The young girl posing in this photograph has the appearance of a very intellectual child. She is standing next to two books atop a table and her hand rests upon a stereoscope. She is wearing a pair of glasses. The girl is identified on the reverse of the photograph as Sema Sage, age 12. The photograph was published in 1887.Stereoscopes were a popular way to view photographs in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. A popular later version was invented by Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.. Stereoscopes are used to view stereographic cards. These cards have two separate images printed side by side. When viewing these images through the stereoscope, the focal points becomes more distant, the card image is magnified allowing the viewer to see more detail, and the resulting image is 3-D. This portrait cabinet card was taken by Alston E. Hotchkiss of Norwich, New York. To view other photographs by Hotchkiss, click on the category “Photographer: Hotchkiss”.

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. It’s interesting how often photos and photo albums were used as props in old cabinet cards.

  2. Her hand doesn’t look as young and soft as her face does: this was a girl or young woman, who had already to to a lot of hard work with them

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