Tuesday, October 28, 2008



        I came to collect  Antique  Photography in 2003...
        It was about the same time  my press photo career 
         (such as it was )  was on the wane and didnt interest
        me as much as it once did.

        I had set out to photograph the movers and shakers 
        as well as entertainers I enjoyed or felt were Iconic in
        their feilds.   the Greatest  people of our time if you will.
        Frankly, I accomplished more than I could have ever 
        hoped and though the money was never very good...
        I  waded through for the sake of History.

            I realized that those photographers from the 1800s
        Had gone somewhere I could never go and were better
        than I was, For that Reason.

             At first I collected Daguerreotypes, before realizing
          that  the ones I really liked with great clarity...were in
          the $250  price range so not something I could buy on 
          a regular basis. I then turned to Cabinet Cards  made 
          about 30 years later,   so  not  as old....  but  equally 
           Wonderful !

            There were many more types of   'Cabs' ....
            available out there.
            Women with long hair to the floor, Circus photos,
             Occupational of all sorts, Music oriented...on and on.
                  Now one particular type caught my eye.
             The Advertising cabinet card !
              It seems in the 1880s the good folks of the  midwest,
              ( Iowa especially) were in the habit of dressing  the
              women in all types of things.
                they  would have Merchant carnivals and Fairs
               where the young womens attire would reflect
               that of the small town's  shops and stores.
               Oftentimes they would hold a sign naming the
               shop they represented...and as in the photo above,
               I guess  "Potpourri" would be the best way to
                describe the types of Items they wore.
                In fact... they competed in a pageant of sorts,
                comparing  such curious Fashions.
                 These cabinets however are very rare...and costly
                 and as of this writing I have only been able to nab
                 a few.

              (Cab photo: Lena and Esther Dunning of  Mt. Ayr Iowa)

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