A Music Hall Fiddler - circa 1875


A Music Hall Fiddler - Joseph Buchtel

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First seen in Britain in the 1830s, by the 1870s the popularity of music halls had spread to most good-sized towns in the Pacific Northwest. Much like vaudeville, they featured rousing songs and comedy acts, often performed by itinerant performers.

They differed from more formal concert halls in that patrons could consume food and alcohol and smoke tobacco while watching the show. Travelling musicians found it useful to create personas for themselves so that folks in the audience could readily identify and remember them.

The fiddler shown here wears an outfit with patches, playing the part of a wandering minstrel. His photo was taken, not in a music hall, but in Joseph Buchtel's studio.

-- This photo is restored and printed by Old Oregon.

Additional Information

Item Number AA1237
Photographer Joseph Buchtel
Location Portland, Multnomah County
Subject Performers, Portraits
Decade 1870s
Print Maker Old Oregon
Original Type Cabinet Card
Size of Original 3.6 x 4.5 inches
Photographer's Number No