This cabinet card portrait features a young couple and their baby. Mom and dad are wearing Salvation Army uniforms. Note the “S” pin on dad’s collar. Alongside the couple are instruments of their trade, a trumpet and a squeeze box. A newspaper is displayed on the floor. The newspaper is entitled the “War Cry” and was the Salvation Army’s official newspaper which they began publishing in the US in the year 1881. It is clear that this couple strongly identified themselves with their Salvation Army service. This cabinet card photograph was taken by J. G. Wagner of Brainerd, Minnesota.

Published in: on August 11, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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Wow! I stumbled across this vintage photograph in an antique store in the Texas hill country. This great image features two men, who appear to be of Hispanic origin, playing a tune together. These country musicians are playing brass instruments. My best guess is that one of the men is playing a trumpet while the other is playing a tuba. The trumpet player looks quite intense while the tuba player appears to be “groovin”. The men are sharing sheet music which rests on a music stand. The sheet music is titled “The Witmark Folio”. The M Witmark and Sons company was a leading publisher of sheet music for the American “Tin Pan Alley” music industry. The firm was established in New York City in 1886. Marcus Witmark was legally the head of the company but it was actually run by his sons (Isidore, Julius, and Jay). The three sons were aged 14 to 17 when the company was established. The company published the music of many leading composers including George M. Cohan and Victor Herbert. M. Witmark and Sons was purchased by Warner Brothers in 1929. This vintage photograph measures about 6 1/4″ x 5 1/2″.



Published in: on December 8, 2016 at 12:00 pm  Comments (2)  
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This cabinet card portrait features a young man, probably in his teenage years, posing with his trumpet. He must have been up late the night before practicing his instrument because he sure looks tired. More likely, he is a bit bewildered by the challenge of posing for the unidentified photographer. He clearly got dressed up for the occasion of having his portrait taken. He is wearing striped pants and a striped jacket. Clearly he has committed a fashion faux pas. Making matters worse, he is wearing a patterned tie. Judging by his fashion sense, it’s my guess that he played with the English punk rock band “The Clash”. On a serious note, this is a nice portrait of a young musician.

Published in: on April 15, 2016 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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TRUMPETERS_0003Two trumpeters in band uniforms pose for their portrait at the Brown studio in Sterling, Illinois. This is one of those times that there is a need for consultation from one of the visitors to the Cabinet Card Gallery with band instrument expertise. Are these men holding trumpets, cornets, or bugles? One also wonders about the relationship between the two men in this photograph. Are they father and son?Unfortunately the subjects are not identified and their relationship, besides being bandmates, is unknown. In addition, the men’s uniforms lack patches or lettering to suggest their band affiliation. Research yielded no information about the photographer of this image.

Published in: on April 12, 2013 at 12:01 am  Comments (4)  
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TRUMPET MAN_0006A man in a plaid suit, winged collar shirt, and matching vest poses for his photograph at an unidentified studio. He is holding a horn of some kind (Trumpet?, Bugle?, or Cornet?) and wearing a cap which has the lettering “WCB”. I am guessing that the “CB” part is an abbreviation for “community band”. Inscribed on the reverse of the photograph are the following; “Burnette” and “Albion, NY”. “Burnette” is likely the subject’s name and Albion was likely his hometown. Research found too many men sharing the name “Burnette” in Albion to make a positive identification of his name and background. The over zealous previous owned of this cabinet card described the subject as a civil war veteran holding his bugle and wearing his kepi hat. Collectors of antique photographs must be careful of people making such unsubstantiated claims. Call me an optimist, but I think the majority of such people are more unaware than unscrupulous.

Published in: on February 6, 2013 at 12:01 am  Comments (3)  
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The top Cabinet Card is an image of two Salvation Army workers photographed by Suddard of Fall River, Massachusetts. The young couple are both in uniform; he has a tambourine and she is holding a trumpet. It is interesting to note that he is wearing a late 1800’s version of an embossed tee shirt. His shirt’s lettering states “NO CROSS NO CROWN”. A present day, non religious  meaning of this saying would be “no pain, no gain”.  The motto on the shirt was a widely used expression and an early user of the phrase was William Penn, the founder of the Quaker colong of Pennsylvania. The second photograph, also by Suddard, shows the same couple in a different studio setting. Once again, the couple is attired in a salvation army uniform. The gentleman is wearing a different style uniform than he wore in the top photograph. In the bottom photograph, the woman has taken possession of the tambourine and the man is holding papers. These two cabinet cards were purchased more than two years apart and I am fairly certain that they were purchased from different sellers. Amazingly, these images have ended up together again.  A third cabinet card image by Suddard can be found  elsewhere in the Cabinet Gallery. It can be accessed by clicking the category “Photographers: Suddard”.


The Boys in the Band gather for this cabinet card photograph by photographer John Strunk, in Reading, Pennsylvania. The uniformed brass band consists of four member. A consultation from the Cabinet Card Gallery’s unpaid research department would be helpful, but for the time being, I will identify the bandsmen’s instruments as being a clarinet, trumpet, french horn and a flute. To view other photographs by Strunk, click on the category of “Photographer: Strunk”.


Published in: on February 6, 2011 at 12:01 am  Comments (4)  
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Salvation Army Band Members in Grand Rapids, Michigan


This Cabinet card is a photograph of three members of the Salvation Army Band. This is a terrific image of the band members, their instruments and their uniforms. The instruments are a baritone, trumpet and drum. The photographer was J. H. Young of Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Salvation Army is a Protestant Christian Church Denomination organized in a quasi-military manner. The group does charitable and social service work aiding the poor. The organization was founded in 1865 in London, England, as Christian Mission.  In 1878 the group became the Salvation Army. The organization has expanded worldwide into 111 nations.

Published in: on February 3, 2009 at 1:24 am  Leave a Comment  
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