2008 Top One Hundred Countdown # 35: Composite Memorial Cabinet Card, Factory Fire, Nineteen Dead, Reading, Pennsylvania

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    From the infamous New York Gallery in the infamous Reading, Pennsylvania, a true memorial. Seems like there was a fire at some sort of factory or mill, and nineteen perished. The serrated edges of the card date this photo from the 1890's. Well, the light slash at the bottom says, "copyrighted 1888," so you Demonic Mistake Finders, there's your first mistake.

    jack_mord, fc&g collector, and 5 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    1. opie_jeanne 64 months ago | reply

      Tragic. Some of them look like teens, and one looks younger than that.

    2. tasaint 49 months ago | reply

      Maybe this labor strike in Lattimer, PA? Late 1890's, left 19 dead.

      explorepahistory.com/hmarker.php?markerId=400

    3. opie_jeanne 49 months ago | reply

      tasaint, there are photos in the center of the card that show the factory before and after the fire.

    4. fc&g collector 49 months ago | reply

      Believe it to be January 9, 1889 cyclone that leveled most of the Grisham Silk Mill at Reading, PA. killing more than the 19 photographed here. There is another photo with story and photograph of building. Notice the building is not charred.

    5. art deco gecko 9 months ago | reply

      Ok, I too have a memorial card from the same studio, so I have to ask: what makes the New York Gallery so "infamous"?

    6. mrwaterslide 9 months ago | reply

      most all the cabinet cards produced by The New York Gallery, and several of the other photography studios operating in Reading @ that time, have masks surrounding the image. thus, one can not really say with any certainty that any given image is a memorial, without supporting documentary evidence. the same can be said for most any memorial one finds --- it may be a memorial, or it may just be an ordinary photography that has been graced with a mask. my theory is that the Reading studios pushed the memorial masks because they were able to charge a bit extra for the use. but that's just a theory.

      obviously, this card does in fact memorialize the dead. and it has no mask. sort of an anomaly from The New York Gallery. there are tons of images produced by the Reading studios.

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