Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Today's Shades' Old Photograph - Little Lord Fauntleroy X 3

Three beautiful brothers, two of whom are dressed in Little Lord Fauntleroy suits. Little Lord Fauntleroy was a book written by Francis Hodgson Burnett. The suits described and illustrated in her book proved extremely popular with doting mothers and hated by the young men who wore them. The suit was a black velvet jacket and breeches, sometime worn with an elaborate lace collar and fancy blouse, as seen here. The hair was worn in long ringlets. The main period that the suits were popular was 1886-1899, but the suits were worn into the 1920s.


Edward T. Billings'
photographic studios were located at the corner of Main and Fifth streets, in Racine. Wisconsin. He was born April 12, 1852, the son of Bradish D. and Eliza (Harry) Billings, natives of New York State and Cornwall. England, respectively.

Edward was eight years old when he came with his parents to Racine county where he lived on a farm. When he completed public school he studied photography. He established his gallery in 1872, andit was considered one of the finest galleries in the State.

On the 20th of March, 1877, he married Mary Easson, the daughter of Captain Larry and Alice (Green) Easson. They were the parents of two children, Harry and Edna.


Stamper, Anita A. Clothing Through American History: The Civil War Through the Gilded Age, 1861-1899. Greenwood : 2010.


Three Siblings. Cabinet Card. Billings, Edward T. Original Cabinet Card privately held by the footnoteMaven, Preston, Washington. 2007


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Today's Shades Old Photo - Second In The Siblings Series

Two little sisters in pinafores and bows.

McDonald's Studios
Ground Floor
301 South Michigan St. cor. Wayne
South Bend, Ind.
Duplicates of the Picture can be
had at any time.

McDonald had a showing at The Exhibition Of Photographs at The Chicago Convention. In 1887, The Photographic Times commented on his work; "McDonald of South Bend, Ind. showed some very good cabinet work, which was neatly and effectively mounted on 6 1/2 X 8 1/2 maroon cards, thus giving a liberal margin that neatly set off the picture."


Monday, August 22, 2011

Today's Shades Old Photograph

This week's series is Siblings.

Today's Shades Old Photograph starts the week with a series called Siblings. Three impeccably dressed siblings; the photographed was taken by Falk.

Benjamin J. Falk was born 14 October 1853 in New York City. He was one of the leading New York photographers who specialized in celebrities. He was a well-known New York photographer from the opening of his first studio at 347 E. 14th Street in 1877 to his death 19 March 1925. This photograph lists his address as 13 and 15 West 24th St., Madison Square. A studio he designed and opened in 1892.

He also had a studio at Twenty-third Street and Broadway, on the site of the present Flatiron Building. He left Twenty-third Street and Broadway and established a gallery in the Waldorf-Astoria at West 33rd Street. (Dates not yet determined.)

Are these children celebrities, or were their parents celebrities? Or were they just the children of wealthy parents who wanted them photographed by Falk?


Three Siblings. Cabinet Card. ca. 1892 - 1904. Original Cabinet Card Panel privately held by the footnoteMaven, Preston, Washington. 2007


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Twice Told Tuesday - Where Bad Citizens Are Made

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

Wouldn't You Hate America If It Met You This Way?
By Marie De Montalvo and Rose Falls Bres
The Delineator
March 1921

Read this story of what women and children endure at Ellis Island, where many immigrants get their first taste of America. Then, while you are still boiling with the sense of injustice and outraged decency, write your congressman that conditions must be changed.

Talk the cause of these immigrant women and children in your church. It will not stand for this gross violation of Christian principles. Talk it in your club. The hatred that Ellis Island breeds is spreading like a plague to increase the discontent which menaces our institutions and the Government itself.

Like A Vision
The Great City Rises
Before The Newcomers
Kingstone View Company

Do you know what happens at Ellis Island, in the shadow of the Statute of Liberty, to the women who come to America from other lands because they think that this is the land of freedom, of justice, of plenty - women whose only crime is poverty, whose only offense is ignorance of our language and our ways?

Never mind the millions of men who are pouring into this country, and the millions more who are waiting over there to come, some with passports, waiting for a few inches of space on some American-bound ship, and millions more still waiting for passports. They constitute a problem of enormous importance - but we can leave it to the men. The thing that concerns the women of this country is that the proportion of women coming to this country is increasing and nothing is being done about it.

National and international problems are coming to a point of confusion and complexity which makes us feel that a man who seems to know what he thinks must be mistaken. Immigration is one of the complicated problems about which people think and feel, and hardly any one knows anything. Yet it may be possible to make one assertion which we can all agree to:

There are just two things to do with the immigrant - keep him out or treat him fairly.

Now, women of America! Do you know that women surrounded with children, carrying babies, squeezed into airless rooms among men, are found to stand day after day and week after week waiting for a man with a megaphone to yell their unpronounceable names at them so that they may know their relatives have come for them?

Do you know that after they disembark at Ellis Island they are pushed and jostled and shouted at and bullied by so-called "officials" whose qualification for the job seems invariably to have been a harsh voice and a hot temper?

Do you know that women with babies and luggage are forced to stand in line for at least half a day, and sometimes several days, and negotiate flights of stairs carrying with them everything they own on earth, before they pass their physical examinations which could all be performed much more quickly and effectively on the same floor?

Two thousand Men, women and children remained five days at
Ellis Island recently without bunks, and had to lie on the floor or sit
up all night, six squeezed together on each bench.
Brown Bros.

Do you know that there are 2,000 bunks on Ellis Island, provided with two blankets apiece; that because detained immigrants must be segregated into classes, only 1,500 of these beds are available - since if there are only 10 Chinese and the dormitory for the Chinese hold twenty-five, the remaining 15 bunks must remain empty rather than fill them with white people - and that recently on the Jewish holiday, Yom Kippur, 3,500 men, women, and children were without bunks and had to lie on the floor or sit up all night, six squeezed together on each bench?

Do you know that there is no place for women to wash themselves, their clothes and their babies, except at a sink out in the public hall? And no place to dry their clothes except strung over lines strung over their bunks in the unventilated dormitories, with bunks four deep up and down the walls, where they must remain anywhere from a single night to a year?

Can you imagine the mental attitude of government employees who stopped up the faucets in the eating halls because they might drip on the floors if immigrants were allowed to drink water with their meals?

Have you a picture of a baby whose underclothing remains unchanged for so long that its skin peels off with its garments when they are finally removed?

Do you know the inadequacy of the sanitary arrangements - such that a visitor hates to inspect them because their awful presence is made known long before they are visible to the eye?

In brief, do you smell Ellis Island when you read these words?

To Be Continued!
Next Twice Told Tuesday


Magazine and Photographs

"Where Bad Citizens Are Made."The Delineator, March 1921, 8.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Twice Told Tuesday - How Much Is That Baby In The Window?

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

The Delineator Child-Rescue Campaign. For The Child that Needs a Home and the Home that Needs a Child. Photographs were used to bring together the homeless child and the childless home. One of this country's most famous magazines, The Delineator published a Child Rescue Campaign combining sweet photographs of young children with a poignant story told in the style of the time.

Was this a Sofie's Choice? Did all seven go, or just these two? Probably the first photographs ever taken of these two young boys. The story of Charles and Vance.
Tissues required.

The two little faces who look into yours are those of Charles and Vance, who were considered by the Michigan Children's Home Society, St. Joseph, Michigan, May 2, 1908.

Their mother was a woman of good mental ability, and was married when very young, to a respectable young man in poor circumstances. She died at the age of twenty-five, the mother of seven children, the oldest being but a little more than seven years.

Overcome by sickness, poverty and distress, she laid down the burden of life, March 15, 1908, with the words, "Be good to my children."

The father, unable financially to hire a good housekeeper, and finding it impossible to secure the necessary help from friends and relatives, thought the best way to fulfill the wife's request to be good to the children was to secure help from outside and appealed to the Michigan Children's Home Society, which gave the needed assistance. Then came the parting. Friends and loved ones joined in the good-byes, and tears and kisses mingled.

Little Vance was so young that he was quickly attracted by new sights and scenes but not so with Charlie. He did not so easily forget the old associations, and, leaning his head upon the window in the car, he sobbed: "I want to go back to grandma's house."

Oh, the love and sympathy needed to comfort these little hearts that are breaking because those whom they have known and loved are taken away from them!

Will someone come to the rescue of these two bright, healthy boys, and give them a home together, that they need not be separated?


Magazine and Photograph

"The Delineator Child Rescue Campaign."The Delineator, September 1908, 405.