HANDSOME BEARDED MAN IN PORTLAND, OREGON

portland beard

The subject of this portrait is quite the handsome gentleman and  has a wonderful beard. To view more interesting beards, click on the category “Beards (Only the Best). The reverse of the photograph has a printed stamp indicating that the photographer of this image was located in Portland, Oregon. In addition, the back of the cabinet card shows a medal for photography from the Oregon State Agricultural Society which was issued in 1881. Born in Illinois in 1844, Frank G. Abell moved to California with his parents in 1857. In 1862, at the age of 18, he joined the firm of William Shew in San Francisco, where he spend four years learning the art and business of photography. He opened his own gallery, Abell’s Star Gallery, in Stockton, California in 1866. The next year he moved back to San Franisco and then worked in such towns as Grass Valley, Red Bluff and Yreka. In 1877 he pursued his craft in Roseburg, Oregon and from 1878 to 1888 he was based in Portland. He must have left his heart in San Francisco because he returned there once again. His indecisiveness was evident when he returned to Portland where he worked between 1897 and 1907. When his health failed, he moved to Tacoma, Washington where he died in 1910.

WOMAN IN CHAINS (STOCKTON, CALIFORNIA)

This cabinet card features a woman in chains. The previous sentence, and the title of this blog entry, may be misleading because the woman isn’t exactly in chains; instead, she is wearing a chain necklace. Don’t you hate those sensational headlines that are aimed to manipulate you to watch a particular news show, or read a certain newspaper? Sorry! This lady’s name is “Emmie” according to a notation on the reverse of the cabinet card. She is thin, pretty and curly haired. The chain she is wearing has a pin attached to her collar and also has a charm or locket. Ironically, the charm resembles a  modern day pet identification tag. This image was photographed by Batchelder of Stockton, California. Perez Mann Batchelder (1818-1873) was a daguerreotypist, ambrotypist, and photographer active in a number of areas in California, including Sonora, Stockton, Vallecito, Murphy’s Camp, and Mokelumne Hill. He also operated studios in Melbourne, Australia (he followed the gold rush occurring down under) and Boston, Massachusetts. He worked in all of these locales over a short period of time. He clearly did not let moss grow under his feet. Batchelder with his brothers Nathaniel, Freeman, and Benjamin Pierce founded a daguerreian dynasty which in the 1850’s and 1860’s established dozens of galleries on both coasts of the United States and in Australia. Batchelder travelled incessantly and operated many enterprises simultaneously. He was born in Massachusetts and entered photography as a career in 1844. The book, “Pioneer Photographers of the Far West: A Biographical Dictionary” (2000) was the source of much of the information about Perez Batchelder.

MASTER WILLIE WAINRIGHT: TWO YEAR-OLD POSES FOR PHOTOGRAPHER IN FRESNO, CALIFORNIA

This cabinet card features a portrait of “Master Willie Wainwright” at two years-old. A dedication on the reverse of the card states “to his friend Mable Ayers”. Master Willie is wearing a straw hat which is covering his long blond locks of hair. The photographer is Edgerton Reyerson Higgins  (1845-1911) of Fresno, California. Higgins was born in Canada. His mother was Canadian and his father was from Connecticut. He attended high school and Business College in San Francisco, California. He helped out at the photographic gallery of his brother, Thomas J. Higgins while attending school. Higgins worked as a photographer in a number of California towns, including Sacromento, Snelling, Stockton, Merced, Hanford, and Fresno. He worked for at least two well known photographic studios, one of which is represented in the Cabinet Card Gallery collection; Bradley and Rulofson. The second famous  photography studio was Thomas Houseworth & Company. Click on the category Photographer: Bradley & Rulofson” to view their photographs. While working in Snelling, Higgins was quoted as saying he took “pretty pictures, even of ugly people”. This cabinet card is from Fresno and it appears that he worked there at two different times. He was there temporarily in 1879. This cabinet card was published during his second stint, which began in 1887. Higgins did much to help his community. In 1889 he was one of the principal founders of the Fresno Volunteer Fire Department, and from about 1889 until the early 1890’s, he served as chief of the department. In 1898 he renamed his gallery the “Rembrandt Studio” and a year later, entered a partnership with a photographer named Howland. The California Historical Society has a small collection of Higgins’s photographs.