Monday, October 26, 2009

Photo Number Six

This is a cabinet card, named such because you would have displayed it in your cabinet, possibly in your front parlor.    I have been doing a little reading about how to date Cabinet Cards since there were a number of them in my box of forgotten photos.  Cabinet Cards are a little confusing, perhaps after I have dated at few of them things will become clearer, or not.   I found out that the Photographer T.M. Swem from Lima, Ohio  and who was in Missouri for a short time, had a studio in St Paul, Minnesota from 1882 to 1899.   In 1900 he relocated to Fargo, ND..he was on his way west and stopped to visit friends in Fargo and stayed for thirteen years before moving on to Medford, OR.

So although I know nothing else about this lady, I know she sat for a photo sometime between 1882 and 1899 in St Paul, Minnesota.  That is an eighteen year window on this one.   Perhaps her clothing, especially the really puffy sleeves and that "thingy" around her neck will give someone a clue.

Head and Shoulders shots.. Size of head is 1 1/2 inches wide ..equals 1866 to 1875
Embossed Studio Name ..equals 1890  to 1906
Single gold rule  1866-1880
Nothing was "Fitting" with this card.. until I found out the photographers info.

Cabinet Cards first appeared in the United States in 1866 , they are rarely used after 1906.
Thanks for visiting!  Stop by again sometime:)
Update: Pamela says : FICHU! It is a Fichu! Referring to the "thingy" around her neck! 


  1. Just the other day I told someone what those doohinkys around the neck were called.

    My great granmother Burnetta -- had something like that on in every shot. She was married to my grandfather before the civil war - and after he died in the war, she married another man.

    She died in her early 40's. in the 1880s.

  2. I've looked at this photo for quite awhile now. Although I don't have a clue who she is, something about her reminds me of old photos of someone in my family. It is remarkable how similar they appear and it is sort of spooky. I guess in reality we are all closer than we realize.

  3. Interesting the info you shared with us about cabinet photos and how to date them. Thanks to Pam for the name of the fichu too. I would feel like I was suffocating in those sleeves and that fichu.

  4. I was trying to do some research on that dress style, but came away with few answers, however I did run across a wonderful blog you may be interested in. ~Abra

  5. Thanks Abra! That is a great link, I enjoyed visiting there and I think I will put it up on my sidebar:)

  6. I Think her collar thingy is tatted..what do you think?
    Fischu..just does not seem to fit this photo from the photos I saw of them on the net..they seem more shawl like:)

  7. You might be interested in a service called Fashion Fotodate offered by the Costume Gallery. They look at the clothes and date the photo by the fashions. Particularly in the later 19th century, fashions lasted for several years at a time. I personally would date the picture to the 1890s based on the sleeves and the hair style.

    I think the collar is called a jabot, and is probably handmade lace, maybe tatted, bobbin lace, or crochet. Without a more clear image it's hard to tell. My great great uncle used to tatt collars and I have one that is gorgeous. Looks nothing like this one though.

    I found your site through Old Photo - thanks for posting your link!


Hi, Thanks for the comments, your input on these old photos is appreciated! I don't do awards, award me a comment! English only please! This is a word verification free blog. I can no longer accept anonymous comments.