This formal portrait has a handwritten inscription on the back: "Rudolf Holsti, Tallinna, 1923, helmikussa." Tallinn is the capital of Estonia, and helmikussa means February in Finnish. Rudolf Holsti (1881-1945) became one of the founding fathers of the Republic of Finland after that country declared its independence from Soviet Russia in December 1917. He served... Continue Reading →
The two cartes-de-visite above were made by Henry Cushing in Windsor, Vermont, in February 1865. Windsor is on the Connecticut River, which forms the boundary between Vermont and New Hampshire. The town is connected to Cornish, NH, by the Cornish-Windsor Covered Bridge, the longest wooden covered bridge in the United States. Coincidentally, the portraits were... Continue Reading →
This snapshot was for sale in a shop near Bellows Falls, Vermont, called The Big Red Barn. The names of the women in the photo are written on the back, along with the location: Elliot Elm Cafe, Brattleboro, VT. I haven't found any information about the Elliot Elm Cafe, but the Elliot Street Cafe was located... Continue Reading →
Along the bottom edge of this photograph are the words "Tompkins Square Citizenship Aid Class," followed by "Intermediate." On the chalkboard at the back of the room, the teacher has helpfully recorded the date: Tuesday, March 15, 1921. The photo may be examined in higher resolution below. I've divided it into two parts. Click on... Continue Reading →
The two cartes-de-visite on this page came from an antiques dealer in Greenfield, Massachusetts, in the northwest part of the state. On the back of the carte above is the name Adolphe with a question mark: The portrait was made at the studio of E.v. Eggert, which probably stood for Emmanuel von Eggert (see... Continue Reading →
The name "L.C. Pike" is written on the back of this carte-de-visite. Generally a name on the back of a portrait refers to the sitter, but not always, so it's important to try to find corroborating information. I searched on Ancestry for an L.C. Pike who was about forty years old in the early 1860s and... Continue Reading →
The image above is the right half of a stereograph (stereoview) published by Benjamin West Kilburn and James M. Davis in 1898. The Klondike Gold Rush began in 1896 and lasted until 1899, with many fortune hunters arriving in the summer of 1898. Canadian authorities required all prospectors to bring a year's supply of food, weighing... Continue Reading →
This photograph came from a dealer in Llangefni, Wales, who didn't know where it had originated. It appears to be a gelatin silver print, mounted on heavy cardboard, and I'd guess it was made around 1900. Although the photo isn't particularly old, the image has a timeless quality. Nothing about it looks modern or industrial.... Continue Reading →
I’ve been playing tennis since I was twelve, so I always enjoy seeing rackets in portraits, even when they’re just props. This photobooth portrait is wonderful. I love the combination of a child’s racket with palm trees and pyramids.
Re-blogged from Photobooth Journal:
I adore the fact that this young lady thought to take her tennis racket into a photobooth! I’ve never seen another booth photo that memorialises a sport in this way. The background is interesting for its Egyptian theme of palm trees and pyramids. This is also something I haven’t seen before.
In faded handwriting on the back are these words. . .
My Spanish is good enough to make out some of the script on the back of this pic, but I am hoping someone out there might confirm that I have it right, or tell me where I have gone wrong!
A mi querida mama con todos el cariño, Julita – To my dear mother with all my love, Julita
The information on the bottom is too faded for me to make sense of. I am assuming it is a place-name and a date, 1945 being part of it?
If I could ask this handsome couple one question, it wouldn't be, "Why does it look like you're in North Africa?" No, it would be, "What is your relationship to each other?" My first assumption was that they were sister and brother, based on the way they're posed in the studio. Then I noticed she... Continue Reading →
The young man appearing on this carte-de-visite could be certain everyone would remember his profession. You might even say he was in tune with the latest trends in advertising and self-promotion. The one thing he neglected to do was write his name on the back, which is a pity. The CDV was made by James... Continue Reading →
I bought this photograph from a dealer in Finland, who told me it had come from the estate of a Jewish family. Finland was part of the Russian Empire from 1809 until December 6, 1917, when it declared independence from the new Soviet government in Petrograd (Saint Petersburg). A note about dates: the Julian calendar... Continue Reading →