Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past

Just down the street from the Hartley Studios in Chicago we find the Ahlborn Berlin Studio at 333 W. Madison Street, Chicago, who claim that babies’ pictures are a specialty! These children are adorable, there is no question! The child on the left is undoubtedly a girl. I think the child on the right might also be a girl, but with no hair to really help me, this could in fact be an older boy. BUT, boys were generally breached by age 4 – 5 at the very latest – and this child looks around age 3-4, has a soft and almost feminine face, and the dress is more girl than boy to me. Maybe this is a girl and she just got hold of her mother’s sewing scissors to give herself a haircut?

William (Willheim?) Ahlborn was in business along Madison Street from 1881 to 1897, but at the 333 location from 1886-1895. Based on the more decorated backing of the card, I’ll date this to 1890-1895.

5 thoughts on “Just down the street, really

  1. IntenseGuy says:

    These two babies look like the ones we saw earlier –

    The taller one looks like the one with the ridiculously long christening dress – and the other one looks like the one you labeled like mother, like child.

    I can’t tell if the older child is a boy or a girl. He/she is really cute however.

    The christening photo seems to date to 1885-6 and the mother/child one to about the same time – looking like they are about a year apart. You date this picture to 1890-ish and that would fit the ages – of them being the same children.

    I’m spectulating that they are both Nina Dobb’s children – and the mother is Nina herself. It would appear Nina and family lived in the Chicago, Illinois area (or perhaps her parents did and she visited often).

    So it seems we have seen Mr. and Mrs. Dobb, Mr. Doob (asutere and couple) Nina, and two children so far. :)


  2. Elisabeth says:

    If you look closely at the neck of the child on the left, especially the right side, doesn’t it look like they have long hair down their back and out of sight? Maybe it’s a girl with her hair in a braid.


  3. I think it is a boy, the one one the right..and he does look like the baby in the long Christening gown..it could be one and the same.

    If it was a girl and she had that horrible haircut I would have put a bow in her hair..but it seems fitting that it is just a more masculine cut for a boy:)


  4. Tattered and Lost says:

    What I find most unusual about this shot is the fact that the ink for the photographer’s name intrudes onto the photo. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that. This would mean this information would have been printed after or at the same time the photo was mounted. I just always assumed the cards came preprinted.


    1. mrsmarvel says:

      I noticed that too and wondered if the imprint went on after the photo was glues down OR if the photo paper is that thin. I do think the imprint is on top of the photo.


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