Friday, October 12, 2012

Fashionable Friday - Late 1870's Spencer, Mass Fashionista

Unidentified 1870's Spencer, MA woman
Today's Fashionable Friday photograph is a CDV (Carte de Visite) most likely from the late 1870's. The subject is a young, curly-haired woman with a somber look about her.  She almost seems a bit dazed.  The photograph was taken in half pose from the waist up and from what I can tell she is dressed quite fashionably in the style of the mid to late 1870's.  Her hairstyle is somewhat typical of the era with frizzy bangs and although most womn pulled their hair up into a bun on top of their heads hers is more towards the back.  I suspect this young woman may have had a little trouble managing all those tight curls!  The 1870's trend of wearing hair piled high on the head was to make way for the high, elaborate collars and necklines.   The trend was lots of lace and trim about the neck, the more the better.  I think this subject's neckline definitely fits all these criteria! She is even wearing a type of chain that was commonly seen on women at that time.  The dress is a bit unusual from the little I can see, the sleeves and buttons in particular.

I have written before about the photographer, E. L. Jaynes who was Edward Lyman James born in Massachusetts in 1842.  Jaynes was a well-known photographer in Spencer and died there in 1937.  See here for previous posts.


  1. Yes, she does seem to have been warned not to blink. The lace does seem heavy-handed, but she had to be fashionable!

  2. I don't know this for sure but she could be from one of two well know families in town around that time. There was the prouty family (the local high school is named after the father) or from the sagondoh (unsure of spelling). The two familys married into eachother and at one point started murdering each other.

    1. How very interesting! Too bad (as usual) there was no identification on the photo. I have always thought she looked like she came from Shakespearean times almost as if she was in costume.


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