Yes! Filler!

Joy! I discovered a stack of carte de visite and cabinet cards that I have yet to post here.  Whew, material for my blog!

I don’t know about other bloggers but I need “filler” material.  This is a costuming making and wearing blog and when I’m not making or wearing, I need filler.  My volunteer work with the Costume Museum frequently provided excellent material, but that has been put on hold as my new job schedule doesn’t work with the volunteering schedule.

So without further ado…let me fill you up.img_20161211_182245003

This is a cabinet card of an older woman who is obviously well off!  She has plenty of jewelry and a finely beaded and lace filled bodice.  I like her hair style and if ever I get bangs again, I will copy this style when in 1890’s costume.  There is no photographer name on the back of the card but there is 1895 stamped on the back.


Turn the page

We started with the babies.

Front page is of two young girls.

Front page is of two young children.

Then we turn the page in the album and we have….SAM_3242

My initial hope is these are the parents of the two babies.  It is still possible.  If it is, the photos were likely taken prior to the wedding.  You will see why I say this in just a moment.  Let us start with the gentleman.

A sharply dressed fellow who looks to be in his 30’s.  What a mustache!  SAM_3244Once slid out of his sleeve we find his photograph was done in Toronto like the children were.SAM_3246

J Fraser Bryce was at this location 1885-1903.  The card could be dated to the earlier end of this time span because of the color of the card.

“In the mid 1880s dark-colored cards were introduced and used until the early 1890’s. The most popular was a dark maroon and black.” (info found here)

The small plain print was more common in the early 80’s (but not unheard of later) so I’d estimate the card to  be from 1885-1890.  This would be prior to the date I estimated for the children (1891-1900).  If this is the dad, the photo would have been taken prior to their birth.

The next page is the female.SAM_3247If this is the mom, I would guess this would be prior to the wedding on several counts.  The first being, couple or wedding photographs typically have the couple in the same photograph or separately but in the same style to be a complimentary pair.

Being two separate cities made the complimentary pair a bit tricky!SAM_3250

John Ross seems to have worked in Winnipeg from 1882-88.  The lady’s card is dark with the photographer’s stamp in the front.  The main difference is the font is fancier which came into vogue in the 1882-1900.  So again, based on the color of the card and the location of the print, as well as the time the photographer was working, I estimate this card to be from 1885-88.


This date suits her fabulous bustle fashions to a tee. And this is a very similar time to the man and early enough to be the mother of the children.

Are these the parents of the children?  How did they meet?  What are their names?  Did they live in Toronto, where the man’s and the children’s photograph was taken?  Did they live in Winnipeg where “mom” is from and where I found the album?

If I was a toddler 100 years earlier

I’ve been taking a bit of a twist to my Must Have Tuesday Theme.  I’m looking at what I would have been wearing if I was born 100 years earlier.  I did infancy in the mid 1860s last week and this week I was looking through all kinds of museum photos trying to find something I would have worn as a toddler if it would have been the late 1860s rather than the late 1960s.  I wasn’t having much luck.  I did find a photo in one of my favorite blogs “Who Were They”.

Photo credit goes to Who were they

(Be sure and pop over to Who Were They if you like to see cabinet cards and/or how real people wore their clothes back in the day).

This kid is pretty cute.  And my mom did my hair in ringlets around my head too.

Next week I’ll be looking for something I would have worn during the grade school ages.

Sweet little granny

I love this cabinet card….Doesn’t she kinda remind you of….

She has a gentle but smart-looking face.I wish the style wasn’t “neutral face”.  I bet she had a nice smiley face.

The edges of the card had been cut to fit a frame so the photographers info is obscured. That lack of info and her age means dating the card is going to be too hard.  She wouldn’t have been going for what the current fashions dictated.  So no date for the card.  I’m just going to enjoy it for what it is.

Did you notice what is going on at the feet?It looks like a stage with the subject up on the stage and the photographer down on the ground.  I wonder if this is one of those travelling photographer studios.  In my imagination he takes the side off of his carriage (may be it is a tarp) and inside is the camera, the  props and the stairs to get the subjects into the studio.  He pulls out the camera, sets up the steps, arranges his props and gets to work.  Once he is done, he packs it all up again, hitches up the horses and rides off into the sunset….

Another 1880s head shot.

Today’s cabinet card is an 1880s lady.  I’m going mostly by the hair style for this dating.  She appears to be in her late 30s.  I keep thinking she isn’t what you’d call pretty.  Handsome would be a better description.  Her individual features, especially her mouth and jaw line, are nice but put together they are just too strong to make her “pretty”.  May be it is because her eyes look a bit sunken.  (That may be an unfortuanate effect of the lighting.)  Some modern make up would really help this lady.  Some concealer on the eyes and a great lipstick color and she would be “rockin”!

From Hamiltons

The photographers stamp is a bit disappointing…no location.  Here are some things I did notice about the card… She has cute little stud earrings and dare I say it, slightly mussy hair.  It looks like some hair is escaping the bun at the nape of her neck.  I’m glad I’m not the only one not completely on top of my photograph game!

Close up of the close up.

I love her little pin on her collar!  There is some nice pleating on her bodice.  But the really neat thing is the gathering on her sleeve.  You faintly see it on the bottom right of the above photograph.  It is more easily seen if you click on the first photo.  Now, that is an effect I’d like to try some day on a dress.

Another flea market photo

I have time today to do some research and no energy for sewing so it is a good day to look at another photo.  I chose this, probable, husband and wife photo.

Note the hair and posture of the woman

 The Gibson girl hair and the pigeon posture from her corset and baggy shirt front puts this in the 1900-10 era.  The sleeves are tight at the top and flare slightly at the elbow and that, from my research is from 1901.  I am squealing with delight over the detail of that skirt and I want one just like it!  And back to the hair…it looks like she has a bow in it.  I wish I could find a tutorial on how to do a Gibson Girl hair style.  I can’t get excited over the posture from her corset though.  My back aches just looking at it.  That style of corset was supposed to be healthful as it took the pressure off of the stomach.  I don’t know….

This is a cabinet card and on the bottom right hand corner there is a silver colored stamp from the photographers. 

Campbell Winnipeg

That was a dead-end.  The internet listed 6 different photographers named Campbell working in Winnipeg at that time.  I guess I shouldn’t be surprised…one of the larger immigration groups to early Winnipeg were the Scotts so there will be hundreds of Campbells  around at that time.

There is nothing on the back of the photograph except a tear and glue marks.  I guess this may have been glued into an album at one time and then torn out.  And so this photograph did not leave many clues to follow but I have deduced the time to be around 1900-10 because of the corset (possibly an even tighter time frame of 1901-3 based on the sleeves).  It could be later if she was a poorer woman or more conservative but one does not get that impression of her.  Both the man and the woman seem to have clothes that are well made and they seem to be in good condition.  That skirt is just too sylin’ to be conservative.