Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past

To me, this lady looks like she is leaning backwards. Do you see that too? It could be a trick of how the photo was taken, I am not certain, but I can tell you that is how I feel after a full weekend of wearing my 19th century dresses. I’m tired!

This photograph was made in the 1890s, which we can tell by the large sleeves and general busy-ness of the bodice. I’d err toward the early part of the decade because the sleeves are relatively small compared to the end of the decade.

This photo is from the Leaf Album and was made by Freedle in Cleveland, OH. There were three Freedles in Cleveland during the 80s and 90s. Frank and James Freedle were in business as Freedle and Brother, and were the sons of Thomas and Annie Freedle of Bohemia and both were born in the 1850s. They were in business together from about 1876 – 86 at the location 225 Superior. From 1891-98, Vaclav Freedle was at the location 1667 Broadway, and in 1899 James Freedle took over the business. I have had no luck in tying the two families together as there is very little information about Vaclav, but perhaps he was a relative who also emigrated to Cleveland.

Based on the information above, I believe the photographer was Vaclav Freedle.

5 thoughts on “Leaning lady of Cleveland

  1. IntenseGuy says:

    I’m lost in the Freedle’s. I need to sketch out a family tree.

    What’s interesting to me is that there is a John Freedle (born 1866 and immigrated in 1882) from Czechoslovakia.

    I found a record of stating — Vaclov Friedl of Horovicick arrived at Ellis Island on 16 Apr 1894 at the age of 29y. He is listed as an Bokenica (ethnicity) and departed from Germany on the ship “Marsala” —

    “Horovicick” (now Hořovice) is located west of Prague about halfway to Pilsen.

    The political situation of Europe is confusing “back then”. The Kingdom of Bohemia was located on the western side of The Czech Republic (as is Prague).

    So this ties in with yesterday’s photo. :)


    1. Mrs Marvel says:

      I also found there is a “Vaclav” in the adult entertainment industry and that was rather off putting, ha ha.

      Interesting how these are now directly tied to yesterday’s photo. Makes me wonder if that was one of the Freedle friends or family, or if the person who gathered the photos was somehow acquainted with the area.


  2. Her dress is a mix of fabrics brocade and looks like velvet..however I really like the tiny curls along her hair line..they are so tiny:)


  3. tyrogers6200 says:

    I’ve seen this type of “leaning” before – perhaps it had to do with their strict rules of posture or maybe it was just a tight corset.


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