Miss Gertrude G. Hooper and her Doll

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If the identification penciled on the back of this carte de visite is correct, this little girl is Gertrude G. Hooper (b. March 1869, Md.), daughter of Baltimore cotton manufacturer William John Hooper (1836-1911) and Emily Gladding Hooper (b. abt. 1838, Md.).

In 1874, the date given along with her name, Gertrude would have been about five years old. She was the granddaughter of cotton duck manufacturer William E. Hooper (1812-1885) who, with H. N. Gambrill, bought a Woodberry cotton mill in 1849.

In 1865, the men dissolved their partnership, Gambrill founding Druid Mills, and Hooper taking into partnership his sons, William J., Theodore, and James Hooper.

By the time of the elder Hooper’s death, William E. Hooper & Sons had expanded to include three more mills at Woodberry: the Park, Meadow, and the Clipper, and the Washington Mills at Mt. Washington.

According to the New York Tribune’s obituary, the Hooper firm was at that time one of the largest in its line in the country. The mills made use of the water power along Jones Falls, on the eastern border of Druid Hill Park. They closed permanently in 1961.

Today property developers are working to turn Clipper Mill, and the neighboring Poole and Hunt Foundry, into fashionable studios and offices.

Gertrude’s father William J. Hooper (1836-1911) also at that time owned the Baltimore Herald newspaper and another cotton mill in North Carolina. The family lived on Lafayette Avenue in 1880, at 1923 W. Lanvale Street in 1900, and then in 1910 at fashionable 1504 McCulloh Street between Druid Hill Avenue and Eutaw Place.

William J. Hooper is buried in Green Mount Cemetery, Baltimore.

The reverse includes Daniel Bendann’ familiar coat of arms backmark. His “Galleries of Photography” were located at 26 N. Charles Street from 1874 to 1879.

Color Me Badly, Bendann

Even the renowned Bendanns could turn out bad work. I was fortunate to acquire two Bendann Brothers carte de visites of the same subject. One has been hand-tinted; one has not. The contrast is striking. Instead of animating nature, an unskilled hand has marred it.

These two cartes were produced at the Bendanns’ 205 W. Baltimore Street gallery, which, according to Ross Kelbaugh‘s Directory of Baltimore Photographers, the brothers occupied from 1859 to 1860.

Bendann with Blind Emboss

This ca. 1860 carte de visite has an unusual  blind-embossed “Bendann” mark instead of the usual printed studio mark.

According to Baltimore photography historian Ross Kelbaugh, Daniel Bendann opened his own studio in Richmond, Virginia in 1856. In 1858, he worked as a photographer for the B & O Railroad. He and his brother, David Bendann, opened their Baltimore studio in 1859.

I have one other Baltimore card photograph with a blind-emboss studio mark:  A carte de visite by Henry Pollock. Blind-emboss may be an indication of an earlier date in the wet plate era.

Like some earlier cartes in my collection, including the Pollock, this Bendann cdv was made with austere props on a thin, ivory card stock without border lines.

His coat is shorter and more fitted than the the typical sack coat of the 1860s. He wears a matching vest and contrasting checked trousers. His necktie is worn vertically, in a soft knot at the neck–a style that seems to have been common in the 1870s.

Without additional information about how the Bendanns marked their early work and when the blind emboss mark was in use, is not possible to be sure  when  this carte was produced.

Bogardus & Bendann, Briefly

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“Messrs. BENDANN Bros., of this city, have entered into copartnership with Mr. Abraham Bogardus, of New York, to commence on Jan. 1st, 1872,” read an announcement in the January 1872 issue of Richard Walzl’s journal The Photographer’s Friend.

The above sensitive portrait of a young girl was made during this brief New York partnership. Horace Greeley and Samuel F. B. Morse were among the sitters who visited their studio. The three-story brick building, at 1153 Broadway near 27th Street, still stands.

By 1874, Daniel and David Bendann were again listed in Woods’ Baltimore City Directory.