This cabinet card portrait features a smiling young woman wearing unusual attire. Is she wearing a uniform? If her clothing is a uniform, is she wearing it for work or is she part of a sports team? Note that her cap matches her jacket and that the style of her blouse is atypical for the cabinet card era. Hopefully, some cabinet card gallery's visitors will leave a comment speculating or informing the rest of us about the fashion worn in this photograph. The Hawkins studio, located in Montpelier, Ohio, produced this image. Research reveals that there was a photographer in Montpelier named George B. Hawkins. At some point, there was a studio in Montpelier called Hawkins & Marsh. It is likely that George Hawkins once partnered with Mr. Marsh. The reverse of the cabinet card has an inscription which states "Cousin to Marian" and "Kelly-girl". Clearly, the subject of this portrait is a cousin to Marian and it is likely that the subject's last name is "Kelly". The term "Kelly-girl" took a different meaning many years after this photograph was taken. In 1946, Russell Kelly started a business providing temporary employees to local Detroit businesses. His employees called themselves "Kelly Girls" to distinguish themselves from their temporary office coworkers. Russell Kelly's novel business idea gave birth to the modern staffing business.
This cabinet card portrait features a young boy dressed up for his confirmation and holding a religious book. Note his huge bow tie. He is wearing two ribbons pinned to his jacket. One of the ribbons has the printed name "St. Mary's Church". The reverse of the photograph has an inscription stating "Willie Butler". Young Master Butler posed for this image at Ettlin's Portraits which was located at 17 Chatham Square in New York City. William A. Ettlin is listed in the 1902 and 1905 New York City directory as well as in Trow's Business Directory of 1898.
Violet Cameron (1862-1919), was an English stage star. She was the niece of burlesque legend Lydia Thompson. Cameron began her stage career as a child in 1871. She played several child roles at the Drury Lane Pantomime theatre. As an adult, she played many prominent roles in the most important English theatres. In 1886 she came to America and played in "The Commodore" and "Kenilworth". In 1893 she had great success in the stage play "Morocco Bound". She was involved in several scandalous love affairs during her stage career. The top cabinet card was a product of Elliot & Fry, a prominent London photography studio. The second cabinet card was produced at the studio of W & D Downey in London, England. The third portrait of Violet Cameron is also by Downey. She looks lovely in her ruffly dress and her plunging neckline (relative to the cabinet card era) highlights her necklace. The reverse of the cabinet card has the stamp of Charles Ritzmann of New York City indicating that it was once owned by the esteemed purveyor of theatrical photographs. The fourth photograph of Miss Cameron once again comes from the Downey studio. She appears to be wearing a wedding dress in this cabinet card portrait. To view other photographs by these two studios, click on the category Photographer: Elliot & Fry or Photographer: Downey.