Monday, January 21, 2013

Mystery Monday - Unknown Civil War Era Philadelphia Woman

This attractive young woman posed for this CDV between 1864 and 1866 as evidenced by the revenue stamp seen below on the back of the photograph. Her hairstyle, parted in the middle and drawn at the nape in most likely a bun, was quite typical of the times and reminds me of Melanie Wilkes in "Gone With the Wind." Her dark hoop dress is quite lovely and appears to be made of satin.  She has a small white collar and white cuffs.

The photographer was H. C. Phillips located at the N.W. cor. of Ninth and Chestnut Sts., Philadelphia.  Phillips was Henry Chapman Phillips born in Chester, Pennsylvania 8 Sep 1833 to John J. and Mary Phillips. Philllips is found in Philadelphia City Directories almost every year between 1864 - 1903 at several address on and around Chestnut Street in his profession as photographer.  Married wife Catherine J. Magill 19 Apr 1860 they were the parent of four children, Carolyn H. (born 1861) Geo. C. (born 1862), Ryland. (born 1866) W. and Howard M. (born 1868).

According to Phillips started his career with daguerreotypes in 1856.  He worked with a number of other photographers over the years including his own brother R. R. Phillips, Curtis Taylor and S. Broadbent.


  1. Good eye! I love reading how much info can be gleaned from old photos. And this woman is from my area too. :) Great pic.

  2. I like the trim on the sleeves. And she deserves a medal for getting that part so nice and straight.


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