Friday, September 8, 2017

Benjamin Pitman 1870's-1880's, Cincinnati, Ohio




The back reads:
"Benn Pitman
Courtroom reporter
in Lincoln Conspiracy
Trial
Introduced shorthand
system invented by
his brother."

This is my 100th post and almost the 6th anniversary of this blog! To celebrate the occasion I wanted to post a special photograph I've had for a while but never got around to putting on here.

Born in England in 1822, Benjamin "Benn" Pitman assisted his brother Issac in developing a system of shorthand, which he went onto popularize in America by publishing numerous textbooks and founding the Phonographic Institute. During the Civil War he served as a Union soldier before becoming a reporter and acting as the stenographer on the Lincoln assassination trials, during which he used the Pitman system of shorthand. In 1873 Pitman became involved in the arts and crafts movement in Cincinnati, Ohio and introduced the "Pitman School of Wood Carving" He promoted wood carving and other decorative arts as a new profession for women.

He also lived in an incredible house that served as a showcase for his students work as well as his own (here are some great pictures of it!). The house is still lived in today.

It's been an amazing 6 years running this blog. Here's to another 100 photographs!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Unknown Young Actress 1890's, New York, New York


This unique 1890's cabinet card depicts a young African American woman in an extravagant dress, with large puffed sleeves, lace, and a long train. Perhaps the most interesting part of this picture is the photography studio: Kern Bros Instantaneous Portraits. I couldn't find much on the Kern brothers, though a quick search showed that they mainly did portraits of actors, singers, and circus performers. The studio began in New York in the early 1890's as Obermuller and Kern and lasted into the 1900's. It's possible that this woman was a stage actress, though no more information is given on the picture.

If you know who this woman may be, let us know in the comments!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Unknown Wedding Party 1880's, Mapleton, Iowa

The back reads:
"Grandma and Grandpa's wedding picture
Aunt Til- Grandma's sister
Uncle John- Grandpa's brother"

This wedding photo looks to be from the 1880's. The bride is wearing a dark, possibly brown dress, which was cheaper and more practical than a white dress. In her hair she is wearing a crown of flowers with long, trailing vines, which were very popular at this time and into the early 1900's. Unfortunately, no last names are given so I can't find out who they are!

If you know who these folks may be, let us know in the comments!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Charles and Alice Tackels 1882, Amboy, Minnesota


Charles Tackels and Alice Crook were married on October 20th, 1882 in Amboy, Minnesota. I believe this is a wedding photo, so it was probably taken that same year. They had one daughter, Verna, born 1895. Charles died in 1906 and in 1930, Alice is living in St. Paul, Minnesota with Verna, who is a public school teacher.

If you know who this lovely couple may be, let us know in the comments!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Jennie Swagerty 1911, Ripley, Oklahoma


"Jennie Died May. 9 1922
Miss Jennie Swagerty
taken in Ripley Okla
Feb. 19, 11
Age 16
to my Sweetheart-"

Jennie Swagerty was born in Missouri in 1894 to parents John and Etta Swagerty. She worked on the family farm in Cimarron, Oklahoma until 1911, when she married Ray Buxton (probably the "sweetheart" mentioned on the card). The marriage certificate gives Jennie's age as 18, which means the age written on the back of the card may be incorrect. She died in 1922, at only 28 years old.

If you know who this person may be, let us know in the comments!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Phoebe Shearer 1890's, Rushville, Illinois


Inscription on the back:
"aunt Phoebe Shearer
Spinster sister of
Grandma (Mary Ann) Smith"

Phoebe Shearer was born in Pennsylvania in 1827. She had many siblings, including her sister Mary Ann Shearer who later married John Keysar Smith. I can't find much else on Phoebe, though the inscription on the back of the photo indicates she never married.

If you know who this woman may be, let us know in the comments!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Henrietta Bolz 1900's, New York




Henrietta "Nettie" Bolz was born in Brooklyn in 1886 to parents George and Agnes Bolz. She had 4 siblings: Elizabeth, Margaret, Hannah, and George. At age 24, she briefly worked in an embroidery factory as an embroiderer. She never married and lived with her parents until their deaths.


If you know who this may be, let us know in the comments!