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A Priest and a Tophat on a Cabinet Card

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Cabinet Card Photographs196 of 372Backshot profiles and twist around poses on cabinet cardsTwo Rogues
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Posted 5 years ago


(136 items)


Here is a cabinet card of L'Abbey William Tremblay. There is no other information on the card - no location and no photographers stamp of any sort. However, the priest has with him two unusual possessions (for a priest!). The first is a pocket watch which he seems to be wearing in the most perculiar fashion with several buttons of his tunic undone to accomodate the drop of the chain - the watch is tucked into a pocket of his vestments. I am guessing that he wanted to secure the other end of the chain to his shirt, which would be more like a dickey under the tunic. Why didn't he just attach the end of the chain to one of the button holes in his tunic, and then button it up again. Most peculiar. Also unusual is the presence of what appears to be a very nice top hat on the table next to him, as well as a cane with a white (perhaps ivory) knob on top, and in his hand he holds a pair of nice leather gloves. He is quite young. Perhaps a young man from an affluent family entering the priesthood, and taking with him his most cherished possessions - reminders of his past life - the pocket watch, top hat, cane and gloves. The priest and his possessions.


  1. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 5 years ago
    The caped crusader in a top-hat?
  2. musikchoo musikchoo, 5 years ago
    Have you noticed the faint outline of what apears to be an arm at the bottom of the table cloth that extends to his garment. Could be a double exposure of some kind.
  3. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 5 years ago
    the shoes look pretty interesting too. maybe the watch was attached to a nipple ring? [i hope i'm not offending anyone here!]
  4. Roycroftbooksfromme1 Roycroftbooksfromme1, 5 years ago
    looks more like a actor on a stage ...look at the back drop ...and how he is dressed
  5. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 5 years ago
    Ho2---, you just got a gold star & went up 7 points on my charts!
  6. scottvez scottvez, 5 years ago
    I don't believe it is a priest either-- not sure who/ what he is portraying?

  7. musikchoo musikchoo, 5 years ago
    I think he may be a Magician.
  8. Roycroftbooksfromme1 Roycroftbooksfromme1, 5 years ago
    maybe he's a crossdresser that I here about all the time
  9. Roycroftbooksfromme1 Roycroftbooksfromme1, 5 years ago
    It is bellin ..just hard to tell what he's up too.... its the top hat and cane ,dont fit the picture nor his shirt ..which leaves ya to wonder....whats up here in this i would a small show some where ...
  10. antiquarius123 antiquarius123, 5 years ago
    Hi all and thanks for your interesting and entertaining comments. Clearly written on the back of the card in hand writing is L'Abbe William Tremblay - so that's why I assumed he is a priest. But I agree that the whole thing is most peculiar. And BTW, what appears to be double exposure is the reflection of the archival bag I have the cab card in - no double exposure. As for the backdrop - it appears to be a typical pull down studio backdrop. I guess we'll never know! But it is fun to speculate!
  11. antiquarius123 antiquarius123, 5 years ago
    I just looked in the French literature and found that L'Abbe William Tremblay was a priest in the parish of Saint-Louis de Chambourg in the Lac St Jean Region of Quebec - just north of Quebec City. His main claim to fame appears to be getting a convent built there at the end of his career which was in 1948. That would put this photo around the turn of the century, which might be right. So it would seem he was a real priest after all - just peculiar that's all!
  12. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 5 years ago
    Maybe there's a little boy under there.
  13. antiquarius123 antiquarius123, 5 years ago
    You guys cut me up....don't you know you are going to get struck by lightening talking like that about some poor dead priest - lol
  14. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 5 years ago
    Those exalted might get struck from what we have learned in past years, but I feel safer walking on a bare field during a lighting storm with a copper rod held up.
  15. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 5 years ago
    I know you were, but I'm not.
  16. Manikin Manikin, 5 years ago
    Never saw a priest with his shirt open ? and sleeves look like leather ? Odd
  17. Manikin Manikin, 5 years ago

    Once upon a time ... The Ursuline Convent de Chambord Father William Tremblay, parish priest of Saint-Louis de Chambord, supported by school inspector, wants its citizens to a school run by nuns. He works this question for nearly twenty-five years. It was finally in 1945 that Monsignor Georges Melancon gives Ursulines de Roberval permission to work in Chambord. 7 September 1945, Father Tremblay sends his servant seeking five religious founding a new mission: Mother Saint-Jean-de-la-Croix (Adele) Latulippe, Manager, Mother Saint-Léon (Carmen) Ouellet, Mother Marie-de-la-Paix (Thérèse) Lavoie, Mother Saint-Paul-de- the Cross (Marie-Paule) Bouchard, Sister Saint-Gérard-Majella (Alphonsine) Dutil. They reside in temporary home pass summer to Monastery of Ursulines of Roberval. [194 -] First Residence des Ursulines de Chambord, photographic collections the Provincial House of the Ursulines of Quebec, PH-OSUQ-C/052/004. To meet the needs of Ursulines, Father Tremblay decides to build a convent fireproof. In 1947, the foundations of the new convent are created with the help of a grant. Unfortunately, Father Tremblay died before seeing the new convent completed. Another test awaits the Ursulines. January 28, 1948, the monastery still building was partly destroyed by fire. Fire damage woodwork and plaster while the roof is completely burned. This is Finally in July 1948 Ursulines enter their new residence named Convent of the Sacred Heart-de- Mary. The life communal of Ursulines is shared between the prayer and education. According to years, they are from April to August nuns in the convent. January 28, 1948, Fire in the Ursuline Convent de Chambord, Photographic collections of the Provincial House of the Ursulines Quebec PH-OSUQ-C
  18. Manikin Manikin, 5 years ago
    yes it is Kevin was that ok with you :-) I hope so
  19. antiquarius123 antiquarius123, 5 years ago
    Being a good Canadian, I speak French and this is the article that I read in French - the translation is poor but you can get the ghist of the story. His main claim to fame is building the convent for the Ursuline nuns. All this is very interesting, but it still doesn't give us a clue as to why, as a young man, he had a photo taken with his shirt open and possessions around that a priest would not probably have had. I guess we'll never know!
  20. Manikin Manikin, 5 years ago
    I did best could some words don't translate well from French to English . anyway I am wondering if he was ill and this is a medical device and photo was taken to show he was getting better and looking healthy for his parishioners ? It looks like a early either pacemaker m drainage tube or since we can't see where on chest it really is hooked to him a feeding tube ? Just a guess
  21. Manikin Manikin, 5 years ago
    The top Hat ,cane and gloves ? Just not sure he is a priest or it was take your picture in a scene to send home and they supplied clothes . He looks like he is going to do a magic trick.
  22. Roycroftbooksfromme1 Roycroftbooksfromme1, 5 years ago
    Ive just gut to say what a great job you all did on this picture far as blunder well finding hes a funny man....
  23. Roycroftbooksfromme1 Roycroftbooksfromme1, 5 years ago
    "And God promised men that good and obedient wives would be found in all
    corners of the earth".

    Then he made the earth round... and he laughed and laughed and laughed

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