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Langdon's List of 19th & Early 20th Century Photographers

Photographers Blog

Adolph Roggen (1863-1941), Photographer, of Fort Wayne, Indiana

Posted by LangdonRoad on December 5, 2012 at 7:05 AM Comments comments ()

Photograph by Adolph Roggen of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Unidentified lady posed around the year 1900 in a large hat trimmed with wide ribbon and long feathers or fur. Her jacket has leg-o-mutton sleeves and military style cuffs and tails. She has a strand of matched pearls around her high collar. This authentic, antique sepia image measures 3.75” x 5.75” has a matte finish and instead of being mounted on thick cardboard it is partially affixed with glue to 9” x 12” cardstock with a linen surface. The artist's mark is a gold foil paper seal glued to the mount. It reads only: “Roggen, Ft. Wayne.” The reverse is blank. *Photo is sold.

Using census records and city directories, the world of Adolph Roggen appeared. I was first able to locate Mr. Roggen's first name on the 1900 Federal Census for Indiana, Allen County, Wayne Township and Fort Wayne City. Adolph Roggen was the head of household in a house at 34 West Simpson in Fort Wayne. Adolph Roggen, Photographer, aged 36 was born about November 1863 in Germany of German-born parents. He noted that he was a naturalized citizen, having immigrated to the US in 1872 and had been living here for 27 years. As he would have been about 9 years at the time, he may have come to the US with his parents or family.

Boarding in the house at 34 West Simpson were several men with different occupations. One is another photographer named Chas A. Quillen, aged 22, born about October 1877 in Ohio.

On the 1910 Indiana Census, Wayne Twp, Allen Co., Fort Wayne City, Adolph Roggen is aged 46, still single and living by himself at 1122 Calhoun. He is renting the house, but owns the photography studio. His emigration year is given as 1873. According to Indiana Marriages 1800-1941, Adolph Roggen married on 11 April 1911 to Pearl Crouse in Allen County, IN. (Source: Index to Marriage Record 1824 - 1920 W. P. A. Book 35 OS Page 404)

There is a typed transcript of the 1903 Fort Wayne, IN City Directory. Listed is Pearl Crouse who was working as a photo retoucher for Adolph Roggen. At the time Pearl Crouse was boarding at 754 W. Superior. The house there was owned or rented by David Crouse, whose occupation is given as laborer. That year Adolph Roggen, photographer worked and lived at 1122 Calhoun, the address where he was still listed on the 1910 Census.

By 1920, Adolph Roggen had moved to Illinois, Lakeview Township in Cook County. The 1920 Federal Census for Illinois Cook Co. Lakeview Twp shows him living at 1242 Cornelia Avenue. The ages and dates for him in particular are inconsistent and he is working as the manager of restaurant. Wife Pearl Roggen aged 37, was born in Indiana and their daughter Josephine Roggen was born in 1912-1913 in Indiana as well. There is a birth record for a daughter born to Adolph and Pearl Roggen in 16 August 1912 that seems to be for daughter Josephine Roggen. (Source: Allen County, Indiana Index to Birth Records 1887 - 1920 Inclusive, Book CH-5, Page 132)

By the time of the 1930 Census, Adolph Roggen is again working as a Photographer. He and his wife and daughter were living at 1320 Montague Avenue, in Chicago's 48th Ward in Cook County, IL.

Albert C. Roggen died 7 July 1941 in Chicago. [Source: File number 19021 Cook County Genealogy Records (Deaths), Chicago, IL]

Philip C. Mason, Photographer of Cambridge, MA

Posted by LangdonRoad on April 12, 2011 at 4:35 PM Comments comments ()

1880's Cabinet Photo of Antebellum Mother

Image in grayscale

Authentic antique cabinet photo of a much, much earlier photograph of a young mother and her baby. Her cotton print day dress is a perfect example of the style so many reenactors want to achieve. The style of her hair along the face and covering her ears was popular in the 1850’s and early 1860’s, the AnteBellum period.


Someone would have commissioned Mr. Mason, the photographer, to make a copy in order to preserve the older image. Mason was active in Cambridge, Massachusetts at least in the late 1880's and later. Philip C. Mason was born 19 March 1852 in England. There are immigration records for him that indicate he became a naturalized citizen in the US District Court in Boston on 25 Oct 1887. He is listed at the 186 North Avenue in Cambridge, MA address where the above photo was made, in 1888 through 1890. At that time he was living in a house in Somerville.


This cabinet card is from my personal collection. The design of this dress has been part of my research into 19th century American fashion and garment construction.

I have studied this many times and I cannot tell if the baby is wild-eyed and blurred because it was in motion or if this is  post mortem. The mother’s face tells me that the child had died. But it certainly is an unanswered question.  Many experts would say that it is a boy child because his hair is parted in the middle.


This cabinet photo image measures about 4¼ by 6 3/8 inches and the card board mount is off-white in color and has rounded corners. The photographer's name is under the image and the reverse is blank except for some traces of glue from being in an album earlier. Photo software has been used to enlarge the image to show details and gray scale.


Sources: 1888, 1889, 1890 Cambridge, MA City Directories and United States Naturalization Records Index 1791-1992 accessed through

Towne & Whitney, Lady Photographers of West Gardner, Worcester Co., Massachusetts 1898

Posted by LangdonRoad on March 27, 2011 at 5:00 PM Comments comments ()



                          Alice L. Rice                                       Jessie Gertrude Ogilvie

These are likely formal portraits of two of  the graduating class of 1898 at Gardner High School. Their names are indicated on the back. These were taken at the studio of Towne & Whitney, Lady Photographers, Central St., West Gardner, Mass. The images measure 3 by 4 inches and are on charcoal gray colored textured card stock which measure 4 1/4 by 6 inches. Engraved in silver lettering on the front is the gallery name.

Towne & Whitney

Anna F. Towne and Alma F. Whitney had a photography studio in Gardner, Massachusetts, a little before and into the first decade of the 20th century.

Anna F. Towne was born Feb 1857 in Maine. From available information it seems she married in about 1876-1877 to Willis N. Towne, also a photographer (b ca 1855 in MA). They had two children, Anna M. Towne born 1877-1878 and Willis H. Towne born 1879-1880 both in MA. On the 1880 Census the family is living at 194 Washington St., Boston, MA along with Anna F. Towne’s mother-in-law Ursula Towne, sister-in-law Lilian M. Towne and brother-in-law Charles S. Towne.

Alma F. Whitney was born about 1862 in MA. In 1870 she and her siblings Alice E. and John D. were living with their widowed young mother, Emma Whitney (b ca 1841 in MA) in the Town of Athol in Worcester Co, MA. By 1880 Alma F. Whitley’s mother had married again to Sumner W. Pitts, a restaurant keeper in Athol. Alma was 18 yrs old and teaching school and living with them, her half sister Ada L. Pitts and two female boarders, or it is possible she was in Warwick. There is another listing for an Alma F. Whitney the same age, teaching school in Warwick and boarding with the family of Samuel Reed.


By 1900, Towne and Whitney were in partnership in Gardner, MA.  Anna F. Towne was 43 years old and divorced. Alma F. Whitney was 38 and unmarried. Their photography shop was at 143 Central St. in Gardner.  Working with them was Anna M. Towne, Anna’s daughter and young woman named Annie W. Ross.

That same year, 1900, Willis Towne was living and working at 289 Washington St., Boston, as a photographer with his second wife Clara Towne whom he married ca.1890.



Clara L Rice, (above left) was an educator and Assistant Administrator of Art in Newton and Gardner, Massachusetts public schools. She was born in Nov 1879 to Orrin T. Rice and his wife Martha A. (or N.) Whittemon/Whittemor. On the 1880 Federal Census in Gardner Township, Worcester County, Massachusetts, she first appears aged six months with her parents and a sister Minnie who was born 1869, all born in MA, and maternal grandparents, William Whittemon born 1820 in MA, a Grocer and his wife Eliza born 1821 also in MA. Clara Rice's father Orrin Rice was working as a clerk in his father-in-law's grocery store.


By 1900, Clara L. Rice was 20 years old, attending school and still living with her parents at 116 High Street in Gardner. She now had a younger brother William O. Rice (b ca 1881), also a student. Her father was working as a chair framer.


In 1910, her parents were living alone at 116 High Street, Gardner, but by 1920, Clara  was again at home with her parents at 116 High St. Her father was still working for a chair manufacturer and Clara was teaching in the public schools. By 1923, Clara Rice moved to Newton, Middlesex Co., MA; She is listed in the city and again in the 1929 Newton City Directory when she was assistant supervisor of drawing in the public schools in Newtonville.


Clara L. Rice, at age 50 is on the 1930 Census boarding at 17 Maple Ave., in Newton, with an elderly lady Delia E. Clegg, two Clegg relatives and one name Dorothy Taylor. In addition to Clara, there were three other unrelated spinsters who called this home: Fannie Tewkesberry  and two school teachers,Annie L. Laman and Gertrude P. Cutten. In the 1940 Newton City Directory, Clara L. Rice is still Assistant Supervisor of Art in the public school district.


Jessie Gertrude Ogilvie, (above right) was a Massachusetts educator. She was born about 1883 in Canada. She appears on the 1900 Federal Census in Gardner Township, Worcester Co., Massachusetts in the household of Charles B. Ogilvie and his wife Stella E. Ogilvie. There are other children: Florence E. Ogilvie, Eva M.Ogilvie, all born in Canada (English part) and Ivan B. Ogilvie and Clinton B. Ogilvie, who were both born in Massachusetts. All the children were attending school. Due to her Canadian birth, she can be traced further.

In 1910, Jessie G.Ogilvie is 27 years old and a resident in Elizabeth Thorpe's boarding house in Newton City, Middlesex County, MA, where she is teaching public school.  In 1920, J. Gertrude Ogilvie is back home living with her father and teaching public school in Groton. By 1930 she is living and teaching public school in Boston. 

Sources: US Federal Censuses, City Directories