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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Fwd: Weekly digest for June 2, 2014



bmarshphd posted: "Gladys Wallis, theater star, is the subject of this portrait by celebrity photographer B. J. Falk. Miss Wallis appears to be very young when she posed for this cabinet card photograph. The image is numbered 16 in a series and has a copyright date of 1893."

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PRETTY YOUNG STAGE ACTRESS GLADYS WALLIS (PHOTOGRAPH BY B J FALK)

by bmarshphd

gladys wallis_0003Gladys Wallis, theater star, is the subject of this portrait by celebrity photographer B. J. Falk. Miss Wallis appears to be very young when she posed for this cabinet card photograph. The image is numbered 16 in a series and has a copyright date of 1893. In fact, she was just eighteen years old when she sat for this portrait. Glady Wallis (1875-1953) lived an interesting life. The Florence Times (1932) tells some of her story in an article that is predominately about her husband Samuel Insull (1858-1938). The article was quite disparaging of  Insull and in the lead of the story the reporter writes "The keen brain of Samuel Insull built a 4,000,000,000 public utilities empire but he failed when he attempted to bring about his wife's come-back as an actress after her 26 year absence from the stage". The attempt cost him 200,00 dollars. Gladys Wallis's was originally named Mary Bird. She was of Irish descent and upon becoming an actress was determined to be viewed as a respectable woman. She was anti alcohol and reportedly, anti sex. Insull had originally seen her as a "starry eyed and raven-haired young ingenue in an 1898 theater production in Chicago. She was just a teenager and he was 36 years-old starstruck admirer. They later met at a dinner party and two years later, they married. Gladys quickly retired from the stage and became a society lady. She had a number of estates and servants, was active in fund raising for charities, went to high society affairs and functions, and wore expensive clothing and jewelry. It is reported that she wasn't an easy person to get along with and was not very well liked among the ladies of society. She and Insull reportedly had a tempestuous relationship and among their issues was her disinterest in sex. Insull supported her temperance beliefs. The couple had a son who eventually attended Yale University. In 1925,Wallis revealed her desire to return to the stage because of her desire for "self expression". Her husband funded the theatrical endeavor and its proceeds were to be directed toward charity. Society turned out in mass for the opening night of what was to be a two week engagement where Mrs. Insull played the "coquettish role"of Lady Teazle. Attendees included Marshall Fields, the Armours, the Drakes, and the Pullmans. The success of this limited engagement spurred Wallis to return to Broadway. Wallis may have felt ready for Broadway but apparently Brodway wasn't ready for Wallis and she returned to Chicago in 1927. She was not yet done with acting so she took a five year lease on a Chicago theater and established a performing company. This project failed and before long he company was operating at a loss of more than a thousand dollars a day. Things also did not go well for Mr. Insull. The depression severely impacted his business and eventually there were even charges filed against him. He fled to Europe with his wife where they entered "voluntary exile". He was eventually deported from Europe but was well defended in a Chicago trial and found innocent of all charges. However, the Insulls had lost their fortune and at the time of his death, his estate was quite meager. There are a number of books available about Mr. Insull and they probably make quite interesting reading. This photograph was taken by B. J. Falk, New York City celebrity photographer. To learn more about this photographer and to see more of his images, click on the category "Photographer: Falk".

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bmarshphd posted: "A young woman poses for her portrait in a staged study at the Schneider studio in Chicago, Illinois. She is surrounded by standard studio props including a desk, fur, plant, and curtain. The desk has a dragon design. Schneider's studio was located at 2135"

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YOUNG WOMAN IN A STUDY IN CHICAGO

by bmarshphd

A young woman poses for her portrait in a staged study at the Schneider studio in Chicago, Illinois. She is surrounded by standard studio props including a desk, fur, plant, and curtain. The desk has a dragon design. Schneider's studio was located at 2135 Archer Avenue. The Lakeside Directory of Chicago (1876) lists a photographer named George Schneider who was located at 219 & 221 North Avenue. It is unknown if he is the same photographer that operated on Archer Avenue and produced this photograph.

bmarshphd | May 30, 2014 at 2:27 pm | Tags: Chicago, George Schneider | Categories: Uncategorized | URL: http://wp.me/pnHKU-Np

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bmarshphd posted: " A well dressed handsome man poses for his portrait at the Whitley studio in Elmira, New York. He has a well groomed attractive beard and an exceptional mustache. A pocket watch chain is evident under his jacket and he appears to also be sporting a tie p"

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HANDSOME MAN WITH EXCEPTIONAL MUSTACHE IN ELMIRA, NEW YORK

by bmarshphd

A well dressed handsome man poses for his portrait at the Whitley studio in Elmira, New York. He has a well groomed attractive beard and an exceptional mustache. A pocket watch chain is evident under his jacket and he appears to also be sporting a tie pin. To view other images of fantastic mustaches, click on the category "Mustaches (Only the Best). The photographer of this image is John H. Whitley. He was born in Candor, New York in 1831. He was a photographer in Oswego, New York, from 1858 through 1861. His next position was working with photographer C. C.Doty in Elmira, New York. After a short time he left his employ to work for the Erie Railroad car shop in Elmira. When the shop was destroyed by fire, he returned to photography and worked with Elmira photographer A. P. Hart. By 1864, Whitley had opened his own photography gallery in Elmira.

bmarshphd | May 28, 2014 at 5:59 pm | Tags: Elmira, John Whitley, Oswego | Categories: Mustaches (Only The Best) | URL: http://wp.me/pnHKU-2hh

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bmarshphd posted: " An unidentified photographer produced this wonderful photograph of a stern looking elderly man. Fortunately, the subject of this portrait is identified.  The reverse of the photograph has an inscription (see image below) indicating that the subject's na"

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HARLEY S. PLACE: PORTRAIT OF AN ELDERLY FARMER IN KILLINGLY, CONNECTICUT

by bmarshphd

harley front

An unidentified photographer produced this wonderful photograph of a stern looking elderly man. Fortunately, the subject of this portrait is identified.  The reverse of the photograph has an inscription (see image below) indicating that the subject's name is "Harley Place". Harley Place is wearing clothing that indicates that he was a working man. He is wearing overalls and what appears to be a work shirt. Note his large hands. Those big mitts must have come in handy in his work as a farmer. Harley Smith Place was born in Rhode Island in 1856. He was married to Adreanna Place (1866-1933). She was eleven years his junior. The couple had five children; Walter, Cora, Everett, Reuben, and Jennie. The 1910 US census listed him as a farmer in Killingly, Connecticut. The 1920 census found he and his wife living with a niece and nephew in Killingly and still listing his occupation as farmer. The 1930 census reported Harley and Adreanna continuing to reside with their niece and nephew in Killingly. Harley Place died in 1940 and is buried in Glocester, Rhode Island. His gravestone can be seen below.

harley close

 

harley inscription

 

bmarshphd | May 27, 2014 at 11:34 am | Tags: Adreanna Place, Glocester, Harley Place, Killingly | Categories: Uncategorized | URL: http://wp.me/pnHKU-3y6

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bmarshphd posted: "A sweet young girl with her arms crossed leans against a chair at the V. Whitbeck studio in Hudson, New York. One wonders if Whitbeck ever noticed the major pattern clash between the fabrics of the girl's clothing and the chair.  The reverse of the photog"

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SWEET GIRL LEANING ON A CHAIR AND CLASHING FABRICS IN HUDSON, NEW YORK

by bmarshphd

SWEET GIRL_0001A sweet young girl with her arms crossed leans against a chair at the V. Whitbeck studio in Hudson, New York. One wonders if Whitbeck ever noticed the major pattern clash between the fabrics of the girl's clothing and the chair.  The reverse of the photograph has advertising that indicates that Whitbeck was successor to a photographer named Forshew. Frank Forshew (1827-1895) established his photography business in 1850 in Hudson, a small city on the banks of the Hudson River in upstate New York. He began as a daguerrian and progressed through the stages of photography, eventually producing cdv's, cabinet cards, and stereoviews. He sold his business to Volkert Whitbeck (1843-?) in the early 1890's. Whitbeck had joined the business after his discharge from the Union army in 1863. Whitbeck had enlisted into the 14th NY Infantry (Co K) as a corporal. Before his mustering out on 5/23/1863, he had reached the rank of sergeant. Records indicate that he remained in the reserves and continued to rise in rank reaching Captain. Whitbeck appears in the 1880 US census and at that point in time he worked as a photographer and shared his name and residence with his father. His father was a physician. Whitbeck's photography business is listed in many Hudson city directories. The latest one appears to be 1913.

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