“Pretty little Ruth”

Along the bottom of this carte-de-visite is a handwritten inscription: Oh!  A very shy young Quakeress am I And they call me Pretty little Ruth When I first published this post, I speculated that these lines might have come from a play, and that the young woman in the photograph might have been wearing a... Continue Reading →

Man with blanket in Cleveland by Thomas T. Sweeny

The man in this carte-de-visite portrait isn't identified.  Why does he have a blanket wrapped around him?  He seems to be pointing at it:   The photographer, Thomas T. Sweeny (1831-1891), worked in Cleveland, Ohio, throughout his life.  Although he was active for about three decades, information about him is scarce online.  Census records indicate... Continue Reading →

Young roller skater in Calcutta

If only we knew her story!  Alas, she isn't identified.  Her carte-de-visite was made by John Bowles Newman, whose studio was at 5, Old Court House Street, Calcutta (Kolkata).  The only information I found online about Mr. Newman was that he filed a petition of insolvency in 1879.  It always makes me sad to read... Continue Reading →

“Hop picking, Leeds area”

This carte-de-visite came to me from Massachusetts, but it didn't originate there.  The title of the post is taken from a handwritten note on the back. Update: Readers all agree that the location referred to was most likely the village of Leeds in Kent:   The British Hop Association has the following information on its website: The... Continue Reading →

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