The Beautiful Irene

To my great delight, I am the owner of several cabinet cards featuring the beautiful Irene Shoemaker. The photograph above was taken in 1885 and Irene was 16 years old. She has that “beyond her years” look about her. I have not seen the photo treatment of “curled edges” on other photographs although it can’t be uncommon. The photographer was R.E. Goldsberry of Bedford, IA. Also noted on the back of this card is the notation “Mamma.”

Our next image of Irene was made in 1893, but I have to admit she looks younger in this photograph than in the previous. Irene has lovely, curly brown hair and her clothing is impressive yet understated. The photographer now is Nash of 1624 Curtis Street, Denver, CO.

Here we have Irene at age 25. This is a fabulous illustration of the massive sleeves that were in fashion during the 1890s! These sleeves were filled with batting to hold them out, and contrary to their airy and light appearance would have been somewhat heavy. She is wearing gloves so you cannot see her hands, and I wonder if this might be a wedding or engagement portrait. The back notes give us her date of birth as April 17, 1869.

This photograph appears to be from the same session or one fairly close in time, as both were made in July 1894. The photographer is the same although the logos on the cards are a little bit different. The back notes on this photograph give us her married name of Mowron or Monroe.

My next post will feature two relatives of Irene, though I’m uncertain who they are.

UPDATE: I have been contacted by Irene’s granddaughter Phoebe and hopefully soon I’ll hear back. I’ll keep you posted!


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