Four 1880s portraits by Stone & Needles of South Pueblo, Colorado
Here we see four historic cabinet card portraits by the studio of Stone & Needles, which was located in the Holden Block in South Pueblo, Colorado. I couldn’t find much documentation about them online, but one reference listed them as active in the 1800s. I wasn’t even able to identify the full names of Stones or Needles.
The Holden Block
The Holden Block, where their studio was housed, still stands at 201 N. Santa Fe in downtown Pueblo. It was built in 1882 by a gentleman names Delos Holden who became mayor of Pueblo in 1886. None of the historical accounts of the building that I found made any mention of the photographers as having been occupants there. The ground floor held auto parts stores for up to 80 years, and in the early 1900s, the Pueblo News Agency was officed there.
About cabinet cards
Cabinet cards were popular from the 1870s until the 1890s. They featured a thin photographic print on albumen paper, which was mounted to a rigid card that usually had a prominent display of the studio name on the front, and often included elaborate graphics on the back that advertised the services of the studio. Albumen prints are characteristically somewhat glossy with a red-brown to yellow-brown color. Given the era the photographs were made, they would have been exposed using natural light.
The Stone and Needles cabinet cards are trimmed along the edges with gold foil, with the studio information printed in gold metallic ink. The backs of all four of these are blank.
When were the photographs made?
Because these cards specify the location of the studio in South Pueblo, I’m dating them prior to 1886, which is the year that three separate entities — Pueblo, South Pueblo, and Central Pueblo — were legally merged into the City of Pueblo.
Thanks for reading.