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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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Ruby: 1915

Ruby: 1915

New York, December 11, 1915. "Mrs. John Charles Thomas." The singer Ruby Rothnour, wife of the noted baritone. In 1923 she got a divorce in Reno. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.

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Those Shoes

I couldn't tear my eyes away from them. Her shoes I mean.

Good for her

Knowing that divorce was very uncommon in those days, my hat goes off to her for getting one in order to get away from an abusive husband. He sounded like a horrid man.

Well, that's just plain dental cruelty

Nipped her on her shoulder, did he? Maybe he was just passing along a hello from Bela Lugosi. Here in Baltimore where the songbirds tied the knot, word in the crab cake houses was JT was spending too much time painting that damn car of his and fooling around with the Graduola device on his "fancy-schmancy" Aeolian-Vocalion phonograph.


Gotta say those creepy dolls probably caused the divorce.

Naked Breakfast

New York Times, Feb. 5, 1923.


Mrs. John C. Thomas Charged
Husband's Cruelty Caused Her
To Lose 28 Pounds

        RENO, Nev., Feb. 4 -- Ruby Thomas, wife of John Charles Thomas, an American baritone, obtained a divorce in the District Court here late yesterday. Cruelty was charged in the complaint, Mrs. Thomas testifying that his treatment caused her to lose weight from 130 pounds to 102 pounds, at which figure she now tips the scales.

        Thomas was temperamental, Mrs. Thomas testified, and on one occasion he bit her until the blood ran from her shoulder, she said. On another occasion Thomas did not like the gown she wore at the breakfast table, and, in the presence of a male guest, is alleged to have torn the garment from her body, leaving her almost nude.

        The couple were married in Baltimore in 1913.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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