Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past

This cabinet card from the Leaf Album was trimmed on one side probably to make it fit into a frame or picture window in a photo album. Fortunately for us, the photographer information wasn’t removed as is so often seen. The family of three features Father, Mother and a little boy. Judging by his large blouse and floppy necktie, he is over 5 years of age and mother was fond of the “Little Lord Fauntleroy” look that was  popular in the 1880s and ’90s. Mother’s dress appears to be an 1890s fashion to me with the frills on the bodice and puffed sleeves. She is holding something in her hand. At first I thought it might be a daguerreotype but it looks more rounded, so perhaps it is a prayer book? Father is rather nondescript in his clothing except the piped edges of his lapels and the watch fob visible hanging from his vest button hole.

The photographer was most likely Alfred M. Morton, known to have been in business in Cleveland in the 1890s. Unfortunately I didn’t find anything else. To identify these photographers I have been using an ebook titled Artists in Ohio 1787-1900, a biographical dictionary. Someone took the time to compile loads of helpful information and I highly recommend it for researching photographers and their history.

2 thoughts on “Cleveland Family

  1. His is really cute! Standing with one hand on each parent..showing no favoritism:)


  2. usermattw says:

    It’s funny, I keep looking at this picture thinking I have pictures of these people (the adults, anyway) in my collection, too. But I’m sure that’s not the case. I think it’s just the result of archetypal styles of hair and clothing that makes people look similar, particularly when they are styles from a different era. I think we are able to look beyond common styles today and see the uniqueness of each individual because we are used to seeing the styles, whereas vintage styles really stand out in old photos because we aren’t as accustomed to them in daily life. Who knows, just a theory. Also, it took a moment to realize that “Cor.” meant corner. I think I was thrown by the fact that the streets were Forest and Woodland, making it sound like it was supposed to be the official photographer of a department of forestry or something. I laughed when I realized my mistake. :-)


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