Woman from Portland, Indiana
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What it is:
Cabinet card measuring 4.25 x 6.5 inches.
What I know about it:
Photographer is S. J. Upp of Portland, Indiana. Otherwise undated and unidentified.
I’ve always been a little shaky at guessing people’s ages, and this photo just drives the point home to me. I’d always assumed this woman was in her 30s or 40s, I think partly because she reminds me slightly of my friend Louisa, who is, I believe, (ahem) at the upper end of that range. But studying this woman’s face, looking for similarities as I compared Louisa’s considerable beauty to hers, it dawned on me that this woman is probably much younger. So why, aside from my mind’s association with Louisa, would I leap to the conclusion that she was older? I find that’s frequently the case with these old photos. Look at her conservative black lace dress and her matronly hair style. I’m beginning to realize that in my mind, I sometimes associate vintage fashions with the people who would have worn them then, in other words, associating old styles with old people. After all, adjectives like “conservative” and “matronly” might not have popped into my head if I were looking at this photo a century ago when it was new(er). That’s preposterously faulty thinking, of course, and I’m not sure my explanation even makes sense, but does anyone else find themselves doing that, too? In any case, I think it’s a lovely photo of a beautiful woman, and I hope you agree. By the way, the photographer’s name, Upp, struck me as unusual, so I searched for information, though I didn’t find anything. But while searching, I found myself wondering, why would a town located in the middle of Indiana be called Portland when it has no port?