Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past

Gems 11

Two fine men and a fine lady

This page was one of the reasons I so wanted to own this little gem album. I just love the two men pictured. There is so much to look at!

A couple of pals

A couple of pals

Or perhaps they were brothers, I don’t know. I love the clothing layers, the hats, the pipe in the one fellow’s mouth. Both are wearing three piece suits of clothing, which was much more common way back when. The coat, vest, shirt, tie and slacks didn’t always have to coordinate either. The man on the left is wearing a type of hat I think is called a campaign or slouch hat. It looks a bit like a fedora or a homburg, all popular styles of hats in the later part of the century. The hat was made of wool and could be shaped to the wearer’s liking. The man on the right in the picture above is wearing a wheel cap, which I believe evolved out of or at the same time as the forage cap.

Hats of course were once a required accessory for ladies and gentlemen going out of doors. Originally, hats were designed for warmth and comfort, but humans being fickle, we quickly began designing them for style and ceremony as well. 19th century hats ran the gamut, from the simple newsboy to the formal silk top hat, and everywhere in between. Some hats were ceremonial and worn only for special occasions, other hats were commonplace and used for every day wear. It was a very personal choice which hat to purchase. These two fellows chose two very different, but very perfect hat styles.

Gems 11 - Woman

Lovely ringlets

Juxtaposed with the sort of fraternity boy looking pair is this lovely lady. She has a strong jaw, but not hard. Her hair is parted in the center, drawn back into an arrangement, and then features long ringlets dangling from both sides. This was a very popular hair style in the 1870s. The curls were often times separate items that could be attached once the bulk of the hair was made into a chignon. Ladies magazines advertised these and women also could make them at home of their own hair. I have made ringlets like this and they are very delicate once formed, but oh so beautiful and softening to the face. We cannot overlook her bodice though. She has a small white banded collar beneath the bodice neckline, both fastened together with a very large brooch. Below the brooch you can see the tip of a decorative panel in the bodice, style I have seen on dresses from the 1860s through the 1880s.

More Information

Hat History via hatbox.com

Peaked cap, aka wheel cap?

Glossary of hat names

2 thoughts on “Two men and a lady

  1. anyjazz says:

    Thanks! I learned I have been wearing a slouch hat all these years! Good post!


  2. Ed says:

    maybe they are actors? my thoughts are the photo of the “lady” looks like a male, I see much resemblance to the man on the right. and the “man” on the left, looks much more lady like in facial features, perhaps they where actors playing gender roles? maybe a husband and wife team. Whatever there real identity or reasons, the picture on the right is very masculine, negating the dress and hair, in my eyes.


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