Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past

The latest installment from the Leaf Album features a beautiful young woman with soft curly hair and a lovely and intricately decorated bodice for her dress. The portrait was clearly masked to show off the ruched neck, lacy bib and intricate embroidery or applique work. The bodice also has some fringed trim, and while you might be tempted to think there is a big button on the left, it is a flaw on the image.

When I look at these old photos I remind myself that these lovely images are – for the majority – unretouched, not airbrushed to give the appearance of flawless skin and there was virtually no use of make up at this time. In my mind, this young lady puts all the Oscar award ceremony lovelies to shame.

The photographer was W. F. Zapf on Broadway in Cleveland. While I have found other photographs made by this photographer, for some reason he was not in the directory that has been so helpful on previous Ohio photographers.

2 thoughts on “Cleveland beauty

  1. Very ornate dress..I wonder what color it was..I see it as a deep wine color:)


  2. Carlos Singleton says:

    My Great Great Grandfather’s sister has a picture of her taken by this photographer when she was maybe 6 months old. Being born in May 1895 I guess that is the year taken. Unfortunately it is the only picture of the 4 brothers that I know of. She was the youngest of the 4. I found this amazing blog, in my effort to find possible “lost” pictures of this William F. Zapf and maybe find a family portrait where I can see the parents. This is assuming that the family always took their pictures with the same photographer. Thanks for this interesting blog.


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