Mystery Photos #118 and #119: Gals at H. Mathieson Studio

Many early studio photographers around Duluth printed their photographs on flowery pre-printed cabinet cards, often with their names prominently displayed. Often the name of the person photographed is lost to history, but we can easily locate the photographer in the records more than 100 years later.

This wasn’t always the case. One photographer was much more subtle, and included her name with a simple embosser or stamp, such as the photo above, marked “H. Mathieson, Duluth.”

The Minnesota Historical Society’s Directory of Photographers lists, circa 1914:

Henrietta Mathieson
22 W. Superior St.

A look at the July 22, 1911 issue of the Duluth Herald gives a bit more information about “Miss Henrietta Mathiesen” (her name was often spelled with an “en” ending).

Mathieson emigrated from Norway where she may have already been trained as a photographer. According to the city directory of the time she also had a relative, possibly a sister or niece, working with her in 1911.

Henrietta Mathieson appears in the Duluth City Directory through 1940. Due to her subtle photographer’s mark, it is not easy to find many photos from her studio. This undated and rather unusual photo was found in a more ornate frame with a small “Mathieson Duluth” embossed upon it. Perhaps these are some of the children with whom Miss Mathieson “makes a hit” as the 1911 article described.

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