The Archives | 1900 (circa) Pit Bull Dog and Baby

This is the fourth edition of this – “THE ARCHIVE” blog series, which gives an inside look into my personal physical collection of original historical artifacts I have acquired during production of my documentary films. This specific piece is yet another cabinet card, the third cabinet card discussed thus far, but estimated to be taken around the year 1900 it appears to be just slightly younger than the two previously shared here and here.

Without much written on the photographs, it’s always extremely difficult to find out more about the subjects (dog and human) being photographed. The only thing written on the back of this item is:
“Bill with his dog.”

1900 (circa) Cabinet Card of Pit Bull Dog and Children | L.F. Bates Studio

So, it’s safe to say the baby is a boy named Bill, but aside from that who Bill or his best friend sitting next to him is on a deeper level is unknown to me at this stage.

If and when I do decide to pursue researching these historical items further, thankfully it was standard practice for the photographers of these cabinet cards to imprint their studio name onto the card…and that is true to this one as well.

The photographer goes by the name “L.F. Bates” and his studio is found at the address 283 Westminster Street in Providence, Rhode Island. I attempted to do a little more digging into the L. F. Bates and the only thing I was able to locate are the following links:

On page 747 of the embedded PDF from this 1898 Providence House Directory and Family Address Book, it has L.F. Bates & Co. with photog’rs (an abbreviation of photographer, I assume) listed for 303 Westminster Street. My guess is perhaps he moved his studio a couple years later just down the street…

I say later rather than earlier because I found another link with a database of 19th and early 20th Century photographers that has the address for L.F. Bates as the same one listed on the cabinet card (283 Westminster), along with a designation of the year 1902.

The Archives

This THE ARCHIVES blog entry is part of the research pre-production phase to the docuseries – “ONCE IN A LIFETIME“. For more information about the film, go to:

Watch the “Once In A Lifetime” Concept Trailer:
2022 “Once In A Lifetime” Concept Trailer

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