Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Wedding Wednesday - Early 1900's Hoboken, NJ Couple

This unidentified, young married couple had their photograph taken sometime between the turn of the century and 1910 by photographer W. Manewal of 520 Washington St., Hoboken, NJ.  The bride is wearing a simple dress, perhaps gray in color, fitted at the waist and it has a high neckline.  There are small, tiered layers on the hem and midway up the skirt and the bodice has an unusual ruffle in the middle. The sleeves are more fitted on the upper arms and billow down to the cuffs which match the neckline.  Her beautiful headdress is floor-length and she carries a lovely bouquet of white roses.  If you look closely it appears she moved slightly as the bouquet is a little out of focus.  The groom is quite dapper and simply dressed and sports a small boutonniere.

The photographer is a true American success story.  He was William Manewal who was born 6 Sep 1872 in Wörrstadt, Germany and immigrated to the United States in 1890 at age 18 on the ship Rhynland which sailed from Antwerp, Belgium   I found numerous hits for him on Ancestry.com including a listing in the Jersey City, New Jersey City Directory 1893 in which he listed his residence as 807 Hudson and his occupation as photographer.  Ten years later in 1903 according to the same city directory he was practicing his occupation at 520 Washington St. in Hoboken, NJ where this photograph was taken.  On 18 May 1903 he applied for a US Passport and listed this additional information:  wife Albertina (Wassner) Manewal, two children William 9 years and Adelfed 9 months, he became a naturalized citizen of the United States on 9 Mar 1900.  Manewal was 5'8" tall, had brown hair, blue eyes and had a light complexion.  By 1930, Manewal and his wife were living in Teaneck, Bergen County, NJ where he still earned his living as a photographer.


I also found a number of his photographs on Google as well as a short biography written by William Nelson (see source below), which described him as "a leader in his particular field of art" and "he is regarded as an expert in his art.....his patronage comes to him from far and wide." According to the author, Manewal studied in Paris, France and Venice, Italy before immigrating to the United States where he opened a photographic studio in Hoboken upon his arrival.  He became extremely successful and was a member of a number of organizations including the New Jersey State Photographic Art Association, Hoboken Lodge, Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks and the Hoboken Academy.


Source:  Nelson's Biographical  Cyclopedia of New Jersey, Volume 2 by William Nelson, 1913, publisher Eastern Historical Publishing Society, New York.

7 comments:

  1. Beautiful photograph and a thoroughly enjoyable read!

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  2. I cannot find Warstadt, maybe it is Karstädt? Nice biography!

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    1. Rob, thanks for pointing that out. I just went back and looked at Ancestry's document and they transcribed it incorrectly, it was "Wörrstadt." I've going to go ahead and edit the document to reflect the same. Thanks for being my fact checker!

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  3. Teresa, I just found your blog from a comment you posted on the blog, Forgotten Old Photos. I came over and took a look and love what I'm seeing here. Looking forward to reading more!

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    1. Thanks for the kind words Jacqi, hope you will come back by often!

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  4. I like the background and props in the photo -- very weddingish. No wonder the photographer was so successful.

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  5. I love their playful take on this new trend. I especially love all the bright colored prom dresses from ycdress and dressesforbest

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