Musical family in Finland (1915)

This postcard was sent from Helsinki (Swedish: Helsingfors), the capital of Finland, to the Finnish port town of Hanko (Hangö) on February 16, 1915.  At that time Finland was a Grand Duchy of the Russian Empire.  Because Russia was engaged in the First World War, the card had to be cleared by a wartime government... Continue Reading →

Siblings in harmony

I'm guessing they're siblings, but I can't say for sure.  This early cabinet card photo came from a collection of musical ephemera in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Two other posts featuring photos from the same collection are Music and baseball in the forest and "Waldfreunde" Mandolin Orchestra (1922).) Do their outfits suggest any particular place of origin? Despite... Continue Reading →

Poised and confident in Porto, Portugal

I found this carte-de-visite for sale in Massachusetts, which is the state with the second-highest number of Portuguese Americans (after California).  Who was this elegant young woman, posing confidently at an instrument a century and a half ago?  And what kind of instrument was it, exactly?  It looks too narrow to be a piano, yet... Continue Reading →

“Waldfreunde” Mandolin Orchestra (1922)

This photo came from a collector of banjos and musical ephemera in Boston, Massachusetts.  The names of the men in the photo are written on the back, along with the following inscription: Andenken an den Touristenverein Waldfreunde (Feuerbach) im Jahr 1922 This translates roughly to "Souvenir of the Waldfreunde touring group in the year 1922." ... Continue Reading →

Musician with Tanjore tambura

This 19th-century photograph was printed on very thin paper and glued to a stiffer paper mount.  At some point the mount was trimmed to the dimensions of a postcard, possibly so that it would fit into an album.  The back is blank.  I bought it from a dealer in Suffolk, England, who couldn't tell me... Continue Reading →

The piano tuner (Wales)

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 →

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