UNIONCITY GRAD_0002An adolescent girl holds a rolled paper as she poses for her portrait at the Hearn Studio in Union City, Pennsylvania. Is that a graduation certificate that she is holding? She is dressed fashionably. Her hat is strategically placed beside her. Her jewelry includes a necklace, bracelet, and a ring.  Interestingly the photographer placed two faux rocks in front of her ankles so that her shoes cannot be seen. Is the photographer hiding something? Note the plants in the planter and the art object on the stage beside her. What exactly is that artistic piece? J. P. Hearn was a native of Devonshire, England, where he was born in 1846. He immigrated to Ottawa, Canada with his brother John in 1872. He later moved to St. Catherine where he studied photography with G.F. Maitland. His next stop was Buffalo, New York. In 1875 he came to Union City and opened a photographic gallery which was destroyed in the “Brooklyn Fire” of 1879. After the fire, he was able to successfully rebuild his business in Union City. He married Canadian, Annie McClelland in 1878. Research found another cabinet card that indicates that at some point in time, Hearn operated studios simultaneously in the Pennsylvania cities of Union City and Spartansburg.


Published in: on April 22, 2014 at 12:13 pm  Comments (2)  
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  1. When I look at these old photos. I usually start making up stories about them. When I read that her shoes were hidden, I immediately decided that her one and only pair of boots were miserably scuffed and worn. Then I wondered why she would wear her new best dress with worn out shoes and decided to look closer—-In close-up, her left foot is visible; the toes of the boot is scuffed and so is the heel. The right foot is well hidden……or is she maybe missing a leg ? The plot thickens !

    Yeh, my stories are ever so entertaining.

  2. If this is a graduation photo, I’m wondering if that sculptured head on the railing beside the young lady is meant to represent Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom?

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