Photo 18

This photograph could make anyone want to reach out through time and pinch this baby's cheeks.

MOUNT VERNON -- Once a month, we feature a pair of vintage cabinet card photographs taken in Knox County which do not have names identifying the people in the pictures. They were all taken by photographers who had studios in Mount Vernon.

Cabinet cards were a popular format for sharing photos in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

This month we again feature two unidentified photos from the Star & Crescent Art Gallery, one from its address at 137 S Main St, and the other from 102 W Gambier Street. It isn't known when exactly the gallery moved, but it doesn't show up in many records, so it apparently wasn't in business for a long period of time.

Its most likely window of activity is the late 1890s.

Photo 17

This photograph features a stylish young man in an overexposed shot.

The first photograph shows a handsome young man with a big shock of hair combed off to the side, as was stylish at the time. He's dressed in a good suit, though details of his tie are washed out in the slightly overexposed picture. The quality makes me think this was one of the photographer's earlier attempts at portraiture.

The second picture brings us a delightfully chubby-cheeked baby. This picture, from the Gambier Street address, seems technically more accomplished. Could it be that our fledgling photographer rented a downtown shop but found that he or she was unable to secure enough business to pay the rent?

That might explain the move to a location further from main street. Whatever the case, Star & Crescent was not in business for long, so it never really seems to have taken off.

It is amusing to think that this baby could very well be the great-grandparent of someone reading this column.

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