Friday, August 31, 2018

Fashionable Friday - 1864 - 65 New York City Woman by Famed Photographer Bogardus

This young woman sat for her photograph between 1864 - 1865 for famed photographer Abraham Bogardus of New York City.  An early pioneer of photography, Bogardus went to New York in 1837 to learn Daguerreotypy  from G.  W. Prosch.  Within a short time of opening his own studio he was giving up to eighty sitting or more a week.  Eventually the paper photograph replaced the Daguerreotype and Bogardus moved his gallery to Broadway and Franklin to meet the demand.  The popularity of the Carte-de-Visite (CDV) was such that he kept three skylights busy and delivered hundreds of CDV's per day.

This young woman is seated for her photo and is wearing a military style dress.  I love the trim on her bodice, forearms and epaulats.  We know the date of the sitting by the revenue stamp on the back of the photo.  She is unidentified.

For more information on Abraham Bogardus please check out this website:  Alphonsegallery

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Wedding Wednesday - 1890's (Victorian Era) Belleville, IL Bride and Groom

This interesting 1890's Cabinet Card shows how many brides did not wear white, but instead wore serviceable dresses that could be worn again and  again for many other occasions.  This lovely bride is wearing a most likely dark brown or black dress, but with the typical white headdress with white flowers you see so often in this time period. The subjects in this photograph are unidentified.

The photographer is Frederick B. Merkel of Belleville, IL who was born 3 Mar 1851 in Belleville to German immigrants, Phillip and Elizabeth Merkel.  He practiced his craft in Belleville between 1880 to at least 1910 when he moved to West Palm Beach, FL.  He died on 27 Feb 1930.  I have published one other photograph for this photographer  - see here:

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Sentimental Sunday - Women with Hats - 1880's (Victorian Era) Vermont Woman in Feathers & Fur

This fabulous photograph was taken sometime in the 1880's of young woman in Bellows Falls,VT.  I am always curious when I see these old photos of subjects wearing their winter coats.  I wonder why they chose to be photographed this way instead of in a lovely dress or suit. In this particular case, she is wearing what appears to be a two-toned fur coat with matching fur hand muff.  The fur scarf has dangling balls which I have never seen before.  Her hat has several things going on as well with the bill jutting out at a jaunty angle, white, wispy feathers and a satin bow at the top.  I also see some thin white things - not sure what they are - sticking out of the top of the hat.  

I think she is quite proud of her ensemble, but alas, she is not identified on the back of the cabinet card.

The photographer is Blake, Frederick Joseph Blake of Bellows Falls, VT.  He practiced his profession in that area between 1880 to the early 1920's.  He was born 3 Dec 1853 to Seth and Martha Jane Blake.  He died in Bellows Falls on 1 Feb 1923. 

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Eyes are the Window to the Soul (Victorian Era Women)

It has often been said the the "eyes are the window to the soul."  There is some confusion as to the original speaker of this quote, Shakespeare being in the running to be the author.    Something broght this quote to my mind and I decided to share a few of my favorite "soulful eyed" ladies of the past.

This first young woman is unidentified and she sat for photographer T. M. Sausman of Norristown, Pa in the late 1870's.  She has such a wistful look on her face, I wonder what she was thinking about.


Subject number two, another lovely young woman, also probably dated late 1870's  was from Iowa City, Iowa.  She too is unidentified and the photographer was James of that city.  


The third photograph is of a woman a little older, possibly fortyish?  This is one of my favorites, she appears to have such character to her face, not to mention good bones.  Also unidentified, she sat for photographers Brown & Gillis of Galesburg, Mich.  most likely late 1870's.


Friday, August 24, 2018

Fashionable Friday - 1860's (Victorian Era) Woman with Lace Shaw

I love the simplicity and elegance of this photo.  This Wilmington, Del. woman is wearing a cream belted hoop-skirt dress.  It is covered by a lovely black lace shawl and she is holding a straw hat.  It is hard to see, but she has a simple ribbon adorning her hair and has a snood covering the bun at her nape.

This young woman sat for the photographer, Wm. H. Curry between 1863- 1865.  Curry was located at No. 309 Market Street, Wilmington, Del.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Wedding Wednesday - Turn of the Century (Edwardian) Double Wedding in Westfield, WI

Looking at this photo of these two young Westfield, WI women you may think you are seeing double.  They appear to be sisters, possibly twins and are wearing identical dresses, veils and even hairstyles for their double wedding.  They are also wearing white gloves with their gowns and I believe I can see their rings through the gloves.  I find it interesting that only the bride on the right is wearing a locket around her neck.  I wonder if she is possibly the older of the two and this was an heirloom that was passed down to her?  Their grooms even look like and could possibly be related and are wearing identical suits as well.  Due to the style of dress and the type of cabinet card I believe this to have been taken between 1900 - 1910.  There is no identification on the back of the card.  I wish I knew who they were and what their story was.

The photographer was Fenner & Son of Westfield, Wis.  This was John Fenner and his son Jacob who were active in the area between 1895 - 1925.  John Fenner was born in Germany in 1834 to Jacob Fenner and Anna Martha Grebruse and he died on 3 Jul 1923. 

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Sentimental Sunday - Women with Hats - Stylish 1909 (Edwardian) Woman - Bernice Clark

This young woman, identified as Bernice Clark on the back, sat for this photo on May 1, 1909.   She is wearing a stylish suit and hat and has a serene expression on her face.  The white flowers give the hat and the scene just a touch of needed whimsy.  She appears to be in her early twenties.  She signed the back of the card and addressed it to her Uncle Fay.  This is an unusual sized cabinet card (4" x 9") that unfortunately does not have a photographer's name or mark so makes it difficult to narrow down her identity further.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Fashionable Friday - Early 1860's (Victorian) Young Athol Depot, Massachusetts Woman

I tend to favor certain photographs and at the top of this list my favorites are Civil War Era photos.  I'm not sure why, maybe because of the beautiful clothing of the times or because so many photos exist of this early time of photographic history.  The young woman in this photo is very typical of the early 1860's; seated in a chair, wearing a military style dress, wearing a snood in her hair and leaning on a table staring off somewhere with a wistful expression.

The detail on her dress is lovely.  I love the white buttons down the front of the bodice as well as the bow tie at the neck and the trim on the shoulder and the sleeves.   She is also wearing small ear-bobs and a ring on her left-hand pointer finger.

As I often lament she is not identified.  So sad.

The photographer is D. Smith of 43 Main Street, Athol Depot, Mass.  I think I have a couple more photos made by this photographer so will perhaps try to look further into his history and post those at a later date.

I had never heard of Athol Depot so a quick Google search gave me this interesting information:  Originally called Pequoaig, the area was first settled by five families in September 1735.  When the township was settled in 1762, the name was changed to Athol.  John Murray, one of the proprietors of the land, chose the name because the hills reminded him of his ancestral home of Blair Atholl, Scotland.  Athol means "pleasant place."

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Wedding Wednesday - Beautiful 1900's (Edwardian) Minneapolis Bride and Groom

Another Edwardian Era photograph of a very lovely and serene bride who was married in Minneapolis, MN in the 1900's to her equally handsome groom. The maid of honor and best man aren't too shabby either!  Due to the location and the photographer I suspect the people involved were probably of Swedish descent.  The bride and maid of honor's style of dress seems to date this in the latter of the 1900's probably between 1905 - 1910.  You can see a small brooch or cameo at the throat of the bride on the high neckline of her dress.  If you look closely, you can also see her wedding ring on her left hand.  The people in the photograph are sadly not identified - such a shame.

The photographers were Petri & Svenson located at 129 Washington Avenue South.  They were the team of Samuel H. Petri and Ernest T. Svenson who were active Minneapolis photographers from 1894 - 1915.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Sentimental Sunday - Women with Hats - Two Young Edwardian Era Women in Big Hats

This picture postcard showcases two attractive young women from 1905 - 1910 in very large hats.  They are both dressed very sharply in fitted dresses with inset  bodices and high necklines.  The girl on the left is wearing eyeglasses and a locket that is pinned, not worn on a chain.  Alas, once again they are sadly unidentified.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Fashionable Friday - Stylish Civil War Era (Victorian) Woman from Buffalo, NY

This very stylish young woman from Buffalo, NY posed for this CDV photo from 1864 - 1866 for photographer W. M. Knight.  I am able to date the photo by the Federal Tax Stamp on the back.  She is identified as Ida F. Good.  Unfortunately, I was unable to find any further information on her.

Her dress is very beautiful, most likely silk with chevron trim on the sleeves and a beautiful colored plaid necktie.  She is also wearing ear-bobs and bracelets.  

The photographer was Willard M. Knight located in Buffalo from 1855 to 1879.  He had several addresses including 238 Main, 194 Main, 246, 256, and 258 Main as well as 308 Main.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Tintype Tuesday - Sweet Civil War Era Toddler

This sweet little boy posed for this tintype photo most likely in the early to mid 1860's.  I am not good at dating children's clothing, but the belted suit with jacket and jaunty cap he is wearing suggests the 1860’s timeframe. The buttons and trim on his suit are amazing.  His cheeks are colorized (tinted) and he is staring at the camera with the most soulful eyes.  He appears to be about 2 1/2 to 3 years old.

Tintypes were first invented in 1852 by Adolpe Alexander Martin, but were patented in 1856 by Hamilton Smith of Ohio.  A rival, Victor Griswold, patented a similar product which he called a ferrotype and later patented with the name tintype.  Tintypes were actually thin sheets of iron on which multiple copies of the photo were printed and then cut.*

Another aid in dating this photo was that this was actually encased in a gold metal frame (see below) which I tried to scan, but the photo came out blurry.  I removed the tintype so the boy's photo could be clearer.  These metal frames were used when tintypes were first introduced.

*Source:  Allen County Public Library, A Tintype by Any Other Name

Friday, August 3, 2018

Fashionable Friday - 1860's (Victorian) Woman in Gingham Skirt

I love the interesting side pose by this attractive young Chicago woman who is identified on the back as Millie Loudwick.  She looks quite lovely with a somewhat distant look on her face.  She must be thinking about taking a walk with her beau wearing her flowered, white hat which is on the sofa and carrying her parasol.  I was excited to see her name on the back, but alas was unable to find any trace of her in

I've decided that this was most likely taken in the late 1860's due to a number of factors including thickness of the card paper, measurements of the CDV, the two stripes of the border and it most likely had square corners which I believe were cut to put in an album at one time.  

The photographer is listed as Shaw's Mammoth Photograph Rooms located at 186 South Clark St. in Chicago.  A quick search did not turn up any results, but I like the slogan on the bottom of the card, "Pictures Taken In Cloudy Weather at these Photograph Rooms, Superior to those taken elsewhere in town on a fair day."

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Wedding Wednesday - 1890's (Edwardian) Chicago Newlyweds

This attractive young Chicago couple posed for their photograph most likely in the early 1890's.  The bride's veil is similar to other's I have posted about here before.  Her finger-less gloves are the first I have seen though.  I can see a wedding ring on the groom's left hand, but am unable to see one on the bride's hand.  The bride is lovely with a tiny waist, wearing a light colored dress unlike the more serviceable dresses seen before in this time frame.  I'm not sure that it is white, perhaps gray?

The back of this dark grey cabinet card is very interesting.  It is actually much darker than seen here and to me it seems to have a Gothic feel. I have lightened it up so it is easier to see.  The front, of course, notes that the photographer is Rudolph's Studio at 957 Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago.  Not much was found for Louis Rudolph but he shows up once in the 1904 Chicago City Directory and again in the 1930 Chicago Census as a Proprietor of a Picture Show.  He was born circa 1878 in Denmark.

Unfortunately, as so often occurs, there is no identification for the couple.  It's truly a shame as I'm sure there are probably descendants who would love to have this photo.

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