Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past

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!

11 thoughts on “Nice plant

  1. southwestarkie says:

    She looks quite serious and apparently didn’t want to touch that dead plant! How strange that the man couldn’t find something nicer to use as a prompt.


  2. Muse Swings says:

    Despite the sepia I see red hair, freckles and green eyes here. Pretty child, and very dead plant.


  3. Christine says:

    She looks to be sitting uncomfortably and grabbing on to hold herself steady. Apart from the ivy, there is also that creepy straggly fur under her feet. i think they generally used bearskins.


  4. Such a heavy looking dress..the whole photo just looks uncomfortable..heavy dress, dead plant and the animal fur.. I do like her shoes:)


  5. Nancy says:

    Don’t you think she has a look of the future about her? Perhaps it’s an “old soul” look. I do wonder what became of her, whose grandmother she became, and whether she has living descendants. Maybe the plant just looks dead because the photo is sepia. Maybe the leaves are green but there are more stems than leaves. (Wouldn’t want to think poorly of the photographer, though you’d think he would have realized how the overly-viney, nearly leafless plant would look in sepia….)


  6. tony zimnoch says:

    Yes,Nancy, She Does Have Quite A “Knowing Look”……….Maybe She Just Didnt Want To Get Her Dress Dirty From All That BrickWork!


  7. Marilyn says:

    I love the fashions and style in this photo. Dead ivy …strange.


  8. Titania says:

    I would say she came with her parents to the city for for a rare visit. Perhaps the parents took her especially to have her photographed. She is a nice enough looking lass in her Sunday dress. The photographer did not have much imagination with his “antique”pillar, dirty fur and plant. I guess those were the paraphernalia they mainly used.


  9. grace says:

    She has a pained look to me.. like do I really have to touch this thing. Great photo any way of an adorable child and her boots are wonderful


  10. Larry says:

    All those buttons on the shoes kept them from being slip on shoes for sure. Great blog.


  11. mrsmarvel says:

    So you know, she is an unidentified relative of a good friend of mine, so there is still family around to cherish her and her nasty plant sidekick, ha ha. We’ve searched all sorts of records and just can’t be sure who she is.


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