Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sentimental Sunday - Women with Hats - Early 1900's Motoring Couple?

I just love this photograph of an unidentified early 1900's  couple from Johnstown, PA!  The woman's attire makes me think that they just drove their sporty new motorcar to the photography studio.  I can just picture them both driving along wearing those goggles you always see in old pictures and movies.  She and her husband look quite proud in this photo.

With the advent of motorcars women's fashion had to change and in the early days of motoring, for practical purposes, women began to wear huge linen dust coats over their dresses, tied down their hats with scarves and hid their faces behind goggles.  Of course, owning a motorcar was the latest thing and the fashionable woman was constantly looking for a way to project this by making her motoring outfit a calling costume of great fashion.  The woman in this photograph appears to be quite concerned with her appearance, note that she has made her hat quite lovely with the white flowers and frothy veil material.   One interesting detail I notice is that her husband's pant legs are rolled up the bottom in a rather haphazard fashion.

The photographer was Leander George Hornick born in Pennsylvania (6 March 1877 - 8 Sep 1952) a son of John and Margaret Hornick.  He was a veteran of the Spanish-American War serving in 1898.  In the 1900 census at age 23 he listed his occupation as photographer.  According to Johnstown city directory records he had a studio on Main Street from 1903 to at least 1920.

 History of Costume
Victoriana Magazine


  1. She certainly has a wonderful sense of style.

  2. I'm glad to learn about the dust coat. That explains why a woman in one of my old photographs looks like she's wearing her husband's coat.

  3. A super photo! Do you think she wore those big motoring goggles too?

  4. Nice picture!

    Regards, Grant Davis


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