Tag Archives: Victorian advertising slogans

Another CDV verso

J.W. Perkins, Westminster
J.W. Perkins, Westminster

Gotta love the description of the location – “Near the Railroad Depot, Opposite the Catholic Church”. In a town as small as Westminster in the 1870s, that probably was a precise location. I bought this one for the back mark, not for the image (a somewhat faded baby). It was only $1, so I’m not going to complain much. I also like the combined palette and camera logo, implying artistry with a camera.

More additions to the photographers’ maps

I added several addresses in the last few days, to all three maps. To New York, I added:

P.H. Rupp, 13 Avenue A

D. Appleton & Co, Cartes De Visite, A.A. Turner, Photographer, 443 & 445 Broadway

C. Henkel, 1288 Broadway

To Philadelphia, I’ve added:

Schreiber & Son, Photographers, 818 Arch Street

Photographed by Roberts, 808 Arch Street

Fitzgerald & Co, Photographers, 828 Arch Street

To Washington DC I’ve added:

R. W. Addis, Photographer, McClee’s Gallery 308 Pennsylvania Avenue

Tasset, Artist Photographer, 925 Pennsylvania Avenue

As per my usual practice, I’m including any advertising copy found on the photographers’ verso imprints along with the address.

Anonymous Young Boy, by Alexander Gardner

Young Boy, by Alexander Gardner, Washington DC
Young Boy, by Alexander Gardner, Washington DC

Here’s another portrait by Gardner. Funny thing – Gardner was much more successful in business than Mathew Brady, yet Brady images are far more common than Gardner’s CDVs. I don’t know if it is that he did fewer (certainly seems so) or that his subjects’ heirs are largely holding on to them still. Given the disproportion between his images and Brady’s in the marketplace (not a statistically validated survey, but in my estimation, there’s a 10:1 ratio or more on the Brady:Gardner ratio), I’d say that he just didn’t make that many. This was obviously from his civilian commercial operation, and probably a few years after the Civil War as there is no mention on the back of being “Official Photographer to the Army of the Potomac”. The country as a whole grew war-weary in the aftermath of the war – all aspects of society were changing, and quite radically. Slavery had ended, the agrarian/industrial divide fell heavily in favor of industrialization. Women were a (temporary) presence in the workforce after the death of nearly 700,000 men of working age over four years of truly brutal combat.

With all this change and stress, it’s not a surprise that an association with the US Army that was trumpeted in 1864 would be quickly effaced from advertising copy.

Circus Brothers by Gurney & Son, New York

A pair of circus performer brothers – perhaps twins – by Gurney & Son, New York. Gurney, like Sarony, was famous for photographing the famous of the day. Gurney was the one who was requested to photograph Abraham Lincoln lying in state when his funeral cortege was passing through New York on the return train trip to Springfield. But enough of the morbid thoughts. I liked this image because it contains several collecting themes in a single card: children, circus performers, and famous photographers. I’ve been fascinated by the Victorian era advertising slogans people used on the verso of their CDVs, and this one does not fail to disappoint – “I have chained the sun to serve me”. I doubt any photographer could make a more arrogant statement!

Circus Siblings, Gurney & Son, New York
Circus Siblings, Gurney & Son, New York

I suspect they were also with Barnum’s circus, but I don’t know. If anyone out there recognizes them and knows their identity, it would be much appreciated!