Wedded bliss

This family really must have had some economic means, because this bride is wearing white. We know that white dresses were a symbol of wealth because only the wealthy could A) afford a dress they would wear only one time and B) have the means to keep it clean. The numerous yards of white fabric and lace required for a wedding dress were expensive, usually from silk, silk taffeta, organdy, brocade, etc., and if only worn once would be an extravagance in a time of general frugality. Note her incredibly tiny waist! That is some tight lacing. And before you even think of making the comment, women did not have ribs surgically removed to attain the tiny waist. It was a time when people died from what we consider to be common illnesses; the recovery from major surgery was often a fight against raging infection because they didn’t understand surgical sterility as we do today.

I’m having trouble dating the photo from the dress because I have never seen these sleeves on a Victorian dress, though I do not doubt they were popular! Considering our previous photograph that Ray sent us and I posted was by this same photographer and was dated 1899, I’m guessing somewhere in that range. I have no reason to think the boys in the Confirmation photograph were the children of this couple. Frankly, this couple looks too young to be getting married, let alone having children! But it was a different time. I also find it interesting that the groom has what looks like a brush cut hair style. The general fashion for gentlemen in the 1890s was to oil the hair flat and comb it to the side, even in the military. Was this young groom a trend setter?

The photographer is now named Niklas & Piotrowski, but still at 589 Milwaukee Ave, Chicago.

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Brothers at Confirmation

Ray Jackson sent me several photos, and I am happy to post another for your perusal. Here we have two brothers on the occasion of their Confirmation. We know this from the candles, rosaries, bibles and the cross on the table. The table is quite ornate! I cannot tell if the date 1899 is printed on the table or on the photo, but thanks to the photographer, Niklas & Co, we know the year the photo was made. The boys are dressed identically, with short-pant suits, high laced shoes and oiled hair. While the boy to the left does have a wear mark on the photo right by his face, the boy on the right actually appears to be sneering. Ray will have to chime in to let us know if it is damage to the image or actually how the boy held his mouth.

As mentioned, the photographer was Niklas & Co, at 589 Milwaukee Ave, Chicago.

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