Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past

Today’s offering is a 20th century portrait featuring a young lady in a ruffled white blouse with a thin choker necklace and a locket style pin or watch. Her hair hints at the 1910s. The card is 4.5 x 6 with the image centered. I can’t decide what the spikey things in the background are. That is quite odd. Written in pencil along the side of the image is the photographer’s name: Frumhoff.

This is a proud Sepia Saturday post, where the theme is generally Oxford and hospitals during the Great War. It makes me wonder if a copy of this photograph found its way to Flanders in 1917 and kept some doughboy from despair in the darkest hours before the Armistice. Please click through and enjoy sepia photos from around the world.

19 thoughts on “Lovely young lady with a choker necklace

  1. I hope the man in Flanders came through safe and sound and returned to the lady in the photo. I especially like her hair.


  2. IntenseGuy says:

    Isadore Frumhoff (the photographer) was born September 1, 1886 in Lugansk, Russia, immigrated to the USA in 1905. He married Rose Davis on June 6, 1913 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and died September 1, 1958 in Overton, Rusk, Texas. He is buried in Los Angeles, California.

    Now that really narrows down where this photograph was taken, doesn’t it?



    1. Mrs Marvel says:

      Quite the traveller!!


    2. TICKLEBEAR says:

      man, you got your name right!! that’s a lot of infos!!
      good show!!


    3. Elaine Bush says:

      Yes! And Isadore Frumhoff was my grandfather. A Jewish photographer in Ukraine, Isadore Frumhoff arrived in the US in 1909. He and his family lived
      in St. Joseph, Missouri where he had a photography studio. I have ads from the local newspaper that have the business established at least beginning 1916. By 1925 the family was living in Louisiana. They “followed the oil” and eventually ended up in east Texas. I believe this photo must have been taken in St. Joe since Isadore became a dry goods merchant after leaving town.


  3. gluepot says:

    I thought at first that those spiky things were painted on a backdrop, but looking more carefully, I think they have been artifiaclly produced on the print. Perhaps it belongs in the “What were they thinking?” category.


  4. gluepot says:

    I’ll try again – artificially


  5. The young lady might have desired a “modern” look? I’ve seen this kind of art deco-ish zig zag on other portraits, perhaps an effect used on early celebrity photos.


  6. TICKLEBEAR says:

    she looks uncertain….
    “am i doing this right? should i smile more? is it over yet??”


  7. Bob Scotney says:

    Is she trying a Mona Lisa enigmatic smile?


  8. jinksy says:

    Almost ethereal…


  9. Little Nell says:

    She really is lovely, and very young I think. I agree with Mike about the art-deco feel to the background.


  10. Muse Swings says:

    Lovely bob hairstyle. Perhaps her expression has to do with how her soldier will react to her haircut. She loves it – but will he? Another thought – is she the young wife in O’Henry’s “The Gifts of the Magi” who cut off her hair to buy a watch chain for her husband. (..who sold his watch to by combs for her hair)


  11. Karen S. says:

    Lovely lady…I especially like the name so neatly placed in the photo! Cool!


  12. postcardy says:

    The spike patterns on the left and right are the same, though the exposure is different.


  13. Tattered and Lost says:

    She’s surrounded by gray flames. Love the aged mottling on the image.


  14. That choker looks like it would really do the trick. Ow!


  15. her eyes seem to be talking to the camera..I think that the spikes were an experiment with photo effects:)


  16. A comparison of Frumhoff’s signature on Lovely young lady with a choker necklace and on two photos of Isadore’s wife Rose (circa 1912 and 1916) supplied by Elaine Bush show the same handwriting with only slight variations. Since Isadore was in his 20s and originally from Ukraine, English was his second (or maybe third) language. That could account for the minor differences in the signature. Who didn’t “experiment” with their signatures in your teens and twenties. But also the style of portraiture points to Isadore Frumhoff. Now to find the family who would I’m sure love to have this photo of Lovely young lady.


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