Woman in Rochester, New York

By: usermattw

Mar 21 2017

Tags: , , ,

Category: Women


Click here to view it larger.


What it is:

Carte de Visite (CDV) measuring 2.5 x 4 inches.


What I know about it:

Photographer is B. F. Hale of Rochester, New York.  Otherwise no information.



This one is obviously pretty damaged, but I figured the dress alone made it worth sharing.  I’m intrigued, as I have been before with similar CDVs, by the image’s framing.  With the chair and her dress, the bottom two thirds of the picture is visually very dense and busy, while the top third is nearly empty.  Was this intentional?  Presumably so.  By the way, the photographer’s logo on the back just gives the location as “75 Main St., Roch.”.  I had to search the internet for another photo by the same photographer, showing a newer logo that spelled out “Rochester, N.Y.”, to be sure which of the many American towns named Rochester this one was.

6 comments on “Woman in Rochester, New York”

  1. This is quite a nice mid to late 1860s photograph! The many layers of ruffles give th dress the nice, round effect that was in fashion, as does the band of ruffles on the bodice. The wide sleeves are called pagoda sleeves and were worn over a separate, detachable under sleeve. These touches tell us the dress is of silk, wool, or a silk-wool blend and was a higher fashion item. The number of ruffles tells us the family had some money as they could use it to adorn a dress with unnecessary fabric. The subject is young, but I’d guess this might be a coming out, engageor wedding portrait. Nice find!

    • Thank you, Mrs. Marvel! I always appreciate all the extra knowledge you bring. That information helps expand the way we see what we’re seeing. I agree, it’s an impressive garment.

  2. It almost looks like there is something written at the top left of the photo? The story I’ve made up for myself is that the photographer’s assistant didn’t crop the photo quite correctly, and that’s why there’s so much *blank* on top.

    From the ring on the finger, Mrs. Marvel’s guess about engagement or wedding is likely correct.

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