Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Lillian Russell

Lillian Russell's Portraits Outselling All Others
Mrs. Langtry's Pictures No Longer Popular

~ New York Times ~
25 February 1883

What we know from the photograph:

(1) The card mount measures 4 1/8 in. by 8 1/2 in. and is 0.063 in. thick, the photograh measures 3 1/2 in. X 7 1/2 in. The edges of the card are beveled. The card stock's original color appears to have been buff or tan (matte finish) front and back.

(2) The photographer’s imprint on the front (recto) of the photograph lists the photographer as The Falk Studio, 14 and 16 West 33rd St. N.Y.

(3) Handwritten in ink on the verso is Lillian Russell in "Lady Teazle." For story of her home Dec. 18. In small print at the bottom of the card is Lillian Russell panel cabinet card.

Card Analysis:

The card is smaller than a true Panel card, ca. 1900. Panel cards generally measure 4 in. X 8 1/2 in. for the image and 8 X 13 for the mount. It is also similar to a Boudoir card which measures 5 in. X 8 1/4 in., ca 1890.

Conclusion: The card properties are only one clue and do not offer a definitive answer. The card is consistent with cards printed 1890 to early 1900s.

Photographer and Imprint Analysis:

Benjamin J. Falk was one of the leading New York photographers who specialized in celebrities. His studio was originally at Twenty-third Street and Broadway, on the site of the present Flatiron Building. He was a well-known New York photographer in the 1880s. He left Twenty-third Street and Broadway and established a gallery in the Waldorf-Astoria at West 33rd Street.

The imprint contains the address only and is located on the front of the card.


The Flatiron Building construction was completed in 1902. Falk would have had to have moved to the Waldorf-Astoria at least one year prior in 1901. I have found no information that indicates that Falk ceased operation of his business at any time. We will assume for purposes of this discussion that he occupied the West 33rd Street premises from 1901 until his death on 19 March 1925.

The photographer's information indicates a time period of 1901-1925. The period of operation is consistent with the card properties analysis of the early to mid-1900s.

Lillian Russell Analysis:

Here we have a significant clue. Lillian Russell is depicted in what was called a character portrait, Russell as the character "Lady Teazel".

In 1904, John Kendrick Bangs and Roderick C. Penfield created a comic opera version of Sheridan's play "The School For Scandal" for Lillian Russell. The role of "Lady Teazel" was played by Miss Russell. The photograph used to advertise the play at the Casino Theatre in 1904, in the New York Times, is very similar to our Photo of the week.

Miss Russell died in 1922 and it appears that "Lady Teazle" was her last role on the stage.


The Lillian Russell in this photograph looks the approximate age of the advertisement in the New York Times. The advertisement and the role of "Lady Teazle" are dated 1904. The play ran from December 1904 into 1905. Lillian Russell did not appear as "Lady Teazle" after this run. The first run of Russell as "Lady Teazle" would be the most likely time for the character portrait to have been taken and sold, as this would have been the period when it was most economically viable.

The biography (role 1904, death 1922), photographer (West 33rd St. 1901, death 1925), and card stock analysis information are consistent with the date of the cabinet card being 1904/05.

Lillian Russell's story is too amazing not to explore. From her four marriages, to her affair with Diamond Jim Brady, her work as a suffragette, her fact finding mission on immigration for President Harding, and her beauty, she led a very full life.



Darrah, William C. Cartes de Visite in 19th Century Photography. Gettysburg: Darrah, 1981.

McCulloch, Lou W. Card Photographs, A Guide To Their History and Value. Exton, Pennsylvania: Schiffer 1981.


Unknown, "Benjamin J. Falk Obituary," The New York Times, 22 March 1925. Online archives. http://access.newspaperarchive.com : 2008.

Unknown, "Faces of The Noted" The New York Times, 25 February 1883. Online archives. http://access.newspaperarchive.com : 2008.

Unknown, "Lady Teazle in Baltimore" The New York Times, 20 December 1904. Online archives. http://access.newspaperarchive.com : 2008.


Russell, Lillian. Photograph. ca. 1904. Digital image. Original Cabinet Card Panel privately held by the footnoteMaven, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Preston, Washington. 2007

Lady Teazle Advertisement, New York Times Historical Database, December 25, 1904, New York, N.Y.
(http://proquest.umi.com/ : retrieved 15 March 2008).


Friday, May 27, 2011

The Overstuffed Baby Comes Full Circle!

"A superb story - blogging works!" 
~ Randy Seaver ~

As you read yesterday, Shades and the Overstuffed Baby made a connection. I was contacted by Dorothy Gray's granddaughter, Emelie Williams, who wrote and has sent Shades photographs of Dorothy's life, bringing our story full circle. 

From Emelie Williams:
I was bowled over when her baby photo came on my monitor.

God love the internet and people who love history.

We are fortunate to have quite a lot of photos from Dorothy's side of the family. She kept scap books that have some portraits of family members and also some of Virginia City, Tonapah and Goldfield. 

 Dorothy's Engagement Portrait

I must say that your detective work on her photograph was very accurate and your methodology may prove helpful as we are piecing together some of our unknown people. She was indeed born June 20, 1907 in Goldfield, so your theory that she was about 6 months old was correct. They were Catholic and that looks like a Christening gown. So your thought about going to Silver City has great possibilities. 

As the secretary for the School Lunch program
Washoe County, Nevada

I will look forward to reading more about preserving, sleuthing, researching and opening up the paths to the past in your future issues. 

Thank you, Emelie

Emelie, the thanks is all mine. Yes, the internet is a wonderful place and this story is proof that we all have the opportunity to make a connection, to break down a brick wall, to come full circle. 

Yes, thank you Emelie, for contacting Shades and for being so generous with your family history. It was such a pleasure to find that the research of a photograph of a baby with nothing more than a name resulted in such accurate work. It is so encouraging.

And now, it is on to preserving, sleuthing, researching and opening up the paths to the past.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Shades and The OverStuffed Baby Make A Connection

It is the reason why we do the things we do!

Shades received the following email from Emelie Williams:
Thank you for posting this! Believe it or not, Dorothy was my grandmother. She died last April (2010) in Reno, Nevada at age 102.
Her eyes were always her most noted feature -- clear, sky blue eyes. She was proudest of being a native Nevadan. Her grandparents from both sides immigrated in the 1850s and 1860s for the gold and silver rush and she was the second generation born in the US.
Dorothy was loved and adored by her parents as she was the only child to survive beyond age 4. Four sons did not due to childhood illnesses. Her uncle, William Counihan was a miner from Virginia City and moved to Montana for their mining rush. I suppose this is how baby Dorothy's photo got to Montana.
Dorothy still has three children aged 77 to 82 who are researching their past.
Thank you so much Emelie for telling us the story of baby Dorothy! We research, we write, and sometimes we are rewarded.

Dorothy Margaret Gray

Today's Twitter #ShadesOP is an interesting orphan photograph with several clues. I purchased the photograph in an antique store in Missoula, Montana. The staff had lovingly nicknamed the photograph "overstuffed baby," and you can see why.

While I don't specifically collect photographs of babies, I was drawn to this particular baby, because of her eyes. They are beautiful and looking at them you must wonder just what color were they.

While the photograph has been identified on the verso, a good detective will never assume that the information is correct. The information must be investigated. That is what follows with the analysis of "the overstuffed baby."

What We Know From The Photograph:

(1) The card mount measures 5 in. X 7 in. and is 1.30mm thick. The photograph measures approximately 3 in. by 4 in. The corners of the card are rounded, the edges are beveled. The card stock is black morie silk, there is a raised embossed oval around the photograph. The back of the mount is a dark gray color with no photographic imprint.

It is an exceptionally well done trim of the oval. The photograph is clear with excellent contrast and is perfectly centered. The photograph appears to be of very good quality.

(2) The photographer’s imprint on the front (recto) of the photograph lists the photographer as O. L. Dowe, Artistic Fotografer. There is no address.

(3) The back of the mount reads Dorothy Margaret Gray, Goldfield, Nev., October 13, 1907. There is no photographers imprint.

Card Analysis:

The card is consistent with mounts of the 1900s in both size, thickness, board, bevel, and color.

Photographer and Imprint Analysis:

O. L. Dowe was Oscar L. Dowe. Dowe was active in Lovelock, Nevada, in 1891, 1901, 1904 and operated the Big tent below the Catholic Church" in Silver City, Nevada.

From 1879-80 Dowe was a retoucher with Davidson Brothers in Portland, Oregon. Dowe operated as an itinerate photographer in California, Idaho, Nevada from 1890 - 1919. No fixed address is listed; several of the time periods list his studio as a tent.

The Biographies of Western Photographers
lists Dowe as Oscar S. The census and this imprint list Dowe as Oscar L.

The problem with this information is that we can not determine the exact location where the photograph was taken. While the back of the card indicates Goldfield, Nevada, biographies for Dowe do not indicated that he operated in Goldfield. During this period of time, 1907, Dowe is listed as operating his studio in a tent in and around Silver City, Nevada.

Dorothy Margaret Gray Analysis:

The 1910 Census lists William Gray and his wife Emma living on East Elliott Street in Goldfield, Nevada with their two children, Dorothy age 2, and a son Gordon age 3 months. William works as a bookkeeper for a mining company.

Gold was discovered at Goldfield in 1902, the year of the town's inception. By 1904 the Goldfield district produced about 800 tons of ore, valued at $2,300,000, 30% of the Nevada's production that year. This remarkable production caused Goldfield to grow rapidly, and it soon became the largest town in Nevada.Goldfield reached a peak population of about 30,000 people in 1906. In 1907 Goldfield became the county seat.

In 1920 we find William Gordon Gray, his wife Mary Emma, and twelve year old daughter Dorothy living on University Street in Nye County Nevada in the Township of Tonapa . William is working as a pay teller in a bank. Missing from the Gray home is baby Gordon. Too young to have already left home since the last census, it can be assumed that baby Gordon has died sometime between the 1910 and 1920 census.

On 18 and 19 April 1910, Dorothy is listed in the census as being two years old. That would make her date of birth between 18 and 19 April 1907 and 18 and 19 April 1908. The baby in the photograph only looks as if it is a few months old. The birth date of 13 October 1907 would be consistent with the baby being approximately 6 months old at the time of the photograph.

Clothing Analysis:

The satin and lace trim on the bonnet and cape, the embroidered shoes indicated that this was clothing for a special occassion, not clothing purchased for a studio portrait. The clothing would be consistent with christening outfits of the early 1900s.


It has been determined that Dowe operated his photography business in numerous locations in California, Idaho, and Nevada from 1890 until 1919 as a traveling photographer. Although his biography does not indicate he had a studio in Goldfield in 1907, Goldfield was a Nevada boom town beginnng in 1906 and Dowe could have easily traveled there to take advantage of the newly rich miners, mine operators, their employees and their families. Therefore, the photograph could have been taken during 1907 or later, and the photograph could have been taken in Goldfield.

In the alternative, we know that studio portraits were taken to mark a passage in the portrait sitter's life. Although the date listed on the back of the photograph is October 13, 1907, it may be the date of Dorothy's birth rather than the date the photograph was taken. As such this may be a photograph of Dorothy's christening and the date would be around 13 April 1908. The clothing is consistent with christening outfits of the early 1900s.

Both William and Mary Emma are of Irish descent. If their religion is Catholic, they might have traveled to Silver City to the Catholic Church to have Dorothy christened. Just down from the church in Silver City was Dowe's tent. The Grays may have gone directly from church to the tent for a photograph to commenorate the event.

This is far too much supposition and too little proof, but does show the process of analysis.



Darrah, William C.
Cartes de Visite in 19th Century Photography. Gettysburg: Darrah, 1981.
MacPhail, Anna. The Well Dressed Child. Atglen, Pennsylvania: Schiffer, 1999.
McCulloch, Lou W.
Card Photographs, A Guide To Their History and Value. Exton, Pennsylvania: Schiffer 1981.
Mace, O. Henry.
Collector's Guide To Early Photographs.Iola, Wisconsin: Krause, 1999.
Mautz, Carl. Biographies of Western Photographers. Nevada City, California: Carl Mautz Publishing, 1997.
Nickell, Joe. Camera Clues. Lexington, Kentucky: University
Press of Kentucky, 1994.
Palmquist, Peter.
Pioneer Photographers Of The Far West A Biographical Dictionary, 1840-1865. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 2000.
Severa, Joan.
Dressed For The Photographer. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1995.


1900 U.S. census, Inyo County, California, population schedule, 1-Twp, p. 2, dwelling 48, family 48, O. L. Dowe (Head); digital images. Heritage Quest (http://persi.heritagequestonline.com/ : retrieved 2 May 2008); citing NARA microfilm publication T623, roll 87. Occupation - photographer.

1910 U.S. census, Esmeralda County, Nevada, population schedule, Goldfield, p. 82, dwelling 99, family 100, William Gray (Head); digital images.
Heritage Quest (http://persi.heritagequestonline.com/ : retrieved 2 May 2008); citing NARA microfilm publication T624, roll 858.

1920 U.S. census, Nye County, Nevada, population schedule, Tonopah, p. 84, dwelling 369 , family 374, William Gordon Gray (Head); digital images. Heritage Quest (http://persi.heritagequestonline.com/ : retrieved 2 May 2008); citing NARA microfilm publication T625, roll 1005.


Dorothy Margaret Gray. Photograph. 13 October 1907. Digital image. Privately held by the footnoteMaven, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Preston, Washington. 2007


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Many Things Thurday - Burton Homes & My Grandfather at The George Eastman House

"The time has come," the Walrus said, "to talk of many things."

Thursday, on Shades Of The Departed, will be dedicated to
many things,
and nothing in particular.

Many Things Thursday

My Grandfather and His Straw

A Close-Up

A photograph found with this one has written on the reverse, "Everywhere you go there's someone to take your picture." Usually those taking the photographs were Holmes and Greene.

E. Burton Holmes and E. Jesse Greene traveled the world together taking photographs and making films for the Burton Holmes empire. Always, I might add, dressed to the nines no matter where they were in the world.

Burton Holmes was a mega star of his day; for sixty years he was America's most famous travel showman. Yes, Burton Holmes traveled the world, but he didn’t travel alone. Producing the Burton Holmes lectures required the efforts of a close knit group of tough ground-breaking professionals. While much has been written about Burton Holmes’ career, little has been known about the men and women who traveled with him and contributed to his empire.

One of those men was my grandfather, Edward Jesse Greene. Greene left school at sixteen to begin his career with Holmes. Burton Holmes personally gave my grandfather an education in photography, travel, and the world. The stories of my grandfather and his association with Holmes, as well as his personal photographs are my legacy.

The George Eastman House has acquired several hundred of Holmes' films and is working to preserve his legacy. They have released the following video.

View more interesting occupations in the May/June
Issue of Shades published this week!


Holmes & Greene. Unmounted Photograph. Photographer Unknown. Unknown. Privately held by the footnoteMaven,  Preston, Washington. 2008


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Twice Told Tuesday - Occupations - Photography & Women

Twice Told Tuesday features a photography related article reprinted from
my collection of old photography books, magazines, and newspapers.

Shades reprints a chapter from the book on Occupations For Women, describing Women and Photography. Don't miss Shades Of The Departed Magazine - out this week with a look at occupational photographs.

PHOTOGRAPHY is especially adapted to a woman's artistic taste and delicate touch. Many girls practicing photography as amateurs, do their work well and it seems unaccountable why so many who reach a creditable degree of excellence in the work should be satisfied and so cease to produce better results. Why should they not continue in the art, master every detail, enter the field as professionals, and pursue the work as a business? Hundreds of women might accomplish far more in this occupation than at present.

Is it lack of energy, of courage or capital that deters them? It cannot be lack of energy, for the hours spent in the work by the ambitious, enthusiastic and painstaking amateurs prove the contrary. It should not be on account of insufficient courage, for it has been said that "the business woman is a nineteenth century production. She is honestly proud of her work, and of being a link in the great chain which keeps the business world moving." The hesitation should not be based upon the plea of "no capital," for the bright, determined girl of the present will always overcome this difficulty.
The work is not too difficult for a woman. For years it was regarded as a particularly occult and mysterious process, requiring a special gift, a knowledge of chemistry and years of professional study. During these years photography, to the woman, suggested untidy work, blackened hands, and soiled aprons. Today it is acknowledged to be a fascinating work, easily understood, requiring no superior knowledge, and demanding but a comparatively short time of study and preparation.
The introduction of electric lights, dry plates, light machinery, and dainty photographic devices renders the work more agreeable and available to women besides offering at the present day a most inviting field.
Nearly two-thirds of a photographer's patrons are women and children, and a woman photographer of pleasing manners, obliging disposition and artistic sense is most successful in securing happy results when the critical moment of posing arrives. There is but one best position, one best view of all objects. It is acknowledged that in woman the artistic sight is more perfectly developed than in man. This natural gift enables her to immediately discover the one best position--the one best view of her subject.
A woman quickly grasps the beautiful and harmonious in nature and in art. She naturally understands posing, colors in dress, and all the details that make up the artistic photographs of women and children. She will quickly tell why this line, shade or curve is more desirable. She possesses the faculty of bringing out the best in the patron who poses before her.
Many years elapsed in the history of photography before the public became assured of these neutral gifts in women--gifts so admirably adapted to this work, so favorably suited to its success. The photographers in several of our cities were assured of woman's efficiency in this work after securing her aid in their studios. It was when thus employed as assistants that women fully realized their adaptability, discovered opportunities for improvement, and resolved to pursue the work as a profession.
Julia Margaret Cameron
Mrs. Julia Cameron, of England, early realized that the ideal portrait consists in portraying a glimpse of a man's soul; not only the face but the intellect, the genius, the spirit in its completeness--these must all enter into the faithful portrait. This she aimed to accomplish and seldom has the work been more satisfactorily accomplished. She produced portraits which were an immediate inspiration to others who were striving to do sincere and truthful work. It is said: "She was of a most distinguished and fine nature, and was of unique pre-eminence in the profession of which she has made a great and noble name." Tennyson was her neighbor, and often he posed for her. The faces of Browning, Carlyle, Sir John Herschel, Charles Darwin and Tennyson were among her noblest of English portraits. In these she succeeded in portraying the loftiest aim and the utmost steadfastness which were the principles of their lives. It is this that vivifies their portraits. "When I have had these men before my camera," she once said, "my whole soul has endeavored to do its duty toward them in recording faithfully the greatness of the inner as well as the features of the outer man." This is the secret of her power and her success: "Truth in art for truth's sake." It has been said that her work merits comparison only with the best portraits from the old masters.
London to-day has the most celebrated woman photographer in the world. Miss Alice Hughes, the daughter of Edwin Hughes, the portrait painter, has earned this enviable reputation.
Her photographs are more expensive than any others produced in London, and yet she is scarcely able to attend to her orders. Her work is all done at her home in Gower street, London, and here there are no surroundings usually associated with photographic galleries, No outward sign on portal or windows suggests the atelier. Her studio is built out over the garden and from the drawing-room one descends to it by three or four steps. The secret of her success is that she makes her subjects perfectly at ease. She lets them pose themselves and makes only the changes that are absolutely necessary. Among her photographs are nearly all of our American girls who married Englishmen, from Lady Randolph Churchill to Lady Terence Blackwood.
Mrs. Emily Stokes of Boston, is an example of what a woman may accomplish in photography. When compelled by misfortune to give up her London home, she came to America to begin life among strangers. Having been associated with enthusiastic photographers in England, and believing that the position could be filled by women as well as men, she resolved to enter the field as a professional. For sixteen years she has aimed to produce the true child portrait. She has conquered difficulties, and is an enthusiastic and successful artist. "This one thing I know," she said brightly, and it would be well if many girls could say the same. "I know every detail of the work; it is the only way to success," she added, as she glanced about the room at the pictures of sweet child faces.
Since the first public exhibition of photographs in London in 1852, and especially since the Paris Exposition in 1889, photography as an art has steadily advanced, and in the recent exhibitions in European and American cities the photographs executed by many women have been an inspiration urging others to enter the field. Not only have these women exhibited portraits, but their photographs of landscapes, marine views, mineral and vegetable specimens have won for them a wide reputation.
Frances Benjamin Johnston
Some of the most beautiful photographs in the United States have been produced by Miss Johnston, of Washington. She has attained a superior degree of excellence in all her work. As a professional she ranks among the list of leading photographers in the country. The truthfulness and artistic beauty in all her photographs have earned for her a name pre-eminent among photographers. She has done much work for newspapers and magazines, giving to the public truthful pictures of much that is constantly occurring in the public life of the capital city.

Miss Beatrice Tonnesen
Miss Beatrice Tonnesen, of Chicago, has opened a studio in that city, and her photographs of women and children, especially the latter, are already noted for their beauty.
Mrs. Farnan, a California woman, has earned the reputation of accomplishing remarkable results in photography.
In February, 1896, the Youth's Companion offered prizes for the eight best amateur photographs submitted during the following six months. Over six thousand photographs were received in response to the offer. Miss Emma Farnsworth, of Albany, N. Y., submitted a most truthful scene, "When the Day's Work is Done." This was awarded the first prize, and strikingly illustrates the perfection to which a young woman has brought her art.
Others who obtained prizes were Mrs. Sarah Holm, of Wisconsin, and Miss Kate Matthews, of Kentucky.
The girl who decides to leave the army of amateurs and enter the professional arena must feel assured that she has patience, an artistic taste, determination and business ability. She must be willing to inform herself of the multitudinous operations to be performed; she must expect waste and loss, and she must be able to rise above disappointments and trials. To be successful in working a "four-by-five" outfit does not imply an equal success with an "eighteen-by-twenty-two." The ability to make a few blue-prints daily does not mean equal success in producing five hundred to one thousand a day in albumen, ilo or platinotype[.] To be able to please a few interested, intimate friends is widely different from contending with the capriciousness of disinterested strangers. To take a picture and secure a local artist to do all the work requires little ability when compared with understanding the operating, printing, mounting and finishing. Possession and production are widely different in their meaning. It is one thing to work for pleasure and one's self and quite another to work for profit and the public.
Too often a girl thinks if she buys a camera, some plates and a few chemicals she can become a photographer. In her mind all that is necessary is to expose the plate properly, develop it, print from it, tone and fix the prints, and then the art will be mastered. She forgets that few can expose a plate with perfect success, that judicious, painstaking care is necessary to develop it, and that toning requires skill. It must not be supposed that with the cheapness of material and the present comparative simplicity in applying it, the pictures require less care than formerly. The conditions of light and composition are the same as they were in the early days of photography, and the laws of lenses and theories of light must still be studied with the greatest care.
The girl who would be a photographer should consider her adaptability for the work, and, having decided to pursue the occupation, she will do well to work with some reliable firm. When once an opportunity is found in some photographic studio she must work earnestly and hard in learning the details of the work. After a short time is given she will obtain a position as assistant in the work. If she be on the alert for opportunities she will, when fitted, find the right locality and here build up a business of her own. The cost of materials, furniture, rent, wages and the fund for emergencies must then be considered. One young woman of the East fitted up a skylight for fifty dollars. The expense incurred will vary according to the taste of the young woman. Once furnished and equipped the subsequent outlay is but trivial, and if good work is furnished the profits are assured. A young woman may choose to devote herself to but one branch of the work. Should she excel she will find with determination the opportunity of assisting in some large studio. The operator and the one who poses the subject hold positions of importance and responsibility and are usually paid the highest salary. An education in photographic science is required, a knowledge of light and its effects, an artistic taste, and a knowledge of theories that constitute art in portraiture. Women who excel in these, who are professionals, will receive from fifteen to fifty dollars a week.
Especially adapted to a woman's delicate touch is the process of retouching photographic negatives. Before entering upon this branch of the work it is essential that she should draw and possess a knowledge of anatomy, especially of the face, neck and shoulders. If the work be undertaken without this knowledge, distorted, unnatural productions will be shown, and failure will result. The work also requires strong eyes, for the use of artificial light is a constant strain upon the eye. The amount paid for this work in large cities varies from ten to fifteen dollars a week.
Printing is the most interesting part of the work. Several women in the larger studios receive from twelve to eighteen dollars each week.
Girls who enter the work to mount the pictures should be alert, detect at a glance any imperfection, and must have artistic feeling.
During the past thirty years there has been a demand for the application of color to photographs, and to-day hundreds of young women are devoting themselves to supplying the demand. The technique of the work is simple. Many women earn from twelve to fifteen dollars a week by executing orders. After a short course of study they are able to earn more. A knowledge of drawing is necessary, or the artist is unable to produce form, and the work is flat or distorted; there must also be a knowledge of color, or the tints will be dry and hard.
One young lady of the East has supplied the teachers of schools with figure subjects. She has reproduced with exactness the little dramas and comedies of life. Here there are pictures of boys, their work and pastimes; school girls in their natural pleasures or duties. Kites, hoops, marbles, tops, dogs, are all so truthfully pictured that the teacher is seldom required to tell long stories for the children's amusement and instruction, for the photograph's explanation is clear, and from these the numerous stories are told or written.
Another young woman with her camera has reproduced engravings, and her copies of famous old pictures in European galleries and prized ones in America, have earned for her reputation and profit.
One woman makes a specialty of children's photographs, another confines her work to landscapes, a third takes photographs of interesting events in the city and sends them to the illustrated papers.
Everywhere in the scientific world the power of the photographic camera has been felt. Physics, Chemistry, Mechanics, Astronomy, Zoology convince one that by patience and study a woman may put her camera to a most excellent use.
Many eminent scientists are constantly preparing and publishing scientific papers. However perfect their language may be, however clearly their thoughts may be expressed, the words are often found inadequate to convey an actual visual impression. These papers, to satisfy the public and make the thoughts of more value, should be illustrated. The old illustrations of mammals, birds, reptiles and fish are frequently untrue, misshapen representations.
The young woman whose photographic work possesses merit and accuracy may in this field pursue her work to most profitable ends and to the advancement of learning. This field is full of interest to the gifted young photographer, but one in which ingenuity is demanded.
This is an age of books and book illustrations. The various processes of book illustration are annually enriched by new applications of photography. The present knowledge of the flights of birds and the motions of animals can be produced by the camera in a most accurate degree. Here the young woman may choose her work, and if she would succeed she must strive for the best and seek to do not only good work but a superior quality of work.
Willard, Frances Elizabeth. Occupations for women: a book of practical suggestions for the material advancement, the mental and physical development, and the moral and spiritual uplift of women.Cooper Union, N.Y.: The Success Co., 1897. 504.


Unknown, photographer. “[Frances Willard, portrait bust]” Glass negative. Washington, D.C. : Library of Congress, 1867. From Library of Congress: George Grantham Bain Collection, [no date recorded on caption card]. (accessed September 19, 2008).

Cameron, Julia Margaret. Self-Portrait. Date Unknown. Wikipedia.

Frances Benjamin Johnston with camera on balcony of Treasury Building, Washington, D.C., 1888. Photographer Unknown.
Reproduction number: LC-USZ62-91952 (b&w film copy neg.)

Unknown photographer. Beatrice Tonnesen. Godey's Magazine. Published by The Godey company, 1897. p. 124


Monday, May 16, 2011

Exhibition of Young America: Daguerreotypes of Southworth and Hawes

An addition to my new fascination with videos about old photographs.

Hear about the former occupations of Southworth and Hawes
in preparation for the May/June Issue of Shades

This Week!


Monday, May 9, 2011


I spent Mother's Day afternoon again trying my hand at building a video. Here is another attempt. I have so much to learn, but I promised myself this would be the year I mastered some of the programs I am so fortunate to own.

Here for your enjoyment are a few Mother's from another time. Caution to those who are at work. A music box plays in the video.

Photographs of Mother's of Old.


Saturday, May 7, 2011

May Is National Scrapbooking Month - Today Is National Scrapbooking Day

Marry the two fastest growing avocations and what do you have? Heritage Scrapbooking. But just as your family has history, so does the pastime of scrapbooking.

SCRAPBOOKS An American History
Jessica Helfand

One only has to look at these scrapbooks to realize that history isn't what historians tell us.

~ Jessica Helfand ~

Scrapbooks by Jessica Helfand examines scrapbooks from the nineteenth century to the present, concentrating particularly on the first half of the twentieth century. The book is filled with color photographs from more than 200 scrapbooks; some made by private individuals and others by the famous, including: Zelda Fitzgerald, Lillian Hellman, Anne Sexton, Hilda Doolittle and Carl Van Vechten.

This book is so fascinating, I'm not sure I'll ever be able to put it down. I am so taken with the hundreds of examples of yesterday's scrapbooks, their brush with history, their tangible examples of real life. The scrapbooking of yesterday seems so far removed from that of today; they're not a contrived version of history or life. And yes, green!

These scrapbooks of old are filled with the bits and pieces of their authors' lives. Ticket stubs, torn letters, stamps, fabric, string, and a thousand things we throw out on a daily basis.

There are several scrapbooks shown with very inventive themes. I was particularly drawn to the scrapbook of locks of hair. My husband's family has a photo album filled with locks of a cherished child's hair. A child who died young and tragically. Do we still collect locks of hair? I don't know anyone who does. The album of monograms, once a very prevalent part of life, was graphically beautiful.

Modern day scrapbookers can draw on some of the more inventive ideas and incorporate them in today's themes. F. Scott Fitzgerald's mother had a scrapbook page of his signature at different ages, starting at five. What a brilliant idea! I am going to do this for my grandson's.

Of this project the author, Jessica Helfand tells us:

This project percolated in my brain (and my sketchbooks) for years until I realized that scrapbooks were simply visual autobiographies filled with stories waiting to be told. I am fascinated with the degree to which non-visual people felt, for whatever reason, compelled to keep these remarkably visual records of their lives. Its a chapter in American history (and in graphic design history) that has not been told: in my book I call it outsider art with insider knowledge. It's raw and primitive and heartbreaking and real, and if it bears little if any resemblance to contemporary scrapbooking, it's probably because a generation ago, people made things from the detritus of their lives: they rescued things, saved and savored them, and pasted them in the pages of books. And therein lies the scrapbook's particular and enduring magic.

Jessica also authors a blog called The Daily Scrapbook with beautiful examples of some of the scrapbooks she's collected.

This richly illustrated book is the first to focus on the history of American scrapbooks — their origins, their makers, their diverse forms, the reasons for their popularity, and their place in American culture. I loved it!

Take a look at this beautiful book and draw inspiration from the scrapbookers of old.

You might also be interested in:
Web Wandering Wednesday
Scrapbooks Of Old

Shades gives it:

A four out of four camera rating - Recommended Buy.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

From The PhotoHistory Dictionary


edu·cated (-kāt′id)


1. having, or showing the results of, much education
2. based on knowledge or experience an educated guess



Graduate. Card Mounted Photograph. Privately held by the footnoteMaven, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Preston, Washington. 2007