Thursday, February 28, 2013

Quartet of Civil War Era Women

Today I bring you four CDV "head and bust poses" of Civil War era women.  These small head poses were very popular in the early 1860's and the image area was quite small due to camera and lens technology at the time.¹

Unk Utica, NY Woman
W. C. North Photographer
 This first lady above (unidentified) had her photo taken by W. C. North Photographer, Devereux Block, Utica, N.Y.  This either William C. North (1814 – 1890) or his nephew Walter Crane North (1835 – 1891) who were both referred to as W. C. North.  According to Craig Cameras the Norths “present one of the most confusing of the ‘same name’ biographical studies in American photographic history.”    Both Norths moved their studios quite a bit and one of them opened the studio in the Devereux Block in 1861.  The border stripes on this photograph date this card between 1864 and 1869 so I will go with the earliest date, 1864.

Cornelia Walter, Philadelphia 1864-66
Rhoad's Art Gallery, Photographer
The second subject identified as Aunt Cornelia Natter or Walter was photographed between August 1864 and August 1866 as evidenced by the revenue stamp on the back.  I believe the last name is Walter, but I did not have any luck finding information on either name.  There are a number of Cornelia Walters on, but none seem to match the age range for this particular woman.  The photographer was Rhoad's New Photograph Gallery located at 1800 Frankford Road, Philadephia.  Rhoads was William H. Rhoads.

Helen Neely? May 1865 Wis
L. Vanderbie Photographer 
The third woman is identified (on the front in pencil) as Mrs. Robert Neely and was photographed in May of 1865 by L. Vanderbie, Photographer of Plattesville, Wis.  Vandervie appears to have initialed the revenue stamp on the back of the photo.  Does this woman appear to be 37 years old to you?  If so, this is probably Helen Neely born ca 1828 in New York, wife of Robert Neely and in the 1870 Plattesville, Grant County, Wisconsin census, the mother of 7 children ages 18 years to 1 year old.

Unk Ohio woman mid 1860s
Cadwallader & Tappen
Lastly, we have an unidentified woman who sat for Cadwallader & Tappen's, Gallery of Art, Front St. over the Bank in Marietta, O. most likely in the late 1860's.  She is quite young, possibly in her teens and note her hair is pulled back at the nape in a snood.  Cadwallader was John Dallas Cadwallader (1828 - 1905) born in Pennsylvania, ambrotypist and daguerreian in the 1850's in Ohio and Kentucky.  


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wedding Wednesday - Elegant 1920's Chicago Newlyweds

Unknown couple, Avondale Photo Studio,
2987 Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, Ill.

Today's bride and groom are another example of the elegant photography of the 1920's. This photograph was taken by the Avondale Photography Studios located at 2987 Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, Ill.  There were a large number of photography studios on Milwaukee Avenue during this era and the area surrounding the route was associated with many ethnicities including a large Polish population.  

While the bride's dress is difficult to see, her headdress is unique, almost cap-like and instead of a train it wraps around her like a lace shawl.  I may not be describing this correctly, but it is quite lovely.  She is holding a large bouquet of white roses and other flowers with trailing ribbons.  The groom is very dashing is his tux and I like his casual pose with his hand in his pocket.  All in all, I would say they look very happy.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sentimental Sunday - Women with Hats - 1898 Woman with Big Hat!

Woman identified as Retta Fairlamb photo dated October 1st, 1898

*UPDATE:  This photo was purchased in a huge lot of 175 photographs and now that I have had a little time to look through all of them I have discovered more photos of Retta Fairlamb and other family members.  In doing so, I have realized that the information below is incorrect.  This woman is Maretta Vernon Fairlamb born 25 Mar 1869 in PA to Samuel E.  (1818 - 1892) and Frances (Kreider) (1829 - 1912) Fairlamb.  She would have been about 29 years old in this photo, not 22. 

In the 1900 Philadelphia Ward 7, Philadelphia PA census she was living with the Charles Carver family and interesting enough listed her occupation as music teacher as did the Margaretta Fairlamb mentioned below.  I suspect she lived with the Carvers as a nanny.  Mrs. Carver (Emily) must have died before 1908 because on 30 Apr 1908 Maretta Fairlamb married her employer Charles Carver as is evidenced in the Pennsylvania Marriage Index and the 1910 Philadelphia census.  Therefore she was not the woman who married William Compton.

This photograph which measures 3' x 4 1/4' was taken by Broadbent Co. in Philadelphia and is dated on the back October first -98.  The subject is identified as Retta Fairlamb who is actually Margaretta Fairlamb, born in January of 1877 in Hinkson's Corner, PA to Joseph and Eliza (Knight) Fairlamb.  Inn the 1900 Glenolden, Delaware County, PA census she listed her occupation as "Music Teacher."  On 10 Apr 1901 she married William Vance Compton and they had a son Joseph Wilbur in 1903.

In this photograph Retta Fairlamb would have been about 21 or 22 years old.  She is quite lovely in her white high-necked dress with large bow and her hat was probably quite the style at the time.  It appears to be made out of straw and is sporting a number of large flowers including roses.  Very chic, Miss Retta!

Sepia Saturday #165 - Those Pesky Unidentified Family Portraits of Yesteryear

The Sepia Saturday theme for this week centers around group portraits of unknown families.  While I do not have any unidentified portraits in my own family tree, I do however, have a number of what I call "other people's ancestors" who are unidentified.  So I submit for your viewing pleasure (or not) these family portraits from the past and we are all left to wonder who they were and what their stories might have been.

Unknown Late 1890s Family in Front of Home (Unk Photographer)

Ca 1900 young (unk)couple with new baby, photographer H. Silberman, appears to
say Boston Road ? 169th St. NY - no luck finding any info on Silberman
Late 1890s or early 1900s immigrant family of unk origin
photographer Leuf, 242 N. 8th St. Philadelphia

Ca 1894, at first glance I thought this was a mother & 3 children, but
at 2nd look believe it is 4 siblings.  Photographer was
Morrison  (Robert Prescott), Kabig Block, Bowling Green, O.

Unknown young couple ca 1900 - 1910 with 2 children,
photographer was Fowler, 299 N. Eighth St. Philadelphia, USA

To see more UFOs (unidentified family objects) head on over to Sepia Saturday!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Fashionable Friday - 1860s New York City Woman

This lovely young woman had her photograph taken by renowned photographer Fernando Dessaur in the  early to mid 1860's.  She is wearing the very common 1860's hooped skirt and very tight cinched waist.  I particularly like the button detail on her upper sleeves.  She also has the typical hairstyle of the period; parted in the middle and pulled back to the nape and secured in a snood.  Click here to see a similar dress of the era along with a Petersen's Magazine plate.

Fernando Dessaur had a photography studio at 145 Eighth  Avenue in New York City from 1850 to 1870 according to the Landmarks Preservation Commission of Manhattan.  I don't believe the earlier date is correct as his birth date is reported to be around 1840 - 1842 on  He was born in Amsterdam, Holland to Morris and Cecilia Dessaur.   According to census records the family immigrated to the US around 1860. 

Trow's NYC Directory 1872, Google eBooks

About 1870 Dessaur relocated his business to 551 Eighth Avenue in New York.  In the 1900 census of Manhattan, New York he was married to Delia with one daughter Fern aged 13.    However, according to the New York Times he also had a son named Fernando who was born about 1886 who created a bit of a scandal in 1909 when he kidnapped his daughter from his estranged wife Delia May Klock Dessaur.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wedding Wednesday - Yet Another 1890's Newlywed Photo by R. Alex Wells

One more newlywed couple by photographer R. Alex Wells of Higginsville, MO, this cabinet card features an attractive young couple both staring intently at the camera.  Neither are smiling, but I don't sense that they are unhappy.  The groom who is seated seems relaxed and the bride, standing no doubt to showcase her beautiful gown, exudes elegance.  I find her dress quite unique from the soft, high neckline to the large bow at the waist to the slight tiers at the bottom of the skirt.  The dress in its simplicity is simply breathtaking!  I believe this photograph to have been taken late 1890's possibly 1896 - 1898.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wedding Wednesday - Another 1890's Couple from Higginsville, MO

This Wednesday I bring you another young newlywed couple photographed in Higginsville, MO in the 1890's by photographer R. Alex Wells who I mentioned in a previous post.  I estimate this handsome, but unidentified couple were wed about 1895.  Not much is known about Wells, he worked as a photographer in Higginsville, in his early twenties.  In the 1910 US Census he was living in Oklahoma City, OK with wife Bertha and son Tracy and listed his parents as being born in Missouri.  He was not found in the 1900 census.  He is also found  in Oklahoma City Directories between 1913 - 1920's with a photography business at  129 1/2 West Main.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tintype Tuesday - Two Women Show Off Their Long Hair

Beautiful long hair was considered a woman's crowning glory in the 1800's and this is very evident in today's tintype which features two women  proudly showing of their very very long, dark-colored hair. This photo seems to have been well thought out as each woman is wearing a white dress to best accentuate her hair.  I like how the photographer has posed these women, one sitting and one standing, each with their hair over their shoulder down the front.

It appears that these women are related from their facial features, and I believe they were most likely mother and daughter.  I had real trouble dating this photo.    My feeling is that it was probably taken late 1870's to early 1880's, however I could be wrong.  

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Sentimental Sunday - Women With Hats - Five 1870's Parisian Women

For this week's Women with Hats you get five for the price of one!  This wonderful, but somewhat faded CDV of five young, fashionable Parisian women was taken probably in the late 1870's.  I can't even begin to start describing their ensembles, they are just too delightful!  The skirts alone of their dresses with the ruffles, trim and diagonal designs have my eyes darting back and forth over  the photo.  The woman in the rear right has on the most lovely and stylish coat.  And of course, let's not forget the hats! Each of them is wearing an entirely different hat and each is totally stylish in its own right.  

The photographer was Hermet, perhaps Joseph Hermet, who reportedly appeared on the Paris photography scene sometime around 1872. About 1875 he bought the studio of Eugène Maunoury, a well-known artist and photographer.  I unfortunately do not know French, but using Google I believe the back of the photograph says that he sells portraits in oil, watercolor and miniatures, a collection of celebrities contemporaries. 

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