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 →

The new dress

The day of the party has arrived.  She and her friends have been working on their dresses for weeks. "Let's take pictures!" "I don't know, I have a lot of things left to do.  Maybe later." "It'll only take a few minutes to set up the camera.  We might be too busy later." "You're right. ... Continue Reading →

Newlyweds in Milwaukee, by William Wollensak

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was a magnet for immigrants throughout the 19th century.  The largest group came from Germany, beginning in the 1840s.  The next-largest group came from Poland in the decades after the American Civil War.  Other large groups included British, Irish, Scandinavians, Serbians, and Russian Jews. The bride in the portrait above looks Southern or... Continue Reading →

Mazaicasuawin and his wife, Anpaohdinajin (1898)

This stereograph (stereoview) was made from real photographs in 1898 by commercial photographer Truman Ward Ingersoll (1862-1922) of St. Paul, Minnesota.  Ingersoll produced many images of Ojibwe (Chippewa) people and their ways of life in northern Minnesota.  I was unable to find additional information about the couple in this portrait. In the Library of Congress's... Continue Reading →

Two childhood memories

I was told that the two postcards above and below came from Gratz, Pennsylvania.  The little girl above also appears in the large group below (scroll down for close-ups). She's seated next to a woman who looks like her mother.  She's smiling in both pictures, and it's nice to imagine that her childhood might have... Continue Reading →

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