Friday, September 2, 2011

A Nineteenth Century Wedding

EBay can be an expensive way to collect old photos. Believe me, I've found that out the hard way. But, if you're willing to spend time scrolling through page after page of old photos, from time to time something interesting and affordable will come up. I hadn't really been looking for cabinet cards, but there they were. Nine, starting price of 99 cents, two bucks for shipping and not a single bid. Anyway, this was one of the ones I liked for a rather perverse reason. I'm a big believer that as photographic technique improved over the years, so did the subject's relationship to the camera. Stiff and formal was the standard, lively with a sense of movement a rarity. It took decades for the people being photographed to learn to relax and show some humanity. I'm fascinated that these people looked so stark on the big day. There is a studio mark embossed on the card, "D. A. Frommeyer -HANOVER, PA-" All I could dig up on Mr. Frommeyer is that he had a studio in Hanover from 1886 to 1911.

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