Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past

Wow, this photograph is simply lovely. Look at the amazing crown of braids and the long curls draped onto her shoulder. Her earrings belie the misconception that Victorian women “didn’t pierce their ears.” I’d guess based on the hair and dress that I can see that the photo was made at the end of the 1870s or early 1880s.

The young woman was identified as Mary McNabb Donnelly.

We can assume she lived in or around Chicago as the studio she used was the Moore studio at 180 West Madison Street, Chicago. The location is just a block or two from the City of Chicago City Hall, but these days it’s a sky scraper and the original site is long gone.

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