Thursday, January 13, 2011

Photo Number 423

Page 22 in the Nettie Parks Album
Page 22 Fannie Goit
Meet Fannie Goit…from Pennsylvania.   The photographer is Spencer from Troy, PA.  It is a  Cabinet Card. There is no imprint on the back of this card.

We had two photos the other day that had the same photographer..Mary Gould ( Netties Aunt)  and her husband, Jehiel Gould.  Could this be another relative?

The dress has puffed sleeves..and seems to have a pleated bodice, with a very high neck.  I will guess that this photo was taken sometime between  1886 -1900..since those are known years that the photographer was in Troy.
Thanks for stopping by, do come again:) 


  1. She has beautiful eyes! I like the pin on her collar.

  2. she has somewhat of a boyish face...but if could be the eyes. I like her hair poof though.

  3. This is gorgeous. I love old photos. Kori xoxo

  4. She does have a most... inscrutable expression. She looks very young to me.

    I don't think the person that labeled this picture is the same that labeled the previous ones.. specifically the Mary M. Gould one.

    And I can find no mention of a Fannie Goit (alternates Fanny, Frances, and Goyt) in the usual places.

    There was a large Goit family upstate NY (north of Syracuse) - and I saw hint that the Mccomb family might have had a Goit mixed in their bunch... but nothing solid.

  5. I'd guess 1888-1894 on the dress. Those sleeves were popular at the same time the big poufy ones. Not being able to see anything else of the dress, it's just a guess.

  6. Odd coincidence? Perhaps, or even probably, but there is a Francies Goit that living in Topeka, Kansas at the same time as Elton L. Taylor (Photo 421.) The plot thickens...

    There was also a Frances Goit, b. 06 Feb 1878, in Wheatfield, Ingham, Michigan...

  7. This photo of a young woman made questions pop into my head. How much did it cost to have these cabinet photos taken? How much would it have cost to have one's portrait painted by a various range of painters (local/naive, talented/unknown, known/famous)? What was the average yearly wage of a range of people shown in the photos? Obviously, photography made portraits available to a much wider range of people, while the cost of a lady's dress in a Sear's catalogue of the turn of the century continually pops back into my mind (if I'm not remembering incorrectly, it was something like $6!!!). I'd like to be able to put all these marvelous photos in perspective. Do you, or your readers, have some hard facts (and reliable sources) that will help me?

  8. Star -

    An excellent place for photo dating (and it mentions the prices of various types / forms of photos) can be found here:

    A "what did it cost in terms of today's money" conversion can be found here:

    In general terms, the people in this collection of photos were rural farmers, carpenters, and waitresses. I'm no expert, but I am sure much of the clothes we see was made at home - or bought "ready made" which came into existence about the time of these people that we are viewing's lifetimes. They no doubt "spruced", trimmed, darned socks, accessorized extensively.

    In rough terms - a dollar in 1885 was about $25-$250 (depending on the scale used for adjustment) in current dollars. So, a 25 cent photo would have "cost" something like $6 (or more) dollars in today's terms and that doesn't include the cost in time and effort to go to the studio to have the photo taken.

    They certainly were not "cheap" - I'm sure most of the elaborate dresses we are seeing were most treasured possessions.

  9. I marvel at the clarity and distinctive character of the photos!

  10. Star, Going for a sitting in a formal studio was expensive..but that is all I know. The traveling Tintype photographers used to sell tintypes for a penny a piece..that is when photography was available to "normal" everyday working people.
    Real Photo Postcards were also a penny a piece..and depending on what year they cost either one or two cents to mail.
    From what I have read it depends what part of the country you were to your wages. I have read anything from 25 cents a day to 1.75 a day.
    In 1910 my grandfather worked for a dollar a day.
    I hope this helps to answer your questions:)

  11. Thanks so very much to all for their help in putting these photos in socio-economic perspective. It does help, a lot. The (ahem) one really helpful mathematical formula I remember from school is how to find the one missing factor in a fraction. If one dollar (100 pennies) then equals roughly 25 dollars, today (2500 pennies), then one penny then would equal about 25 pennies, today. That means that, according to the above information supplied by others, these one penny photos could still have been the equivalent for some people of a full day's wage (or at least a quarter of it). That isn't chicken feed, literally, when so many had to scratch (pardon the unintended pun) for a living. Thanks so much, as this made these photos all the more precious for me because they apparently represented a significant investment, even if considered "do-able."

  12. Speaking of dating a photo -

    About 1887 F. M. Spencer bought out the business of the recently deceased O. E. Dewey in Troy, PA who died Oct 1887. As early as 1886, Blenis of Mansfield showed himself as successor to F. M. Spencer's Mansfield's studio. Where or how Mr. Spencer operated 1886-1887 in the interim is unknown.

    So this photo dates 1886/7 or later - the 1900 US census shows Spencer still in Troy, occupation, Photographer.

  13. I just posted my Sepia Saturday post for today and was shocked while doing my research that the photographer was F. M. Spencer the same as in photo and a couple of other you posted in this album. Kind of a coincidence since I just looked at this album and commented on it for the first time the other day! I hope you will take a look:



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