CARRIE PERKINS : RISQUE PHOTO : WORE THE TIGHTEST DRESSES IN VAUDEVILLE

The pretty woman seen in this cabinet card portrait is actress, Carrie Perkins. Her acting included productions on Broadway, as well as, appearances on the Burlesque and Vaudeville stage. One of Perkins’s claims to fame, is that she was considered to be the actress that wore the tightest fitting costumes in all of vaudeville. She appeared in much advertising such as premium cards for cigarette brands. The website, “Broadway Photographs” provides a biography of Miss Perkins. She is described as “a vaudevillian with a trim body and a smart tongue”. The site states that “she plied both the visual and verbal dimensions of entertainment”. Although she was known for her tight gowns, the biographer states that “it was her urban girl wit that won her a ticket to Broadway”. She became known to the theatrical world in Garrick’s burlesque “Thrilby” (1895). She wasn’t considered beautiful enough to play lead roles. Instead she played roles that showcased “feminine audacity”. She appeared in nineteen Broadway productions according to the Internet Broadway Database (IBDB). These appearances occurred between 1888 and 1911. These performances included “Jack and the Beanstalk (1898), “The Casino Girl” (1901), and “The Merry Shop Girl’s” (1905). Her final show was “The Fascinating Widow”. which was a touring production with the popular actor and female impersonator Julian Eltinge. There seems to be agreement that Perkins was long on personality and appearance, but short on talent. Perkins rarely received praise from theatre critics. She found her place on the stage as a supporting actress/dancer/singer. This cabinet card photograph was taken by the Sparks Photo-Publishing Company. The studio was located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The artist/manager of the studio was Elliott Houseworth. The 1880 census lists Elliott A. Houseworth as being born in 1855, residing in San Francisco, California, and working as a photographer. Houseworth also appears in the 1900 census as living in Norwood, Pennsylvania and working as a manager. These demographics fit the photographer of this image, since Houseworth managed Sparks Photography Studio and Norwood is only about eleven miles from Philadelphia. A stamp on the reverse of the image states “Russell Brothers, 126 Tremont Street, Boston”. Perhaps the Russell Brothers were photograph collectors or a photo gallery that sold celebrity photographs. This photograph is in very good condition and has excellent clarity. Note the dark mark at the center bottom of the image. Photographs of Miss Perkins are rare and this image is beautiful remnant of turn of the century Broadway theater.

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ISABEL EVERSON: THEATRE ACTRESS WITH LITTLE BACKGROUND

 

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Pencilled on the reverse of this cabinet card, is the name Isabel Everson. Preliminary research reveals little information about this actress other than an existence of a tobacco card premium published by Sweet Caporal which has her portrait. In addition, some newspaper articles were found that announce her appearance in various theater production.  Further research is required. This cabinet card is by Sarony, famed celebrity photographer located in New York City. To see other examples of Sarony’s photographs; click on the Photographer: Sarony category on this site. The second photograph of Miss Everson is by an unknown photographer. Unfortunately, the bottom of the cabinet card has been trimmed to fit into a frame or album, making it difficult but not impossible to identify the photographer. I attempted to identify the photographer by matching the script on the bottom of the photo with other photographer logos in the cabinet card collection. Unfortunately, I had no luck. Perhaps a cabinet card gallery visitor will be able to accomplish the detective work necessary to make the identification. Note the images found below that identifies Miss Everson as well as the image of the Russell Brothers stamp. Both the inscription and the stamp were located on the reverse of the cabinet card. Miss Everson is wearing a very interesting costume in this cabinet card photograph. It is probably something that she was wearing in a play in which she was appearing. I wonder what the object is that she is holding in her right hand. Does the object relate to her costume? I seem to have more questions than answers about this portrait of Isabel Everson.

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Published in: on April 2, 2015 at 12:01 pm  Comments (6)  
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THEATER ACTRESS MARIE BOCKEL IN COSTUME FOR “LA VIE” IN NEW YORK CITY (1884)

BOCKEL_0001This cabinet card features Miss Marie Bockel dressed in costume for her performance in “La Vie”. She was photographed by celebrity photographer Moreno. Moreno’s gallery was located in New York City. To view other photographs by Moreno, click on the category “Photographer: Moreno”. A stamp on the reverse of the image states “Russell Brothers, 126 Tremont Street, Boston”. Miss Bockel’s appearance in La Vie was announced in the New York Times (1884). “La Vie” was H. B. Farnie’s adaptation of Offenbach’s “La Vie Parisenne”. Marie Bockel also appeared in the New York Times (1884) when she appeared with the W. A. Mestayer Company in the performance of “We, Us, and Company of Mud Springs”. The show was described as a “wild musical farce” concerning the establishment of a sanitarium. The newspaper’s review of the show was favorable and it mentions that Miss Bockel sang the soprano parts in some of the quartets “very well”.