Mystery Photos: Wide Awake Studios

The same pair of gentlemen appear in the photos above from the Wide Awake Studio in Duluth. In addition to the mystery of who the subjects of these photos might be is the question of why the particular studio they are standing in was open seven days a week until midnight. Why would people at the turn of the 20th Century want to, for example, get their photos taken at 11 p.m. on a Sunday? Was that normal?

The location of the studio is listed in this newspaper advertisement as 10 E. Superior St., which at the time was in the Brown Brothers Block next to the Empress Theatre. The Empress is where the Electric Fetus music and gift store is today. The Brown Brothers Block is long gone; a small plaza with an entrance to the Duluth Lakewalk is there today.

In this second set of images, the one at left is dated 1913. The one at right was found in a discussion on the Two Harbors Forum website, where the man is identified as Justus Carlson circa 1910-20.


Mike Creger

about 4 years ago

I'm going to assume they had a lot of biz off the street, from the theater crowd.

Mike Creger

about 4 years ago

To add to the oddity, and offer a clue if you can get a reverse directory from 1914, here's a June 7, 1914, DNT classified ad:

For sale: A very intelligent parrot. 1 year old double yellow head. Call Wide Awake Studio, 10 E. Superior. Grand 311Y or Mel. 3515.

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