Unfortunately, there is no identifying information available related to this photograph. The photographer and subject are unidentified. The image features a well dressed African American man. The photograph is slightly smaller than a cabinet card.
The woman in this photograph is quite pretty.The photographer, J. R. Pearson, chose to pose her for a profile view. Pearson's studio was located In Pittsburgh, Pensylvania. An inscription on the reverse of the cabinet card has an inscription which identifies the subject as "Sheila Pape". The subjects first name was not easy to decipher so it is possible that "Sheila" is not the correct name.
The gentleman featured in this cabinet card has a terrific salt and pepper bushy beard. In fact, it is so terrific that this image qualifies to join cabinet card gallery's category "Beards (Only the Best). To see other great beards, click on the category. This photograph was produced by the Howe studio in Pittsfield, Maine. W. H. Howe is listed as a photographer in the Pittsfield Register (1904).
The top Cabinet card, by Jose Mora of New York, features actress Mlle. Rhea (1843-1899). Mlle Rhea was her stage name. She was actually Mlle Hortense-Berbe Loret and was born in Belgium to French parents. She began studying acting at age 20 upon the suggestion of an actor that she had met at a party. Her decision was also prompted by the death of her mother and financial reversals experienced by her father. She studied acting in Paris and in 1876 spent five years playing roles in Continental Europe. In 1881 she vacationed in England and decided to appear in British theater. She quickly learned English and in one months time, performed in Much Ado About Nothing in London. Shortly after, she travelled to America where she spent the majority of her remaining life. Her obituary in the New York Times indicates that her english was "somewhat incomplete" and he always performed with a pronounced french accent. She appeared frequently on the New York stage but was a fan favorite in the "provinces". This very popular actress died in Montmorency, France in 1899. The second cabinet card is a portrait of Mlle. Rhea that was probably taken some years after the first cabinet card. The actress appears somewhat older than in the first image. The second cabinet card was also produced by Mora.
This cabinet card features a lovely young woman posing for her portrait at the Thomas studio at 717 6th Avenue. Although the street address is provided, there is no mention of the town/city or state where the studio is located. Apparently Mr. Thomas was not much of a businessman, or else the printer of the card left out some content. I thought that some light research would successfully uncover the name of Thomas's hometown but I thought wrong. Initial research revealed that Thomas's first name was listed by his initials "S. A". Interestingly, a visit to my fellow cabinet card collector's site, "Forgotten Faces and Long Ago Places" (see blog roll), found a nice portrait of a couple by the Thomas studio, but once again, only the street address was given. Further, the style of the above photograph reveals that Thomas was a pioneer photographer of the cabinet card era. Hating to surrender, I made an obsessive deal with myself to give the research a bit more time. Somehow I stumbled upon the obituary of S. A. Thomas. The Photographic Times And American Photographer (1894) reported the death of "one of New York's oldest photographers". The article stated that Thomas started his gallery in 1853 and it was located opposite Bryant Park in New York City. The mystery of the studio's location was solved. The obituary also mentioned that Thomas specialized in photographing children. At the time of his death, Thomas was 71 years old.
This cabinet card by John Strunk features a well dressed couple. Strunk must have been very productive at his studio in Reading, Pennsylvania. The cabinet card gallery displays multiple photographs created by him. It is interesting to note that his work is usually very professional and often has unusual content. Check out his work at the cabinet card gallery category "Photographer: Strunk". This particular photograph does not fall into the unusual class. However, this couple appears to be "ethnic". What does "ethnic" mean in this context? The couple, simply stated, have an appearance that may indicate that they are immigrants to the United States. Obviously, this hypotheses is little more than a guess, considering the absence of identifying information about the pair.
An adorable little girl in a cute dress poses for her portrait at the Strunk studio in Reading, Pennsylvania. This bright eyed and partially smiling child stands beside a wicker chair. To learn more about John Strunk, and to view many more of his photographs, click on the category "Photographer: Strunk".