Myrtle Olson, San Francisco, Circa 1897

Myrtle Olson cc1Myrtle Olson cc2

Here’s a Cabinet Card of adorable Myrtle Olson, about seven or eight years old, posed for the photo wearing a plaid dress with long sleeves which are puffed from elbow to shoulder, a white collar and button-top boots.

Myrtle appears to be the daughter of Andrew P. Olson and Lina (Mayrisch) Olson, and is on the 1900 Federal Census, for San Francisco, with her mother (widowed) and older siblings, Bertha, Andrew and Emily.

The photo artist…

The studio address on the back shows 17 1/2 Treat Ave, the name being a little hard to read there; the first guess at it was …?…J. Van der Kaali [?] & Co. But luckily the photographer was found in the 1897 San Francisco city directory with a residence address of 17 Treat Ave, and with name clarified as William Vanderkay. Further verification (with middle initial and double “a” in Kaay, matching the stamp on the card) appears in the 1901 city directory for William J. van der Kaay, showing an address of 629 Union. Both directories list his occupation as photographer.

Cabinet Card, Circa 1897. Photographer:  William J. Van Der Kaay & Co. 

Availability Status:  SOLD.     Size:  4 and 1/4 x 6 and 1/4.”

Sources:  Year: 1900; Census Place: San Francisco, San Francisco, California; Roll: 107; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 0292; FHL microfilm: 1240107.

“Lina Olsen.” California, San Francisco Area Funeral Home Records, 1895-1985

Crocker-Langley San Francisco Directory, 1897. p. 1712. U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989.

Crocker-Langley San Francisco Directory, 1901. p.1796. U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989.

Frederick Russell Pope

Frederick Russell Pope cc1Frederick Russell Pope cc2

Cabinet Card, circa 1896. Photographer:  Duryea, Brooklyn, New York.

Price:  $20.00

Cabinet Card showing a beautiful photo of young Frederick Russell Pope, estimated age about four years old, taken by the Duryea photography studio, Brooklyn, New York. Russell was born May 25, 1892, in Brooklyn, according to his passport application made twenty-three years later. He is dressed and with hairstyle in the mode of the day, when it was common for young boys to be outfitted in what we today would just think of as girls’ clothing, and with longer haircut, shoulder length in this photo. The outfit is a plaid, pleated skirt; white blouse with scalloped lace edging, a ruffled collar and cuffs that turn up as far as the elbow; and a large light-colored plaid ruffled bow at the neck.

Here is Russell’s photo from his passport application:  a handsome young man at age 25. The passport shows his residence as 412 Avenue C, Brooklyn; that he was applying for the passport to travel to Germany and Switzerland, to reside abroad temporarily for about a year; and that his occupation was “Student & Teacher.”

Frederick R Pope Passport App Photo

Russell’s parents are William Pope and Annie Long, both born in England. He married M. Irene Decker, and he died July 16, 1940 in Greensboro, North Carolina, at age 48 (always sad to see the death certificates of people we feel we just got to know slightly through their photos, especially when the person dies young or relatively young.) The death cert shows he was a teacher, and residing at Guilford College, NC.

The 1930 Federal Census for White Plains, NY shows Russell, wife Irene and their three daughters, Ethel, Virginia and Joyce. Russell’s occupation on this census is Professor at “New York University” which may not have been the actual university name.

As to the photographer, there is more than one possibility for this last name in Brooklyn. We’ll do more research and update here asap.

Sources:  National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; NARA Series: Passport Applications, January 2, 1906 – March 31, 1925; Roll #: 277; Volume #: Roll 0277 – Certificates: 11501-11900, 20 Nov 1915-30 Nov 1915 (

North Carolina State Board of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics. North Carolina Death Certificates. Microfilm S.123. Rolls 19-242, 280, 313-682, 1040-1297. North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, North Carolina. (

Year: 1930; Census Place: White Plains, Westchester, New York; Roll: 1666; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0370; Image: 408.0; FHL microfilm: 2341400

Family Portrait By J. R. Johnson

Family Portrait By J R Johnson cc1Family Portrait By J R Johnson cc2

Cabinet Card, circa 1880s – 1890s. Possible photographer:  J. R. Johnson. Possible location California.

Price:  $6.00

The fourth of four Cabinet Cards found in the small Soquel, CA antique and vintage shop, and it’s possible they may have come from the same family, but unknown. There is no photographer printing or stamp on the front or back but there is a name on the back, (above the unfortunate tear) possibly a signature which shows  “J. R. Johnson.”  I think this may be the photographer’s name rather than the name of the father or son in the photo, or person it was given to. The odds are stacked against for this one in finding i.d. – common last name, first initials only, no location. But it’s a wonderful photo, even though the faces of the three, especially the mom and son, are very light. The photo shows a young couple, and their probably five or six-year old son. The man is seated on a wooden chair with his around around his son, the woman standing with her hand on her husband’s shoulder, and the boy standing next to his dad with his hand resting on the dad’s crossed leg:  a typical family pose of the day. Some interesting details to pick out in this photo are the woman’s rather tight-fitting gloves; the fact that she holds probably a white handkerchief in her left hand which seems a little out of keeping with her black or dark very stylish dress; the boy’s woolen sailor suit (wonderful sailor design stitching) with cap, high button boots and his toy rifle (or possibly a real one or maybe just the photographer’s prop); the man’s jacket and vest in subtle plaid and his bow tie of a different plaid material…. And it looks like this photo was taken outdoors in front of a photographer’s backdrop of a city park. But all in all, a beautiful family photo.

Modesto Siblings By Hanson

Modesto Siblings By Hanson cc1

Cabinet Card, circa 1892 – 1898. Photographer:  Frank Henry Hanson.

Price:  $15.00

This Cabinet Card was likely done by Frank H. Hanson who is mentioned in the same book about Modesto that was just referenced two posts ago (re fellow photographer William Brown.)  And this is the third of four that were found together in Soquel, CA. The little girl in the last post almost looks like she could be the sister of these two, but we don’t know for sure, since there are no names on any of the four. This photo shows a child maybe one year old? a boy or girl (so hard to tell at this age since the boys were also dressed in beautiful cotton or linen gowns like this one) and the older brother in short pants, double-breasted jacket and pale striped shirt with just the large ruffled collar showing. The older child wears a round brooch of some sort on his jacket lapel. This decoration is intriguing since even up close we can’t see what design it holds, but we can picture the mother getting the children ready at home, pinning the brooch on the lapel….The younger child is seated on a wooden chair of bamboo? on a tasseled coverlet or rug. The photo composition is interesting:  both children are gazing into the camera, but especially interesting is the similar arm and feet placement – the similar stance of the older child to the “stance” of the chair – left legs slightly forward and standing on the prominent fur rug, and rights back slightly and just off the rug. It’s seems like when we notice these types of things, as touched on above re the brooch, it really makes us feel transported back in time, in this case to this Modesto studio in year 1890-something or so. We have insight into the photographer’s thought process and suddenly we are there…we picture him lining up the shot….

At the bottom right under the photo is the photographer’s stamp in red showing  “Hanson  Modesto, Cal.”  On several of the California Voter Registration records for years 1892 – 1898, Frank Henry Hanson is recorded as occupation photographer, born in Michigan 1868 -1870, residence E. Modesto, and is described as 5′ 8 and 1/2″, light complexion, brown eyes and light hair. (Two of three records say brown eyes, the other gray.)


Sources:  Mathes, Wayne A., and the McHenry Museum. Modesto. Charleston, South Carolina:  Arcadia Publishing, 2011. ( partial book view)

California State Library, California History Section; Great Registers, 1866-1898; Collection Number: 4 – 2A; CSL Roll Number: 134; FHL Roll Number: 978590. (

Little Cutie

Little Cutie cc1

Cabinet Card, circa 1880 – 1900.

Price:  $8.00

Second of four Cabinet Cards that were found together, and that may or may not be related. No identifying information on this one for the adorable little girl or the photographer. But she is posed standing on a chair that has a fringed rug or coverlet draped over it. She must be blonde and have light blue (or green) eyes. She wears a cute pale gingham dress with a set of ruffles for a collar out of the same material. And it looks like there is also a ribbon worn above the collar with a bow off to the side. On the collar is a pin that says “Baby.” (Awww!) Best of all, besides that beautiful expression, is the spiked hairdo – very in style now in 2014.

Modesto, California Gentleman

Modesto California Gentleman cc1

This Cabinet Card and the next three were found together, at a small antique and vintage store in Soquel, California. It’s possible but unknown for sure whether the people in these four photos are related. This one is a sepia-toned rendition of a handsome mustachioed gentleman who appears to be in his twenties or early thirties. He is formally posed with one hand behind his back, holding his derby hat (a.k.a. bowler in the U.K.) in the other, and gazing off to his right. He wears a suit with vest and a knee-length coat with wide lapels, over a white shirt and a white or off-white probably silk tie. The backdrop is a country setting showing the dreamy outline of trees and bushes and a suggestion of a stone pathway abutting a low stone or concrete railing. Also, just to mention a couple of the other details in the photo – we see, of course, the subject’s watch chain on display as part of his attire, but what takes closer inspection is the shirt cuff appearing under the coat sleeve. The cuff appears to be of the stiff and possibly detachable variety. (For a shirt cuff-related trade card see an earlier post on this website entitled:  B. J. Stone Trade Card, New Haven, CT

Underneath the photo in gold-tone script appears,  “Brown, Photographer,”  and off to the right, in smaller lettering,  “Modesto, Cal.”

The photographic artist for this photo is believed to be William Brown (1838 – 1893) who was a prominent Modesto photographer. No other possibilities jump out at us in our searches in this area for a photographer under this last name and for the time period of roughly 1870 – 1900, when the Cabinet Card was popular. According to author Wayne A. Mathes and the McHenry Museum, William Brown had a photographic gallery as early as 1871, which is the date given for a shop that he established on Front Street, a.k.a. Ninth Street, in Modesto.

Cabinet Card, circa 1871 – 1880s. Photographer:  William Brown.

Price:  $15.00

Sources:  Year: 1880; Census Place: Modesto, Stanislaus, California; Roll: 84; Family History Film: 1254084; Page: 333C; Enumeration District: 094; Image: 0669. (

Mathes, Wayne A., and the McHenry Museum. Modesto. Charleston, South Carolina:  Arcadia Publishing, 2011. ( partial book view)

Caroline Frances Danielson

Caroline Frances Danielson p2 (2)Caroline Frances Danielson p2 (1)

Unusual diamond-shaped cabinet card of a lovely young woman in an outfit showing a plaid bodice, and a jacket of a plain, lighter color. It’s possible that this was a one-piece outfit, with plaid bodice insert, as the collar is of the same material as that of the jacket; on the other hand, the collar may have been a separate piece. You’ll notice that under the collar there is a little bit of material showing, which appears to be some type of fine fabric, with a possible lace edge. The jacket shows puffed sleeves at the shoulder, and both collar and jacket show a brocade trim at the edges. Also noteworthy about the photo mounting style, is the card’s gold-tone edging.

There are certainly quite a few Caroline Danielsons to be found in census records but the only record found as of today’s date, and without spending too terribly long in searching, that shows this complete name, is in Findagrave:  Caroline Frances Danielson, born May, 1871; died June 5, 1945; daughter of Albert Danielson, and his wife, Emma; buried Westfield Cemetery, Danielson, Connecticut. In searching in Federal Census records we do find various records for Caroline F. Danielson, and the 1900 confirms the parent’s names. It is interesting to note that Danielson, a borough in Windham County, Connecticut, was named after General James Danielson, the builder of the first house in the settlement. We wonder if there is a family connection, but this would require some extensive research, and won’t be pursued here, in particular since we can’t be absolutely sure of the i.d. for this photo.

Size:  About 2 and 7/8 x 2 and 7/8″  Date:  Circa 1891

Availability Status:  SOLD

Sources:  “United States Census, 1900,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 08 Mar 2014), Caroline F Danielson in household of Albert Danielson, Killingly township (excl. Danielson borough), Windham, Connecticut, United States; citing sheet , family 285, NARA microfilm publication T623, FHL microfilm 1240151.

“United States Census, 1920,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 08 Mar 2014), Caroline F Danielson, Danielson, Windham, Connecticut, United States; citing sheet , family 144, NARA microfilm publication T625, FHL microfilm 1820199.

Find A Grave Memorial# 36969322 (

Gannet, Henry. The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1905. (Google eBooks)

Miss Venen, Age 5

Miss Venen

Cabinet Card, circa 1880 – 1890s.

Price:  $10.00         Size:  about 6 and 1/4 x 4 and 1/8″

Cabinet Card photo of beautiful little girl, age five, posed for the camera and dressed for the outdoors, in overcoat, fur hat, fur scarf, and carrying a fur muff. There is no photographer information on either the front or the back, but we are lucky to have the child’s name written at the bottom of the card. The first name is hard to decipher, possibly Iolo (as in capital I not L) or Jolo (both names do come up for girls). Her middle initial is A, and the last name appears to be Venen. Though Vinin is a possibility there are no dots over what would be the i’s, as opposed to the i in the very first word which is dotted. This word looks like it would be Miss. If it is indeed Miss, then the writer used the old-fashioned (well, to us) practice of the Ss which is often mistaken for an fs. In any case this is a stunning photograph of a gorgeous girl.

Myrtle Eyman

Myrtle Eyman1Myrtle Eyman2

Cabinet Card photo of lovely young woman identified on the back of the card as Myrtle Eyman. It is unclear what type of decoration she wears on her blouse, as that part got caught up in the intentional softening photographic technique for the photo, but if it was not part of the blouse design, then perhaps it was a corsage. The scalloped edging on the blouse rather coincidentally (or maybe not coincidentally?) goes with the scalloped edging of the card.The photographer’s name was Nelson, of Fullerton, Nebraska. Further research on the photographer will be posted separately.

Scalloped edging on Cabinet Cards was popular in the 1890s, although photographers were sometimes using up old card stock, so this by itself is not enough to date this card. However, there is a Myrtle Eyman showing up in the census records for 1880 and 1885, as being born in Illinois, about 1878, and living in Lost Creek, Platte County, Nebraska in 1880, and in Genoa, Nance County, Nebraska in 1885. Other online entries under this same name, do not fit for date or place, or both, so I believe these two census records to be the correct person for this photo. If Myrtle is about 18 – 20 years old in this photo, that would place the date of the card around 1896 – 1898.

The 1880 Federal Census shows Myrtle, age 2, living with her parents, Hardin H. Eyman, occupation farmer, born IL about 1847 and his wife Sue, born Canada, about 1851. Living with them are Hardin’s brother John, a widower, occupation farmer, born IL about 1841, and John’s son, Frank, born IL about 1868.

The 1885 Nebraska State Census shows Myrtle and her parents living in the village of Genoa. Hardin’s occupation is difficult to read (looks like stock dealer.)

The city directory entries from 1906, 1910, 1912 and 1913 for Myrtle Eyman are very likely the same Myrtle in the photo. They show Myrtle living in the cities of Kearney, Lincoln, Hastings, and again Lincoln, respectively.

This photo was found along with two others. There is a slim, but probably not likely, chance there was some relation to the three; see the prior two posts for more info.

Sources:  Year: 1880; Census Place: Lost Creek, Platte, Nebraska; Roll: 754; Family History Film: 1254754; Page: 196B; Enumeration District: 095; Image: 0172. and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2010. 1880 U.S. Census Index provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

National Archives and Records Administration; Nebraska State Census; Year: 1885; Series/Record Group: M352; County: Nance; Township: Genoa; Page: 1. Nebraska, State Census Collection, 1860-1885 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009. U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.


Paducah, Kentucky Guy

Paducah Kentucky Guy

Cabinet Card photo of nice-looking young gentleman in a suit, bow tie, and holding a bowler hat. Photo taken in Paducah, Kentucky. The photographer’s name is hard to read here, but after a little research of Paducah city directories, W. G. McFadden appeared to be the likely photographer. His name was verified by finding other cabinet cards with this same distinct signature, that were a little easier to read. More details to follow shortly in a separate post, on W. G. McFadden.

In searching for more details in the photo, an up-close look at this young man’s left hand shows that he appears to be wearing a wedding band. This photo was found with two other photos of persons who may or may not be related to this man. See the prior post on Ophelia Bell Morrow, and the next post on Myrtle Eyman.

At the bottom left of the card is the word “Platinotype.” Per a Wikipedia entry, platinotypes or platinum prints, “…are photographic prints made by a monochrome printing process that provides the greatest tonal range of any printing method using chemical development.” The platinum group metals are very stable, more so than gold. “It is estimated that a platinum image, properly made, can last thousands of years.” Other advantages for using the platinotype process:  non-reflective, and no tendancy to curl, as in the photos coated with gelatin.