Couple in Kalamazoo, Michigan

Click here to view it larger.

What it is:

Cabinet card measuring 4.25 x 6.5 inches.

What I know about it:

Photographer is W. S. White of Kalamazoo, Michigan.  Otherwise undated and unidentified.


I understand that people didn’t smile very much in these old portraits, but I do wish they could show a little more enthusiasm in their wedding photos, which I take this to be.  Oh, well.  I wish them every happiness.  And if nothing else, it’s just fun to say “Kalamazoo”.

12 comments on “Couple in Kalamazoo, Michigan”

  1. There is a place in Florida named Chumuckla. And Kissimmee is there too. He has a slightly lecherous look and she looks terrified. I also think she is 4 inches taller than him when they stand up.

    • If I ever wanted to give my collection more focus, I could concentrate on photos of people from funny-sounding places. You’re right, he looks like he’s perfectly used to having pretty girls sit on his knee, and she looks like she’s having second thoughts about it. And it may be a trick of the positioning, but I agree she looks taller than average.

  2. I can’t be sure, but I believe the reason for the serious faces is because photography wasn’t as quick as it is now and people had to sit very still for quite a while, it is easier to have a serious face than a happy one when you are doing that. That is what I think happened, though I could be wrong.

    • Thanks, Leanne. Yes, I’ve heard the same thing. I’m sure there’s a variety of reasons for unsmiling faces, but the long exposure times is the most common one I hear. It still seems a shame that wedding portraits should end up looking so gloomy. 🙂

  3. I think that they are about the same height. It looks as though she is sitting.resting on the arm of the chair which would make her very close in height. Generally, women were virgins when they wed, perhaps she is contemplating the night to come. 😉

  4. Interesting how the flowers appear to be attached to her dress.

  5. Judging from my recent “Sherlock Holmes” costume research, I think it’s quite possible this is from the early 1890’s. Incidentally, I’ve read a number of old novels where women wear flowers at their waist–it’s nice to have a picture of it.

    • It’s always so nice to find visual examples of what you’re reading about, or just extra information about something that was casually referred to. I have a decent imagination, but it only goes so far. The internet has been amazing for fleshing out my appreciation of what I’m reading.

  6. Also, she looks very pious here.

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