All right, summer's winding down. I haven't traveled very much, but I did make a couple of trips to Wichita and one, very brief, to Michigan and Indiana. Here's a trio of photos I found in an antique mall near Benton Harbor, MI (and not far from Niles, MI, home of 19th c. baby farmer and camp follower Mrs. Almira Griffiths!):
My guess is that these characters are meant to be a city slicker and a corn-fed rube, and that one is about to con the other out of a suitcase (not necessarily the one we think). The photographic studio is the Locke Clute company of 79 Washington Avenue in Detroit, and the stamp on the back of the photos identifies the artistes as Leo and Earl James, Singers and Character Change Artists (and get a load of the spooky Burlesque Shroud-of-Turin Effect bleeding through the back of the card):
Finally, here's one of the brothers solo, playing a drunkard:
All three images are marked on the back in pencil: One, "Earl Jake no. 1; "Earl Jake and" and finally just "Earl Jake." Someone who didn't like Leo, or was Leo's real name Jake? Was Jake their real last name? And whatever became of them?
NEXT: Adult novelties sold in gas station restroom vending machines!