Warning: two future heartbreakers in the making!


3 x 5 inches snapshot.

When I saw these two, my heart melted. They are so, so cute! I want to assume they were brothers from the late forties or early fifties. The oldest is amazingly beautiful, and his brother is so charming and cute a bit slumped over, and looking as if a bit shy. My mind wandered, what if these two were model children?

What’s funny is on the very same day I got the picture, someone on my tumblr posted this one:

Same kiddos?

So, what do you think?

Same kiddos?  If they are the same set that would be highly coincidental, but not if their parents knew how cute they were and coached them to pose professionally. Who knows, but I’d like to find out if the ones I have ever did commercial work (gut feeling tells me they did).

Frozen in time by ‘The Elliotts, Makers of Pictures’


The Elliotts – Austin, TX.

The Elliotts, Makers of Pictures photo studio was owned and operated by a couple, Martyn (1871-1936) and Jane (1871-1955), of 814 Congress in Austin, Texas. Jane, sometimes referred to as Jean or Jeannie on family documents, was a full partner – a rare and uncommon practice at the time!

Martyn and Jane were both 30 when they moved to Austin in 1901, and opened their studio. It remained successful until the Great Depression when Martyn’s increasingly failing health, and the poor economy pushed them to sell the business and negatives to Jensen Studios and Student Publications.

During their years as co-owners they managed to land exclusive contracts with the State of Texas’ legislature and the University of Texas annual where their daughter, Sarah Pelham Elliott, graduated in 1929 with a degree in stenography.

Was this serious looking teen a University of Texas student? Was it Mrs. Elliott he saw behind the camera?

As all good photographers, Jane must have had a knack for making people comfortable in front of the lens. I imagine she must have had to work hard to assuage preconceived notions, and to gain and maintain a successful, professional and personal reputation in an era when women were not expected to own businesses, and especially not in a field traditionally occupied by men.

She should have seen mindsets slowly changing from the 1900s to 1930s, with  women gaining the right to vote in 1920,  around the middle of her career.

And photographs speak for themselves. This nice shot would have made a fine class portrait in the ’20s to mid ’30s.

Source: Sanders and Elliott Family Papers

Fashionably Victorian in Adrian, Michigan


W.T. Barnum, Adrian Michigan cabinet card of young man with cross tie tack.

This handsome teen’s hair was a mess of waves in the front. He didn’t fight it with pomade, instead choosing to let it do its thing! He wears a distinguished white tie with a cross tie tack the focal point. A nice piece of jewelry with the chain hanging by the side. The cross itself appears to have horseshoes and bell symbols, and is this a saint in the middle? I’d like to find out what the cross represents, aside from being what I suspect is a luck charm. Could it be a military cross, a type of iron cross? It looks like the American sharpshooter one, except that one has a target in the center.


This card is of the 1870s-90s when flat and fat ties were extremely popular (and yet -random thought- I never see them in period films!). The fabric looks beautifully regal too. This portrait reminds me of this other cabinet card of the same era, with the similar type of tie and collar combination (and pose).

Update: this young man was a university student, member of the  Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. The local chapter -Alpha Mu- in Adrian, Michigan was founded in 1881, and is still active today. This cabinet card is most likely from the 1880s! It would not be impossible to find out who he was. 

Thank you, Val, for your research!

De’Ath & Condon vignette portrait


Alaric Hawkins De’Ath operated a studio portrait at 32 Bank Street, Ashford (England), and from 1913 on partnered with Arthur James Condon. He passed in 1931. They may have taken this small vignette portrait during the Great War or after, and the sitter isn’t too shabby, is he? There is no name to aid IDing this fine English gent. We only hope he came out of those troubled years relatively unscathed.


Against the rose curtain



I enjoyed spending some time restoring this beautiful portrait. The original has a print defect and is sprinkled with black ink from the process. But fortunately Photoshop corrected these tiny imperfections to reveal this shot’s true beauty. I absolutely love the window and gorgeous rose curtain behind this young man, and the use of lights and dark to create chiaroscuro. And one cannot miss his eyes.


With the belt, collared shirt and thin, straight tie I’d date this portrait from the late 1910s to early ’20s (if so, it was printed on older stock).

RPPC: AZO up triangles, 1904-1918

The same couple on two postcards

'Honey won't you love me like you used to.

‘Honey won’t you love me like you used to.” postcard. Private Collection.

Same woman, same (lovely) hairdo, different dress:

'Swinging was never like this'. Postcard. Private Collection.

Swinging was never like this. Postcard. Private Collection.

I’ve been collecting these postcards from the same series. I want to say they’re from the late 1910s. Two others, here (with the same hammock but different woman) and here with the same man.

As if catching his reflection in the oval mirror…


1890’s-1900’s cabinet card. Private Collection.

This one gave me a chuckle. This gentleman looks like a deer in the headlights with his wide eyes. And with him looking partly off-shot, it gives the impression he just  came into view and got caught off guard by his own reflection.

On a side note, yes it’s been a month since I last posted, to the day. I didn’t realize it’s been this long. Like everything else in life there are periods when I actively collect (and feverishly so!) and others when I don’t so much.  However, the drought is soon to pass and I will be responding to emails today. ;)


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