Angelenos – Portraits and Cabinet Cards from the Past

1880s couple Los Angeles

Portraits from the Past: A collection of portrait studio photos and cabinet cards taken in Los Angeles between 1880 and 1899.

Above photo: Two portraits of an 1880s couple found at an estate sale in Los Angeles.


Portrait of a beautiful woman taken in Los Angeles in the late 1880s. Bizarre Los Ageles

Here is a portrait of a beautiful (probably wealthy) young woman in Los Angeles. The photographer was early pioneer Joseph T. Bertrand, and judging from the address, this photo was likely taken around 1886-87, when he had a photo studio on the Downey Block (near the site of City Hall). By 1894, he had already moved further south, away from the plaza.


Los Angeles couple cabinet card

Photo was taken circa 1887-1888 by photographer George E. Lawrence, who had a studio in Room 6 of the Downey Block on Spring Street.


LAPD officer

A Los Angeles Police Department officer in the late 19th century. His badge (No. 15) is a”Series One,” issued between 1876 and 1890, and are a highly valued collector’s item.

The photo was taken at the Treslar Photographic Art Studio, once located at 213 1/2 N. Spring Street.


1890s cabinet card los angeles

An 1890s cabinet card taken at the Sunbeam Art Gallery in Los Angeles.  The address listed on the card is 236-238 S. Main Street. The man’s identity is unknown.


Depending on special offers, the Sunbeam Art Gallery charged customers between .75 and $1.75 for a dozen cabinet cards in the 1890s.

Gallery owner Charles J. Coules, originally from England, caused a scandal in 1899 when the Los Angeles Times stated that he had eloped with a 15-year-old girl named Maggie Presser. However, Maggie’s age may not have been correct. According to 1900 census records, Coules was 35-years-old at the time of the elopement and Maggie was 18.

In 1905, the Sunbeam Art Gallery moved to 535 South Broadway Street. Its name then changed to the Angelus Studio.



Woman child Myrtle M GloegePortrait of Martha “Myrtle” M. Gloege (1873-1960) and a young child, taken at Bijou Studio at 221 S. Spring Street, c. 1896-1899. The child is probably Myrtle’s relative, Minnie Lucile Gloege (1897-1969).

Myrtle was born in Wisconsin. Her parents were German immigrants.

In either the late 1880s or early 1890s, Myrtle moved to Santa Ana to live with her aunt and uncle. In 1900, a newspaper announced that she was visiting family in Los Angeles. This was probably Edward F. Gloege, who worked as a carpenter/contractor.

From 1902 – 1904, Myrtle and her sister, Clara, lived with Edward and his family in Los Angeles. During this time, the sisters worked as dressmakers.

Myrtle married a salesman named Parker Reed sometime between 1904 and 1907. They had two children before Reed’s death in 1918.

Myrtle then spent the rest of her life as Mrs. Parker Reed, dying in Los Angeles in 1960.

Bijou Studios thrived at that Spring Street address in the 1890s. However, the Los Angeles City Directories stopped listing it around 1901.

Late 19th Century photo was taken at George Steckel's Photo Studio once located at 220 S. Spring Street. Looks like the little girl might have been holding a small puppy or kitten that moved when the photo was taken. (Bizarre Los Angeles)

Late 19th Century photo was taken at George Steckel’s Photo Studio once located at 220 S. Spring Street. Looks like the little girl might have been holding a small puppy or kitten that moved when the photo was taken.


The 1900s


A couple posing with a small basket of oranges in Los Angeles, circa 1907. (Bizarre Los Angeles)

A couple posing with a small basket of oranges in Los Angeles, circa 1907.


Novelty PhotosTwo boys pose for a Redondo Beach novelty photo, c. 1908.


Novelty Photos

A 1909 photo taken in Los Angeles. The inscription on the back reads: “Dear Mary, I wish you would write to me. This is a picture of myself, Everette and Allen. It is not good. But I will send it. Nell.”




Alhambra’s second Chief of Police, Ben Parker who is seen here, in 1914, with his brand new police car parked at the side of the Alhambra City Jail.

Prior to the acquisition of the auto, Harper patrolled the city by motorcycle with a sidecar. His pay in 1912 was $100/month.

In 1924, Harper became San Marino’s first Chief of Police. However, by 1929, he and his eight officers ran afoul of the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office for not cracking down hard enough on a well-known gambling den located at 1090 Old Mill Road.

The district attorney’s office conducted its own raid, made 15 arrests, and confiscated a number of roulette wheels.

By 1934, Parker was replaced by Gene Woods.




Banjo Player Witzel

A Los Angeles portrait sitting for a color-tinted portrait at the Witzel Studio. The photo was possibly taken in the 1920s or earlier.


Two Costumed Japanese Performers

Two Costumed Japanese Performers in a photo most likely taken in the 1920s. The photographer is I. Simada of Los Angeles.


Hula Girls 1928

An unknown Los Angeles musical Hawaiian act – 1928



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