Photographers

O. J. (1869 - 1935) and Sallie Rader (1872 - 1949) and the Rembrandt Studio

By 1903, the Charlotte City directory lists six photographers, including Otis Johnson Rader, who was professionally known as O. J. Rader (1869-1935) and his wife Sarah "Sallie", Charlotte’s first professional woman photographer. (Walsh’s Charlotte, City Directory, 1903, pp. 401, 509.) A native of Caldwell County, North Carolina, Otis was the son of Pinkie Rader and Laura Johnson. (Mecklenburg County Vital Records, Death Certificate, Book 46 p. 181.) Sarah Deal Rader was born on September 16, 1872 in Newton, North Carolina. She was the daughter of Hosea and Arrina Deal. (Mecklenburg County Vital Records, Death Certificate 1082, 1948 and Eleventh Census, 1880, Population Schedule, Catawba County, Newton, North Carolina, p. 507.)
 
The couple first worked in Chester, South Carolina before coming to Charlotte. According to Sarah’s obituary, they came to Charlotte in 1895; however they did not close the Chester gallery until March of 1898, and their names do not appear in the city directory until 1903. (Partners with the Sun: South Carolina Photographers, by Harvey S. Teal, University of South Carolina, Columbia, 2002, p. 186; The Charlotte Observer, 7 August 1948, p. 10A and Eleventh Census, 1880, Population Schedule, Catawba County, Newton, North Carolina, p. 507.) The Rader’s first studio was on 1 West Fifth Street, where the Ivey’s building now stands. (Eleventh Census, 1880, Population Schedule, and The Charlotte Observer, 7 August 1948, p. 10A.)