Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sentimental Sunday - Women with Hats - One and a Half Women from Danville, PA

This week's Women with Hats features a cabinet card with two for the price of one, or rather one and half women.  This photograph taken by McMahan & Irland shows presumably a mother and very young daughter, about age three or four, both wearing hats.  I believe this cabinet card photo to have been taken in the very late 1880's, probably 1888 or 1889.    The mother is wearing a typical 1880's bustled dress and an amazing hat.  The little girl is wearing an white dress and her sweet face is framed by the straw hat with the white flower at the top. 

The photographers are Thomas M. McMahan (1829 - ) son of James and Margaret McMahan and of Scots-Irish origin.  He began to learn the art of photography in 1853 and in 1865 settled in Danville.   In 1871 he went into business with  Mr. Ireland under the name of McMahan & Ireland.  In 1854 he married Carolyn Reed. 

Ireland is James M. Ireland, who was born in Northumberland County, PA in 1847, a son of John M. and Amanda (McMahan) Ireland, also of Scotch- Irish descent    In 1864 he enlisted in Company E, Ninth Pennsylvania Volunteer Cavalry and served until the close of war and was captured at Woodbury, Tenn, and was paroled three weeks later.   After his return to to Danville he married Lucy F. Maxwell.

Source:  Montour County, Pennsylvania, Biographical Sketches


  1. Such a charming photo. The child's hat is really cute, as is she. There's something about Mom that seems stern, like you wouldn't want to cross her. Yet she seems approachable too.

  2. The daughter tries to imitate the facial expression of the mother ...


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