A young African American woman poses for her portrait at the Richmond Photographic Company studio in Richmond, Virginia. She is wearing a white dress with a collar pin and is holding a fan in her left hand. Her lips are pursed and she displays a serious expression as she stares at the cabinet card photographer. I wish I knew more about this lovely woman. (SOLD)

Published in: on May 4, 2016 at 11:58 am  Leave a Comment  
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This cabinet card featuring an adorable young child peering at a photographer while holding onto a fence rail in a photographer’s studio. The youngster appears a bit apprehensive. The child is wearing a lace collar and a cute hat. The photographer is G. S. Stevens whose studio was located in Richmond, Michigan.

Published in: on April 10, 2016 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A lovely couple poses for their portrait in Richmond, Virginia. She is wearing a fancy hat and he is wearing a Bowler and a fancy mustache (click on the category “Mustaches (Only the Best) to view additional extraordinary facial hair). The high collared woman in this image has a pin on her collar, and she is wearing earrings and a thin long necklace. The couple appears to be dressed in their best clothing. The reverse of this photograph identifies this man and woman as being Percy and Loula Clarke. At the time that this picture was taken, this young couple was just starting off their life together. They must have wondered what was ahead for them. Research was able to uncover some of what actually did lie ahead for this young and attractive couple. The 1920 US census found Thomas Percy Clark (1873-1968) and his wife Loula Robertson Clarke (1876-1963) living on their family farm in Namozine, Virginia. Thomas and Loula lived with their five children aged 6 through 19. The nineteen year-old, Lurleen, was a public school teacher. Thomas must have been proud of his educated oldest daughter because he had dropped out of school after completing the seventh grade. By the time that the 1930 census was completed, the Clarke’s had only two children living at home with them in Namozine. The 1940 US census found the couple still living in Namozine. Thomas lived a very long life (96 years). It’s amazing to think that he was born four years after the civil war and died the same year that Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy were assassinated. He experienced a major portion of US history. Both Thomas and Loula are buried in the Mizpah cemetery in Dimwiddie County, Virginia. The New York Art Gallery, located in Richmond Virginia, produced this excellent cabinet card portrait.


UGLY BEARD_0003The gentleman pictured in this cabinet card photograph was clearly experiencing “a bad beard day”. The previous owner of this photograph stated that “this is what happens when you shave with a hangover”. This scraggly bearded man seems to have chopped the left side of his beard shorter than the right side. The beard seems to have been styled to look like a muskrat. The photographer of this image is C. H. Hanchett of Arlington Heights, Illinois. He also had studios in Richmond and Wauconda, Illinois. The Arlington Heights studio was at Dunton Avenue and Miner Street. To view other interesting beards, click on the category “Beards (Only the Best)”. If there was a category “Beards (Only the Worst)”, I would have placed it there.

Published in: on June 19, 2013 at 12:01 am  Comments (2)  
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Emma Loraine appears to have been a minor stage star. The New York Times (1879) reported that Wallack’s Theatre production of “Our Girls” included Ms. Loraine in the cast. Also in the cast was Maurice Barrymore. The New York Times (1881) has a story about the Wallach company going on tour because their new theatre was under construction. The company was planning to perform “She Stoops to Conquer” and “The School for Scandal” while on tour. Performing as part of the touring company was Osmond Tearle, Rose Coghlan, and Emma Lorraine. The cabinet card gallery has images of both Tearle and Coghlan that can be viewed by typing each of their names in the search box. Their names must be searched separately. Both cabinet card portraits of Loraine were photographed by celebrity photographer, D. H. Anderson of New York City. To view other images by Anderson, click on the category “Photographer: Anderson (New York)”. An article in the Photographic Times and American Photographer (1883) describes Anderson’s studio at 785 Broadway in New York City. The location was formerly the studio operated by famed photographer, Mathew Brady. Anderson is considered a pioneer in early photography. He made his first pictures (daguerreotypes) in Paducah, Kentucky in 1855. He later worked in Cincinnati (Ohio), Dayton (Ohio), New Orleans (Louisiana), Louisville (Kentucky), and various other cities. He finally settled for awhile in Richmond, Virginia in 1865. In 1881, he sold his studio and moved to New York City. The previously cited article described a “composition group” portrait that Anderson was working on during the magazine writers visit to his studio. The photograph was described as measuring eleven feet by fourteen feet and picturing the 7th Regiment posing in their new armory. The image included over a thousand soldiers.


The pretty lady in the beaded dress is a congressman’s wife. Her husband is one of the freshman congressmen that just arrived in Washington D. C. to begin their term. They come to our capitol city flush with hopes of fulfilling their unrealistic campaign promises. It won’t take long for these new lawmakers to figure out that their main focus will be to devise ways to stay in office. Anyway, the lady in this photograph is filled with excitement. She has come to Washington with a different agenda than her idealistic husband. She is looking forward to the teas and the gala events that are so popular in this social city. She is preparing to meet the First Lady. That will be a real treat. Frances Folsom Cleveland is warm and beautiful. Her marriage to Grover Cleveland is quite the story. Grover Cleveland was the law partner of Frances Folsom’s father and knew Frances since her infancy. When Folsom died, Cleveland was the executor of his estate and he oversaw Frances’s mothers finances, as well as Frances’s education. After a scandal in which Cleveland was accused of fathering an illegitimate child; he proposed to Frances. She needed time to consider his offer and left for a European tour which included some considering. She returned to America and accepted his marriage proposal. They married in the White House, and she, at age twenty-one,  became the youngest First Lady in American history. Anyway, the fine looking lady in this photograph went to G. W. Davis, to have this image taken. Davis has a studio at 925 Pennsylvania Avenue, in Washington D. C.. He also has a studio in Richmond, Virginia. Here comes the moment of truth. Everything written in this blog entry is accurate with just one exception. That exception concerns the identity of the woman in this photograph. As far as I know, she is not a congressman’s wife. Her true identity has been lost to history.


This cabinet card is a photograph of James Gibbons (1834-1921). Gibbons was an American Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as the Bishop of Richmond, Virginia and as the Arch Bishop of Baltimore, Maryland. He became a Bishop while quite young and was known as the “Boy Bishop”. He was elevated to Cardinal in 1886, becoming the second American Cardinal. He was an acquaintance of every American President from Andrew Johnson to Warren Harding. He was honored by Presidents Taft and Theodore Roosevelt. Gibbons advocated the creation of Catholic University and was its first Chancellor (1887). He was an advocate for labor and an author of several books and articles. His most well known book was “The Faith of Our Fathers” (1876). In later life, Gibbons was the public face of Catholicism in the United States.

Published in: on August 22, 2010 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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