This cabinet card photograph features a fashionable New England young woman.  However, the main focus of this photograph is the woman’s purse. The photographer ruined the photograph by forgetting to ask the woman to put her purse in a place out of range of the camera. The woman is wearing  dress gloves, a large bow, a wide brimmed hat, and is slenderized by her corset. The photographer is Bailey of Concord, New Hampshire and he probably was not really inept. However, he certainly made an error when posing the subject for this photograph. A Concord business publication (1890) writes about a photographer named H. C. Bailey. The articles states that Bailey took possession of a photographic studio in Concord in 1888 and that he had lived in Concord since 1860. The article also states that Bailey had a branch studio and art store in Woodsville, New Hampshire. Bailey was reported to have been born in Lisbon, New Hampshire. There is no confirmation that this cabinet cards photographer was H. C. Bailey but it is likely to be the case. In 1890, the Bailey studio was located on State Block, on the corner of Main and School Street.

Published in: on August 3, 2010 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  
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  1. I’m not sure it’s so much an inept photographer, as a woman wanting to show off her purse. Taking photos was a real event in those times. And if you had it (family jewelry, gaudy dress appliques, that new purse your sister-in-law would die of envy over,) you flaunted it.

    You can tell who the poorer ladies are. They show no jewelry and often wear only a lace shawl (maybe even provided by the photographer) that covers them up to the neck.

    The thing that strikes me over and over with a lot of these photos was the richness of the women’s clothes. Two or three different type fabrics used for one dress, and these would have all been different colors.

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