Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past

This photograph of a small girl appears to show her very thin arms. She is well dressed and appears healthy otherwise, so I suspect it is an optical illusion that she has such thin arms. Her right arm rests on the prop chair, which is rounded and probably is blocking some of the view of her arm. Her left hand is grasping a chair spindle, and I think the spindle itself is blocking part of her left arm. It is unfortunate that the photographer did not notice these minor obstructions before striking the image. Often photographers considered themselves as artists, and a good photographer would not have allowed this illusion to have occurred.

The photographer in question was J. Holyland, located at 231 Baltimore St, Baltimore, MD. One hopes his other photographs showcased his subjects better.

4 thoughts on “Girl With Skinny Arms

  1. I agree that it’s an optical illusion but it makes for a striking image!

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  2. On second thought I should say I agree it might be an optical illusion. The more I look at the photo the more I begin to think about how she appears to need a lot of support. Normally a child her age might be leaning against a prop or standing with a hand resting on a chair but look how she’s posed between the two objects so she can use both. It makes me wonder if she might have been in a frail condition.

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    1. Rosemary Dietrick says:

      I agree. She looks like she is propped up and her stance looks a bit off.

      Like

    2. Mrs Marvel says:

      There could be two things happening here – the optical illusion, plus a sickly child.

      Like

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