The lady is in black, possibly in mourning. She is wearing a pretty black lace heavily beaded dress. A hair ornament in her hair, a corsage on her dress, and fingerless gloves complete her ensemble. The woman wears a serious expression and has piercing eyes. The lighting in this portrait is well done and highlights the woman and her dress. The photographer of this interesting cabinet card image is F. G. Wilhelmi who operated a photography studio in Urbana, Ohio. Fred G Wilhelmi, like many of photographer colleagues, got around. He appears to have begun his photography career in Cumberland, Maryland (1871-1880). He then practiced his trade in Urbana (1885-1889) and Cleveland (1890- 1900 or later). The dates provided are approximate and come from two guides about early Ohio photographers.


Published in: on January 2, 2017 at 12:15 pm  Comments (3)  
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pittsburg pete

According the caption in this image, this photograph is a portrait of “Pittsburg Pete”. He is noted as being “The toughest Tramp in the Country”. The caption also notes that this photograph was taken in 1912. Preliminary research found references to a “Pittsburg Pete” in some articles about “hobos” and “tramps”. In addition, the Urbana Daily Courier (Illinois) has some articles about criminal activities of a man known as “Pittsburg Pete”. A 1914 article reports the arrest and jailing of a man with that moniker. The man is described as a “familiar street character in this city” and his crime was vagrancy. The article states that the man’s actual name was John Reed. It is unknown whether the tough looking guy in this image is the same “Pittsburg Pete” as the “street character” in Urbana.  (SOLD)

Published in: on February 4, 2015 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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Two pretty young woman pose for their portrait in this scalloped cabinet card produced by the Hall studio in Hoopeston, Illinois. The women do not seem very enthusiastic about having their photograph taken. Each of the subjects have baskets of flowers on their laps and are wearing fingerless gloves. The woman seated on the right in the image is holding what appears to be an umbrella. Both of these ladies have very thin waists. They are probably wearing corsets. Perhaps those corsets are a little too tight and that would explain the pained expressions they display in the photograph.  The photographer, Ervin S. Hall, appears in the 1880 US census. Hall was 25 years old and married (1877) to Violetta Hall (age 27). Hall’s parents were born in Maine but he and his wife were Illinois natives. The couple lived in Hoopeston and Hall worked as a photographer. The 1900 US census found Hall and his wife living in Grant, Illinois with their two children, Ellis (age 17) and Ethel (age 15). Ervin was still working as a photographer. The 1910 US census lists Hall and his wife living in Urbana, Illinois and Ervin still employed as a photographer. The 1920 US census reveals that the couple was living in Kissimmee, Florida and Ervin was working as a hardware salesman. The 1930 US census indicates that Ervin was retired and he and his wife remained in Kissimmee. Research uncovers the story of Hoopeston, Illinois. The town was created in 1871 and named for Thomas Hoopes who had offered his land to be the site of the crossing of two railroads. The business and manufacturing that developed in Hoopeston centered around agriculture. The Illinois Canning Company (1875) and the Hoppeston Canning Company (1878) were established there. Greer College (1890) was also established in Hoopeston.

Published in: on December 4, 2012 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  
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Photographers William Hollinger and Joseph M. Appleton (1848-?) produced this Cabinet Card photograph of a very cute baby in Dayton, Ohio.  Both partners of the Appleton and Hollinger studio were photographers of note. Hollinger worked in Urbana in the mid 1870’s and in Dayton from 1883 until 1896. He partnered with Appleton in the 1880’s. In 1900 he was included in an article in Wilson’s Photographic magazine.  Appleton trained in Akron, Ohio in the 1860’s and later worked in Millersburg and Columbus.  In 1880 he moved to Dayton, first working with Hollinger and by 1887 he had his own studio and owned a company that manufactured photographic plates. Appleton’s work was exhibited at the Chicago Worlds Fair in 1893 and at the National Academy of Design in 1898. He was an officer in the Photographic Association of America and a founder of the Photographic Salon of Ohio. To view other photographs by Appleton & Hollinger, click on the category “Photographer: Appleton & Hollinger”.