PORTRAIT OF A FAMILY OF FOUR IN TERRE HAUTE, INDIANA

This cabinet card features a lovely portrait of a well dressed family of four. Note the father’s neckwear. Is he wearing a bow tie or is it an ascot-like accessory. As per usual for this era, the father is sitting and the mother is standing. I wonder if the reason for this popular pose is that husbands tended to be taller than their wives and that taller people added undesirable empty space at the top of images. This photograph was taken at the studio of Eppert & Son. The business was located in Terre Haute, Indiana. Charles Eppert was born in Indiana in 1836. He was one of eleven children. At the age of 21, Charles was working in a grist mill. Sometime around 1859, he moved to Terre Haute. He learned photography there and established his studio in 1860 at 111 Wabash Street. In 1862, Charles married Mary C. Badgely (1840-1931). The couple had two children. Mary joined Charles in the photography business which is illustrated by the 1870 US census which lists both Charles and Mary as photographers. The 1880 census indicates that the couple’s son, George, went to work as an apprentice in the family studio.. Sometime in the 1880’s, George joined his father to form Eppert and Son, the studio that produced this cabinet card photograph. The 1920 census reveals that Charles, despite being in his eighties, was still working as a photographer. He died in 1923. In researching Charles, I found a web site (Indiana Album) that featured a beautiful photograph of an eclipse that Charles had taken. This family portrait cabinet card has excellent clarity and is in excellent condition (see scans). SOLD


Published in: on April 1, 2021 at 12:42 pm  Leave a Comment  
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STUDIO PORTRAIT OF A LOVELY COUPLE IN TERRE HAUTE, INDIANA

This cabinet card portrait features a portrait of a lovely couple by the Biel studio in Terre Haute, Indiana. The woman in this image is sitting while the gentleman is standing behind her. Cabinet photographs of couples may have only the woman sitting, or only the man sitting. I wonder how it was decided who gets to sit in the chair in the typical couple’s photograph. It is my guess that the ultimate decision is made by the photographer and it is based on creating the pose that photographs best. I imagine that the height of the man and woman being photographed is an important factor in such decisions. The photographer who took this photograph is Henry T. Biel (1855-1929). Biel’s parents were Prussian immigrants. He was married to Francinea E.Fundy in 1879. Biel was listed as a photographer in both the 1880 and 1910 US census. Biel began his photography career at the ripe old age of fifteen. At that age, he became under the tutelage of G. H. Wright, a photographer in Terre Haute. He struck out on his own  in 1886 after purchasing the John Adams studio. In time, he became a fixture in the city of Terre Haute as a photographer. In researching Mr. Biel’s background, I began to wonder what the words “Terre Haute” mean. I found the answer to be that Terre Haute was derived from the French term for “Highland”. The name likely was created by early 18th century French explorers who were noting the area’s unusual location above the Wabash River.

Published in: on March 2, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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