Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past


Today’s CDV shows us a sweet faced woman with some interesting clothing & adornment. First, notice her long sausage curls draped across her shoulder. These curls were often made at home from real hair, and were available to be purchased as well. They were very popular in the 1840s and came back slightly differently in the 1870s and 80s. The way this lady is wearing them – draped across her shoulder and coming from the back of her head – is definitely the more “modern” style.

She also has some sort of lacy cap or cover on her head. It appears to drape down the back of her head and then across her shoulder opposite the curls. It could be a mantilla, or something else? I’m not really sure what it is. Could it be something religious or ethnic?

She has rather large earrings, a big button right in the middle of the collar area of her dress and some other dress features I can’t quite identify.

The photographer was Patton & Dietrich’s Photograph Gallery in Reading, PA. They were known to be in business in the 1870s.

Another side note, there are 6 holes in the edges of this photo. Other photos I acquired in the same group have similar holes and some have bits of thread in the holes. These photos were somehow sewn – either to each other or into an album, which I find fascinating.

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