This wonderful cabinet card is from the Laraway family file, but unfortunately we don't know much about it. You don't see many cabinet cards with so many people in them, so I wonder if it is a family grouping, class or organization.
The detective work for today is to consider the evidence and suggest an age range. Studio images may lack the easy clues like car models or known buildings, but there are several paths to consider: genealogical, fashion, style of presentation (type of cabinet card, backdrop), and photo studio (though unfortunately this one lacks a studio imprint).
Based on the number of cabinet cards in our collection, photo studios in Hood River must have been cranking them out at a tremendous rate. The earliest Sanborn map of Hood River (1893) show a photo studio on Third Street half a block north of Oak. We saw it in this image. It would be interesting to lay out a history of early Hood River photographers. While this cabinet card has no imprint on it, we've run across local cabinet cards with the imprints Neff Brothers, W.D. Rogers, Deitz Photo, Frank Patterson, Benjamin Gifford (the Dalles and then Portland). Knowing the years each operated would be very helpful to dating many portraits from that era.
Let's hear you're guesses about the age of this card.
Category: [Downtown Hood River]
Is Arthur being tricky and giving a hint (1893) meant to throw us off? The cut of the dresses looks more 1880s.
Heather on 7th October 2013 @ 1:34pm
From this news article it sounds like the Laraways did not move to HR until 1905.
l.e. on 7th October 2013 @ 2:27pm
"Turn of the Century" - that is as close as I can get.
Summertime -- they are wearing white lace or lawn dresses. Their hats have feathers.
One is carrying a fan while others have parasols to keep the sun's rays from marring their porcelain complexions.
My best guess is that this is a girls finishing school class of some sort? They were learning deportment and other feminine skills perhaps.
How pretty they are!
Jill Stanford on 7th October 2013 @ 2:49pm
I have several family photos taken around 1902 where the clothing was similar, including the buttoned neck.
Jeffrey Bryant on 7th October 2013 @ 7:36pm
A close look reveals so much. The tight sleeve came into vogue in the 1870's and continued, for some, into the 1890's, and even into the turn of the century, so that gave me no leads. The beading on the one gown however is very much the 1890's, as are the hats, which became larger in the 1890's. The shape and fit of the gowns is certainly early 1890's, and the half mitts, came into vogue at this time also.
The tight capped sleeve's, the tight collars, with cameo, even the beading on the dress of the one girl, look very much like the picture of our great grandma in her wedding photo, which was taken in 1890, and is a large cabinet card.
Even the hair styles make me think 1890's. They are simple, up-swept, with less riot of curls about the face, as in the 1880's, and here we see it still kept close to the head, and not poofed out, as it would become later.
I think I can still see a hint of a bustle on these girls, which earlier would have been much more pronounced. The fit of gowns started to become less constricting. Women became active in athletic enterprises, and the styles went more flamboyant, with large puffed sleeves, and shorter walking skirts, in the late 1890's - 1900.
However, if the skirts have no bustle or train, this could push them to a later date.
Lesa on 14th October 2013 @ 1:26pm