Chas. B. Welles as Napoleon

Chas. B. Welles as Napoleon

S.L. Stein was from Milwaukee at the time this portfolio was published.

Simon Leonard Stein: 1854-1922


Born in Austria in 1854, Simon Leonard Stein immigrated to the United States in 1866 after the untimely death of his parents. He settled in Chicago, where he studied under photographer A.J. Lawson before relocating to Milwaukee. There, he took a new position retouching photographs for Hugo von Broich, eventually purchasing the studio of Broich and Cramer in 1879 and opening the S.L. Stein Studio at North Third Street and State.


During his career, Stein’s work won 29 medals in exhibitions ranging from the Exposition Universelle in Paris and the World’s Columbian International Exposition to the Louisiana Purchase Exposition and the Pan-Pacific International Exposition. He also served twice as president of the Photographer’s Association of America.


Additionally, Stein helped to perfect the Lumiere and English color plate process and discovered a way of printing photographs directly on various metals, including gold, silver and bronze, developments that greatly influenced the industry. Despite such contributions to the developing world of photography, however, Stein was a portrait photographer by trade. He produced prints of exceptional quality, so much so that prominent individuals from across the nation took note and requested that he take their portraits.


Stein’s son Julian was born in Milwaukee in 1883. Working under various photographers from St. Louis to Cincinnati, Boston, and New York City, Julian returned to Milwaukee in 1920 to take over his father’s studio when Simon’s health began to fail. Julian continued his father’s legacy of superb portrait photography until his death in 1937.

(Source: Wisconsin Historical Society online resource)

Charles B. Welles was a touring Vaudeville actor who is listed in online references to having played the role of Napoleon in 1902.

Chas. B. Welles as Napoleon

Image Dimensions23.6 x 14.8 cm tipped along upper margin

Support Dimensions35.4 x 27.8 cm