Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past

A beautiful example of a bustle dress from the 1880s. This handsome couple is on the right hand page from our previous photo of the young/old youthful/matron in the Dobb Long Book. I believe this to be our “first impression” woman from the very first page of the book. She is a year or two older here, and dressed very well. This couple had some means. First, her dress is a fine example of a bustle dress – you can see the bustle sticking out behind her, to the left of frame. She has quite a lot of beading on the cuffs and at the center front of the bodice. She has a chain hanging across said beading in front, with a watch dangling there. Upon close up inspection, she has a fancy pin at her throat with a cross pendant. Her husband has a lovely tie, watch and chain, and well fitted suit. You can see his wedding band on his left hand very easily.

The photographer here was J. Maul of 439 Milwaukee Ave, Chicago. Mr Maul was awarded a first prize in the Chicago Photography Club’s competition in 1889 – in which he was listed as an amateur, and was awarded a first prize medal for prison and police photography in the 1889 Exhibition of the Photographic Society of Chicago – a prize which listed him as a professional.

I think it’s safe to date the photo to 1889 or thereabouts.

3 thoughts on “Bustle dress

  1. IntenseGuy says:

    If these are Mrs. Nina and Mr. Dobb, to me, Mr. Dobb looks like Mr. Austere’s son.

    There seems to be a mix between Chicago and/or Illinois and Muskgeon and/or the Holland area in Michigan. It seems to me that one or the other of these two were from Illinois – or maybe the two of them move there from Michigan.

    Such a mystery – and no sign of how to unravel it yet.


  2. She does look like Miss First Impression…I like the beading on this dress. Did you notice how tight his pants seem? :)


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