Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past

You may remember this photograph from the Red Velvet Album, which we recently concluded. At the time I had called it The Whole Family thinking we might have seen the boys in previous photos. Later as we went through the album I showed you the baby photo of Franklin Francis Ford and that one solid identification has …

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This is the final image from the Red Velvet album, and depicts a woman in early middle age. She looks a bit tired, but cleaned herself up for the sitting. It is unusual that she is quite over weight. While people certainly had the ability to become obese in the 19th century, it wasn’t as …

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   This little guy is Franklin Francis Ford, age four months, weight 22 pounds.  He’s a good size boy at four months. Franklin (Frank) was the son of Elias C Ford and Belle Kirby Ford, born July 11, 1883 in Dakota Territory. The Fords were a travelling family. Elias C was born in Ohio, his …

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A pair of siblings posed for their portrait. You can just see behind the girl’s feet the base of a positioning stand to help her hold her pose. The boy is handsome but unremarkable. The girl is wearing a great example of a girls’ bustle dress from the 1880s. The dress does not go beyond …

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This little girl doesn’t look very  happy. Sometimes children have an inherently hopeful or happy look on their faces, but not this one. She looks like she wants her nap. She is posed in the corner of a chair covered with a blanket and has on several strands of beads as a necklace. It makes …

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There was only one challenge for photographers in the 19th century that we can really see evidence of today, and that is movement. Because the exposure time was slow, subjects had to sit still for a long time. We see stands behind subjects helping them hold their pose, they lean on chairs or tables to …

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