|dc.description||This unidentified African Canadian man is photographed at the Dominion Photo Studio, located at 388 Queen St. West in Toronto. The photographer's name is not known. No date is provided, however, the Dominion Studio is listed as operating from 1893-1894. The reverse of the card displays the Dominion Photo Studio stamp in gold lettering (image also attached). The gentleman in this cabinet card is possibly a relative of the Sloman - Bell family, who settled in the London and St. Catharines areas of Ontario. This cabinet card was among the family memorabilia in the possession of Iris Sloman Bell, of St. Catharines. Relatives of the Sloman - Bell family include former African American slaves who came to Canada.The Dominion Portait Co. is listed as operating from 1893-1894 in Toronto. There is an additional listing for the Dominion Portrait Co. (Gourlay and Clark props.) for 1894.
Source: Phillips, Glen C. The Ontario photographers list (1851-1900). Sarnia: Iron Gate Publishing Co., 1990.
"Cabinet card photographs were first introduced in 1866. They were initially employed for landscapes rather than portraitures. Cabinet cards replaced Carte de visite photographs as the popular mode of photography. Cabinet cards became the standard for photographic portraits in 1870. Cabinet cards experienced their peak in popularity in the 1880's. Cabinet cards were still being produced in the United States until the early 1900's and continued to be produced in Europe even longer. The best way to describe a cabinet card is that it is a thin photograph that is mounted on a card that measures 4 1/4″ by 6 1/2″. Cabinet cards frequently have artistic logos and information on the bottom or the reverse of the card which advertised the photographer or the photography studio's services."