Is this Amy Mearns?

This photograph of an older woman is placed directly over a duplicate of our earlier photo of William T. Mearns. The two subjects appear to be around the same age so I do wonder if this is Mrs. William Mearns, possibly Amy Mearns? The previous photos of Amy Lair and Mary Lair are on the opposite page from this. A family grouping? This lady’s dress is distinctly mid-century. She has the full skirt, dropped shoulder seams, boned bodice and round collar of the 1860s. However, we know the cabinet card was not around until the 1870s, so this is at least an 1870s vintage photograph. If she lived longer than that, she certainly held onto her favorite dress for a long time, but my guess is this is from the 70s based on the type of props and backdrop. The chair, table and curtain were typical props of the 1860s that lingered into the 70s.

The photographer’s mark is a bit difficult to read. It’s possibly Edw or Edm Draper, located at No. 1500 Columbia Ave at the SW corner of 15th Street in Philadelphia. The location is no longer existing in Philly, as the building numbers on Columbia end in the 1400s and Frankford Ave cuts off the end of Columbia. The old photographer’s shop might have been located where today exists Palmer Park or a Jewelry shop.


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