Fancy Hat


Up for your perusal today is a lovely young couple from Devon who sat for their photograph in the late 1860s or even early 1870s. I think. I’m basing my assessment on the woman’s clothing as usual, and her dress seems to show a skirt that is elliptical, possibly trending toward the early bustle period, but not quite there. We do know that as skirts got bigger, hats got smaller and taller, to try to counterbalance the eye being drawn to the skirt. This skirt is fairly plain, but the bodice has some lovely trims and of course the hat is quite delicious. This young wife also has earrings, a large bow at her throat and a pin holding that in place. I wish we could know what colors her dress was!

I assume it is her husband seated, as this is a somewhat personal pose, with her hands on his shoulders. He is wearing some type of uniform, I think. The cap looks a bit like a conductor’s cap, so perhaps he worked on the trains. He’s also got a vest and a necktie to complete his costume.

The photographer was J. Grey at 60 Union Street, Stonehouse, Devon.


I promise, I’m happy!

Mounted Tin Types 4 W

Mounted Tin Types 4 Back W


This is Grandmother Ridge, Caroline Elizabeth Ridge – Jane Bucks’ mother. She looks a bit like she doesn’t trust the photographer. I did find a Caroline Ridge, married to James Ridge, living in Maryland during the 1850 census, and one of their children was named Jane.

James Ridge (about 1809)

Caroline (about 1814)

Riley (about 1829)

Silas (about 1789)

Jane (about 1835)

Elizabeth (about 1837)

Merrit (about 1841)

Susan (about 1843)

Caroline (about 1848)

James (1850)

James the elder, Riley and Elizabeth were listed as farmers. Of course, I cannot be certain this is the correct family of Caroline Ridge pictured.



I don’t know quite how to describe this photo. The entire thing is about the size of a CdV, which is 2.5″ by 3.5″ generally. The paper folder has a small flap of thin paper on the back where the photo was inserted and then the flap was glued shut. The photo itself is made of a sort of plastic material, not a printed photograph as we know them today. The plastic is thin and actually reminds me of a slide, the type that were popular in the 1960s. I believe I had a previous photo like this one that had been folded in half, and the film of the photo was curling and flaking away, suggesting that the photo was printed in the standard process, but onto this piece of plastic.

Upon enlargement of the photo, you can tell this is a man and a woman in early 20th century clothing, although I cannot date it better than “sometime between 1910 and 1940.” The man is wearing a nice suit and a hat, while the woman is wearing a dress that is mid-calf in length plus a coat and hat. At first I thought the background might have been a cemetery, but upon closer scrutiny I think it might be the front yard of a home.

Incredibly proper

The couple in this photo seem so very proper to me. The woman has a scarf of some kind covering her hair and I’d guess she is holding a Bible or prayer book in her lap. The man looks like a sea captain or former military man to me, with the long double breasted coat and whiskers. The photo is very damaged, the original being about 8×10.

The thing that is so odd about this photo is the back of it:

Although time and wear have damaged the image, this was definitely a photograph mounted on the cardstock. Do you think this might be our proper sea captain in his younger days?

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!

Nice plant

Today we feature an anonymous photograph on a cabinet card of a young girl, maybe aged 10-13. Note the incredibly lovely dead ivy adorning the stand. Nice. It’s rather surprising actually, because Hartley was a prolific photographer in the later 19th century. Edward F. Hartley (aka E. F. Hartley or E. Hartley) occupied 309 Madison, Chicago. He is known to have had an incredible output of CdVs and cabinet cards, you’d think he could afford a live plant. :-) An interesting note is that there is still a photographer using 309 Madison in Chicago, although Mr. Hartley has long since vacated.

This is a proud Sepia Saturday post. Please click through and view some of the other posts from around the world!

What is the Streeter Connection?

Here we have a second photograph of “Slouchy” who we saw just last week. This cabinet card was made by GA Streeter, who we presume to be Arthur Streeter, the photographer we saw posed with his camera. This man does not have any resemblance to the rest of the family that I can tell, so perhaps he was Kate Parrish Streeter’s relative? I’ve not been able to find Kate on any census records prior to her marriage to Arthur, so it’s difficult to trace her or to know if this is one of her people.

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