This album belonged to Ella Ferris Peck or her mother Sallie Estell Ferris. The donor said that one of these women knew George M. Cohan (1878-1942), which explains why the album contains photographic prints of various performers active at the turn-of-the-century. Cohan was an entertainer, playwright, actor and director active prior to WWI. Cohan’s parents had been traveling Vaudeville performers, so he was introduced to show business at an early age. He had his first major broadway hit with Little Johnny Jones (1905), wrote 50 plays and musicals, and published over 1,500 original songs. Many of his plays were made into films.

At the left you will see some examples from this album. Emma Hyers was an African American actress, who performed around the Midwest prior to 1900. Bessie Ludlow was also an actress. Other pictures show generals from the Civil War and political cartoons and Bayard Taylor, who was an American travel author and poet. And other actresses, such as Jane Coombs, and Louise Henderson. Most of these prints come from the studios of well-known New York photographers. This is a prize of the Charlton Park collection and we are lucky to have it.

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