Family Portrait By J. R. Johnson

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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

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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

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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

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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)

Haslett & Gladding Druggists

Haslett & Gladding Druggists

Trade card, circa 1875 – 1880.  Size:  About 4 and 1/2 x 3″

Price:  $20.00

Here’s a beautiful and unusual old trade card. Too bad about the tears in the card on the left, but what an interesting one! The printing at the top shows  “Compliments of Haslett & Gladding, Druggists, Constantine, Mich.”  and the artwork shows a figure of a little man wearing what this web author first thought of as a Pagliacci style clown suit, sitting on a tree branch, singing a song from an opera. As always, the research for old trade cards illuminates a little bit of history, and informs the researcher. This little figure actually represents Pierrot, described in a Wikipedia entry as  “…a stock character of pantomime and Commedia dell’Arte whose origins are in the late seventeenth-century Italian troupe of players performing in Paris and known as the Comédie-Italienne; the name is a hypocorism of Pierre (Peter), via the suffix -ot. His character in postmodern popular culture – in poetry, fiction, the visual arts, as well as works for the stage, screen, and concert hall – is that of the sad clown, pining for love of Columbine, who usually breaks his heart and leaves him for Harlequin.”

To finish describing the above card, Pierrot is singing with great emotion, and holding sheet music on which we can read the words  au clair de la lune mon ami pierrot  (in the moonlight my friend Pierrot.) A benevolent full moon, smiling down upon Pierrot, appears in the top right corner. The background is gold tone with white stars, but what seems most unusual and somewhat perplexing are the two dog-like animals perched on the branch below our subject. Dogs in trees?

As for the “opera” – the sheet music turns out to be actually that of the classic french children’s song Au clair de la lune. Author unknown, and dating from at least back to the mid-18th century, this song made history in 2008, when the first known recording of the human voice was digitized, and it was detected that what was being heard was a couple of lines from this folk song. The ten-second snippet was recorded in 1860 by Parisian inventor Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville using a device called a phonautograph, and pre-dates Thomas Edison’s recording of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” by seventeen years. From an article by Jason Dearen of the Associated Press,  “Using a needle that moved in response to sound, the phonautograph etched sound waves into paper coated with soot from an oil lamp.”   “Au Clair de la Lune” and other recordings were discovered by audio historian David Giovannoni and his research partner Patrick Feaster in France’s patent office. Earliest Known Voice Recording Discovered in France.

Getting back to the question of the two animals perched on the lower tree branch:  I thought at first that they might be lynxes, after coming across the image below just a few days after getting the trade card. This drawing was done by New York artist Edmund Henry Garrett (1853 – 1929.) And it depends upon how you look at the animal on the right in the top image – that appears to be his left ear rather than snout. If you view the ear as a snout then Pierrot’s animal friends might appear to be more coyote-like, but look again and you’ll probably decide that that is not the animal’s profile that we’re looking at, in which case the lynx idea doesn’t fit. Of course, they may have just been something created from the artist’s imagination….To be treed by lynxes though, what an unusual subject, so I just thought it would be fun to include this here.

Treed By Lynxes by Garrett

Last but not least, Haslett & Gladding Druggists show up in Polk’s city directories for Constantine, Michigan for 1875 and 1877. The 1877 directory shows that they were Charles M. Haslett and Benjamin O. Gladding. As of the the date of this post, no other trade cards were found online for them.

Charles McLean Haslett was born in New York, December 8, 1846, son of Peter and Helen Haslett. (The christening and birth record does not state his mother’s maiden name.) He married Charlotte E. Knowlen January 25, 1870.  The 1870 Federal Census for Constantine shows the newlyweds living with Charles’ parents. His occupation is retail druggist. Sadly, Charles died young at the age of 40, May 24, 1887, in Detroit.

Benjamin O. Gladding was born in Michigan, August 5, 1847, son of John Gladding and Martha E. Howard. The 1850 Federal Census for Constantine shows Benjamin, his parents and his two older sisters, Emily and Jerusha Gladding. Also in the household is 18-year old Elisabeth Churchill[?], possibly a boarder or domestic servant. Benjamin married Louisa Lantz,  born Pennsylvania, April 30, 1849. (Louisa is “H. Louisa” on a couple of her census records.) The 1880 census for Constantine shows Benjamin and Louisa, and their children, William O., age five, and Mary L., eight months. Benjamin’s occupation is druggist. Find A Grave shows the death year for Benjamin as 1919.

Sources:  Pagliacci. n.d. (accessed September 23, 2014.)

Pierrot. n.d. (accessed September 23, 2014.)

Romer, Megan, “Au Clair de la Lune Lyrics and Translation,” (accessed September 24, 2014.)

Dearen, Jason, “Earliest Known Voice Recording Discovered in France.” Associated Press (March 28, 2008.) Web article from National Geographic News (October 28, 2010.) (accessed September 24, 2014.)

Garrett, Edmund H., Treed By Lynxes.  American Art and American Art Collections. Ed. Walter Montgomery. Boston:  E. W. Walker & Co., 1889. p. 266. (Google eBooks.)

Edmund H. Garrett. n.d. (accessed September 23, 2014.)

R. L. Polk & Co.,’s Michigan State Gazetteer and Business Directory. 1875, p. 195 and 1877, Vol. III. p. 231. (Google eBooks.)

“New York, Births and Christenings, 1640-1962,” index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 26 Sep 2014), Charles Mc Lean Haslett, 08 Dec 1846; citing , reference ; FHL microfilm 363878.

Year: 1860; Census Place: Constantine, St Joseph, Michigan; Roll: M653_561; Page: 355; Image: 365; Family History Library Film: 803561. (

“Michigan, Marriages, 1868-1925,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 27 Sep 2014), Chas. W. L. Haslet and Charlotte E. Knowlen, 25 Jan 1870; citing Constantine, St Joseph, Michigan, v 3 p 210 rn 59, Department of Vital Records, Lansing; FHL microfilm 2342452.

Year: 1870; Census Place: Constantine, St Joseph, Michigan; Roll: M593_700; Page: 63B; Image: 130; Family History Library Film: 552199. ( Michigan, Deaths and Burials Index, 1867-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.

Year: 1850; Census Place: Constantine, St Joseph, Michigan; Roll: M432_362; Page: 295A; Image: 365. (

“Michigan, County Marriages, 1820-1935,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 27 Sep 2014), John P Gladding and Martha E Howard, 10 Oct 1839; citing p. 132, St. Joseph, Michigan; FHL microfilm 1295528.

“Michigan, Marriages, 1868-1925,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 27 Sep 2014), Louisa Lantz in entry for Wm. O. Gladding and Clara H. Cummings, 20 Sep 1898; citing Centerville, St Joseph, Michigan, v 4 p 269 rn 2516, Department of Vital Records, Lansing; FHL microfilm 2342510.

Year: 1880; Census Place: Constantine, St Joseph, Michigan; Roll: 603; Family History Film: 1254603; Page: 292A; Enumeration District: 191; Image: 0239. (

Year: 1900; Census Place: Chicago Ward 35, Cook, Illinois; Roll: 291; Page: 11B; Enumeration District: 1134; FHL microfilm: 1240291. (

Find A Grave Memorial# 75381891 (

Ethel In Mitchell, South Dakota, 1909

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From North Dakota on the prior post, we go south (well for the addressees, anyway) for a postcard written by a beautiful young woman with a sense of humor. On the front she writes:

“To keep the rats away you should put this in the cellar but be sure not to get frightened yourself.”

Ha, I love this one. A girl after my own heart. On the back she writes:

“Dear Ma: – Hello! how are you feeling now? Suppose you were awful glad to get home once more weren’t you? Am sorry I could not get out to see you more often but Papa used the horse so much I could not have her. He sold Jennie last week so now we haven’t any horse. Guess he’s going to get another but we won’t be able to drive it I don’t suppose. Come to see us soon as you’re able. Love, Ethel.”

The card is addressed to:   “Mrs. Gerald Wilson, Mitchell, So. Dak. R.R. #3.”

This is one of those pesky, hard to find ones. It sounds like Ethel is married and living with her husband and father-in-law. She does wear a ring on her left hand. Not knowing Ethel’s married name, and her mother’s first name, makes it difficult. We get lucky on these types pretty often, but (in keeping with Ethel’s theme – rats!) not this time. There is a Gerald Wilson in Mitchell, SD but he would be much too young to fit our scenario here. Further searching could be done, but that would be quite time-consuming, so we’ll leave this for now. Still, what a great postcard!

Divided back, used Real Photo Postcard. Postmarked July 26, 1909 from Mitchell, South Dakota.

Price:  $15.00

South Burdick St., Kalamazoo, Michigan

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“Will write later and tell you why I did not get out there. Minnie McManus, 411 Asylum Ave, Kalamazoo Mich. PS. I will only be here two weeks longer then I will go back to Frankfort.”  Minnie reiterated at the bottom of the card,  “I will only be here two weeks longer.”

An undivided back postcard that was not postmarked until 1909, and showing a print of a great old photo of a view looking down (or up 😉 ) Burdick Street in Kalamazoo, showing streetcar or trolley tracks, buildings and shops, pedestrians and horse and buggies. (Horse and buggy as my Grandpa Oliver would say – when guessing what was in a wrapped birthday or Christmas gift – “A horse and buggy?” ) The Labadie Art Co. sign is easily read on the left. Just next to them is the Imperial Tea Co.

Labadie Art Company at 146 South Burdick, was advertised in the 1906 Kalamazoo city directory as (Edmund E. Labadie), Picture Frames, Portraits, Artists’ Materials and Art Goods. The Imperial Tea Co.’s address was 148 South Burdick (same city directory) and they were advertised as (Alfred Hicks) Coffees, Teas, Spices and Baking Powder.

Frankfort, that is mentioned in Minnie’s message, is a city in Benzie County, on Lake Michigan, southwest of Traverse City, and from the sound of it, Minnie lived in Frankfort or the surrounding area. So, in looking there we find the 1910 Federal Census for Lake Ann Village, Almira Township, Benzie County, (Lake Ann is inland, about halfway between Frankfort and Traverse City) showing Minnie McManus, single, age about 37, born in Canada, occupation public school teacher. She is boarding at the home of Louis E. Knodel, and his wife Ida and daughter Ruth; also boarding are James Rosenberry, and Ella MacManus[?] This last name is difficult to read. If it is MacManus then that would be quite a coincidence, as Ella is a public school teacher, also. Note the difference in spelling of McManus and MacManus. Besides the spelling of the last names, the ladies’ parents’ places of birth are not identical, so they do not seem to be sisters.

Minnie addressed the postcard to:  “Mrs. G. A. Wallbaum, Hope, N.D.”
Nothing definite was found online for the addressee. Hope is a small town in Steele County, North Dakota.

Undivided back, used postcard. Postmarked June 1909 from Kalamazoo, Michigan. Publisher:  Owens Brothers. Printer:  Hillson Co., Boston, Berlin and Leipzig. Number and series:  1000 E., 80424. Circa 1900 – 1906.

Price:  $12.00

Sources:  R. L. Polk & Co.’s Ihling Bros. & Everard’s Kalamazoo City and County Directory, 1906. pp. 328 and 364. (Google eBooks)

Year: 1910; Census Place: Almira, Benzie, Michigan; Roll: T624_637; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 0001; FHL microfilm: 1374650. (

Steamer Northumberland

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Undivided back, used postcard. Postmarked September 20, 1905, Chicago, Illinois. Publisher unknown.

Availability Status:  SOLD

Here’s the third postcard in the Dr. Oswald Henning Collection. We may come across more, you never know! The caption for this one is:   Steamer Northumberland Going Out Of Summerside Harbor, P.E.I.”  and shows an old photo of S.S. Northumberland, in an oval setting bordered with laurel leaves, and ribbon and with what appears to be a simplified drawing or painting for the Canadian flag at that time.

According to an article in the blog Sailstrait, the 2,500 horsepower steamer was the  “pride of the fleet”  for the Charlottetown Steam Navigation Company; was built in Great Britain at Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1891; and for two and a half decades ran between Charlottetown and Pictou, and Summerside and Pointe du Chene.  (See first source below for a more detailed description.) The vessel was later moved to Lake Ontario for the Port Dalhousie to Toronto service and refitted as an excursion steamer. She operated till she was (sadly) destroyed by fire in 1949.  The following photo (now in the public domain) is from about 1940, and was found on the website Maritime History of the Great Lakes, and shows S.S. Northumberland as she enters Port Dalhousie.

S S Northumberland

However, since this postcard is from 1905, the sender would have boarded S.S. Northumberland as she first appeared in the top image. Our 1905 traveler wrote,  “Monday morning: – Will leave on the boat Tuesday morning. and will arrive in Chicago, Thursday at 10:02 a.m. if I make connections.   Helen.”

The card is addressed to:   “Dr. Oswald F. Henning. Bethesda Home. 30 Belden Court. Chicago, Ill. U.S.A.” 

Per the prior post, Dr. Oswald Henning, along with brother Otto, was on the board of directors for Bethesda Home which was initially a training facility for nurses, and afterward a home for the elderly. His father, Frank Henning was president of the Home.

Sources:  “The S.S. Northumberland of Northumberland Straight.” Sailstrait, Feb. 2, 2014. Web accessed Sep. 19, 2014. []

“S.S. Northumberland.”  Maritime History of the Great Lakes, n.d. Web accessed Sep. 19, 2014. []

“Red Ensign vs Union Jack.” (CSC), Nov. 10, 2007. Web accessed Sep. 20, 2014. []

Scene Near Montague, P.E.I.

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Divided back, Canadian unused postcard with writing. Publisher unknown. Circa 1906.

Availability Status:  SOLD

A scene near Montague, Prince Edward Island, Canada. This appears to be a hand colored image that was produced from a photograph. Perhaps there are some experts out there who can tell whether the man in the photo was a photographer or an artist.

This and the postcard coming up next were incredible finds because of their timeliness: They were just this past weekend picked up at a vintage paper show. They may have been found in the same dealer’s collection that the first Dr. Oswald Henning postcard was found in, (just two posts ago.) That purchase would have been made earlier this year, I think. But out of the thousands of postcards in the dealer’s collection this past weekend, of which I only looked through about a quarter, I happened to find these. The odds are incredible that the second and third Oswald Henning postcards would be found right after I happened to put up the first. The sender’s name here is Helen, and she writes:

“Received your card from [?] and also letter since you returned. I am still enjoying my visit, and do not get much time for writing. Hoping to hear from you soon. I remain, H.M.”

Addressed to:   “Dr. Oswald Henning, Bethesda Home, 30 Belden Court, Chicago, Ill.”

The above address was for Bethesda Home For the Aged, which was originally a training school for nurses. The link below is for a January 6, 1908 newspaper article that appeared in The Inter Ocean. The article describes the dire financial situation of the Home and quotes Oswald Hennings’ father, Frank Henning, as well as a couple of the “inmates.” Frank Henning was president of Bethesda Home and his two sons, Oswald and Otto were on the board of directors.

Update:  Helen is Helen C. Muirhead, future wife of Oswald Henning. They were married June 30, 1906.

This Way!

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Divided back, unused artist-signed postcard. Artist:  Clara M. Burd, copyright 1922. Publisher/printer info:  Form YYY. New York – The Abingdon Press – Cincinnati.

Price:  $15.00

A circa 1922 postcard that was designed for Sunday School reminders (one would think.) The illustration shows a young girl at a rustic wooden gate, in a light blue dress and floppy sun hat, holding a bouquet of yellow flowers. Perhaps she’s waiting for her friends to catch up with her. This is a signed card by New York born artist Clara M. Burd (1873 – 1933) and more on the artist will go up in a separate post in a few days. I picked up this one initially just because of the back’s really beautiful postcard header, and then as a major bonus, realized that it’s artist-signed. But back to the header – it’s different and elegant, and one that we didn’t have yet at Laurel Cottage. The printer and/or publisher is Abingdon Press out of New York and Cincinnati.

Abingdon Press Postcard Header

As far as the handwritten names on the back – Raymond Polle and Albertha Logan, nothing was found to pinpoint either one. There are multiple possibilities for Albertha Logan, and we also don’t know whether these are children or adults, so Logan could be Albertha’s married name.

Source:  Find A Grave Memorial# 78669937. Web accessed 16 Sep 2014. (