Family Stories

1860’s & 1870’s Photos

I decided to share some of the 1860 and 1870 photos from my collection with you today.  These are carte-de-visite photos – 4 inches by 2.5 inches – popular during the 1860’s and 1870’s, but gave way to the larger cabinet cards – 6.5 inches by 4.25 inches from the late 1870’s to around 1900.  The following photos are all about the size of a business card – or a calling card during that time period.  Since they were inexpensive many people left a photo with – or instead of – their calling card.


This first photo is of a young woman by the name of E. S. Ward, who had her photo made by Milton T. Carter at 285 Main Street, Worcester, Massachusetts.  her gown is quite lovely – can you imagine how long it would take to make this dress with all the ribbons and accents?  The woman is beautiful, and seems very sure of herself.


In this photo is another beautiful woman.  Her bustle is indicative of the 1870’s.  She, too, has a lovely dress.  Notice the cuffs!  This photo was taken by Lombardi and Company, 13 Pall Mall East, London, England.


This is one of my favorite photos!  The dress is amazing – note the scalloped hemline – plus the decoration on the bodice and sleeves.  The woman looks very serious – or perhaps lost in thought!  The photo was taken by Albert C. Walkin, 54 Bold Street, Liverpool, England.  Definitely taken during the Civil War period.


Another Civil War photo – and what a fantastic dress and cape!  Notice the woman’s hat held in her hand – in front of the chair.  And she’s wear eye-glasses – not to be found in many photos.  She was photographed by T. R. Gettys in Bedford, Pennsylvania.


One last Civil War photo – Annie Cruse.  Another great dress – just love the full skirts!  The sleeves on this dress are unusual – and note all the decoration.  Annie’s jewelry is very nice!  There is no photographer’s name.


And this last is a great example of the bustle’s of the 1870’s.  This woman does look a bit sour – perhaps she had to wait too long!  The decoration on this dress is amazing!  J. W. Shores was the photographer on the Promenade at Bridlington Quay, England.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this look into the past.  Did you see anyone you knew?

6 replies »

  1. Lovely photos, thanks for sharing! We recently discovered a large collection of glass negatives from 1860’s-70’s here in Greensburg, Indiana that we’re working on digitizing. Love seeing the fashions from this era!

  2. The lady from the Gettys Studio in Bedford, Pa may be Graceanna Lewis from Chester County, Pa. She was involved in the Underground Railroad there. If you do a short google search you will find a sketch of Grace that at least resembles the Gettys photo. I can’t get the photo to post here. In my facebook group, “Bedford in the Civil War”, I have posted the photos side by side for comparison. Thank you

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