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!


  1. Very nice! My first thought was that it must have been expensive!

  2. THAT'S a HAT! I'm watching the Academy Awards tonight and I don't think any of today's actresses could match this young woman style. Interesting that she was a music teacher, and of course, I wonder what instrument.

  3. This is wonderful! I've lately been inspired to look for old hats, (maybe not this extreme!) but I don't know if I could do them the justice that the women whose pictures you show did.


  4. Beautiful hat photo..piano..I bet she taught piano:)

    1. That's what I was thinking too, she looks like a piano teacher!


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