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I reunite identified family photos that I find in antique shops and second hand stores with genealogists and family historians. If you see one of your ancestors here and would like to obtain the original, feel free to contact me. Donations of pre-1920 photographs are also most welcome. I hope you enjoy your visit!
~The Archivist


Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Photo Stamp and Cabinet Card of Mrs. Clarabell Webster, Lawrence, Mass., ca. 1895



This is Clarabell Webster, friend of Mary Harrison and the writer of a letter from 1894 that I described in my recent post, The Correspondence of Mary E. Harrison.  When she wrote her letter, Clarabell was a just a newlywed of three months.  She laments, "Poor me, will have to stay at home same as all the married women do," after describing Mae & Minnie B's plans to spent time in Hampton Beach the following week.

This image was taken at the Leck Studio, in Lawrence, Mass in the mid-1890s.

Additionally, I discovered a postage stamp-sized portrait of Clarabell, which was gummed on the reverse (below).  After some research, I learned mini portraits of famous people date back to the 1860s, but they were essentially just small photographs.  Two stamp portrait machines were patented in 1887 that used gummed and perforated photo paper.  Quite a number of  Victorian-era photographers in the US made these stamps available to their clients in the late 1880s and 1890s.  George H. Leck, of Lawrence, was one of those photographers.  Even though the portrait stamp is not signed with his name, I believe he made this stamp from the cabinet card sitting with Clarabell, as she has the exact hairstyle and is wearing the same dress.

Photo stamp of Clarabell Webster next to a Canadian quarter.


According to Massachusetts Marriages, 1841-1915, Clarabell Hatch, daughter of Frank and Martha Hatch, married Dean K. Webster, son of Henry K. and Elsie A. Webster,  in Lawrence, Mass., on the 31st of May 1894 in Lawrence. 

Clarabell and Dean had two children:  Dean K., Jr., born 1898 and Walter Neal, born 1903.
Along with the photograph of Clarabell, I also found a cabinet card of Dean K. Webster, Sr. as well as  one of their their youngest child, (Walter) Neal Webster.


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