Baby Bad Hair Day

Continuing our bad hair day examples, this sweet baby had curly hair which made it difficult for her mama to dress it with any sort of style.  Her hair is wildly trying to escape whatever pomade or oil may have been used on it, and it just looks adorable.

Baby also is wearing a cross that looks giant on her, and knitted booties. I’m guessing she was around 10-12 months old, because she is sitting up very well and holding on to the chair for balance.

This photograph was made by Crosby, in Lewiston, but what country is unknown.


The Faded Girl

Faded girl W

Where are you, sweet child?

Faded girl back W

Decorative backmark for May & Co.

This later 19th century photograph, a CDV, once showed a pretty child, posed upon a chair, with round baby face youth looking out at her parents. Today, we know she was there, but over time the image has faded to a grainy suggestion of its former glory. I don’t know enough about vintage photographic processes to even suggest what has caused the photo to fade so badly. Perhaps it was exposed to direct sunlight, or perhaps it wasn’t developed properly in the first place.

The photographer was May & Co, of Station Road, Northwich, England. Northwich is in the county of Cheshire, northwest of London. I found a reference in an 1892 directory for Northwich, to a George Austin May & Co, photographer in Station Road.


Hello, baby

Mounted Tin Types 8 W

Baby with a shawl

Before I gave you all those wonderful Christmas cards, I teased you about a tintype that would make you say “awww.” Well, two months later, I hope you didn’t hold your breath, but here it finally is!

This baby was photographed by T. M. Saurman, as were several previous portraits (to view them click on the category T. M. Saurman under photographers). The child’s hair was carefully parted over the forehead, suggesting to me that this is a girl. The shawl may be for looks, or may be a way to tie the baby to the chair. It also appears there is *something* to her left, like the arm of a parent. The mount features embossed scrolling to frame the image with dramatic and beautiful effect.

Ooh, baby it's a smile world

Taken at T. M. Saurman’s Superior Skylight Gallery

Unfortunately for us, the baby and her supposed parents were not identified.


Liberty Bell 26

Liberty Bell 28

Sweet baby in a bonnet

Today we have a sweet little baby in a bonnet. While we retrospectively think these bonnets are cute and were for show, they served a very practical purpose of keeping the baby’s head warm. Even today, there are caps, knitted beanies and all sorts of cute adornments for an infant’s head. The infant mortality rate even in the early 20th century when this photo was made was still quite high, and the belief that cold weather could make a person sick was still fairly common. It makes perfect sense to turn the utility & safety of a baby bonnet into a wearable piece of art with fine stitching, tiny ribbon bows and various other vintage sewing techniques. Family heirlooms survive to reveal the care and expert needlework that went into making these fine garments.

Baby was photographed by Tilton of Exeter, NH. To see all the family’s photographs by Tilton, click on the category Tilton or W. P. Tilton Jr.

Liberty Bell 16

Cutie patootie!

Cutie patootie!

Jumping into the 20th century, here we have a gorgeous little girl in her finery. The dress looks almost sheer and the ribbons from her bonnet are so large they look a bit like a kimono sleeve. The dress bodice is quite frilled with wide ruffles at the shoulders. Not to be outdone by her clothing, this little miss has bright eyes and an eager expression that makes you want to just scoop her up and kiss her!

The photographer was G. W. (or possibly C. W.) Smith at 26 Gill Street, Exeter, NH.

Liberty Bell 6

Liberty Bell 7

Baby Fauntleroy

This photo was photographed by M. Frank Miller, who provided the previous image of our Little Lord Fauntleroy. This child is wearing a lovely, long dress. It is interesting to note that the photograph seems to have an oval shape, much like a frame or album opening, right in the middle of the dress – where a face might have been. I wonder where it was placed to have developed such an odd marking.

Smile, baby!


Unidentified happy baby

This early 20th century image of a happy child is uplifting. It makes you want to smile along with the child. I believe this is a boy. The photo itself is scratched up a bit, but the jacket really took a beating. The corners are worn down and something spilled, leaving an oily stain on the upper right corner. Through it all, baby smiles.  The child is also not wearing anything, so falls into the “undressed” category I have noticed in 1920s/30s photos.

The photographer was Michael’s at 657 Broadway, Lorain, Ohio.

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