barbara judge's photo collection
Taken in the latter part of the 1800's, this vintage photo can tell you much about fashion as well as a certain type of quilt pattern that was part of the material culture at the time. The children are dressed to the "t" in undoubtedly early machine stitched clothing or even possibly hand sewn? The young boy has some type of straps on his long stockings, perhaps to keep them from slipping down his legs?
Perhaps the quilt, that was draped over the chairs was of special importance? Could it be one that was created for the photo taking session or perhaps made by a relative that the family loved? What stories can you conjure up in your mind with the various clues in this photo?
It was common to have photos taken outside as appropriate lighting was not available inside. One often finds old photos taken outside during this time period - usually taken by itinerant photographers who traveled the countryside. The background appears to be some type of canvas drop?
Quilts have always fascinated me. Especially the old ones. June Calender's blog discusses many types of quilts that she either creates or visits at quilt shows. Her latest adventure with quilts is teaching the History of Quilts at her local Academy of Lifelong Learning. Also visit Mary's blog about her many quilt projects and then take a look at Kyra's Black Threads blog that features both old and new quilts and their creators.
A neat way to date vintage photos is to examine its fabrics (if there are any) using a book on old fabrics for comparison.This will give you a close approximation of its date. Here is a reasonable priced book that can identify fabrics and their dates of manufacture, Dating Fabrics, a Color Guide - 1800 to 1960. Also a good book on early printed fabrics is one by Barbara Brachman.