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Mystery Photo #79: Piper & Johnson

This cabinet card photo is from the Piper & Johnson studio at 227 E. Superior St., Duluth. Today that location is where Greysolon Plaza, the former Hotel Duluth, sits. Since cabinet cards were popular at the end of the 19th Century, the Piper & Johnson studio must have been in a building that predates the Hotel Duluth, which opened in 1925.

It’s not likely anyone can solve the mystery of who the little darlings are in the photo, but there must be info out there about the photography duo of Piper & Johnson.

Piper must have been Charles W. Piper, who is known to have operated at that address during the 1890s in two other partnerships — Piper & Gaylord and Piper & Mossefin.

But who is Johnson? According to the Minnesota Historical Society’s Directory of Photographers, there were at least five Duluth shutterbugs with the last name Johnson from that era: A. W. Johnson, C. F. Johnson, Frederick B. Johnson, Frederick W. Johnson and William C. Johnson.

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