Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past

I have some “new” old stuff for you. When you collect photos, you tend to purchase a lot of them and then squirrel them away as new purchases arrive. I went back through my boxes of photos and tried to find the ones that intrigued me for some reason but had never been blogged. This is an interesting one in that category. The photograph shows a nice full portrait of an older lady. I’d date the image to later 1880/early 1890. She is standing on a fur throw (no faux fur back then!), and rests her hand on a chair. There’s a lot going on with her dress but for the most part, we can see it has a draped front, fitted bodice and moderately loose sleeves at the upper arm. She has a pin at her collar and the collar is probably about 1 1/5″. The photograph was made in the Hutchings Railroad Photo Car, which was exactly as it says – a railroad car that travelled around to different towns and housed a photography studio. The car could be moved to a siding for a duration of time as the photographer arranged for bookings and did sittings. When the business became less lucrative, or there was a hint of a better town down the rails, the car would be attached to an outbound train and off they went again to set up in a new location.

I particularly was interested in the back of the cabinet card.

You can just see there is a pencil written missive here, and I really wanted to know what had been written there! I messed around in Photos changing the exposure and color balance a little and came up with this:

55 years old

good by reds

this is for your ???

??? picture now do

anser my letter

no my dress hasn’t

??? just a mistake

in the print of picture

to much shade you see

of ??? of hands now

anser my letter pleas

and have return to

you and rest ???

but ??? far then ???

taken last spring

3 thoughts on “Beautiful Full Portrait, plus a letter!

  1. Here’s my go at deciphering at bit
    “no my dress hasn’t tore just a mistake in the print of picture to much shade you see of face & hands”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mrs Marvel says:

      I think this may be right, excellent work!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. loobiloo5 says:

    I love when photos have writing on them, but this difficult to read! I agree with therescuedphoto – it looks like ‘tore’ and ‘face’ but I can’t make out the rest 🤔. Nice find though!

    Liked by 1 person

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