Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tintype Tuesday - Late 1860's/Early 1870's Young Woman with Flowers in Her Hair

Today's Tintype Tuesday is a lovely young, unidentified young  woman wearing a belted, gingham dress with flowered headband.  This tintype photograph was most likely taken in the late 1860's to early 1870's, but since there is no photographer's mark or identification of the subject it is not possible to positively narrow down the date or location.


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Sepia Saturday #257 - Children Sitting on Steps - Century Old Photo Op

It's Sunday, but here is my Sepia Saturday entry for the theme based on the father, son and dog on the front porch steps.  I'm late getting this in, but this week at work some kind person shared their germs and I've been down and out with a terrible cold.  I just crawled out of my bed to publish this post so I'll keep it short and sweet.

This first photograph is a copy of the original and was poorly developed so I tried to darken it up a little to make it easier to view.  It shows three little boys and one girl sitting on the front porch steps of a Victorian style house.  None of these children are identified.  I am estimating this was taken in the 1890's.  I wish I could narrow down the time frame, but I am not good at dating children's clothing.


This second photograph again shows four unidentified children, and I am guessing two girls and two boys sitting on the front porch steps.  They are all dressed in white, but the two on the right have on black shoes and the two on the left have on white.  Note, the little girl second from the left is holding her dolly.  I believe this to have been taken between 1910- 1920.


Well, that's all for me.  To see more fabulous photographs step on over to Sepia Saturday!


Friday, December 5, 2014

Fashionable Friday -1860's Civil War Era Philadephia Woman in Checkered Hoop Dress

This 1860's CDV of an unidentified Philadelphia, PA woman in a checkered, hoop dress is simple, but interesting. I'm not an expert at deciphering fabrics, but this dress has a very striking checkered fabric with dark waistband. There is also a dark piece of matching trim running down the length of the pagoda sleeves. In addition, she has the typical 1860's small white collar.  Her hair his worn in the style of the times; parted in the middle and pulled back in a bun and note her decorative headdress. This young woman was appears to have been quite lovely and demure in her pose.


It is very hard to tell from the scan, but it appears the photographer lightly tinted her cheeks.  This photograph appears to have been taken between 1862 to early 1864.  The back of the photo is almost more interesting than the front.  The photographer is listed as "Rehn & Sons' New & commodious Ground floor Galleries.  510 Arch Street Philadelphia. 



 I found a number of similar time frame photos on Google by Rehn & Sons, but little information on the photographer.  I found this information on Ancestry.com in the 1864 Philadelphia City Directory, but due to the large amount of Rehns in Philadelphia was not able to pin down the exact name of which was the father and/or the sons.



Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Wedding Wednesday - Elegant 1930's Wedding Party

For today's Wedding Wednesday here is a great photograph of a very fashionable and sophisticated 1930's wedding party.  The bride and groom are in the middle; not sure which couple are the maid of honor and best man.  The bridal bouquet is made of Calla Lilly's which were very popular in the 1930's.  Her veil is and the long train are a work of art!


The photographer was Damoff Studio of 37 Monroe St., Passaic, N.J.  I was unable to find much information on this photographer.  This appears to be Herman Damoff  born on  15 Sep 1891 and died in October of 1978 in New Jersey as per this 1930 Passaic, NJ City Directory entry:


Tintype Tuesday - 1870's Teenage Girl with Long, Curly Hair

Today's tintype features a teenage girl from most likely the 1870's.  Unfortunately as is seen with most tintypes, this subject is unidentified and there is no photographer or year associated.  Her hair is worn long, braided back from the face and adorned with a large bow and some type of beading embellishment in the center part.  

The very busy neck and bust adornments are all characteristics of 1870 women's fashions.  Note the unusual bow scarf, frilly neck and long rope chain with pendant. Her dress has an unusual dark, quilted piece down the front that beautifully offsets the lighter colors of the rest of the dress and accessories.

1870's Teenage Girl
This tintype is badly scratched all over especially across her face, but using the "retouch" function of my basic photo program I was able to bring back to life her promising young beauty.  Note that the photographer has tinted her cheeks pink.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Mystery Monday - Twin Sisters Alice and Mary Kerr 1903 - 1907

Some time ago I purchased these two photographs of sisters Alice and Mary Kerr from an eBay seller who noted that they were twins.  If I remember correctly she stated she got them from an estate sale and that she knew the family or the family story.  I usually print out all my eBay purchases so I can refer back to them if needed, but for some reason I cannot find this one.  These photos have seen extreme wear over the years, especially Alice's.  My initial purpose of this post was to try and prove that they were twins, and after spending way more time than I should researching someone else's ancestors I did indeed find the proof I needed!

The sisters do look very much alike and their facial feathers, nose, mouths, eyebrows, seem identical. Their clothing and hairstyles are very much typical of the 1901 - 1907 period.  I will explain how I narrowed down the time frame to 1903 - 1907 later in the post when I discuss the photographer.

The back of Alice's photo is written in ink "Aunt Alice Kerr, never married."

Alice Kerr ca 1903-07
The back of Mary's photo is written in ink, "Mary Kerr who married Amos Reid - my Great Great Grandmother."

Mary Kerr Reid 1903 - 07
I've cropped these down some but the photographer was C. Myland of Philadelphia, PA which helped me to find  the sisters and their family in Ancestry.com.  There is actually more than one Kerr family in  Philadelphia in the correct time frame with daughters named Alice and Mary, but their ages ares separated by six to seven years. The family I believed to be theirs was in the 1900 Philadelphia Ward 33 census with father Thomas Kerr aged 46, mother Mary Ann aged 43, brothers Andrew 23 and Chas 22.  The twin sisters Alice and Mary were 16 born about October 1883.  That would make them about twenty to twenty-three in these photographs.

My mystery to solve was this the correct family and were these sisters indeed twins? Mary Kerr married Amos Reid on 21 August 1907 and they had three children.  They remained in Pennsylvania through the 1940 census where my information ran out. There was only one person researching Mary Kerr on Ancestry.com and they did not have much information, but suddenly a death certificate popped up for Mary and all the pieces fell into place.  I then was able to find each census year of 1910 - 1940 for Alice and her mother who lived together after the father died sometime before 1910.  I also found Alice's death certificate.  The twins were born on 31 October 1883 in Philadelphia and died a year and half apart; Mary on 17 Feb 1944 and Alice on 9 Aug 1945.  Mary was a housewife throughout her lifetime and Alice worked as a weaver in the cloth-mill to support herself and her mother.  What different lives these two twins lived!

Alice Kerr 1883 - 1945
Mary Kerr Reid 1883 - 1944






I believe these photographs were most likely taken before Mary's marriage to Amos in 1907.  The photographer was C. Myland of 2125 N. Front Street, Philadelphia.  This was Christian Myland who emmigrated to the U.S. from Denmark in 1890 and petitioned for citizenship in 1903.  He was born in Denmark 8 Jan 1861 and upon his arrival in the Philadelphia in 1890 began his photography business which he ran until his death on 2 Nov 1925. He was listed in numerous years of the Philadelphis City Directory and this is how I narrowed down the years of these photographs.  In 1901 and 1902 he was located at 2733 N. 4th, moving to the 2125 N. Front Street address in 1903 which was also his home until his death according to his death certificate.

Myland was married to Mathilda Boston also from Denmark and they had four children all born in the U.S.; an infant son who died in 1891, Clara born 1892, Ejner Christian born 1895 and Harry born 1897.

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