Seamstresses in Oppdal, Norway

Unlike the mill workers in the previous post, these two seamstresses appear to be posing outdoors, perhaps at a seasonal or mobile studio.  The photographer, Håkon Steinsheim (1860-1933), was based in the village of Oppdal, Norway.  (Historically, the name of the town was sometimes spelled Opdal.) The photo (cabinet card) came to me from Wisconsin.... Continue Reading →

Mill workers

This photograph has nothing written or printed on it to suggest where it might have been taken.  It came to me from Maine, so it may have originated there or in another northeastern state.  The setting appears to be a textile mill.  My guess for a time period would be 1895-1905. The surface of the... Continue Reading →

Medical team in Pirmasens, Germany

This boudoir card photograph came to me from Maine.  The boudoir card format appeared in the mid-1880s as a slightly larger and more expensive alternative to cabinet cards.  The larger size was particularly suitable for group portraits.*  This one was taken in the town of Pirmasens, Germany, near the border with France.  The studio belonged... Continue Reading →

Woman with vase

The unidentified young woman in this photograph is wearing a drop-waist dress and a Marcel Wave hairstyle, hallmarks of the flapper era of the 1920s.  The photograph is about the size of a postcard, but it was printed on plain photo paper, rather than postcard stock.  It came to me from a dealer in Pennsylvania who often... Continue Reading →

A brush for your thoughts

This small tintype portrays an unusual subject for early photography: a standing woman appears poised to brush the hair of a seated woman, who has a comb and other items in her lap.  The standing woman is looking down and is slightly out of focus, while the seated woman is looking in the general direction... Continue Reading →

Women outside a factory

March is Women's History Month in the United States.  (International Women's Day isn't widely observed here, although that may be changing.)  For the past two years, I've tried to pick out a photograph in March which I thought was especially relevant to the theme of women's history.  In 2018 the focus was on education (Caliopians). ... Continue Reading →

Ann Birkin, chevener to Queen Victoria

The woman in this carte-de-visite portrait isn't identified anywhere on the photo.  When I bought it last year, I never expected to learn her identity.  Three weeks ago, while browsing the website of Britain's Royal Collection Trust, I noticed a woman who looked very familiar.  The first thing that drew my attention was her shawl,... Continue Reading →

Four young women with Union Jack

These college-age women have a determined air about them, as if they're on a mission.  They've arranged themselves around a pedestal with a Union Jack flag draped over it, adding a patriotic aspect to the portrait and perhaps suggesting political activism.  Were they participants in the women's suffrage movement?  What does the ribbon on the... Continue Reading →

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