Monday, February 13, 2012

Mystery Monday - Mystery Man From Chicago

This cabinet card photograph of a very handsome and distinguished, but unidentified man from Chicago was taken at Gehrig Studios, 337 West Madison St.  He is wearing a suit and a heavy outer coat while holding an umbrella and gloves and he looks quite prosperous.  I am dating this photograph between 1888 and 1894.  I had several clues including the beveled edges with gilt on the card as well as the photographer's attractive, cursive imprint at the bottom of the card.  The biggest clue however is the photographer's mark at the bottom that says "Place's Extra Finish." These imprints were used during this time period.

Gehrig studios was listed in Chicago City Directories at several different addresses between 1847 and 1900.  The main proprietor seems to be Joseph  W. Gehrig who listed 337 Madison as his place of business between 1881 and 1900.  Frank A. Place (note again the photographer's mark) was listed at this address between 1888 and 1895 which would be dead on with the photograph date above.  Joseph Waldon Gehrig was born 7 Mar 1846 in Switzerland to Gregorius and Barbara (Kuhnvonvason) Gehrig.  I don't know when he came to America, but he was married about 1880 to Annie Getchow.  Joseph died 13 Feb 1915 in Chicago and is buried at Forest Home Cemetery in Cook County, IL.

Frank A. Place was born in June of 1851 in Indiana, married about 1858 to Abbie C. Place.  They had at least one child Alberta born about 1870.  His daughter Alberta married Charles A. Raynor also a photographer.  Sometime before 1910 he and his wife moved to Winthrop, Suffolk, Massachusetts where he continued his work as a photographer.

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