Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past


The above CdV came from the Downhome Antiques shop in Orange, CA. I find this hairstyle to be strange and interesting, but it was pretty common because I have seen it in a number of photographs. Often the top of the hair is adorned with some type of fancy decoration, or a fancy hair fork was used to create the twist in the first place. Although Sarah and Lana are identified on the back of the photo, unfortunately time and poor penmanship is preventing me from making out what their last names were. I don’t think they were sisters, so perhaps best friends or cousins.

The photographer here was Thomson in Kansas City, MO, most likely David P. Thomson. He was an incredibly respected photographer in Kansas City between 1874 – 1882, and through that time partnered with William I. Williams and J. C. Merine – a famous oil portrait artist. Merine was Williams’ uncle, and the three partnered in a variety of ways over the years. Merine was known for having painted the statesman Henry Clay. The various businesses must have been quite successful, as they had a number of clerks, porters, printers and photographers working for them over the years.

My summary about Mr. Thomson was pulled from a very interesting paper published in 2004 by David Boutros that looked at photographers in Kansas City, MO between 1850-1882. Please click through if you would like to read the information. It is quite revealing about the population growth and popularity of photography in Kansas City during those years.

3 thoughts on “Sarah and Lana

  1. i am imagining the names Sarah Brown and Lena B. Burls..have you tried editing it and adding more contrast? That may help to bring out the missing letters:)


  2. oops forgot to say, I love the large lapel and the polka dots..very unusual. I also have wondered about this updo..I like it! :)


  3. IntenseGuy says:

    I didn’t have any luck with any of the names I thought it could be. I tried FSof50s guesses too.


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