Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past

This middle aged woman was photographed by Bates in Charlestown, MA. Her hair was probably blond because it seems to be fading away into the background of the image. The way the image is masked – showing just an oval shaped image in the middle of the card – is reminiscent of the early days of photographs. Some early images were just the person’s head floating in the middle of the card.

Fortunately for us, we see a bit more of her in this photo. The dress in particular is lovely. The trim is scrumptious. I don’t know what type of trim it is – whether a premade piece or couching or appliqué. It looks rich. Also, my eyes could be deceiving me, but it looks like she is wearing a pin with a round piece at her throat – could it in fact be a photo pin? These were sometimes made with a gem sized photo and made into jewelry.

2 thoughts on “Fading hairstyle

  1. sallysmom says:

    You are right that the trim is scrumptious. Would also love to know how it was made.


  2. Val says:

    It’s beadwork. If you look at a bit to the upper left you’ll see the shadow it casts. Probably couched. Her hair may have been blonde, possibly blonde going to grey at the top. The side part (near her ear) are darker, not just because of shadow. It fades at the top partly because the photo is a little blurry – very possibly motion blur as she will have had to have kept still for a long time and perhaps a deep breath or a sudden noise beyond herself may have caused a slight tremor.


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