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Strange Theatrical CDV by L. Horning's Photographic Rooms of Philadelphia, PA

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    Posted 4 years ago

    endeeringl…
    (40 items)

    picked this up at the local flea market this summer and i still can't really confirm what's going on.

    whether this is the result of some artistic posing, a family mourning portrait, or a theatre group, i haven't figured it out yet. i haven't seen women covering their mouths such as this anywhere else, and the range of expressions in this portrait are what drew me to this one.

    **edit: alright i'm gonna go with theatrical for this one, since its making the most sense at the moment

    if anyone has any ideas, please chime in!

    (these images are NOT for use or re-posting anywhere unless permission by me is granted)

    Unsolved Mystery

    Help us close this case. Add your knowledge below.

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    Comments

    1. scottvez scottvez, 4 years ago
      Great image, I really like it!

      I don't think it is a mourning image.

      scott
    2. endeeringlyvintage endeeringlyvintage, 4 years ago
      thanks for commenting, Scott. I love it as, well!

      well, if mourning's off the list I'll just have to keep searching!
    3. SpiritBear, 4 years ago
      Most of them look like they're in thought, and a couple seem to know something everyone does not.
    4. endeeringlyvintage endeeringlyvintage, 4 years ago
      that is interesting isn't it, spiritbear. that makes it all the more mysterious to me!
    5. PostCardCollector PostCardCollector, 4 years ago
      I see sadness here. And wonder if anyone can enlarge and read the title on the book. If it is the BIBLE then I do think it is an oddly posed mourning group. You have a wonderful image of the Civil War era.
    6. endeeringlyvintage endeeringlyvintage, 4 years ago
      I did a 1200dpi scan of this image so when I get a chance to get back to my laptop I'll add a crop of the max-ed out size
    7. PostCardCollector PostCardCollector, 4 years ago
      Oh wonderful...maybe the title will shed some light on this marvelous photo.please let us know if you can pick up something!
    8. Celiene Celiene, 4 years ago
      Do you have a loupe? I say it's for a stage play advert or playbill.
    9. Celiene Celiene, 4 years ago
      It is definitely NOT a bible. It's three word title & an author's name below.
    10. endeeringlyvintage endeeringlyvintage, 4 years ago
      Whoa great eye! I don't have a loupe, but maybe the full resolution scan will shed some light once I can get it posted. It's looking like the theatre group or a promotion for a production might fit the best for this.
    11. endeeringlyvintage endeeringlyvintage, 4 years ago
      alright, i got the picture at its 100% size and cropped out the book, but i don't think it helps, unfortunately.
    12. Celiene Celiene, 4 years ago
      "L. Horning was a Philadelphia photographer throughout the 1860s and early 1870s. He advertises not only these gems at '2 for 10Cts' and the newer 'Card' photographs (Carte de visite) for $2 per dozen.

      It is interesting that the ad also includes "PRESERVE THE PICTURES OF YOUR DECEASED FRIENDS" by copying old daguerreotype and ambrotypes. This is a mantra that continues today for genealogists and historians.?

      http://www.phototree.com/case_121211.htm
    13. endeeringlyvintage endeeringlyvintage, 4 years ago
      great bit history on that to help with dating. thanks!
    14. Celiene Celiene, 4 years ago
      The first professional theatres in the colonies appeared in Philadelphia and Charleston in the 1700's.

      Arch Street Theatre, run by Louisa Lane Drew (Drew Barrymore's great grandmother). I'm going out on a limb, and I think Louisa is one of the women there. And her daughter Georgiana Drew is another.

      The theatre was two blocks away from the studio. This was at the same time L. Horning was photographing. (1860's-70's)

      https://www.britannica.com/biography/Louisa-Lane-Drew#ref672369
    15. Celiene Celiene, 4 years ago
      LEWIS!

      Horning's, L., Photographic Rooms, No. 56 N Eight St., Philadelphia, PA (1864-1866) "No. _____, Negatives retained. Duplicates furnished any time," *cdv vignette image with tax stamp, jpg in gallery;

      Lewis Horning, photographer, 820 Arch, Philadelphia, PA (1867);

      Lewis Horning, photographer, 56 N 8th, Philadelphia, PA (1868) City Directories;

      Lewis Horning, photographer, 56 N 8th and 820 Arch, Philadelphia, PA (1868-1869) Reilly's PA State Business Directory
    16. Celiene Celiene, 4 years ago
      WOW - CDV collectors - this is a GREAT resource of ALL Photographers of yesterday:

      http://www.langdonroad.com/hog-to-hy
    17. Celiene Celiene, 4 years ago
      Horning started as a Civil War CDV Photog:

      "The steel town of Phoenixville kept a number of photographers busy as men left for war. Lewis Horning, conducted a studio there in 1862."
    18. endeeringlyvintage endeeringlyvintage, 4 years ago
      oh that could definitely be a possibility, then. wow, that'd sure be exciting!
      so after a bit of research on my part, her daughter was born in 1856. i'm wondering if that's a bit late for this CDV, which would make her fairly young in this, since there's two younger ladies here and i'm not sure if either match up to other pictures of Georgiana.
    19. PostCardCollector PostCardCollector, 4 years ago
      I wonder oneod these women has such swollen eyes like. Crying for an extended length of time?Look at the enlarged phot o she is second row from top,far righI it looks like all have black ribbons.usually a tradition to express mourning. I do have a vision problem so maybe I am seeing it wrong?
    20. Celiene Celiene, 4 years ago
      I Would contact the Philly historical society. I'll bet that is part of her troupe of players.
    21. PostCardCollector PostCardCollector, 4 years ago
      Should read. I wonder why One of these women has such swollen eyes. Sorry for typo above post.
    22. Celiene Celiene, 4 years ago
      The 'woman' holding the book is a man...
    23. Celiene Celiene, 4 years ago
      They all have swollen looking eyes. Bad lighting, and they had to stare without blinking for an extended period as the photo was taken.
    24. endeeringlyvintage endeeringlyvintage, 4 years ago
      good idea about the philly historical society. i'll have to see what i can do.
      i also do know that black was extremely fashionable in addition to mourning colors, so i'm don't think it's a deciding factor for mourning. and the woman looks like an older woman to me. what's inclining you to say it's a costume on a man?
    25. Celiene Celiene, 4 years ago
      Look at his face! The brows, his hands. Actors (and actresses!) often cross dressed. He's also the only one wearing a hat. BAsed on the address of the studio - this would have been in 1867,before he rantwostufios - IF he didn't advertise both studios on his photos, that is. If not 1867-1869 (as far as we know based on limited info).


      The Walnut Street Theatre has a great historical archive & photos. And there was the Chestnut St. Theatre, too.
    26. Celiene Celiene, 4 years ago
      Wow -they have playbills from 1803 in the historical library.

      http://dla.library.upenn.edu/dla/pacscl/ead.html?id=PACSCL_FLP_FLPTHCPLAYBILLS&#ref6
    27. Celiene Celiene, 4 years ago
      The Booth brothers, you know - THAT Booth family, were active in The Walnut Theatre at the time, until John Wilkes killed Lincoln.

      I wonder if this is a mourning photo for Lincoln's assassination? (But he was killed in 1865).
    28. PostCardCollector PostCardCollector, 4 years ago
      Looks to me the men are also wearing black ribbons if my vision serves me right.
    29. endeeringlyvintage endeeringlyvintage, 4 years ago
      hoo boy this is turning out to be one complicated mystery! 1867-69 really narrows it down. well, both the walnut and arch street theatres were fairly close in proximity, so possibly? maybe it's a mourning and theatrical group portrait? i don't know if they would have done a mourning portrait two years after his assassination, though?
    30. scottvez scottvez, 4 years ago
      Some very active imaginations on here!

      Nice photo-- I like to stick to the facts.

      scott
    31. endeeringlyvintage endeeringlyvintage, 4 years ago
      it's always fun to speculate! i'm just glad i have the ability to narrow down the years this may have been taken
    32. PostCardCollector PostCardCollector, 4 years ago
      What is that in the woman on the left has in her hand??
    33. endeeringlyvintage endeeringlyvintage, 4 years ago
      i believe it's a cane
    34. PostCardCollector PostCardCollector, 4 years ago
      Well with the bulky clothing it looks like winter and excuse my opinion this looks like pretty ugly bunch to be on the stage and the man at the bottom looks SCARED
    35. PostCardCollector PostCardCollector, 4 years ago
      I suppose this is a mystery that will go unsolved but the photo offers something great....A challenge. And who can resist that?
    36. endeeringlyvintage endeeringlyvintage, 4 years ago
      haha! to be quite honest that's everything i love about this! what a bunch of characters! a picture really is worth a thousand words isn't it
    37. PostCardCollector PostCardCollector, 4 years ago
      Yes, this is a rare looking bunch --a few dressed like ladies do look like men! Ha ha. A transvestite theatrical troupe.
    38. PostCardCollector PostCardCollector, 4 years ago
      Yes, this is a rare looking bunch --a few dressed like ladies do look like men! Ha ha. A transvestite theatrical troupe.
    39. scottvez scottvez, 4 years ago
      I don't see any men dressed as women in the image.

      scott
    40. endeeringlyvintage endeeringlyvintage, 4 years ago
      i agree with you, scott. i just see a couple well dressed older women.
    41. PostCardCollector PostCardCollector, 4 years ago
      OH! Read posts #23 and# 26 from Celiene. She sees a man there dressed as a woman!!( and gives her reasons) She may be right, who knows??
      So---In our "speculations" which you say are "fun" ---I went along with that (only a silly joke) I just assumed we ALL had read the posts 23 and 26..Guess not. If you think it is offensive --remove it please.
    42. PostCardCollector PostCardCollector, 4 years ago
      Another thought adding to a hint. Comments 23 &26 and. A another comment about the ladies covering faces the same way now I wonder about a possibility they cover moustaches? It just could be celienes comments 23. And 26 might be on to something? I am just wondering and hopefully not disturbing you. Nothing deadly here it again if you are bothered by this no problem to me at all if it is deleted. I think Celiene might like to see it however.






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