ball walker

This cabinet card portrait features a pretty young woman who likely performed in a balancing act for an unidentified circus. She has one foot on a ball that was used for balancing feats. The photograph is a bit risque for it’s era. The young lady is displaying a bit of a devilish grin. Note the upside down ghost image at the top of this image. The logo of the McDannell studio in Wattsburg, Pennsylvania is visible and the cause of this phenomenon is that this cabinet card was likely stored face-to-face with the McDannell cabinet card and The McDannell logo was pressed printed onto this circus performer photograph. It is worth mentioning that one of Mcdannell’s photographs is a resident of the Cabinet Card Gallery collection. The above cabinet card image was produced by the Rykert studio in Buffalo, New York. Chauncy W. Rykert and William Rykert were both photographers in Buffalo. Both men shared a studio on Buffalo’s Jefferson Street in the late 1870’s. Chauncy is the most likely one who produced this image as he remained a photographer in Buffalo for many more years than William.

Published in: on October 4, 2015 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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This vintage photograph features a family of six dressed in their finest clothing. The family portrait includes a couple and their two teenage daughters and one teenage and one young adult son. This photograph was taken at the C. A. McDannell’s studio in Wattsburg, Pennsylvania. The photo below shows McDannell’s house. His studio was on the top floor. The picture was taken during one of the town’s multiple floods which occurred between 1892 and 1909. Charles A. McDannell (1859-1944) was born and died in Erie County, Pennsylvania. He was married to Jennie Barry. He is buried in Wattsburg Cemetery. The 1900 US census lists McDannell and his 17 year-old son Clyde as photographers. The 1910 US census also lists Charles as a photographer. However, the 1920 and 1930 US census reveals that he had become a postmaster. provides a bit of biographical information about McDannell. In addition, the site displays some of his photographs. It is noted that Charles liked taking outdoor photographs. He had a special interest in photographing country life and children. “Photographic Times” (1888) praises a few of his photographs and the “Bulletin of Photography” (1912) reports that he was on the executive committee of the Professional Photographers Society of Pennsylvania. Inscribed on the reverse of this photograph is a family name. I have been unable to search the name due to legibility problems. Any assistance would be appreciated in deciphering the name. ADDENDUM: See comment below. Great genealogical detective work by a cabinet card gallery visitor identified all the members of the family seen in this photograph.

wattsburg 1


Published in: on July 2, 2015 at 12:07 pm  Comments (3)  
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