the cabinet card gallery collection is photographed by Sarony, the famed celebrity photographer located in New York City.  This cabinet card is signed by the actress and dated 1890. Additonal photographs by Sarony can be viewed by clicking on the category “Photographers: Sarony”.

The fourth portrait of Miss Marlow features her in role in the production of “Countess Veleska”. The play was adapted for a German work, “The Tall Prussian”, by Rudolph Stratz. The play opened in New York in 1898 at the Knickerbocker Theatre. The review in the New York Times (1898) stated that the “drama was made wholly interesting by the personal charm and sincerity of Miss Marlowe”. In a sarcastic tone, the reviewer comments about Marlowe’s co star, Bassett Roe. The reviewer states that Roe has only two qualities of the man he was playing, “height and good looks”. The reviewer continues his scathing description of Roe; “The only time he actually warmed up was when he accidentally set his hair on fire. Even then he would have let it burn if Miss Marlowe had not gone to his rescue.” The photographic studio that produced the “Countess Veleska” cabinet card was Pach Brothers of New York City. Pach Brothers were photographers known for their photographs of celebrities of their era. To see additional photographs by the Pach Brothers, click on this site’s category of “Photographers: Pach Brothers”.

The fifth portrait of Julia Marlowe appears to be a photograph of the actress in costume for an unknown stage production. The image was photographed by Ye Rose Studio of Providence, Rhode Island. The reverse of the card indicated that the studio was opened in 1886. The studio was located in the Conrad building in downtown Providence. The building still exists. Other photographs by the Ye Rose Studio can be viewed by clicking on the category “Photographer: Ye Rose”.

Portrait number six is an excellent example of the beauty of Julia Marlowe. This image, from 1888, captures Ms. Marlowe at the young age of twenty-three. The photographer of this portrait was B. J. Falk, a celebrity photographer located in New York City, New York. To view other photographs by Falk, click on the category “Photographer: Falk”.

The seventh portrait is another example of a B. J. Falk image. The photograph features a costumed Julia Marlowe in the production of “Cymbeline“. Cymbeline is a play by William Shakespeare that was based on legends about the early Celtic British King,  Cunobelinus. The play deals with themes that include innocence and jealousy. Ms. Marlowe plays Imogen, the King’s daughter. Her expression in the photograph shows fear and concern as she looks at someone or something in the distance. Her left hand shades her eyes while her right hand clutches her belted dagger. A stamp on the reverse of  this cabinet card reveals that it was formerly owned by Culver Pictures of New York City, New York. Culver Pictures has been collecting photographs and illustrations from the 19th and first half of the 20th century, since 1926. These pictures are used in books, films, and other forms of media. At the time that this cabinet card was stamped by the company, Culver Pictures was located in New York City.

Portrait number eight is a close-up photograph of Miss Marlowe. The photographer of this cabinet card is the studio of Rose & Sands whose gallery was located in Providence, Rhode Island. Note that photograph number five also came from the Rose studio, but at that time, the gallery was called, the Ye Rose studio. The Wilson’s Photographic Magazine (1899) reports that Rose and Sands were the proprietors of Ye Rose. A humorous headline in a photography magazine stated “Providence Provides for All, And Rose Provides for Providence”.  Print on the reverse of this cabinet card reveals that the Rose & Sands studio was opened in 1886 and that it specialized in “High Class Portraits from Cabinet to Life Size”. Also of interest, like photograph number seven, there is a stamp on the reverse of the photograph with the name “Culver Pictures Inc”.

Photograph number nine features the beautiful Miss Marlowe displaying a mischievous smile. Note her engaging large eyes. She is wearing a somewhat revealing dress (for the cabinet card era) and has a wonderful hat atop her head. This cabinet card photograph was published in 1888 by Benjamin Falk of New York City.  The image is marked with the number sixty-nine.

Portrait number ten is a closeup of Julia Marlowe with her head covered, but with her pretty face very visible. She is likely in costume for this photograph. The photograph is taken by B. J. Falk of New York City and has a copyright date of 1888. The cabinet card is marked number “86”.

The eleventh photograph captures Miss Marlowe staring hypnotically at a flower. Someone, has written below her name that the image features her in the role of Parthenia in the production of “Ingomar”.  The New York Times (1904) reviews the play and Miss Marlowe’s performance on opening night at the Empire Theater in New York City. The newspaper reports that Frederick Halm’s play was “impossibly romantic and deliciously sentimental piece of old-fashioned theatrics. Tyrone Power played Ingomar and he was described as “vigourous and picturesque” but the article added that his voice was “not at its best”. The review pointed out that Marlowe’s appearance in this play was to be her last appearance as an independent star before joining E. H. Sothern’s Shakespearean repertory. In regard to Marlowe’s acting in this play, it was written that she played a “dear little prig – adorably dear” (prig can be defined as smug or arrogant) and she presented “a masterpiece of harmonious, modulated, and sustained acting”. The 1904 performance of Julia Marlowe in “Ingomar” marked a return performance for this accomplished actress. The New York Times (1888) wrote a very positive review of the opening night performance in Washington D.C.. The appreciative audience included three Supreme Court Justices and a number of members of the Chinese Embassy. This cabinet card was produced by the previously mentioned Ye Rose Studio of Providence, Rhode Island and it likely dates back to her 1888 performance in the role.

The twelfth cabinet card was produced by Benjamin Falk of New York City. He posed Miss Marlowe next to a spinning wheel. Her low cut dress makes this image a bit risque for the cabinet card era. If Falk or Miss Marlowe thought that looking up at the camera would create a “fetching appearance”, I would contend that their efforts failed. Rather than “fetching”, she appears dazed. The actress was a beautiful woman and provocativeness was not necessary to enhance her image. This photograph was produced in 1888 and was part of a series (#23).

Cabinet Card number thirteen is part of a series that includes Cabinet Card number ten. Both cards were photographed by B. J. Falk and have a copyright date of 1888. Both portraits are close-ups but this one is captures Marlowe looking at the camera while number ten offers a profile view. Falk really captured the actresses eyes. Her eyes are beautiful and they are haunting at the same time. This photograph is marked number number 83 of the series.

COLONEL REUBEN STEERE AND WIFE (“THE SMALLEST MARRIED COUPLE IN THE WORLD”)

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The subjects of this cabinet card portrait are Colonel Reuben Steere (1838-1915) and his wife, Rebecca (1853-1929).  Steere is elegantly dressed and has a walking stick. Rebecca has unusually long hair which is displayed prominently. Reuben Steere was a native of Chepachet, Rhode Island. He was 44 inches tall and 43 pounds at maturity. He was a member of the Lilliputian Opera Company. In 1880 he married fellow Lilliputian, Rebecca Ann Myers of Indiana. The couple settled in Chepachet in 1882 and Reuben worked as a truant officer while Rebecca operated a restaurant and confectionary shop. This photograph was produced at the “photo parlors” of Rieman & Company. The studio was located on Montgomery Street in San Francisco, California. The address printed on the front of the photograph notes that the parlors were “Opposite Lick House”. What is Lick House? The name Lick House fosters all sort of silly images in my mind but the history of Lick House is actually quite interesting. James Lick was a renowned craftsman of wood products and a successful businessman. He began building Lick House in 1861. The building was two blocks long and three stories high. It was a luxurious showpiece hotel with 164 high quality rooms. It was considered one of San Francisco’s premier hotels until it burned down to the ground during the 1906 earthquake and fire. Advertising print on the reverse of the photograph includes the following two slogans, “Rieman’s Babies” and “When others fail, try Rieman”. Additional advertising on the reverse of the image are the names George R. Rieman and Fred H. Pray. At one time, Rieman and Pray were partners in operating a photography studio. Writing on the the back of the photograph states the photograph captures “the smallest married couple in the world”. To view other photographs by Rieman click on the category “Photographer: Rieman”.

PRETTY GRADUATE IN PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND

graduation ri_0008It is time for graduation pictures and the pretty young lady featured in this cabinet card portrait is posed at the Carlisle studio in Providence, Rhode Island. She appears to be holding her graduation dipoloma. She is wearing a lot of jewelry including a ring, earrings, necklace and collar pin.

Published in: on July 28, 2013 at 12:01 am  Comments (3)  
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OLDER GENTLEMAN WITH LONG WHITE BEARD IN PAWTUCKET, RHODE ISLAND

RI BEARD_0004The Salisbury studio in Pawtucket, Rhode Island produced this cabinet card portrait of an elderly man with a long white beard. His beard is very impressive but one wonders how he ate without wearing his food. To view other interesting beards click on the category “Beards (Only The Best)”. The photographer was Arnold F. Salisbury. His name can be found in many Pawtucket city directories of the 1880’s. At one time his studio was located at 65 Mill Street. He is considered by “Classy Arts” photo history site as one of America’s most productive photographers during the Carte De  Visite era (he  is among over 200 photographers so designated). Salisbury’s obituary appears in the Bulletin of Photography (1918). In the brief article it is mentioned that Salisbury was a civil war veteran. Further research revealed that he was a private in the 1st Regiment Rhode Island Infantry (company E) for three months in 1861. He later served as a second sergeant in the 9th Regiment Rhode Island Infantry (Company A) and as a first lieutenant in the 12th Regiment Rhode Island Infantry (Company H).

SASSY BRIDE AND HER GROOM IN CENTRAL FALLS, RHODE ISLAND

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J. C. Prince’s Photo Art Studio produced this wonderful wedding portrait. The photographer was located on Broad Street in Central Falls, Rhode Island. The couple are formally dressed and accompanied by flowers galore including a garland around the neck of the pretty bride. The groom has a happy twinkle in his eyes and his new bride appears to be quite sassy. Perhaps her sassiness is related to his happiness. In fact, both the bride and the groom seem to be very content on their wedding day. Their happiness is quite different than what is usually seen in most wedding day images from this era. More typically, photographed newly weds look like they are at their best friend’s funeral.

Published in: on July 16, 2013 at 12:01 am  Comments (2)  
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